It's no surprise that Sable was Mercury's best-selling line of sedans and wagons, because they were the counterpart of Ford's Taurus, the perennial best seller on the American market. Sable competed in the crowded midsize market not only with Taurus, but also with Honda Accord, Chevy Lumina, Dodge Intrepid, Toyota Camry and Nissan Maxima.
Much unlike its twin Ford counterpart, the Ford Taurus, just a little over 100,000 Mercury Sables were sold as of 1991. The lineup consisted of base GS and higher level LS models, both either as a 4-door sedan or 4-door station wagon.
The Sable was cosmetically updated for its second generation, starting with the 1992 model year. The GS and LS were carried over as well.
A new Luxury Touring Sedan (LTS) model was introduced for 1995. The LTS came with all the LS standard equipment, including power windows, bucket seats and automatic parking brake release, and added dual leather 6-way power seats, special alloy wheels (chrome wheels are optional), and an upgraded interior.
The base and LS Sables were essentially carryover models, the biggest change being new taillamps. Under the skin, the base V6 engine was improved in the areas of durability, noise and vibration. Engine cooling and heater performance also was improved, and the coolant change interval was extended up to four years or 50,000 miles.
All Sable owners were now able to ride a bit smoother, as suspension refinements included new struts with revised valving, and a resized stabilizer bars. Wagon models, when ordered with a front bench seat, came standard with a rear-facing cargo-area jump seat with a 60/40 split folding seatback, giving seating capacity for eight.
Standard equipment on all Sables included dual airbags, air conditioning, tachometer and tilt steering wheel. Two V6 engines were available, both producing 140 horsepower. The optional larger displacement engine, however, cranked out more torque.
Being Mercury's bestseller and stablemate to Ford's Taurus, the Sable received a total rework for '96. The new platform supported a rounder body that was more rigid than the second generation design, and was nearly 8 inches longer. Available in sedan and wagon body styles, each in base GS and higher-priced LS trim (the LTS model was discontinued), Sable offered two powertrains depending on trim package.
Base Sables were equipped with the refined Vulcan 145-horsepower 3.0-liter pushrod V6. The engine was quieter and smoother-running than the second generation. LS buyers were treated to a new 200-horsepower 3.0-liter 24-valve Duratec V6. Both engines were mated to 4-speed automatics and were scheduled to go 100,000 miles between tuneups. A new suspension system utilizing strutted up front and an independent Quadralink strut layout in the rear helped control dive and squat. Inside, the new interior featured an integrated control panel that combined audio and climate-control functions in a single unit.
Six-passenger sedans came with a flippable/foldable center console that would convert from a seat to an armrest to a plain old console. This feature was standard on GS and optional on LS. A passive antitheft system was standard on LS models. It used a special ignition key with radio-transmission technology to "talk" to the car before it would start. Standard features included air conditioning, variable-assist power steering and stainless-steel exhaust. The options list covered ABS, central locking, leather seats, integrated child safety seat (for wagons) and leather upholstery.
As of mid-1994:
- $18,210 (1995 Mercury Sable GS 4DR Sedan)
- $19,360 (1995 Mercury Sable GS 4DR Wagon)
- $20,470 (1995 Mercury Sable LS 4DR Sedan)
- $21,570 (1995 Mercury Sable LS 4DR Wagon)
As of June 15, 1995:
- $18,995 (1996 Mercury Sable GS 4DR Sedan)
- $20,015 (1996 Mercury Sable GS 4DR Wagon)
- $21,295 (1996 Mercury Sable LS 4DR Sedan)
- $22,355 (1996 Mercury Sable LS 4DR Wagon)
- $535 (1994 and early 1995 models)
- $550 (1995-1999 models)