2003 Sable New Car Test Drive
The Mercury Sable provides a pleasant blend of family-car safety and mid-market value. It combines the virtues of high quality, five-star crash protection and comfortable accommodations (and those accommodations are even quieter for the 2003 model year), and adds in a healthy helping of driving fun. Especially when equipped with the optional Duratec V6, the mid-size Mercury is blessed with the kind of performance and agility expected in expensive front-drive sports sedans.
The Sable wagon is every bit as fun to drive as the sedan, and adds capacity for kids and cargo.
For 2003, the Sable sedan and wagon come in GS and LS versions.
The GS sedan starts at $20,120, or $21,180 in its GS Plus variation. The LS Premium sedan is $22,495.
The GS wagon is priced at $21,530, the GS Plus Wagon at $22,420 and the LS Premium Wagon at $23,660.
All Sables have remote-controlled exterior mirrors, carpeting, cupholders in a center console, AM/FM audio, tilt steering column, air conditioning, power door locks with child safety locks on rear doors, remote keyless entry, anti-theft systems, cruise control, speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering, 16-inch tires, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers and power windows.
The GS sedans have rear drum brakes while all other Sables have four-wheel disc brakes. All Sables have four-speed automatic transmissions.
GS sedans and wagons are powered by the 3.0-liter Vulcan V6, a capable, old cast-iron, overhead-valve workhorse rated 155 horsepower. The GS Plus Sedan adds an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with compass, single-CD player, 60/40 split folding rear seatback, illuminated vanity mirrors on the sun visors, adjustable brake and gas pedals and six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment.
The LS Premium Sedan is powered by Ford's excellent Duratec V6, with dual overhead cams, 24 valves, and 200 horsepower. The LS comes with fog lights, seven-spoke aluminum wheels, a cassette player, five-passenger seating with dual front recliners, leather-wrapped steering wheel, electronic automatic climate control and rear-seat air conditioning.
Similar upgrades are found respectively in the GS Plus and LS Premium Wagon. Both wagons come with a standard, rear-facing third-row seat.
Options include a Platinum package (perforated leather seating, satin aluminum instrument panel mask and exterior refinements) for the LS Premium ($595), a power moonroof ($890), a Secure package with side-impact airbags and all-speed traction control ($565), and a Mach audio system with a six-CD changer ($670).