The Saab 9-5 Aero is great car in terms of performance and handling. But there are some fundamental flaws in the design of the car.
1) The car is a front wheel drive, but it has too much power to put through the front wheels The soft Pirelli P-zero tyres went bald after 8,000 miles!!
2) I find the Aero seats are much too short in height - the head restraints cut me in the top of my back and I am only 6 feet tall!! So I have to disconnect the active head restraint to be able to drive the car. The problem is - this active head restraint will fire forwards in the event of a rear-ended collision!
3) Wheel nuts - A set of alloy wheels costs £1,000 and Saab gives you wheel nuts that rust brown halfway through the winter!
4) Engine design - Saab changed the design on the 2004 model. Previous models now have their warranty extended to 8 years - as the engines can fail.
5) The sat-nav radio is a joke - especailly when they gave me a 2002 DVD disk for a 2004 car! It's a scandinavian car - but the map does not include a lot of Finland or Norway.
The steering wheel controls do not replicate the features on the radio - that is appalling - and the most annoying thing of all is the flawed sat-nav/radio unit. You cannot cancel the traffic announcments you are forced to listen to them - unless you hit the button on the radio or the steering wheel - this turns the radio off! The radio cost £2500!! Rip-off!
I bought the car as an ex-demonstrator from a dealer. I have been delighted with the performance, handling and laod carrying of the car and my family have been very happy with three-in-the-back long journeys.
As the car has got older and the mileage higher (100,000 miles in three years) a few problems have surfaced, like the exhaust gas recyling valve. Dealers are very expensive, but very thorough. I now take to a local garage, which is less than half the cost, but they still rely on the dealer for some parts.
I run the car as my company car and will keep it when I have to renew for my wife as it will have plenty more miles in it for holidays etc.
I have owned the car from new and have had very few problems with it.
When I originally purchased the car I lived in Germany where it was a cheaper car to service. It is capable of high speed cruising (130mph) all day.
Since returning to the UK I have noticed that some UK dealers are not as helpful as others. The two main problems with the car is its tendency to loose traction when accelerating but suprisingly it does not deal with the snow very well. The interior is good quality and hard wearing.
Overall I am pleased with the car but have some reservations over dealers and servicing costs.
It's a lovely car to drive the best Saab I have owned to date.
This car is very good on a long run, on a recent run down to Spain it averaged 35 to the gallon at high cruising speeds with no problems. The air-con and the autobox meant I still felt very fresh after the 960-mile trip.
On the bad side, around town I only get an average of 20 to the gallon. As a car, it is a real pleasure to drive and own. The two main dealers I have used have also been very good and much more customer focused than the Mercedes dealers I have previously used.
Would I buy another one? At the moment yes but it would be nice if they did a 4x4 diesel similar to the Volvo XC70 or Audi A6 Avant 2.5 TDi.
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