Here's what most people know about this car: it's one of the safest and most comfortable cars in the world; it is not a sports saloon in normal guise; its turbo means it has plenty of torque and very good economy on a long run; and it is not German.
What people do not know about this car: it has a drag cd of 0.26; it has one of the best and most responsive automatic gearboxes ever; its great headlights mean stress-free night driving. Also, this car works well in the snow - I have made it up mountains in Austria without chains. Try that in a RWD.....
It's very easy to upgrade power and suspension for very little money, my friend does not understand what is wrong with his 3.2-litre Audi A3... This car is an absolute bargain when buying used and there's plenty of choice.
It is cheap to service, and easy to maintain, though a regular oil change is crucial. As for resale value, if you buy a new Mercedes or BMW for £35,000, you'll get £15,000 back in three years. Buy a used 9-5 for £13,000 and you'll get back £6000 in three years, but you will not want to sell it....
I have had mine for six yearsand 152,000 miles, after owning many German makes. I will buy another more recent used one. Savings will go towards a real sports car - a Caterham.
I have previously owned Mercs, BMWs etc. I will say this. The 9-5 Saab and in particular the Aero model, is right up there with them.
I have recently purchased the Aero and it is the first time I have ever owned a Saab and what a car it is. The car is very smooth, quiet and comfortable. Space is fantastic for the Kids as this is a very big car. In fact, I also have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Saab is longer by around 6 inches or so.
Another consideration when buying was safety and the 9-5 is probably the safest car in the world. I have to give credit to Saab, whereas most car manufacturers design their cars to pass NCAP. Saab engineers design all their models based on actual real accidents that have happened(check out Folksam.com), that includes rear shunts and cars colliding with real cars, as opposed to a stationary barrier as with NCAP. The 9-5 was and I believe still is, the highest scoring car ever tested by NCAP.
Performance from the Aero is awesome for such a big car, especially overtaking, from 50 to 70 the Aero is quicker than a 911 Carrera and that says it all really. To sum up, this is a car and manufacturer that I ignored for years, mainly out of ignorance and I always went with the BMs and the like.
Not any more.
I have always hankered after a 9-5. There's something quite sophisticated about it, less ostentatious or brash (or common!) than the obvious German brands. Now I have one, I am very pleased with the way that it looks.
It drives really nicely, the turbo engine is responsive and works reasonably well with the auto gearbox. The handling could be a little better, but it's certainly not bad. What I am having trouble with is the internal size of the car. It seems that every car these days is so well packaged that it feels like a tardis on the inside.
The 9-5, in my experience is the opposite. It is huge on the outside and like a supermini on the inside. Another thing is the ergonomics. I thought Saabs were supposed to be nearly perfect, ergonomically at least, but in our experience, nothing is where you would naturally expect it to be.
All in all though, apart from a hugely expensive service (and more to come probably) we are very happy with the car - once we have shoehorned our kids in the back, that is.
Having previously owned (and liked) a Saab 9000 I naturally gravitated to the 9-5.
In some ways it's an improvement ... it feels more refined, it's quieter and more economical.
In some it's also step back... I don't like that it's not a hatchback & I don't like the ignition in the centre. Also the build quality also seems to have suffered compared to the 9000.
These issues have caused me to think about trying other cars more seriously after 10 years with Saab (both mine and my wife's!) We tried the Volvo and liked both the S60 and the S80, which feel much better made.
Also as I look through the car ads I note a lot of the 9-5's have had new turbos or new gearboxes, etc all with around 100,000 miles. I don't see the Volvo's with that mileage having the same work done.
Interestingly this car does less mpg than my wifes S80, which is much bigger!
All in all I'm disappointed with the Saab in many aspects.. It had the pedigree and promise to be a really great car but somehow just failed to live up to things.
In fact the only thing stopping moving to Volvo completely is they can't make an auto box with the same kind of responsiveness as the Saab. In fact I found that even my T6 with 272 bhp can be beaten by a mere Ford Fiesta Pop in the first 50 yards. At least Saab don't suffer from that!
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