What's the used Saab 9-5 like?
This second-generation Saab 9-5 was launched at a time when the company was in its death throes. Recently divorced from General Motors and desperately short of cash, it needed the 9-5 to sell in big numbers, but the car failed to tempt many people out of their Audis, BMWs and Mercedes.
Under the skin, the 9-5 owed a lot to the Vauxhall Insignia. While Saab engineers made changes to the suspension in an effort to give the 9-5 a unique character, the result is a ride that’s pattery and unsettled at all speeds.
Don’t think that the comfort sacrifice means you get agile handling, either. The 9-5 leans over dramatically in corners and swiftly runs out of grip. On top of this, the steering is inconsistently weighted and constantly vibrates in your hands.
You also have to put up with a lot of wind and road noise on the motorway, and things aren’t much better at lower speeds, where the diesel engines sound coarse.
More positively, there’s masses of leg room in both the front and the back, but the sloping roofline means rear head room is surprisingly tight for those over six feet tall.
There are some typically Saab touches, such as a digital speedometer that mimics a fighter jet’s heads-up display and the fact that the ignition key slot is between the front seats. Unfortunately, the interior plastics don’t feel sufficiently premium, and the dashboard is overloaded with fiddly buttons.