Used Saab 9-5 1997 - 2010 review


(1997 - 2010)
Saab 9-5 (97 - 10)
Review continues below...


What alternatives should I consider to a used Saab 9-5 saloon?

The five in the 9-5’s name signified that it was aimed directly at the BMW 5 Series, but this was always streets ahead of the Saab in terms of handling. The 5 Series does suffer from some reliability issues, though, especially versions fitted with the 2.2-litre straight-six petrol engine and the later N47 2.0-litre diesel.

The Mercedes E-Class is another obvious Saab 9-5 rival, but you have to buy with great care because the version that was sold between 2002 and 2009 suffered from no end of electrical problems.

A more reliable alternative is the Audi A6. The first proper example of this was introduced in the same year as the 9-5 (the previous A6 was simply a facelifted and rebadged Audi 100) and is sturdy, roomy and attractive. Sadly, it was never as good to drive as the 5 Series.

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Saab 9-5 (97 - 10)
Saab 9-5 (97 - 10)
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The Saab 9-5 is a car that stayed in production longer than most, but that was more out of economic necessity than brilliance.

  • Loads of space
  • Comfortable seats
  • Sweet turbo petrol engines
  • Cheap to buy
  • Ancient underpinnings
  • Unreliable diesel model
  • Lack of modern amenities