2007 Saab 9-5 - SportCombi
Pros: Ventilated heated and cooled leather seats
Cons: Navigation system is ridiculously expensive AND you lose XM Radio
Advice: Go for the Aero with the ventilated seatsThis is my second Saab 9-5 Sportswagon; now called the SportCombi in the U.S. We also have a 2005 9-5 Arc. I am about to trade in my 2004 3-series BMW (too small and too slow). The 2006-07 redesigns and refinements have not gotten sufficient coverage in the press. They simply write it off because it is not an 'all-new' design. The exterior design looks very similar to the current Audis and VWs. Why change the 4-cylinder turbo engine? It is very, very reliable; something Saab has struggled with in some other models. It was rated as the safest car in Europe. But there have been significant improvements. The 2007 has a fully redesigned dash with a much improved Harman/Kardon soundsystem with a 6-disc in-dash CD, XM Radio, 36 presets, iPod/accessory input. The transmission is smoother and there are more horses under the hood (260), but it still gets over 30 mpg on the road as long as you keep it under 80. Admittedly, that is hard to do because this car is fast and likes to go fast, but such is life. There is more soundproofing from engine noise. The good parts remain unchanged; great seats, great cargo capacity, and $10,000 cheaper than the realistic competition. I liked the Audi A6 Avant a lot, but it wasn't worth $12,000+ more comparably equipped. The 9-5 Aero SportCombi doesn't really have any competition at its price point, and I really like the fact that it is rare. Give it a look if you need a mid to large size wagon for your family or to haul around your sporting/outdoor gear. I considered BMW 530ix and Audi A6 Avant but they were too expensive. Volvo V70 is just plain ugly and $5000 more. The Volkswagen Passat was considered but it not considered in the same luxury class and it doesn't have the free scheduled maintenance and outstanding warranty.
2006 Saab 9-5 - SportCombi
Pros: Driving something that I don't see 50 times a day
Cons: Still could have a little more power, but 28MPG is very nice
Advice: IF you can find a left over 2006 you can save a ton. 8 to 10,000 offThis Combisport wagon is my 5th Saab and my first auto. The increase from 250HP to 260 seemed to be enough to make me a lazy driver. Quality is pretty good. My car seems far more solid than my wifes 2006 E320. But the sheet metal is this, if you are in a hail storm its not going to be pretty. Great seats, and a lot of fun.
2006 Saab 9-3 - Aero Sport Sedan
Pros: I love the chic look of this vehicle
Cons: The front bumper is so low that you have to CONSTANTLY be aware of not scraping it while parking, or going out of driveways.
Advice: GO FOR IT!This car is fantastic! It has so many features and is very luxurious. The quiet motor and quick acceleration makes driving this car a lot of fun. It handles really well. The seats are very confortable. The sound system is excellent, although it takes a bit getting used to the controls. There are a lot of bells and whistles that make this car such a joy.For example....cooling glove box, water jets on headlamps, small pass-thru from trunk to back seats.
2006 Saab 9-3 - 2.0T Sport Sedan
Pros: acceleration and handling
Cons: computer/radio controls
Advice: get it with heated seats and moonroof.The car is nimble and quick though there is a very slight but brief lag from the turbo when you step on it. The car feels well put together, sturdy, compact, and safe. The radio and computer are not simple to work but most of the features are not really necessary anyway. The car has a tight feeling both in terms of steering, control, and general cabin roominess. The option to shift manually is a welcome feature especially when you want to stop more quickly. The brakes are excellent as well and the downshifting and braking together brings the car to fairly quick and sure stops. Although slightly noisy when accelerating hard especially when the air is also on, the car is generally quiet enough. Great car overall.
2006 Saab 9-5 - Sedan
Pros: Unique/Intelligent styling and design
Cons: No intelligent cruise control(radar maintains distance between vehicle ahead)
Advice: Check out a 525 or 530 and then this car, you'll buy this one.Quick and fun to drive. I know that some find the center ignition and quirky controls such as the tiny button next to the mirror control that adjust passenger side mirror for parrallel parking to be annoying, but I agree with saab engineers that they make the most sense. You feel very comfortable and in charge when seated in the 'cockpit'. Seats are great and the night panel switch is ingenious during long night drives. Also, the ventilated seats are worth every penny. I can't believe some of the reviews that this car has recieved. My wife and I were looking at either a 9-5 or a BMW 530 and found that we liked the saab much more. I cant see spending an extra 15k to 20k more to be part of the 'beemer' club. The saab was faster and more comfortable. Granted, I really liked the 'i-drive' system and the power shade in the BMW but it just doesn't compute for me. The saab even had quite a few essential options for us that we would have to special order in a BMW. Such as rear folding and rear heated seats, as well as ventilated seats. Overall, if you want a great road trip car that is fun to drive and that has it's own personality rather than conforming to the norm, I say the 9-5 is the perfect choice.
2005 Saab 9-3 - Arc Sport Sedan
Pros: Turbo rules in the mountains
Cons: Never been able to program the housed garage door opener
Advice: consider stiff suspension26,000 mile update: Dissapointments: No more SAAB loaner cars in Colorado at dealers when they are fixing yours. This was a major selling point for me, now I get a Chevy Malibu. Noisy brakes. I'm learning the soft brakes stop you quickly but produce excessive dust and parallel parking always means enough noise from the brakes to annoy your passengers. A few rattles in the doors came and went in the last 2.5 years. One of the rear safety belts stopped buckling, covered by warranty. The positive is I still love driving my SAAB in the mountains. Its great on ice and will run with any street legal car out there,once you get to 3rd gear. Test drive a SAAB and you will probably buy one. I just hope my small problems stop when the warranty expires at 50,000 miles.
2005 Saab 9-3 - Aero Sport Sedan
Pros: Sport seats and aux input for my ipod
Cons: Turbo Lag
Advice: Drive it on a road where there is no Police, so you can wind this thing up.I got a loaded Aero. This car is awesome. It is not fast off the line, but get that car on a twisty road and you have a rocket(as long as you keep the RPMs up). There is quite a bit of turbo lag, but it is fun when it really kicks in.