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Pretty Good Car. Excellent Value
Pros: Front-seat comfort.
Cons: Cabin fan noiseSeveral years back, I wanted to go upscale from the usual family sedans/wagons. I thought the SAAB 9-5 was the ticket because it was subdued enough that it wouldn't draw unwanted attention. Well, the SAAB 9-5 I bought blew me away. So much so, I just bought a 2008 9-5. I love it. I appreciate all the details which the automotive press chooses to cite as examples of 'quirkiness:' the window lift switches and the ignition in the center consol. It makes perfect sense to me. I believe the size of the car is perfect for tooling around town or a road trip of several days' duration. The doors are wide enough and light enough to make ingress/egress easy and dignified. The power is more than sufficient and traction control makes driving in snow very secure. As you can tell, I have become a SAAB enthusiast!
Pros: The Harmon Kardon sound system is superb.
Cons: The GM parts sharing. My HVAC controls look like they came right out of a Buick.I bought my car used with only 17k miles on it. It's now at 42K and other than usual maintenance I have had NO major problems with this car. I have only two small complaints - the led inside the driver's side heated seat switch doesn't light up anymore, so in the dark I have to count the clicks to know what it's set on, and the rear window washer (I have the wagon version) has never worked. I had it fixed once at the dealership and it worked for a week and stopped again. I never bothered to go back, b/c honestly I don't use it much anyway. That's it. No other complaints - not bad for a nine year old car.
Does Everything I want in a car
Pros: turbo acceleration
Cons: plastidc headlightsDespite the seemingly fair reputation Saab has, I find Saab cars to be everything I want in a car. Because of that reputation, I can find great deals on used Saabs- the current one I own is my third. What I like is the power of the turbo with the great gas mileage. Just this past weekend on an 8 hour trip to the Delaware shore, I averaged 34 mpg, both ways. Also, the towing capacity is 2000 lbs, which is unusual for a 4 cylinder, and I am able to tow my camping trailer. I do admit they do need to update the styling.
Pros: Ventilated seats,sport mode,Harman Kardon stereo and unique styling.
Cons: Vibration during red light stoppage.
Advice: Go for a used one, you will get the best deal for a luxirious, sport sedan.I have had my SAAB 95 Arc for about 6 months and it is absolutely trouble free. I have taken it on long trips which dazzled me bcos of its performance. I test drove infiniti G35 and a volvo S 60 before settling for the Saab.If you don't want to own a Saab, then never test drive one.
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.
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.
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.