2005 Saab 9-5 Arc SportWagon – Test drive and new car review – 2005 Saab 9-5 Arc SportWagon

5 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2005 Saab 9-5 Arc SportWagon – Test drive and new car review – 2005 Saab 9-5 Arc SportWagon

The Saab that time

The 2005 Saab 9-5 SportWagon is a car that’s been left on the way past its sell-by date. Now in its 7th year, the big Swede is having a time keeping up with the (and largely less competition. $37,770 base, as tested, 4 year/50,000 mile with 3 year/36,000 miles scheduled maintenance.


The old Saab 900 was the vehicular symbol of the era, a lovably odd hatchback full of unique quirks set it apart from everything on the road. A lot has happened to Saab the past few years. Today, the automaker is a subsidiary of General and shares its technology with GM divisions.

The present-day successor to the 900 is the it has lost much of the 900’s but it’s still a delightful car upholds the Swedish manufacturer’s for cars that are safe and

The bigger 9-5 is another story. in 1999, the 9-5 was caught right in the of Saab’s metamorphosis. It was (and is) a fairly conventional car punctuated Saab-like cues.

Though has made a few efforts to modernize it, the 9-5 simply feels out of date. was innovative in ’99 is old hat now. cars are nicer to drive and perform as well as, or better the 9-5 in crash tests.

The 9-5 has two saving Unique styling and, in the of the wagon, a load bay big enough to its own zip code. But, as Barry sang, It’s just not baby. Especially at the 9-5’s price.

In the Driver’s Seat

Saab 9-5 looks like it’s pieced together rather designed.

Aaron Gold

Up the 9-5’s interior is a mix of good, and bad. Good: Comfy easy-to-read instrument panel. The Night Panel feature, dims or turns off all dashboard except the speedometer, aiding vision on dark roads.

The huge driver’s airbag makes the steering wheel clunky and dated.

They key for the ignition is between the front a Saab tradition that the transmission to be locked in reverse or park (automatic). It was an effective deterrent in the days before alarms; with the 9-5’s electronic immobilizer, it’s nostalgic than anything

The new-for-05 navigation system (a option – yowch!) is with the stereo; in fact, the has to be on to use it. The in-dash CD player accepts the navigation DVD or a CD/MP3 disc. If you directions and tunes, you have to use the CD way back in the cargo bay.

cargo must be serious in Sweden. The 9-5’s load bay is and the seats fold down flat. There’s a metal in the floor for tie-down hooks and an roll-out cargo tray.

The 9-5 can up to 928 lbs of people and cargo and tow up to 3500

On the Road

I figured the 9-5 would be to drive, what with its lineage and $40,000 price I figured wrong. The 9-5 is not as crisp as the Japanese and European cars, and the is hard and jiggly.

Still, I confident that I could avoid an accident in the 9-5. In I was mistaken, the 9-5 has seat-mounted side but no curtain airbags to cover the in the event of a rollover. Traction and antilock brakes are standard.

are better in the powertrain department. All are powered by a 2.3 liter turbocharged engine. Power depends on 185 horsepower for the $33,270 9-5 Linear, 220 hp for the Arc, and 250 hp for the $41,470 Aero, all front-wheel-drive and a choice of manual or transmissions.

I drove an automatic Arc and thought the did a good impression of a V6: very without the hesitation and surging of turbocharged cars. Quick,

EPA mileage is 19 MPG city/28 highway; I an SUV-like 19 MPG in mixed driving, and I pushing the car particularly hard. The 9-5 premium fuel, which adds insult to injury.


Cargo area holds 75 cubic feet of stuff the seats folded. Dog not included.

alternatives: The Volkswagen Passat has nearly as much cargo and costs a lot less, plus it you the option of economical diesel If you can do with something smaller, out the Volvo V50 and the all-wheel-drive (AWD) A4 Quattro wagon. And if you don’t see the to pay for a fancy name, try my favorite the AWD Subaru Legacy — a car that will run forever.

The smaller 9-3 is proof that can do better, which makes the 9-5 much more disappointing. certainly not a bad car; it’s not worth what they’re for it. If you want safety, space and the 9-5 is good, but you can do just as well better, even — for money.

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