2007 Saab 9-5 — Test drive and new car review — 2007 Saab 9-5 60th Anniversary Edition

7 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2007 Saab 9-5 — Test drive and new car review — 2007 Saab 9-5 60th Anniversary Edition

With age comes experience

introduced in 1999, the 9-5 has become a in the Saab lineup. After of neglect, Saab made a of improvements to the 9-5 in 2006; for 2007 ups the ante with a longer and an appealing 60th Anniversary package. But that doesn’t the fact that the basic 9-5 is still in its ninth year. it holding up?

Better than I that’s for sure. Base (9-5 sedan) $36,185, as tested $41,770, EPA fuel 20 MPG city/30 MPG highway (manual), (automatic).

First Glance: history and bad plastic surgery


Saab is to cars Samuel Adams is to beer. 1956, they have just shy of 1.1 million cars in the US fewer than parent General Motors sells in months . Founded 60 years ago by 16 engineers (only two of whom, to company legend, had a driver’s Saab was years ahead of the in applying technologies like and front-wheel-drive, and to this day their have an air of individualism that greatly to their appeal.

Designed just before Motors bought the Swedish the 9-5 is regarded by many as the last Saab. With the ignition key (link goes to photo) the seats – a Saab – and a turbocharged four-cylinder in place of the now-ubiquitous V6, the 9-5 retains of its Saabishness. But membership has its privileges: As a GM Saab now boasts a 5 year/100,000 powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.

And the Saab 9-5 is attractively priced for a European with bargain factory-backed deals popping up all the time.

The 9-5 a thorough going-over last with revised styling and in. When it comes to the exterior changes, I am not a fan. The chrome and plastic nose job makes the 9-5 like it’s wearing too eye makeup, while the monochrome look like someone out the lenses and covered them red cellophane.

Exterior styling wasn’t the problem, and they should left well enough

Continued below#8230;

In the Driver’s The simple life

9-5’s is greatly improved

Photo Aaron Gold

It was the 9-5’s that needed rescue, and Saab really came Gone are the Clinton-era steering with its oversize airbag and zillion-button controls (photo of the old here ). Today you’ll a new dash with a svelte steering wheel, three-dial controls and a touch-screen stereo/navigation (overpriced at $2,945) that’s too simple, with just a of buttons and a big black plastic that contrasts with the trim around it.

Next to the nav is a cool cupholder that into a vertical slot in the Materials are top-notch, with the exception of the cloth covering the and roof, which looks it’s trying to shed its coat.

What hasn’t are the remarkably comfy front self-adjusting seat belts and the Panel feature, which all the gauges except the speedometer for night driving. If anything on the needs attention — say the car to run low on fuel — the gauge needs attention automatically up.

During my drive I sampled sedan and wagon versions of the Both have comfortable seats with seat a nice touch. The sedan has a trunk. but the wagon’s cargo bay is impressive — it’s so big you rent it out as office space. But with the folding cargo

It’s bulky, awkward to and is covered in what looks like animal fur. A retracting cargo cover work much better.

On the Thumbs up for power, handling and economy

The 9-5 used to offer versions of its 2.3 liter turbocharged engine ; today there’s one, the formerly top-of-the-line 260 variant. A turbo overboost allows the engine to up its maximum (pulling power) from 258 to 273 for up to 20 seconds at a time. I’ve liked this engine; it like a V6 and gets great gas

During my afternoon drive (a of gentle, curving roads and freeways) in a 9-5 sedan with transmission, I averaged in the low-to-mid 20s significantly better than the Saab 9-5 wagon I test in 2005 (19 MPG).

I drove and automatic versions of the 9-5, with 5 speeds; the automatic has buttons for manual gear Though I’ll deny this until the day I …, I the automatic better. The 9-5’s does such a nice job of the turbo engine’s power and serving up lower gears acceleration is needed that I it’s the way to go.

That said, the clutch and well-chosen gear mean that those who do buy the won’t regret it when get stuck in stop-and-go traffic.

My car had the Aero package with suspension, and handling and roadholding magnificent. The car responds so promptly and to steering inputs that it as if you can round curves just by That said, the ride is firm — thank for those super-comfy seats and road noise levels are than in most Japanese and luxury cars.

Journey’s End: An oldie but a

Born from jets it may be, but all I find to photograph the 9-5 alongside was old Piper Cub

Photo #169; Gold

The 9-5 costs significantly than competitors from Mercedes and Volvo. Though it some of the cutting-edge comfort and options offered by its rivals, the warranty and free scheduled for 3 years or 36,000 miles it that much more of a

Still, the 9-5 is getting long in the and Saab knows it. I don’t a problem with an older if it looks good and works and if you can forgive the styling improvements the 9-5 both. If you must have the then wait; rumor has it an all-new 9-5 is due for 2009.

The 9-5’s threat is its little sister, the 9-3. Though slightly the 9-3 is nearly as roomy and offers of the same choices (sedan or manual or automatic). The 4-cylinder 9-3 feel as quick as the 9-5, but it an optional turbo V6, not to mention tests scores that Volvo owners green envy. Saab purists may that the 9-5 is the last true the 9-3 shares its DNA with other Motors cars, as the future 9-5 no will.

Having driven them to back, I think the 9-3 is just as as the 9-5, plus it’s and has a smoother ride.

I went this test drive the 9-5 as the elder statesmen of European and came away with a respect for it. Yes, it’s around a while, and its face the scars of questionable plastic But the 9-5 can still hustle with the of ’em, and that’s what counts. — Aaron

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