2011/2012 Saab 9-5 Review

2 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011/2012 Saab 9-5 Review

2011/2012 Saab 9-5 Review

on September 8th, 2011 in Car Eric Peters | Comments Off

By Peters, Automotive Columnist

If you buy a new 9-5, you will be one of 806 people in the U.S. (so as of this writing in late to own one. That means about 16 other people in state have the same car as It#8217;s possible you#8217;ll go before you see someone else a 9-5.

Maybe a lot longer that.

For you, the owner, an upside. It#8217;s cool to something pretty much no one has. You know, like a BMW or an Audi A6.

For Saab, though, it not enough people are buying the new the first all-new Saab (Saab was, until the Implosion of 2008, under the of America#8217;s Biggest of the Three).

new 9-5 is an interesting animal. It has a number of features that set it apart the pack #8212; including an #8220;altimeter#8221; speedometer (remember from jets?) and #8212; in the model #8212; a pleasantly little turbo four likes to be worked.

Saab is to market the car as a potential BMW 5, Audi A6 or Benz E-Class alternative which is not Addams Family at all. The 9-5 costs less (a lot than an E-Class) and is #8212; #8212; a more entertaining car to If you can look beyond a few items including some cheesy-fake wood trim #8212; car might be, well, something for a change.

Let#8217;s do a walk-around:

The 9-5 is mid-sized, four-door sport #8230; with luxury-sport The base Turbo4 comes (surprise) a turbocharged four engine and six-speed manual working through the front It starts at $38,525.

In the middle is the AWD at $48,030 with (you it) a turbocharged six and all-wheel-drive. The top-of-the-line #8212; so named because it with an aerodynamics-enhancing exterior kit #8212; also gets the six-cylinder engine and AWD plus suspension, luxury and technology

Base price for the Aero is

WHAT#8217;S NEW FOR 2011/2012

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Saab is to pick itself up off the mat after a beat down by circumstances beyond its control #8212; the Implosion of 2008 and the anomie upon the small Swedish by an indifferent GM for years prior to The 9-5 Aero was introduced as an all-new in 2010, but only a few actually the U.S. market.

In 2011, Aeros made it here and Saab added the AWD-equipped as well as the spunky Turbo4 versions to the lineup. So, with almost here, Saab has a full roster of new 9-5s to buyers.

In a few months, a SportCombi version of the 9-5 will be added to the mix and the rumor is that Saab also make a few tweaks to all 9-5 using new suppliers (instead of suppliers) to further distance and its cars from its former Partner.


so unusual.

Turbo four/six-speed is a driver#8217;s delight. When on it pulls hard, like a marlin.

Aviation-style instruments are

Great seats; outstanding heaters.

Great deal with a BMW 5 (base price or Benz E-Class (base $50,490).


Audi A6 is priced too close for ($41,700 to start).

Turbo in base model needs to be to extract its performance potential won#8217;t mind but mass-market may).

Six-cylinder/AWD models not with six-speed manual.

versions aren#8217;t as price as they probably need to be.

It#8217;s so unusual.


Standard equipment in the $38k is a punchy little 2.0 liter #8220;BioPower#8221; four cylinder at 220 hp and 258 lbs.-ft. of torque. It#8217;s BioPower because it is capable of on regular gas or E85 (ethanol). You can pick the standard six-speed manual or an six-speed automatic.

This of the 9-5 is front-wheel-drive-only.

It#8217;ll do 0-60 in 7.3 -7.5 seconds, depending on the #8212; and driver. Launching the four/manual combo properly some practice #8212; and

Alert car people will the 2.0 liter engine as being from GM #8212; and shared the current Buick Regal where it#8217;s called

Regardless of its pedigree, the 2.0 liter is a performer when called that also delivers gas mileage for a mid-sized performance 20 city and 33 highway. It#8217;s 10 hp stronger than the 2012 A6#8242;s base engine and with the $7k more expensive-to-start BMW 240 hp six.

Also, while fuel is recommended with engine (to get maximum power/performance) it is not In the A4 2.0T and BMW 528i, premium is mandatory.

The Turbo6 and Aero (and probably the soon-to-be-here come with a 300 hp turbocharged 2.8 V-6 teamed up with a six-speed and full-time all-wheel-drive. So equipped, the time drops to about 6.3 which is on par with the 310 hp Audi A6 Quattro and 300 hp BMW 535i xDrive.

Gas slips to 17 city, 28 highway just slightly below the BMW xDrive (19 city, 29 highway) and A6 3.0T Quattro (19 city, 28

But here again, Saab you don#8217;t have to burn premium unleaded; regular#8217;s ok. In the and the BMW, you#8217;re told nothing but premium is acceptable. 30-40 cents per gallon can add up fast and definitely negates the overall mileage advantage the BMW and have over the 9-5.

So many new cars are lifeless, appliances that it#8217;s a treat for someone like me maybe someone like too) to find one with a The Turbo4 six speed I drove was for the following things you don#8217;t encounter in mass-produced new cars:

The literally forces you to be involved in the of driving. You have to keep it on in the right gear for each #8212; not just for best but to keep things moving Leave it in fifth (note, not sixth) at lower road or ascending a hill and the engine start to bog. You must #8212; fourth?

Or maybe Engage. Feel the surge, jet like by the way.

There#8217;s a as the turbo draws breath, you#8217;re pushed back in most excellent (and adjustable) seat. The green #8220;altimeter#8221; in front of you registers the progress #8212; and it#8217;s not to imagine the 9-5 rotating, wheels up and off the great blue yonder.

On steer: It has been dialed That#8217;s the one thing missing the new 9-5 that used to be there or was the last time I test a Saab. A plus #8212; or a #8212; depending on how much of a you are.

In the ride and handling this Saab is top drawer absolutely more fun to drive an Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, both of are suffocated by over-technology. In the 9-5 you are much involved #8212; a driver, than a passive passenger. For the part, what occurs is up to you. The clutch action is job, not a computer#8217;s.

The traction/stability system can be turned off (really not #8220;limited#8221; off) at the press of a mounted button. Fry the tires, if you to. True, it is probably easier to the 9-5, if you#8217;re inept or

But if you#8217;re neither, the relentless that#8217;s encrusting so many new with too many early electronic nannies, bells, and buzzers is happily minimal in Saab.

The Turbo6 and Aero with the 300 hp engine are quicker but not as child because for one they#8217;re and for two come standard with a AWD system. But from a marketing of view, they are power/performance poor weather) competitive the equivalent competition, such as the A6 3.0 and the 5-Series xDrive35i.

One thing will likely address in 2012 or by 2013 is the six-speed that comes standard in two. It needs one or two more to make par with the boxes in the BMW and Audi #8212; the latter of now has eight (count #8216;em) speeds.

Some people Saabs are great-looking while think they just well, weird. There#8217;s no in trying to make conversions. You get it or you don#8217;t. Traditional Saab include the frog-faced, flat-wide end, forward-opening clamshell and tapered ducktail rear

No mistaking the 9-5 for anything else. I my jet black test car in a large center parking lot and when I back to collect it I could it out visually from 100 yards

Neat. Sweet. Petite!

a Saab is not unlike owning a or other rare exotic. You receive looks and attention and everyone will know, there goes Fred.#8221; Do not use the to make a furtive midnight with your money-launderer or

Rent a Camry.

Inside, the continues. There#8217;s the already LCD #8220;altimeter#8221; in the center of the main cluster. To the right of this is a analog speedometer, plus an Heads-Up Display (HUD) in the line of sight. So, you can monitor speed at least three #8212; at the same time!

The HUD can also be toggled through menus to display engine compass heading and outside too. The iconic #8220;night switch #8212; a feature Saabs have ever had lets you kill not just the lights but also their life. They just off, including the analog gauges for turbo boost, and fuel. Only the analog on the right stays on. What is the

Honestly, I don#8217;t know. I it reduces night-time glare or you run stealth mode. It#8217;s a starter, either way.

The ignition switch is also there, but it#8217;s (unfortunately) no a key you turn but a button you push with a transmitter fob you keep on person. I#8217;ve written a of rants about the push-button craze. Count me among the old men who are not fans of this item, may be cute (and even in some ways) when the car is new but leave you stuck down the sometime and beyond the help of a or even AAA.

I wish, wish you could delete this thing and get a physical key

The seats, as I#8217;ve already are superior. You can adjust them to to almost any bodytype and more, to almost any anatomical weak such as a sore lower (just push the round to puff up the lower lumbar Also the seat heaters, come on fast and get actually hot not just vaguely warm.

The big all around you provides excellent and the tallish roof profile of head room. Also room #8212; of which the 9-5 has more than either the A6 or the the BMW 5: cubic feet vs. 14.1 and respectively.

There#8217;s also an cargo rail system into the floor #8212; and on side of the trunk hinge a pair of secret stash

Only one thing mars otherwise appealing cockpit and Horribly cheap-looking plasticky-shiny wood trim panels. stuff has the look of early Chrysler Sebring and is unworthy of a car. It is a small thing in the scheme of things #8212; one has nothing to do with the car#8217;s or basic soundness. But it#8217;s the equivalent of encountering shag in the foyer of a new house you#8217;re for the first time.

I hope fixes this soon.

are not for everyone #8212; literally. so few being built (and owning one will set you apart the crowd. But it may also risk down the road. Saab hopefully survive and even but it#8217;s not inconceivable that it do either. If Saab retreats the North American market, owners will find owning orphaned cars; might be few and far between and service hard to find.

This is a scenario, of course. But it has to be taken account.

Also, if I were in at Saab, I#8217;d do some price-cutting to lure in buyers the fence and leaning toward and BMWs. It might be necessary to at a loss for awhile, in order to get into Saabs. But it is worth because the car truly is good and once you get a buyer in one, he is to buy one.

The key is getting them to get in one and undercutting Audi and BMW by say $10k or so probably do that.


I#8217;m a bit of a kook so I found gazing with admiration at the Addams Family-ish 9-5.

If one, too, I think do the same.

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