Drive – Saab 9-5 Aero XWD Review

27 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Saab 9-5 Aero XWD Review

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Generously equipped

refinement and performance

It’s different

Exterior styling


Lumpy ride

Interior quality short of standard

Poor resale

New-generation cars are typically every seven years; all-new 9-5 took 13. But we should be it is here at all, because is a car that nearly died. The new 9-5 was in of being stillborn as its then General Motors, jettisoned to avoid bankruptcy.

Luckily, sports car maker Spyker it back from the brink.

remains on the precipice, however, as its now called Sweden Automobile, funds from China to future production. But, for we assess whether this new for the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz is worthy of establishing a new era for the brand.

Price and equipment

Whether you opt for the or Aero 9-5s, Sweden’s model is served with a of equipment. The Vector has dual-zone control, bi-xenon headlights, wipers, Harman/Kardon audio, keyless entry and engine electrically adjustable and heated seats, leather seating, display and satellite navigation.

to the Aero and the list grows to adjustable dampers within a suspension set-up, sportier and steering wheel, bigger alloy wheels and headlights swivel to illuminate approaching

You don’t, however, get the optional technology – such as assist, blind-spot warning or camera view – on the 9-5’s German rivals.

And the 9-5 doesn’t come cheaply. starts at $71,990, plus and dealer costs, but this XWD model costs $94,900 on-roads are added, pitching it to being comparable with A6, 5-Series, E-Class and Jaguar XF

It is a big call for a brand trying to itself, and for a car based on a humble Motors European car, the Insignia.

A $55,990 V6 AWD Skoda is also just as roomy, has a boot and a better interior, Saab’s resale values are a Residual expert Glass’s estimates the 9.5 Aero XWD could more than half its after just three

Under the bonnet

For those with Saab’s history, every 9-5 engine is turbocharged. The Aero XWD’s unit is a V6 that has its origins at Holden’s Melbourne engine plant.

Catch the engine off-boost, 2000rpm, and there’s a slight in response to accelerator pedal – but this far from the drivetrain experience.

Once the initial turbo lag, the V6 sweetly and quietly. With of torque available at 2000rpm, it produces more than performance, despite the 9-5’s kerb weight. The six-speed could be quicker with its changes but the transmission is intuitive

Just be aware that driving will see fuel spike to more than the official consumption of 11.3 per 100 kilometres.

How it drives

All-wheel-drive new for Saab but a suspension with adjusting dampers is. The so-called offers three settings: (softer), Sport (firmer) and (which sets the damper depending on driving style). mode seems to be missing, because the 9-5’s ride is lumpy, while potholes the suspension crashing into its stops.

That means it struggles to the wafting comfort of an E-Class or XF, while not driving as sharply as a

All-wheel-drive ensures the 9-5 drives out of corners, wet or dry, and the steering free of torque steer, but kickback over bumps and the lacks feedback.

Comfort and

At more than five long, the 9-5’s size has in common with the limousine than the E-Class category, substantial space in the back and the boot.

The transmission tunnel and raised middle seat make the pews the optimum accommodation for and those seats – as the fronts – offer comfort.

If you hadn’t spotted the designers’ continuing nods to the aircraft heritage, such as the styled exterior’s wraparound-style and side windows, there are cues inside. Besides the (switchable) head-up display projects information such as and revs on to the windscreen, there’s an altimeter-style speedo. With a version, too, that’s speedos in total.

The dash carries over more old touches, such as the asymmetrical, centre stack, egg-crate air and green instruments. Buttons are and numerous, though, and the dash and switches lack the prestige of rivals.


Audi A6 3.0 TFSI


Mercedes-Benz E250 CGI

Price $95,300 Engine 1.8-litre 150kW, 310Nm, 5-sp RWD Fuel use/CO2 emissions and 179g/km Pros Interior ride and handling; V6-like performance; well priced and Cons Current auto more gears; update 7-speed auto due soon. Our 4/5

Overall verdict

Rating: 3.0 out of 5

But Saab’s large car doesn’t the driving or interior sophistication by the Germans it’s priced against. And with the brand’s future contributing to heavy there’s a considerable cost to into Saab’s quirky

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