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Saab 9-5 Sedan

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  • rbrrbr Posts: 106
    Haven't posted here for a while, but I feel I must after taking my 2001 9-5 SE for service and getting a 2004 Aero wagon as a loaner. First point -- I was not particularly impressed with the 2004 Aero, especially the plastic aluminum look dashboard which, IMO, would have looked cheap in a Buick. Also, for a sportier car, the seats felt like they were overly padded ("cushy," if you know what I mean)-- it just seemed like a really weird combination. The engine certainly had reasonable power, but it was nowhere near as smooth as the V6 in my SE.

    That brings me to my main point -- what in the world was Saab/GM thinking not offering a V6 in the 9-5 sedan for the 2004 model year? Even granted that GM is/has/was discontinuing the current V6 engine, they couldn't plan a bit? I mean no disrespect to the I-4 Saab drivers out there (I used to be one), but I'm "all grown up" now and I have no intention of getting a four cylinder car when pretty much all of Saab's competition offers a strong V-6 as their standard engine. If I may say so. IMO if GM was serious about Saab they could have had a 300 HP HPT V6 Aero out by now.

    I have been driving Saabs for 6 years and I'm now 2 months from the end of my lease. Saab Financial wont let me extend a year (in the hope Saab gets its act together on a V6) so I dont believe I'm left with much of a choice. Saab (I probably should say GM), sorry but you're losing me and its an entirely self-inflicted wound.
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Join the club. My SmartBuy is terminating in March on my '01 9-3 and have already started to look for a replacement. Not sure what to get. I have been pampered by the low payments and VERY comfortable seats. So far, I have narrowed the playing field down to a used 530i, new TL, or possibly a modified Accord coupe. Funny, I traded an Accord for my first Saab...looks like I may be going back. Sad.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    I think when you start a discussion between Saab owners between the merits of the I4 and the V6 it soon erupts into something like the old "TASTES GREAT" - "LESS FILLING" beer ads. Everyone has their own preferences and opinions.

    I prefer the I4, it has plenty of power and delivers great gas mileage on road trips. Yeah, it vibrates slightly at idle, but the vibration vanishes at anything above idle speed. I have no complaints.

    I'm sure the decision to drop the V6 had mostly to do with improving production economics, i.e. not having to support 2 engine options. With all manufacturers seeming to increase power in engines these days, I'm guessing Saab will come out with something competitive in the next generation 9-5.

    I agree on the cheesy 'aluminum' dash in the Aero. I think upgrading to the wood or carbon dash would be a good thing.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 106
    I dont mean to overstate to V6 I4 issue, and the 2004 Aero engine was impressive at speed. However, my 9-5 SE with a V6 was a fabulous value proposition when I got it compared to the competition, IMO, and notwithstanding Edmunds somewhat "crabby" reviews of the car. I got it at invoice, less advertising, and it included free scheduled maintenance, loaners, etc. My lease rate was within $30/ month of what I was being quoted for a V6 Accord. I guess a lot of that is still there, by Saab really hasn't moved the ball along as far as improvements to the 9-5 and, again IMO, took a major step back by deleting the V6 from the lineup and mucking up the interior appearance of the Aero. Sigh ...
  • Sorry guys, the I4 Vs. V6 controversy can't be dismissed as easily as a beer commercial. The Saab product planners simply fell asleep with the North American market (e.g., Saab was THE Swedish winter car until Volvo converted to FWD and then cleaned house with their AWD, which now does so well that they sell more XC wagons than the less expensive FWD!)

    And their bad (lazy?) product planning can't be dismissed as simply a lack of money. Saab could have taken the existing V6, hung a turbo on each bank (like the Audi 2.7 engine), beefed up some of the internals, and voila you'd be reading about Saab not the new Volvo R series in all the current buff books and buying at the full Moroney. Hello?

    While I'm no fan of GM, one would have to think that the General is getting a bit impatient with the Swedes. Saab doesn't compete well in its segment against Volvo, Audi, Acura, BMW, etc. and doesn't seem to be getting positioned to do any better. An AWD (quick, just call Haldex and outsource it--just like Volvo) 9-5 with a twin turbo V6 would be a start.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    I'd buy that car right now if they made it
  • rbrrbr Posts: 106
    I agree. A lot of people (particularly current Saab 9-5 drivers) would. Plus it would get more interest back in the brand. Two other observations:

    It may have been a fluke, but on my recent service visit to the dealer they had a bunch of unsold current year cars -- many, many more (2-3 times) than I had ever seen before. Possibly they are not moving as fast as they used to.

    I noticed at our auto show (Minneapolis, MN) last spring that GM has Saab mixed in with the other GM brands now instead of with the imports. I dont think that's such a good idea.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    sorry drew ,your question was back on sept.10 regarding tires .i have been traveling and are currently in connecticut in the middle of a wind storm that just knocked a branch into my house as i type this.a big one.
    anyhow the blow outs occur because the tire gets a nail and develops a slow leak..........and with these tires you just cannot tell..........so,it blows.
    i checked the tires when getting into the car but given that i drive from fla. to conn. and vt. 4 times per year -- by the time i stop to get out of the car it is too late and the tire has already blown.
    so far 3 in front and one in the rear.
    -i hate the new air--buses---rather drive....

    and yes i do have not only 4 but 5 of the 16 inch wheels ......4 with snow tires and one is my full size spare.,
    and yes,i may go for 16 inchers all around and get rid of the 17 inchers....thinking about it.

    re----i4 vs 6.......

    saab is a rather unique car /4 cyl.engine.all the sixes that have been shoehorned into this engine bay have never been able to improve on the 4. and most have been very unreliable.

    i selected the aero because of the 4 ......and its power.and it is smooth.and lets face it it is what saab knew how to make well.........this now changes with g.m.......we will see.
    but give me a 4 anytime.
    its power is amazing for the size and 32 mpg at 85 mph all day (true 72 mph average speed )is just incredible.--it gives me a range of 600 plus miles.....before having to stop for gas when i drive from fla. to vermont.
    last trip with the a/c on the average was 29 mpg.

    i prefer lite weight cars with small engines and high horsepower.......so,saab.
    i recently test drove the mb500 and the 300amg.
    nice but the feel is artificial ......and all that power is required to move that overweight mass.----i do beter with the saab.

    my other favorite car is my 1955 porsche spyder by beck.......it weights 1200 lbs. and has a racing engine putting out 175 hp.---on skinny tires and direct steering-----you guys do not know what fun is until you live with one of these-----forget viper and vette......those are heavy ....high mass cars with thick tires.i own one and prfer the 550.........

    this is why,the i4 saab engine is such a delight.......
    remember that the need for the v6 and v8 and v10,etc....is only due to the weight of the cars that they have to propel ......and they are getting heavier as we add more stuff to the cars.....and the tires wider to keep suspension costs down .........
    a well tuned suspension on good sized tires will ,for driving in the usa,be better than those 17 and 18 inchers.....

    now ,if you drive in europe and are near southern and mid germany where you can go flat out in most ,not all areas ,then it is a different story.
  • I am researching a 2001 Saab 9-5 wagon and noticed that they offer a V6 engine. Saab historically has offered 4 cylinder turbos and has eliminated the V6 for the 2004 model year.

    Should I avoid the V6 engine, or has it been reliable?
  • ffb13, you make some nice arguments for a nimble, high output car, but what did you mean by the statement relating tire width to saving on suspension costs?? Colin Chapman, RIP, might have disagreed with you.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Its a discussion that's been had many times before. I suggest using the search function to look at previous comments and opinions. Here's a clip of something I wrote a few months ago when someone asked a similar question:

    This is one of those eternal debates within the Saab 9-5 community. The fact is that both engines are very reliable. Your friend's mileage figures are 100% arbitrary and seem to have little or no basis in reality. I wonder how your friend became such an expert in Saab engine durability.

    The current 2.3L 4 cyl is based on an old design which has been upgraded many times over the years. Its almost over-engineered and is very robust. With proper maintenance 200K+++ is easily attained.

    The current 3.0L V6 is sourced from Vauxhall (GM England) and is heavily modified by Saab. While its only been in the line since 1999 its proving to be very reliable. About the only beef people have with the V6 is that it uses a timing belt instead of a chain, and the belt needs to be changed every 60K (Saab pays for the first replacement). Comments from dealers show the V6 to be less troublesome than the already reliable 4 cyl but that's prolly due to there being fewer V6 Saab's on the road.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    IMHO.. yes avoid the V6! Talk to any long time Saab Tech. It is extremely difficult to service. Over time, this is going to be a very expensive engine to service and repair.

    Saab made a critical mistake with this one which is why they are dropping it. The Timing Chain issues, Assymetrical Turbo (silly idea)etc... are not in anyones benefit. Particularly for Saab who is paying for services in the first whatever miles. That's costing them more than they anticipated it seems. The time needed for serivce has to be killing their dealer reimbursements.

    True, the I4 is not as smooth at idle as the typical Honda. That's mostly due to the fact that they have been able to Pack a relatively small engine with a nice level of Horse Power. That comes with a cost.

    When Saab has a 6 as nicely designed as BMW's, I'll buy one. Until then, there is NOTHING wrong with Saabs I4's.

    Drew
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    The Saab techs I've spoken to (both dealer and independent) have very few negative comments about the V6. In my experience the only people that say bad things about it are those who have entrenched prejudices against it.

    No one I've met has mentioned anything about the difficulty in working on the engine. There is no "timing chain issue" with the V6 - it uses a timing belt, like many engines do, and needs replacement every 60K, like many engines do. I have not heard or read a thing about abnormal warranty service costs with the V6. At least, not any worse than the 4 cyl.

    I own a 9-5 V6. My ear is CONSTANTLY on the tracks, listening for any known or potential problems with this engine that could cost me big $$$ down the road. Probably the most common thing I've heard over the past 3 years is the animosity towards the V6 which comes mainly from the "I hate GM" crowd and the vocal Saab Philistines who almost constantly bemoan the rape of the Saab culture.

    Look, every engine has its issues. What you need is a local shop or mechanic that knows and understands the car, not just the engine. The V6 may not be as robust as the 2.3L 4 cyl, but the 2.3L 4 cyl days are numbered as new designs and technologies come from GM and Saab. I say drive cars with both engines and buy the one YOU like best, not what some voice on the internet tells you to buy. It's your money after all.
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Before the all out bashing session commences, you are both correct. Yes, there have been issues with the V-6 SAAB uses.... the 2.5 litre to be correct. The NG900 had considerable problems with the Opel V6 (non-turbocharged). And bretfraz, if I remember correctly (it has been a while since I read the posts on Saabnet) there were issues with the early generation 9-5s with the V6 (1999 model year).

    As for which engine, it is totally up to the purchasing party. I prefer the 4 since it gets slightly better fuel economy and I think it's slightly lighter (better agility, in my opinion).

    >Probably the most common thing I've heard over >the past 3 years is the animosity towards the >V6 which comes mainly from the "I hate GM" >crowd and the vocal Saab Philistines who almost >constantly bemoan the rape of the Saab culture.

    Bretfraz, people are nervous when it comes to change... GM has not set the best standard in the auto industry for decades, but they are getting better. Most folks looked at the Cadillac Catera, which shared the same engine, body, and interior components with the 9-5, and began to worry.

    As for the "Saab Philistines", I would like to thank them. Without their years of loyalty, SAAB would not exsist today in the US. Their purchasing dollars are what held this company together until GM came along to assist.

    Most "GM haters" must have a reason to vocalize their anger. I would like to understand why they feel this way. Are there any folks out there that have issues with their SAAB?
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Well.. I have no "entrenched Prejudices" I'd love to have a well designed V6 option with a Saab. The 4 is great but I don't like the harshness that comes with packing a load of Hp in a smaller engine.

    This is Saabs second attempt at a V6.. both have failed which is why both designs have had a very short Product Cycle.

    FWIW.. to prove I don't have those "Prejudices"... I had the first Saab V6 in our '94 900. UGH What a Dog that was.

    Drew
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi folks.

    A better place to discuss the ins and outs of GM as an industry is on our News & Views board. One likely discussion is The Return of GM's Might II.

    Let's let this conversation focus on its subject, the 9-5.

    Thanks!
  • greetings,

    i own a 1999 saab 93. for the most part i like it a lot.

    BUT....

    i let my dad drive it today and i told him that the only way to remove the key is to put it into reverse.

    well, he got home and put it into what he must have thought was reverse and he couldnt remove the key. so i went out to check it out and it looks like it is in 4th, but i have to keep the parking brake on or it will roll. worse, is i cna remove the key and reinsert it, but i can not turn the ignition or move the gear shift from what looks like 4th gear. if that werent enough, the car is parked in front of the garage door where my mothers car is parked and she cant get it out. HELP!!!!!!!! if anyone has experienced this and has the secret to starting the car, i would be much obliged.

    please email me at: backcountryjournal@hotmail.com to be sure i get it.

    thanks in advance!!!!

    mike
  • rbrrbr Posts: 106
    If its an electrical lock, you can try disconnecting the battery. Sorry, my 9-5 is an automatic, so I cant be much help. Also, to state the obvious, try the owners manual or you can always try calling Saab's customer service number.
    Another suggestion -- given that this is an "emergency," you may want to try posting on saabnet.com given the number of very active Saab owners that contribute there -- good luck.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    block island guy,

    colin was famous or infamous for his light weight cars and flimsy but excellent suspension systems.
    many crashed and did not survived because of this and many won races because of this.
    a well tuned suspension does not need oversize tires .............but yes they do help and improve cornering...but with these tires came ovrely agressive power steering ,it needs it.
    so,give me a good suspension,skinny tires up front and mid size tires in rear and no power steering.....a la lotus elan and i am in heaven.

    g.m.-i decided to buy american 3 years ago and went for a cadillac deville.
    on day one the accelerator pedal fell off.i got home by tying a string to the cable and pulling on it.
    the onstar quoted a time of 3 hours or so to come get me.in downtown miami.
    then a month later the oil cooler hose came off,in my garage ,so no damage.but a lot of oil spilled. htey came the next day to pick up the car and got it back in 3 hours.
    the northstar engine used 1 quart of oil every 400 to 700 miles.
    the brakes did not.a recall was made but,still they were no good.
    other failures made me sell the car at a loss of 25 gs.after 18 months.
    the new g.m.---yes ,maybe, i do own a vette,86 conv. and it has been great.
    who knows ,i will buy their stock over any other car company at this time.
  • ffb13, thanks for tutorial on Colin Chapman. Were he alive today his reputation (and present domicile) might be a lot different.

    I like your point that a well tuned suspension doesn't need brutish tires. But I think that the examples being mentioned (Viper V10, Corvette, etc.) have these huge multi-sized (front vs. rear) sneakers is to transmit the HP to the pavement. Porche is the only brand that comes to mind that in some years consciously used oversize tires to correct for design probems (i. e, terminal oversteer). I can't think of anyone who uses these things to necessarily enhance cornering.
  • saabdasaabda Posts: 1
    I've searched for this topic, but haven't seen much. I'm a new user, so if this has been covered, by apologies. I've had a 9-5 wagon for 4 years, generally love it, but have one ongoing problem - the batteries in the keyless remote wear out after short periods ranging from 2 wks to one month. The dealer says that I'm not alone but that Saab is not acknowledging this problem. Is this an issue for anyone else? I'm getting tired of hitting the dealership every few weeks for new batteries, and they're threatening to start charging me for them. Any input/stories/advice? Thanks.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Hmmm.... I don't recall hearing that problem too often. My remote batteries have lasted me 3 years so far. I wonder if its your remote draining too much from the batteries instead of the batteries themselves.....

    Don't know how you'd solve that issue beyond replacing the remote. If you plan to keep the car you could upgrade to the all-in-one keyed remote and ditch the little fob. Maybe your dealer will cut you a deal on a new remote.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I've had the old style remote on our first 9-5 and the new style on our '02 and never had to replace batteries. I guess the dealer could be changing them out since I'm there for service every 5K.

    My complain is the incredibly poor Range. I've never had a remote with such a short Range. It's annoying.

    Drew
  • grumbgrumb Posts: 21
    Drew:

    There had been some discussion of this on SAABNET, and the consensus was that although the range isslightly shorter than most, you can make the most of it by holding the key above eye level. Also some have had luck in reversing the orientation of the key i.e holding the key towards you. Good luck
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,902
    "you can make the most of it by holding the key above eye level."

    Don't forget to try the remote on chin amplifier!!
  • Hi
    Never posted here before - in fact never visited the discussions - but I thought that I would chime in here. I bought a fully loaded demo 2003 with the 3.0. Car had abt 7k miles on it, sticker was almost 42, paid 30. Now have 15k on the car, I love the heck out of it. Fast, agile, comfy, attractive, well-finished interior. Had one computer related problem with the car so far and that seems to have been fixed. Service dept is fast and friendly and good. I was disappointed to see that the V6 is no longer available. Somehow I can't see this car with a 4 cyl engine, no matter how souped up it is.

    Tom
  • Aside from paint color, wheels, minor skin work, is there any reason to not get a new '03? Also, I want to put a Nokia phone in, is it better in the long run to go with the Nokia Hands Free kit or does Saab still have the phone wiring kit, would that be a better route?
  • tuftstufts Posts: 3
    My new 03 9-5 Aero makes a whining noise when I turn the steering wheel. I took it to my dealer and was told it's a normal operation. I did not get the chance to drive another saab to verify this. Has anyone else had this type of problem, or is the dealer jerking my chain?
  • I have a '99 Saab 9-5 4 cylinder automatic with 95K bought new in Feb 1999. The list of things that have gone wrong is too long to list here but up to now when the part was replaced it did not break down again. Now it seems that for the second time the wire which runs to the trunk that feeds the signal to both the trunk light and the sensor on the dash board has been cut. This wire runs through the flexible rubber tubing on the right side of the trunk lid. The mechanics who have fixed it say that that this is not unusual but I have never have heard of anyone else having the same problem. Please comment. Do I have to baby the trunk lid each time I open and close close it since this Saab seems to be such a delicate flower?

    Actually this is one of the minor problems that have come up with this car. This Saab is by far the least reliable and poorly built new car (of 10 in my career) that I have ever owned. Saab's reputation for reliability is unfounded and I would caution anyone thinking of buying a used Saab to (1) buy as most comprehensive warranty as possible and (2) be prepared to get to know your Saab mechanics very well since you will see them often.
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