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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    But I gave up on Edmunds editorial staff long ago. Like someone said, they tend to be youngish (20s & 30s), west coast biased, and prefer either the status symbols or the serious performance cars. BMW and Audi are both so they'll always be preferred in the minds of the editors because that's the cars they would own if they could afford them (or do own and are naturally biased anyway).

    I've read quite a few Edmunds road tests and have not liked the writing style and personality of a single review, regardless of car. Too much attitude covering up too little talent.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    It would be nice to get a proper review here but Idon't see a need to get that upset. It doesn't appear many people use the reviews here to make buying decisions.

    Someone pointed out the recent Road & Track sedan comparisons. This is a better source for a proper review. Saab didn't come in First and that's probably accurate. They did finish above (in order from last to 5th place) Lincoln LS, Jag X-Type 3.0, Volvo S60 T5, Caddy CTS, Mercedes C320 Sport, Acura 3.2 TL Type S and Audi A4 3.0 Quattro.

    The Lexus IS 300, BMW 330i and Infinite G35 won out over the Saab but note the scoring, it was very close. The G35 is a great design but if it weren't for the aggressive pricing, it would not have come in first place. Price is a huge factor as well it should be.

    Also note some of the scoring. Saab came in second on interior styling to Audi and just barely second on Interior Egonomics. The Edmunds review was critical in this area. Saab also came in a close second on Engine rating and scored close to the top in many other specific areas.

    The Road & Track review is much more detailed and in depth. It was conducted by a panel of various people who understand cars. Saab came in fourth which is reasonable. Edmund's probably only had the car to test for an hour or two.

    What I do find a little odd is the grouping of cars in the RT review. The 9-5 is more closely compared to car like the 5-Series, E-Class and A6. In that test, the 9-5's price would probably do for it what price did for Infiniti. The 9-3 is more closely matched to the 3-Series, C-Class and A4 BUT.... we have to wait for next years 9-3 if Saab wants to do well in that comparison(and it WILL). The Current 9-3 won't fair well right now I'm afraid.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you want the editors to read your comments, your best bet is to access the Help link at the top (or bottom) of this page and use the Feedback options. The editors may or may not follow this individual discussion.

    jracine, what category would you like to see added to this discussion? I assure you that this is exactly the right place to discuss that review.

    Let me know if I can add something to the categories, though.

    Sedans Host
  • dmherolddmherold Posts: 1
    I'm a current 9-5 Sedan leasee, my contract is up in two weeks and I have been trying to get a 2002 9-5 Aero wagon, 5 spd, no premium package now for 2 months. . my dealer (S. FLA) said there were only a handful in the country, I couldn't order it, and no other dealers are willing to trade. . . I'm stuck. I really want the aero wagon and cannot find any help. . suggestions please? OUt of state dealer? Auction? I hope someone out there can assist. . . David
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    How willing are you to travel for this? I'd start by checking some of the Largest Dealers in the country. They will have fairly large inventories with more choices. I used to know some of the top dealers but I couldn't really tell you who they are now. I forget the Dealers name in Denver, he's always near the top. My dealer is always near the Top Also and has three locations, Just Saab in Cincinnati. They have a very large inventory. I'd also think Atlanta would be a good place to start given your location.

    Perhapse you should forgo relying on the dealer locating this car and start calling around yourself. Dealers really prefer to sell off their own inventory and may not be very motivated to help much. Link up with one of the internet Yellow Pages and start calling around. It'd be worth it for this car. I'd be curious to know if your dealer was telling the truth about only a hand full of them available in the country. For a 5-Speed, they are probably right but it's really is the best configuration for this car IMO. If inventory is low, you may have to go with a second or third choice on color. I'm also wondering if you can locate by calling Saab USA direct in Atlanta or from their Web Site.

    Good luck
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    There are dealers I know of in so. Calif--one in particular--that have pretty decent inventories. The biggest is Saab of Santa Ana (714) 542-7060; also Saab of Santa Monica (310) 453-4282 and Saab of Sherman Oaks (818) 981-2000. Good luck.
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    I wanted to chime in on the response to the recent Edmunds review of the Aero. I'll start by saying that I am coming to the end of my lease on an Audi A6 and am basically deciding between getting another one or going for an Aero. I really like the Audi and have never owned a Saab--but I do have a real fondness, almost fascination for them. I think the review is mostly annoying and ill-conceived, although there are a few things that I agree with--I'll elaborate and make a few comparisons. Any input to help me decide is appreciated. (My impressions of the Aero are based on 2 test drives--total of about 12 minutes of driving--so far.)

    --I was really impressed with the aero engine, I couldn't believe it was a 4 cyl. It never seemed to labor and it's a rocket with only the tiniest hint of turbo lag--hardly worth mentioning.

    --Torque steer? Virtually none as far as I could tell, and I gunned it from a dead stop into a turn a few times. The handling was razor sharp, I don't know what the reviewer was talking about.

    --Seat? I must say I think Audi has the best seats around. The lumbar support alone, which you can adjust automatically in & out AND up& down is tremendous. I'm 5'9" 170lbs and I actually wish the Saab seats were a little
    wider; and I wish there was a better lumbar support, and that you didn't have to crank it by hand. The Saab seats are good, but not the best IMO.

    --I'm afraid I have to agree with the review on the steering wheel: I DO wish it telescoped further out. When I have the seat adjusted to what feels like the ideal position for me, the steering wheel doesn't quite come close enough--I have to reach just slightly (and again, I'm 5'9").

    --The smell--Saabs have the best smelling interiors! I don't know what's in that leather, but it's unique and really pleasing to the senses.

    --Cupholders--I really like the cupholder that pops out of the dash (again, don't know what reviewer was thinking), but the 2nd cupholder is virtually useless. The storage bin is small enough without having that ridiculous cupholder taking up space--an inconveniant and somewhat dangerous space at that. I wish they could find a way to fit a 2nd pop-out holder in the dash somewhere.

    --Cheap plastic? Not compared with most cars. The fit & finish of the Saab interior is very nice for the most part, though again IMO Audi is unmatched in this department--everything feels solid, tight and smooth.

    --No home link button--This surprises me alot. Many cheaper cars have this, and it's pretty unacceptable to not have one on a 40k car.

    --I know the no-one-touch-up for the windows is supposed to be a 'safety' feature, but I do find it inconveniant and wish Saab could do like Audi and make the windows one-touch-up with the safety feature that automatically prevents them from closing on a hand etc.

    --I like the way the Aero looks. It's looks upscale and muscular at the same time without being 'trendy' or bland. (I like it in the cosmic blue best, I think).

    --I wish Saab had an all-wheel drive option--I've discovered that I like it alot in the A6, though the Aero does handle twists and curves in a groove as far as I can tell. (I understand all wheel drive may be coming down the line for Saab).

    In sum, an Audi A6 2.7Turbo stickers for around 2-3K more than the Aero. I really like the A6 2.8 quattro that I've had for 3 years (the better free scheduled maintenence-4yrs/50K miles is certainly an incentive), and the amenities are a notch higher in the Audi, but part of me really likes the Aero and WANTS to want one. It is fun to drive, it's safe and there is something indefinably...uplifting about the way a Saab feels when you're driving it. I'm leaning toward getting another A6 (if I can get an affordable deal), but if anybody out there has any input to sway me, bring it on! Thanks.
  • siwatkinssiwatkins Posts: 6
    Hi - in the cold light of day etc... You bring out some good points, and some fair criticisms. That is what the original review should have done. It seemed like that Erin had a real chip on her shoulder about the Saab - it was strange to see.

    If I can pick up on a couple of your comments. Steering wheel telescoping - I can see no practical engineering or cost reason why it couldn't be made longer, but wonder if there is a safety factor here (Saab being so safety conscious etc)

    Handling - A quick look at Edmund's own site shows that over the 600ft slalom, the Saab was faster than ANY of 10 cars tested in a luxury Sedan comparison. So much for the comments on ESP and understeer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the handling on the 02 models, though I grant that the 99 I owned suffered too much body roll.

    Torque Steer - Absolutely right - imperceptible in the Auto version, and virtually imperceptible in the manual. How one of the reviewer's found the "wheel to be wrenched" out of his hand, gawd only knows.

    Seats - Each to their own I guess :-) Incidentally, the UK Aero comes with Electrically adjustable Front Seats as standard.

    - Home-Link button? Not sure what this is - presumably some US must-have convenience feature :-) If it is a switch to open your Garage Door remotely, you could always purchase an accessory switch from Saab, and mount it, perfectly integrated, in one of the thoughtfully provided switch blanks on the Dashboard :-)

    I think your summary is quite balanced and fair, showing only a little Audi bias :-) From a Saab owner's perspective, I think there is probably little in it between the two cars. In the UK, where the Saab is much cheaper than the Audi (in the same trim), there is no contest - the Saab will win every time. What you may want to check up on when making your decision, is the difference between the sticker price of the Audi vs the Saab. I suspect you can make quite a saving. That might clinch it for you, or at least help in your decision making, in which I wish you all the best.

    Simon Watkins
    Saab 9-5 2002 Aero HOT. Steel Grey, 5spd Auto.
  • tlivactlivac Posts: 11
    I'm in the market for a 9-5 wagon, either Arc or Linear, and want to know if I can get a better deal in another state. I live in Westchester County NY about 20 miles from NYC so my guess is that I see the highest prices possible in my area.

    Also, what is the best deal I can expect for a lease with 15k on either car?
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    The Front seat come Electronicaly Adusted here in the US as Standard also. "Theremin" was referring to the Electronic Lumbar Adjustments in the Audi. Saab doesn't offer that.

    Home link is a feature that provides you with a few bottons that allow you to remotely activate various things such as a Garage Door opener and Lights etc. in your home (anything you can plug into an electrical outlet). It uses FM Radio waves (X-10 Brand) technology to turn things on and off remotely. It is available for about $100US in the catalog but many mid level cars sold in the US have this feature as standard equipment. It's also available a Radio Shack for a fraction of the Saab Catalog Cost but neither are as nicely installed as the Factory Units are in cars like Audi or Nissan.

    I do agree with most of "theremon's" comparisons to the A6. The A6 does have great seats. The A4 seats are a different story -- very short seat bottom. The one touch close features for windows and Sunroof on the Audi are Great. However, Audi's Maintenence program may seem better but those programs ARE NOT FREE. They are reflected in the Sticker Price. Saab could charge a higher price and offer more "Free" services as well or.. Audi could reduce their pricing and offer fewer "Free" services.

    I've had a couple Audi's over the years and have LOVED them. For the money and fun factor, I like my last three Saab's just as well though. An A8 would be nice someday though and a TT Coupe would be welcome in my garage. As soon as I can justify spending the money for a Toy, I'll have one.

  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    If you are willing to travel, try Saab of Troy in Michigan. They were #1 in sales last year (in the U.S.). They have a large inventory
  • redirectorredirector Posts: 27
    A couple of other points for your consideration.

    Dealer Experience:
    I have owned a 1998 Audi A4, always coveted the A6, but when I finally had the $$$ to afford one, I was disillusioned by the Audi dealership, particularly the service dept and even the repeat-Audi purchase experience. So I shopped around, and had excellent pre and post-sale expriences with Saab, and in addition to the vehicle comparison, the Dealer experience was important to me. Saab also has a free 3 yr scheduled maintenance program. Of course all markets are different, so that's entirely subjective and locally influenced.

    The latest iihs tests are out (, and the 2002 Saab 9-5 is a Best Pick. The 2002 Audi A6 tested a category grade lower, Average. Saab wins all the European tests, too. So this might be a "best in category" for Saab vs the competition. Saab also has OnStar now, not sure whether Audi has rolled this out yet...

    Audi interiors are the class of the industry. BUT, Saab has a good standard interior and you can add some nice touches. I took the liberty of adding some accessories from the Saab catalog -- wood steering wheel, door pulls, shifter, cellphone holder. These I negotiated as part of the overall package at a significant discount to aftermarket costs.

    Both the A6 and the 9-5 are really excellent executive-class transports, and if you are considering the Aero vs the 2.7t, you are in for a hell of a ride either way!

    Good luck with your choices, and thank you for "calibrating" the Edmunds review. Not that I should be surprised...

    2002 9-5 Arc
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    Thanks for your input and giving me more food for thought r.e. the Aero vs the A6. I have a question which probably seems pretty strange, but it's a very important consideration for me--if you guys or anyone else out there have an idea about this I'd appreciate it.
    --When a CD is playing on the Saab's Harmon-Karden system (a very good stock system, by the way), the display simply says "play". When you hit fast forward or reverse, THEN the elapsed playing time (i.e. 2:37 etc) appears, but only until you let go of the button at which point the time disappears and "play" re-appears. Very often when I'm in the car I'm listening to things for professional reasons and I need to be able to see the playing time on a CD WHILE it's playing. This is pretty much an imperative for me and could even be a deal-breaking problem. Is there any way the display can be programmed or re-wired so that the playing time is constantly visible (rather than just seeing "play")? Obviously the elapsed playing time is in there, I just need to SEE it without having to constantly push a button and interrupt the sound. Odd question I know, but any thoughts? Thanks.

    p.s. I'll be test-driving the Aero a few more times in the near future, so I'll be dropping in with more impressions, comparisons, questions etc.

  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Wow.. now there's something that no one outside of your profession would think of. I couldn't even have told you how to access the Elapsed Play time. It's simply not something I'd really ever need to know but I understand if it's something that Helps your work.. you need it.

    If the Saab were here now I'd be happy to get the manual out and see if there is a way.. Sorry. If you don't get an answer by this evening, I'll get the book and check it out for you.

  • redirectorredirector Posts: 27
    It may be one of those user-definable, programmable settings that can be adjusted using the dealer programming tools (where you can also change, if you want, how the security system operates, the settings for the A/C, etc). Not sure, but maybe.

    Might be worth a trip to the Service Technicians, rather than a sales rep (but a good sales rep will dig for it).
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    Tell the dealer that it is a deal breaker. Ask them to show you a car with the display indicationg the play time. If is can be done, they will do it to make the deal.

    Drive Safe,

  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    There is always the option of aftermarket stereos...and you can get a mighty fine CD unit for the price of a premium stereo option.

    Unless you like to keep a car stock, I feel this will always be the better option. Unless you have that lexus Mark Levinson system:)
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    I appreciate the responses to my question about the CD elapsed time display--haven't gotten an answer yet, I'm going to try & ask a dealer later today. The aftermarket solution might not be possible with the Saab--it's what I did with my Audi A6 (I don't like Bose at all) and I currently have an incredible sounding system made up of various components (Eclipse, Alpine, JL Audio and MB Quartz) which can all be removed when my lease is up. It would be very difficult to remove and replace the entire Saab dash audio panel--and it wouldn't look very good. Also, these components that I bought for the Audi probably won't fit the Saab and I can't afford to buy any more aftermarket stuff right now. The Harmon Kardan stock system is good enough for me--except for the time display problem. Hmm--maybe I should try to contact Harmon Kardan and ask them. Well...if anyone finds anything else out, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  • darandalldarandall Posts: 57
    Remember to change the amplifier start volume when you test the car. With the radio off, hold down the weather band button. Turn the radio on. Start volume of 9 will show. Turn the volume knob up to 22, then release the weather band button. Turn the radio off for at least 10 seconds, then enjoy the system. You'll be amazed. You won't want the time to elapse ever!!
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I'm skeptical about that start volume subject. I tried it in my last 9-5 and the only thing that changed was that the radio would always be too loud when we started the car.

    I don't beleive any other variables changed. I do know that you need to turn the "loud" feature on to full enjoy music though.

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