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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • First the positive.

    Lots of people have the impression that the resale on a Saab is awful. Maybe not. Its all in how it is measured. Maybe the resale on Saabs isn't really that bad or even any different from other sedans in its segment if measured as a percent of the actual purchase price not the MSRP. Lots of German cars go out the door for the full Moroney. No discounts. Most people get into a Saab at a hefty discount off list price or in subvented lease (how else do you get to lease a 40K car for $400 per month?). Now three years later when you compute the used Saab's resale/residual value, if you do it against the actual purchase price, not some fictious list price that no one ever pays, it may well be as good as that of a BMW. In other words they both lose about the same percentage over the three years from their original acquisition costs. The only difference is that the BMW factory/dealer pricing strategy is to have a firm list price and Saab's is to have an inflated list price. The former sells the sizzle, the latter sells the deal.

    Now the negative. Having said all this, Saab's present problems are its own fault. The present box that Saab finds itself in is the result of poor marketing and product planning. Poor marketing let Volvo take away its position as THE Scandanavian front wheel drive winter vehicle and poor product planning have left it as the one of the few import lines without an AWD wagon. Given where Saab was 25 years ago, this is crazy. Saab OWNED this market but let it just get taken away. Saab's only solution (with the exception of the plan to rebadge some GM Trailblazers!) is to discount the hell out of the product and market the deal, not the car.

    Take the Aero. It is undersupported by the factory. Supposedly, the Aero is Bob Lutz' personal ride. If the word ever got out that Lutz who could drive any car in the GM stable, drives an Aero, that would move some iron. (Two middle aged car nuts in a bar: "Hey, I just got an Aero, you know like Bob Lutz. It goes like hell and I'm going to take it up to Stowe this weekend instead of Anne's V70 wagon".) But, no. Lets just hype a new lease program. Additonally, Saab has seen to it that there is no aftermarket parts suppliers for enthusiasts, no aftermarket enthusist's magazines similar to the 10 or so you can find on a a good news stand for BMW and the two or three magazines devoted to Audi, and just no real juice to get some of the young Bimmer crowd interested in even a test drive. (Quick: where could a young guy buy some drilled pedals for his Aero? Stiffer shocks? Maybe even some Recaro's?)

    Maybe as the host suggested earlier, Suburu is the new Saab and the kindest, gentlest thing GM could do is just fold Saab into Suburu as their funky, imported car line. The anti-BMW car line.
  • gver2gver2 Posts: 2
    I'm looking at a used 9-5 that doesn't have the ventilated seats. Just wondering from those of you that have them if they are wonderful/over-rated/never use them etc. Should I be concerned about this. There are always hundreds of used cars to choose from and I like to get EXACTLY what I want. Thanks.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    hey, what's in the future for an all new 9-5.....any news?
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Has anybody noticed that the gauges on even the newest 9-5s appear to have come out of an '80s 900 or 9000? They look so similar!
  • bongotoobongotoo Posts: 10
    I recently put some 205/60/16 Bridgestone Potenza on our 1999 9.5 SE. The tire dealer said it would be okay. What do you guys think about that? Will it negatively effect anything?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I don't understand *why* the shop installed this size. Why didn't they just go with the OE size of 215/55-16 in the first place?

    But they should be OK. It'll throw off the speedo a little (less than 2%) as the new tire is physically larger than the old one.
  • fdourfdour Posts: 3
    I am new to this board and new to shopping for a Saab. Considering a pre-owned 9-5 SE; the 9-3 is just a little too small.
    I am just coming off a lease on an Audi A6 Avante. Comfortable and sure-footed in all weather but I don't want to buy it. Too many irksome design flaws and a surprising number of recalls. The service department also tuned me off.
    I see a few comments about snow tires. Are they really necessary? Even the dealer mentioned that they would probably be needed on the Aero. After this winter in NJ, I don't want to think about snow again.
    Any advice on purchasing a pre-owned Saab? Any experience on how much the dealer can move on the listed price?
    I'm also considering a Subaru Outback H6 sedan. Has anyone else taken a look at them?
  • dtrain2dtrain2 Posts: 5
    Looking at used 2002 9-5 ARC - 6 cyl, 12k for mileage - drove nice - a little wear and tear , couple of knicks on the car - not much - dealer wants $25.9 can probably get it for 24K.

    Question1= is this a good value?

    Question2= for about the same dough I can get a new Accord V-6 (without navigation). What would u do?
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    In general, only the Aero should require snow tires. This is stated in the current brochure and seems to be a consensus among Aero owners in snowbelt states.

    Our Linear did fine with the regular tires in Chicago last winter; my sister lives in western Michigan which gets a lot of lake-effect snow - her SE did fine with regular tires.

    The Subaru H6s are nice, I'm betting if you drive both you'll pick the 9-5.
  • fdourfdour Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info, Rob. I see that you've had some experience with Subarus. I did drive both and the Saab is certainly an impressive auto. The only drawiback is a personal thing that developed with my present Audi. The car is just too nice inside. I feel like I'm putting kids with muddy cleats in my living room. It cleans up but it just isn't right.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    If you can get that Arc for $24K, buy it. They're doing about $23Kish at auction.

    There's no comparison between a 9-5 and an Accord. Driving dynamics and safety alone put the 9-5 on a whole 'nuther level than most any Asian sedan. Not everyone appreciates this and its OK if you don't. There's a good reason why a bland, soulless car like a Camry is a perpetual #1 seller.
  • One thing I particuarly like about the 9-5 is that I recall reading the option of a refrigerated glovebox and ventilated seats.

    I stopped by a dealer once and asked about used ones - I am in North East. He said you either get heated seats or ventilated seats, but not both and the ventilated was a "warm weather package".

    1. Is this true, you can only get one or the other?

    2. What do you guys think of the ventilated seats and refrigerated glovebox? Do they work?
  • drb9drb9 Posts: 6
    The 9-5 Arc (at least for 2002 and 2003) comes with both heated seats (front and rear) as well as ventilated seats (front only). The Linear has front heated seats, no ventilation option. The Aero has heated seats, with ventilation as a $1000 option. The ventilation fans are a little noisy, but worth it. Just turn up the radio a little.
  • guga24guga24 Posts: 3
    I am new to this forum and am researching used 9-5s (2000-2002). I have traditionally purchased acuras and love the turnkey/almost zero maintenance lifetime experience, however, I would like to try the european experience because the cars feel so great on the road and the look of the cars.

    I began to research European sedans and was immediately drawn to the 9-5. The A-4 also seemed interesting but I simply preferred the 9-5 drive. Also looked at the passat but when adding in basic options, drove the price up to 9-5/A-4 levels. I know that by going the european route I will incur more maintenance and potential repair costs than my previous Japanese cars, I guess it is the cost of the fun. But I have heard some very mixed feedback on Saab reliability from local mechanics.

    Almost all say go with just about any other car such as a volvo or audi because of their perceived better build and reliability. Reading these posts, all seem to be about the same with their fair share of horror and love stories for all the cars. Can anyone chime in with real life maintenance stories when the car goes out of warranty from 60k+. I love the car and the huge deprecation makes the 2000-2002 9-5 a steal at less than 50% of original price. A number of mechanics also suggested spending a little more and getting a BMW, they basically said although I would be getting fewer options for the price, great reliability. Any and all input would be much appreciated. I need a little help in making the leap from a lifetime of worry free japanese driving.
  • teecheeteechee Posts: 5
    I own a 1996 9000CS with 130,000 miles and a new 9-5 Aero with less than 1,000 miles. I have had the 9000 for about three years. If it was problematic, I would not have stayed with SAAB's I love the way the 9000 drives, handles, its storage capacity, and the excellent gas mileage. My Aero is three times better than the 9000. I just took a road trip and got 400 miles on a tank of gas. The Aero is a dream. Having owned a Mercedes 190 & 300, a BMW 740IL, and a Jag X-type I am some what familiar with luxury cars. The Aero is by far the most performance vehicle you can purchase within a reasonable price range. In normal drive mode the car is nice, but in Sports Mode its awesome, to say the least. It flys like a rocket! Its a four door porsche in sheeps clothing. EDMUNDS.COM has a site where you can compare the Aero vs BMW 530I. The Aero wins hands down in the comparison. Its roomier, has more standard features, and costs thousands less. For the gentleman considering a used 9-5. Consider the 2002 as SAAB claims to have made over 1,000 improvements to the car that year. Good Luck!
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    guga - I don't have any personal experience with Saabs (though I may soon) but CR rates them considerably above BMW and way above Audi on reliability. Personally, I don't consider a mechanics opinion to be much more valuable than personal anecdotes. They have experience with a relatively small number of cars and could be motivated to unfair interpretation of their "data".
    That said, I'm kind of in the same position you are. I was very impressed by my short test drive in a 9-5 Aero but am still a little nervous about giving up the flawless reliability I have experienced with my Japanese cars.
  • I am another newbie to the forum and after driving Audi, BMW and MBE320 wagons, I have decided to purchase a 9-5 Aero Wagon. I have not made the deal yet and I am trying to find out what others have paid for Aero Wagons recently. I know they currently have $4,000 cash back for purchase, but has anyone been able to do any better than that? Option include Touring Package, Metalic Paint, Auto and maybe Ventilated Seats. Any info is appreciated.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Take another $500 off for Saab Loyalty if you currently have a Saab.

    Also, negotiate the cash back discount off of the invoice, not MSRP.
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    trapper - Where do you see a $4000 cash back offer? It's not on Edmunds, the Saab site or the GM site.
  • guga24guga24 Posts: 3
    Can you combine the $4000 Cash back with the 0% or is it one or the other?
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