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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Can anyone recommend are service station in the Worcester Ma area? My 1999 9-5 has 120K miles on it (bought it new)and is going to my daughter. The next appointment at my dealer is 2 1/2 weeks away and I prefer not to wait. I'd like to car to get a thorough inspection.

    Thanks in advance for any advice,

  • amyshubbyamyshubby Posts: 19
    Here is my background- I have always driven Japanese cars. I usually buy them two years old with some mileage and drive them for about 5 or 6 years at 20,000 per year. My last car was a Nissan Maxima with 130,000 miles and not one problem until it was stolen last week.

    I looked at another used Maxima but decided it was time for a change. I was considering a 2001 fully loaded V6 Accord for $17,500, but saw and test drove a 2000 Saab 9-5SE and really liked it. I can get into the SE with 30,000 miles for slightly under $20,000 and am comparing it to the Accord and Maxima. My questions (and concerns) are as follows:

    1) The obvious question is reliability. I am a big Consumer Reports advocate and I saw they bumped the reliability up from average to above average. It seems to be based on reliability improvements (especially electrical) made after the 1999 model year. Do most owners agree with that assumption? I plan on putting about 150,000 miles on it and have no fear of that number with Nissan or Honda, but do most of you expect to get 150,000 miles without major problems?

    2) The second question is also related to reliability and cost of repairs. I have had two people tell me that if something goes wrong, it will be much more expensive to fix then if it were a similar item on a Japanese car. Is this true?

    3) I read something about the tires being performance tires that should only be used in good weather. I'm not sure if that's true for the SE or only the Aero.

    4) What kind of gas is used in the 2000 SE? Regular or premium? If it's premium, with the mileage I put on, I need to factor that in to my higher monthly payments

    5) I also saw a 2001 9-5 SE through a Saab dealer on the internet that I could pick up for around $21,000. Were there any real differences between the 2000 and 2001? This dealer is about two and a half hours away from me, but I would make the drive if the car not just newer in years, but also look and/or reliability.

    Thanks in advance for any answers you can give me.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    (1) Yes. Yes.

    (2) Yes. In general European cars will be more expensive to repair due to the cost of parts.

    (3) The SE uses 16" touring tires whereas the Aero 17" performance. Any of the cars you mentioned will benefit from a top quality tire which will be priced accordingly.

    (4) Gotta use premium due to the turbo motor. Also most Saab owners highly recommend using full synthetic motor oil (like Mobil One or similar) to protect the engine and the turbo from the added heat. Saab recommends at least a semi synthetic oil but you'll find full synthetics of better quality.

    (5) No real diffs between '00 and '01. The 9-5 received a major makeover in '02. But the general consensus is the newer the 9-5, the better and more reliable it is.

    Happy Saab shopping :-)
  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Just what I was looking for. I recognize a few of the names. Thank you for your help.

  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    i have always been told by experienced mechanics that a saab is a car that you must sell at 60,000 miles or it will nickel and dime you to death......
    my experience with the aero 2000 has been so-so.
    new computer 4 times ,new fan for the motor,left me stranded .....
    and other.about 6 other failures.
    now ,at 51,000 miles ,(4 weeks ago or so ) my dealer told me that i needed a new exhaust,have an oil leak from the head gasket,and need a new cowl......
    he waited until i was out of warranty.......but,i think this dealer's mechanics are on a commision basis and ........took the car to a gas station and put it up......
    the exhaust has rust on the outer layer.but it should give me another 2 years or so.but a good aftermarket ss unit is 300.$.
    the oil leak nowhere to be found.......
    the cowl.........i cannot see why it needs replacement ,maybe one of you experts can tell me.

    my tires ,michelin mxm pilots ,with 52,000 miles have only 3/32 left out of 10/32 when new,or another 6,000 miles or so.--the car has 58,000 miles now but i run snow tires when i amin ct. in the winter.
    i am looking to replace them soon and posted here about the goodyear f1 but no one has replied.

    so,if you are asking ----to choose between a honda,acura or toyota and saab. with 2 years of use.......
    i will go with
    toyota camry
    and forget saab.........too many unknowns on this car and poor reputation from those who know,the mechanics.....

    or,i tell you what ,go to consumers union and check on the ratings.but remember,the saab rating is based on year to date........look at back issues and you will see that in the past saab have been very poor and now,is the promise that saab is now better.......
    maybe,but it is a gamble and if you have limited income to gamble ,go to honda or toyota camry or lexus 300es-------
    you cannot go wrong here. but ,i am not recommending,just giving you my objective view,ande suggest that you go to past issues of c.u.--they have excellent data.
  • scraigscraig Posts: 1
    I just purchased my first Saab. My previous cars have been Hondas, Nissans, and most recently a Subaru. All have been good cars. The Nissans had a few ignition module problems in the 80's. When I bought my 2003 9-5 linear I was looking for used AWD safe European cars (Audi,MB,Audi,Volvo). All were nice cars but CR says they have dependability problems. On a whim I stopped by the Saab dealership, but then realized no AWD cars. Apparently, they do well in the snow because of FWD in addition to TC and SC. Then I tried to find a 1-2 year old car, hard to find. I started looking at 2003's and they seemed to give you alot of car for the money. I negotiated a price 5.1K below MSRP. Later found out that factory to dealer money was available and some people were getting 6-7K off of MSRP. Called another dealer across state and they told me upfront about the factory to dealer cash. I sort of feel like a chump. In this day and age invoice and MSRP don't mean anything until you thoroughly search for all incentives and that can take some work. I am hoping that reliability problems are in the past. Opted out of extended warrantee which would have cost me 2.1K. Also didn't get simoniz for exterior paint which would have cost$499. After I found out that I could have gotten a better deal I tried to approach the dealer about getting the extended warrantee at dealer cost which they claimed was $1800 and so would sale for $2000 instead of $2100. I didn't believe them so I still don't have a warrantee. Since my car is new I have four years to think about it. I have loved driving the car so far.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    we have a 2 year old 9-5.
    look at it this way, if you have a good car the warranty isn't a big deal, you are covered for 50k. you can shop around for a gm warranty in the mean time, from what i understand.
    legitimate issues we have had, are rear seat heaternot working, and sid losing columns a couple of times, headlight bulbs burning out(drive in and they are replaced).
    another issue(resolved) that maybe was just a moneymaker.
    regrding winter driving, the tc works, but it's not like a 4wd system. snow tires will definetly help, so buy a tire\wheel package, if you are going to keep the car. it probably cheaper in the long run, and will keep your wheels looking good.
    if you post what state you live in, maybe you can get some feedback on the dealer.
    from what i understand, another resource is
  • My Saab 2000 9-5(61K) died on the highway. Took it to repair place. They had to replace ignition cassette. since then engine light has been on. They think it is oxygen sensor from starting.

    Has anybody had similar problems? Is this the start of a downhill trend?

  • petersjfpetersjf Posts: 8
    The ignition cassette is a weak point of the 9-5 design and failure is common. It's almost a wear and tear item and 50-60k miles is when it seems to go. Some people keep a spare DI cassette in the trunk along with the fairly basic instructions on how to install it! It's about a $300 part from the online vendors.

    More info at saabnet - search for di cassette

    While no one is happy with their DI failures, it doesn't necessarily represent a trend towards failure of a bunch of other parts.

    Other common problems on the 9-5's are faulty turbo's producing a light smoke at start up, and faulty LED's in the information display.
  • jracinejracine Posts: 28

    I was just wandering if you would have suggestions as to what is the best way to find a buyer for my prisitine 2002 Aero Steel grey w Touring? I only have 13,000 Km on it!

    Going to work abroad this fall...

    Any help would be appreciated!
  • Wouldn't the best way to sell an Aero now in Montreal be to throw an ad with an email address (but omit location and phone number) in the Sunday Boston Globe? Offer to email some photos once contacted. If you got the price down to around 24K USD or lower (see article in current issue of Forbes on significant drop in luxury resale values, especially Saab and BMW) that AERO would be on its way down I 91 by mid week with a BC or BU type behind the wheel.

    Incidentally, there are several high end used dealers in the Boston metro market who bring in trailer loads of both brand new and slightly used luxury cars and SUVs from dealers in Canada. Seems that our stronger economy is a better market.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    It's not the economy.. it's the exchange rate difference. Bringing in cars from Canada is an attractive exhange right now.

    In fact, some new car dealers in Canada are advertising to the U.S. To add to the incentive with new cars, the pricing strategy in Canada is more aggressive from manufacturers. They sell identical cars there for much less. It's a controversy going on that some officials and dealers are fighting.
  • amyshubbyamyshubby Posts: 19
    I decided on the 2000 Saab 9-5 SE instead of the 2001 Accord or Maxima. I am picking it up tomorrow.

    Thanks for the advice given. After test driving all three cars, I decided the Saab was much nicer and more fun to drive then the other two.

    The other big factor was the extended warranty. It's going to be covered by Saab until September 2006, which alleviated some of the reliability fears I had.

    Thanks again. I'm really excited about getting the car tomorrow.
  • kaparrettkaparrett Posts: 1
    Have had my 2003 9-5 Linear for approximately one month now. After having had a '98 Audi A4 and '01 Volvo S60, this is - by far - the most fun and "best" car I have had (I say best, because long term quality of the car will have to be proven).

    Had been looking at the 3.0 Arc, but decided on the Linear with the 5M transmission. Was, in my opinion, much more fun to drive. With the Premium and Touring packages, there wasn't much difference between the Arc and the Linear, excepting the 15 hp, ventilated seats and heated rear seats. Unlike a lot of people here it seems, I had a good dealership experience and got the full factory to dealer cash.

    I like the Saab for the size, the trim level, and little things like the a/c glovebox and the tilt down side mirror while in reverse. Ditto for the rear parking assist and the cool bi-xenon lights. Granted, these options are available on other cars, but not at the price for which I was able to get the Saab. Also, it's nice to finally have a car that's both fun to drive and where the rear seat passengers aren't completely cramped. The Homelink and autodimming mirrors are great ... after two cars with these features, I would not get one in the future w/out them.

    The stereo is quite good - although it would have been nice to have a multiple CD changer as standard. The seats are comfortable and again the room in the rear is excellent. I haven't used the OnStar system except to make a couple of calls, but I'm glad that I have it if ever needed.

    Ride quality is good and I haven't had any annoying creaks or rattles (something I did have in my Volvo). Although the interior is a bit dated, it's not offensively so, and I like the unique body stying that's very different than many cars in this arena (5 series, A6). I'm glad that I have the manual tranny as it makes the car a lot of fun to navigate around town and on the highway. Pickup is good thanks to the turbo.

    Suggestions would be one touch close operation of the sunroof, and the ability to control the windows/sunroof while outside the car. A electric tilt/telescope of the steering wheel would be nice, but not really necessary for me as I'm the only one who drives the car.

    Will definately look at Saab in the future if their large car is anything like the current 9-5. For those who care about such things, I'm a 32 year old male, living in Denver, Colorado.
  • We're looking to replace our 1997 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon with a car within the $30-$36K range... local Infiniti dealers are offering the FX35 for about $36K while we can pick up a 9-5 Arc for about $32K... I know these two are VERY different cars, and we were originally going to just go with the Infiniti, but we have had a long string of Japanese cars and wouldn't mind something new. However, the reliability of the Saab is questionable apparently, and that is not a strong selling point for a family of 4 with 3 drivers... we also own a 2001 Acura TL and love it very dearly, however we're looking for a car with more "character." The Saab, I know, has unmistakable charm, but the Infiniti is "out there" also. Any suggestions? Go for yet ANOTHER Japanese car for reliability or go for the Saab for an equal amount of charm with maybe a few more problems down the road?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    After reading your post it seems like you are on a certain wavelength when it comes to cars and style/image. Many people consider Subaru the Saab of Japan. And I equate Infiniti with Saab in many ways. So I don't think your thought process is out of whack - it makes perfect sense to me.

    My previous Infiniti, a QX4, was great in many ways. But my current 9-5 SE (same as an Arc) has cost me about the same $$ in service costs. My Saab has not been perfect. The Infiniti wasn't perfect. But both were excellent vehicles that offered a personality different from what everyone else is driving.

    If you live in an area with good local service, any reliability worries can be taken care of. You might want to search around for local Saab specialists and try to find out if the local dealer is any good. I'm sure you well know your local Infiniti dealer.

    FWIW, I helped my mother buy a new car recently. Based on what she wanted, a 9-5 would have been perfect. Yet I recommended she pass on a Saab because where she lives there is no Saab dealer for almost 100 miles. What did she get? An Infiniti I35.

    Hope this helps.
  • alfaberalfaber Posts: 19
    I just had an experience that may be relevant. I drive an I35, and was helping a friend buy a new car. We drove the FX35, and she ended up with a 9-5 Linear Wagon. BTW: The dealer's opening price was $6500 below MSRP. One other car you might consider is the Nissan Murano. I felt it drove a bit better than the FX35, possibly due to the accelerator calibration when mated with the CVT transmission, and the styling isn't quite as imposing as the FX35's. Plus, it's cheaper.
  • hilstroy1hilstroy1 Posts: 1
    4 months ago I finally got a Saab. I have always wanted one and with the great discounts being offered my husband agreed that now was the time to get one. I love how sporty the car is, how well it handles and its speed (I traded in a Lincoln Navigator for it - big change!!)

    Unfortunately I am having several problems that I am hoping are not indicative of how the ownership of this car will be in the future. The first "problem" was that the passenger side visor broke within the 1st 2 weeks I had it. Not a big deal - just a minor annoyance. But then about a month ago I got in the car and the ESP light came on on the dashboard and never went off. I stopped the car, turned it off and then back on. The light went out. I thought maybe I had accidently hit the button or something. A week later I started the car and left my house. I noticed as I was driving down the road that none of the odometers were working - no speed, no fuel, no tac, nothing, although the car was working fine. Again, I stopped the car, turned it off and restarted. Everything was fine. I haven't had any issues since, but my fear is that it is a symptom of a larger or persistent problem. To make matters worse, my dealer is 60 miles away (I have been told that they are trying to get one in my home town). But I certainly don't want to have to drive out to the dealer on an ongoing basis to resolve issues like these.

    Has anyone else had any issues with the 2003 Linear 9-5?

  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    The issues you're describing don't sound like common problems for a late model 9-5. Did you already take it to the Saab dealer for the 1,000-mile checkup?

    Perhaps take it to a local GM dealer or AutoZone to see if the diagnostic computer is showing any codes.
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