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Saab 9-5 Wagon

goldbergergoldberger Posts: 58
Saab has just released official photos (sorry,
lost the web site...I'll post it in a future
comment) of the 9-5 wagon (whatever they call it).
In a bit of irony, the last Saab wagon,
essentially a "squareback" model 96, carried the
model designation "95". The first models will be
on sale this fall in Europe, with USA introduction
in the spring or fall of 1999, probably with a year
2000 designation.

The wagon keeps the "C" pillar from the sedan,
although it is visually it is slimmed down by
overlapping the rear quarter glass a bit.


  • goldbergergoldberger Posts: 58
    is the Swedish language site which has a couple of photos of the 9-5 wagon at the bottom of the article. There might be a lot more about it in the text, but all the Swedish I know is on this page.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Cool! Thanks for the info!

    Here's that photo of the new Saab wagon.

    KarenS/SW Host
  • BKSuttonBKSutton Posts: 23
    There was also a side view picture and news clip in the latest Autoweek. Handsome looking car. Supposed available engines will be the turbo four or the 6 cylinder. 6 cylinder available with only the automatic tranny, the four possibly available with a manual, but not confirmed. Can provide additional info. if anyone is interested.

  • GruvenGruven Posts: 1
    Yes! More info! The only choices out there for halfway decent wagons are the Passat (quality anxiety), Subaru (durability) or Volvo (price).

    Where can one find out more about this car?

  • AFIK, the only source of information is the Saab Website but the information is rather scant. The car will be shown to the public for the first time at some European auto show (Frankfurt? Paris? Geneva?) in September. It will not be on sale in the USA until the spring, probably as a '00 model. (too bad they changed the numbering scheme: it *could have been* a 2000 9000 ;-)

    As for price, I'd guess at it being $1000 above the sedan, but that's pure guess. Not any cheaper than the Vovlo, but it does make the Volvo look like the box it came in.
  • I'd be happy to see a 9-3 wagon further down the pipe. The 9-5 is too formal and too rich for my blood.
    Has anyone heard if a 9-3 wagon in the works?
    My wife and I are going to lease the new 9-3 this month for the incredible 3.5% interest rate their offering on them before the end of Aug. I loved the 9-5 sedans were really beautiful and I hope that by the time our new 9-3 sedan comes off lease the new 9-5 will have proven themselves in the market place.
  • We haven't heard the first peep about the 9-3 being anything except a hatchback or convertible. But there *was* a spy shot claiming to be a "9-2" with the ugliest little "squareback" you ever did see! Saab's USA execs are quite negative on such a creation, however, being completely unconvinced that the Trolls can build something less expensive than a 9-3 while retaining Saab's motor, drivetrain, and level of equipment.
  • That's something that the USA execs say. But in Europe, the cars tend to be much smaller and the 9-3 is pretty much at the top of the range where individuals actually purchase their cars. Due to the peculiarities of European tax laws, the vast majority of larger and more expensive cars are company purchased and part of the employee's compensation. (You can't do that here any more.) So, a smaller "Saab" would be quite beneficial in the European market. They say.
  • I totally understand the impetus fora smaller Saab in Europe, or Asian markets, but here it always seems like the true econobox is fighting for its life both economically and "Newtonianally" is that a word? Well it is now!

    In Japan they have cars smaller than your Flexy Flyer and wonderful gas misers at that but they'd be blown off the interstate here. Around town these cars are great for urban traffic and parking but out here in the Western United States you'd be blown off the feeway by the average down town communter.

    I've been impressed by the looks and rigidity of the new mini Benz/Smart Car, but unless those little cars are built like a brick I'd never consider them seriously as "American" road worthy transportation. The failure of these cars to pass the sudden maneuver lane change in Sweden doesn't bother me half as much as how they'd come out in a variety of collisions with a 1982 Lincoln Town Car.

    A smaller Saab in the States just doesn't make sense to me and I think that in a global approach to the turn of the century car market that they'd do better to just leave most of that market to others. A really great 9-3 and 9-5 series over the next five years would go a long way to building a solid reputation that Saab needs to stay in the game in the coming century.
  • Frederick,

    Having been to the UK and driven over there, I can tell you that small does not mean slow. On the M1 the speed limit is 75 MPH but most people do about 90MPH. The "hot hatches" as they call them over there are about the size of a geo metro and pack well over 150 HP. They are very fast. The cars are geared differently there too, with the gears further apart. At 90MPH my Escort was only turning about 3800RPM.

    Although small cars my fare less well in a collision with your town car, it is also much less likely to be involved in a collision due to better agility.

    By only offering large cars the US is perpetuating the problem of nasty collisions, not aiding it. The more good small cars available, the more on the road and the less chance that someone falling asleep behind the wheel of a 6000 Suburban takes you out.
  • Unfortunately, the issue in the USA isn't the availability of small, fast, agile cars: there have been lots of them available over the years, and they don't sell well any more. It is, rather, the absurd practice of selling fuel at the marginal cost of production, ignoring the indirect costs (such as habitat loss as roads and suburbs sprawl, social costs to the less afluent as public transportation whithers and employers move away from cities, environmental damage ultimately culminating in massive flood damage as the warming environment wreaks havoc on our weather patterns) together with the near religious zeal of some to legislate safe driving by lowering speeds. (that must be a modern record for length in sentences;-)). The vehicle selection, and the public's purchase patterns, are a result, not a cause. In the mean time, the best we can do is purchase vehicles which combine excellent driving dynamics with the robustness necessary to withstand the onslaught of the truck=based SUV and "Minivan" fleets. Like, for example, Saabs!
  • The Edmunds review of the Paris auto show includes a brief article covering the 9-5 wagon, along with a couple of mostly undecipherable pictures.
    More useful news: in European crash tests, a 9-5 sedan bettered the E-class, the A-6, it's cousin the Opel Omega (Catera), their version of the Toyota Camry, and the Drive-Safely (R) Volvo S-70.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Here's a link to that Paris Auto Show article.

    KarenS/SW and roving host

    Thank your for that very insightful and well laid run-on setince. You gave a rather brief, albeit concise, synopsis of the hidden Ecocnomic Costs associated with the low price of fuel in the American Automobile Market. (i.e. "cheap gas leads to larger gas guzzling vehicles") Very Keynesian view point by the way.

    I agree that vehicles like the new Saab 93 are very safe, by American standards, for their size. I still think that given a choice, with purchase price $'s not being the primamry determining factor, my wife and I would choose a Saab 95 Wagon or Volvo 800 Series over any econobox from either of these brands.

    The reality, at this date, is that fuel in this country doesn't cost diddley and it's not likely to in the near future because this country has shown a deep proclivity to go to war over such things as cheap oil supplies.

    Americans will continue to buy big, heavy cars until the end of this current economic boom. Europe and Japan make some really wonderfully powerful and economical little cars but the "American" law of mass in autmobiles will continueto rule this market until either economic or governmental factors dictate that it need to change.

    Even government mandated auto technology advancement does not mean the American market will buy our accept the product delivered to them. Witness the miserable failure of the EV1 in this current cheap gas market.
  • The 9-5 wagon will be shown at the New England Auto Show, in Boston, according to the editor of the New England Saab Club newsletter.
  • Saw the 9-5 wagon at the Boston show. While I remain intrigued by the sedan, there seemed to be lousy visibility out the back of the wagon.
  • Can anyone verfity if the 9-5 wagon offers a third row seat?
  • Although it was part of the original plan, the 9-5 wagon does not offer a third row seat. Saab was unable to engineer a third-row seat which satisfied their safety criteria. Makes one wonder about third-seat safety in the other wagons on the market (which have them).

    AFIK, the Volvo V70 does not offer a third seat either.
  • gclugclu Posts: 23
    goldberger -
    Didn't know that was the reason for not having third row seats. Where did you get the info from. I agree that there is no info out there about the safety of these "children's seat" as there are no standardized tests for them out there (not too many vehicles have them anyways).
    BTW, does AFIK mean???
    Also, Volvo does still offer third row rear facing seats on the V70 and V70 AWD. They are installed at the port and the MSRP is $800 for the V70 and $1300 in the V70 AWD(plus you lose your full size spare). Check out:
    look in the owners circle under interior options. This will show different children seating options available.
    The third row seat in the volvo is easy to use but not as fancy as in the A6 Avant which can actually be moved off to the side as well. You would thing that with Volvo's reputation, they would have conducted some kind of crash test to determine the safety of theses seats????
  • AFIK: As far as I know.

    Information I shared regarding the rear-facing seat was from a usually-well-informed internet correspondent in England, iirc (if I recall correctly).

    There is no doubt that the "third seat" in a station wagon built off a sedan platform is not the best place to be when the car is "rear ended". That seat is smack in the middle of the "crumple zone". And especially in the USA, with all those nose-high SUV bumpers bearing down on us, the risk is clear.

    That said, the "rear facing third seat" is clearly superior to someone rattling around loose in the cargo compartment, or lap sitting in the passenger compartment. Crash safety design is an exercise in risk assessment and cost analysis. In this case, one combines the probablity of a severe rear-end crash with the probability that the vehicle will be loaded down with people in the back. And if the decision is made to include a third seat, one considers the cost of adding stiffeners, both the money cost of the modification and the safety cost of having a less crush-space available even when the rear seat is unoccupied.
    Crash safety can be maximized at the expense of utility, driveability, and economy: how would you like to own a greyhound bus? Saab has apparently sacrificed the utility of the "third seat", either for cost, safety, or a combination of both. Volvo has apparently concluded that the utility outweighs the risk. Or possibly their market prominence makes a $1000 optional third seat an attractive business opportunity that Saab, with their much smaller volume and generation-long absense from the station wagon market, didn't feel they could profit from.
  • Third row seat is not as important to us as the fact that Saab is finally offering a wagon again. This is what we've wanted for 2+ years but the availability has been very much diminished with the rise of the SUV. As long as the car is built extremely safe I'd always pick a wagon over a SUV. I just like the car like ride that a wagon can deliver over any SUV on the road, let alone a Saab!
  • Without the third seat, what is there? A car that is a little too expensive, with an unproven track record, against extraordinarily tough competition.

    Price: It's going to be more than the Volve XC, MB M320, and A4 Avant.

    Value: The Volvos beat everyone in insurance, and provide a savings of at least $500/year over the SAAB (this was comparing sedans, I can't imagine the wagons will be much different). The MB has a ridiculously low depreciation rate, and everybody agrees that the A4 is damn-good car and bargain.

    Quality: It's a SAAB on a new platform. The Volvos have been around for years, the MB has two years under its belt, as does the Audi.

    Safety: A Volvo is a Volvo, and my insurance company tells me that's the best choice. The MB is bigger and stronger w/very good safety features. The Audi I'm no so sure about. The SAAB looks safe, but no more so than the first two.

    Versatility: W/o AWD, the SAAB is inferior to the Volvo, MB, and Audi A6 (which is so underpowered that I haven't mentioned it thus far).

    Interior: You can't tell me that the SAAB's 9-5 interior is any better than the Volvo, MB, or Audi. I've been in it. It's nice, but feels smaller than the Volvo and MB.

    Performance: I drove both the XC and the 9-5, with both the 4 and 6 cylinder. The XC was every bit as quick, handled as nimbly, and was otherwise enjoyable. And the reviews unanimously tell me that the A4 is a blast.

    Look, I'm not looking to whack the Wagon. In fact, I've held off on making a buying decision until I could at least check it out. Without the 3d seat, though, it becomes far less practical. With three kids, I could carry my family and no more. Not true with the Volvo and MB. If I just wanted a plain wagon w/o the extra seat, the Volvo is cheaper, both to buy and to insure, the MB is comparable, and the A4 is significantly less with better performance (albeit a bit smaller).

    With all of this in mind, why in the world would I ever buy a 9-5 wagon w/o the ability to carry 7 passengers? Why? Ventilated seats just don't carry the day.
  • Quality: While the 9-5 "platform" is new, the 4-cyl engine and drivetrain are well proven. The 9-5 itself went on sale in August of '97. This was after a 6 month slip in the introduction schedule, said slip being devoted to driving samples built on the production line using production tooling the length and breadth of Sweden.

    Safety: In European laboratory crash tests, the Saab sedan bested all the vehicles in your comparison. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "blood on the road" surveys, Saabs have consistently been best in class, and often have been best in show. Besides their innovative active head restraint (versus Volvo's collapsing seat back and everyone elses "hope for the best), their combined torso-head restraint bags, their pretensioning and load limiting belt restraints, and the usual run of class-standard features, the front structure and subframe are integrated into a progressively collapsing structure, capable of limiting damage in low-speed crashes and maximizing energy absorbtion in the more severe mishaps. The structure is optimized for the off-center, off-square impacts of real life, versus some designs which perform exceptionally well in the lab but less well on the road. Saab's safety departments call the latter "fork-lift designs", straight beams which turn into bellows in laboratory conditions.

    Versatility: AWD carries a weight, volume, and efficiency penalty 100% of the time. I have driven front-drive vehicles with snow tires past many an overturned AWD vehicle: its superiority in bad weather is overrated. IMO.

    Price: The most expensive 9-5 wagon will check in at the price of the entry A-6. In its class, the Saab is very competitively priced.
  • Pokylovdog is right!

    I'm just busting your chops. We don't have any kids and it is hard for me to envision the need of even more seating. I just want carrying capacity within a spirited driving car.

    M.B. and Volvo are fine cars but I personally think they lack a certain enthusiasm that a Saab posseses. If money is no object and accepted status your aim then a M.B. is the ticket. If you want a brick that has over and over again proven itself to be a "brick" then get a Volvo.

    I personally love both these cars and would buy both of them if the bank account didn't force me to make a choice. I have not driven the M.B. wagon but I have driven the base Volvo and found it's racious engine to be lacking in refinement. The M.B. was left out of my comparison for obvious financial reasons. Now a Vovlo T5 wagon could catch my fancy but yet again it was just a bit too dear for my pocket book.

    A decent Saab 9-5 Wagon at the right price, minus one rear facing seat, could really stir my soul! Give me cargo capacity with spirited driving and I'm in virtual hog heaven.
  • If you just want cargo capacity and fun, try the A4 Wagon. It's a hoot. Or the BMW 5-series. Unless the 9-5 wagon is significantly better than its sedan counterpart, it's not going to beat either.

    As for safety, if it's all that, then why the higher insurance rate? I'm not saying it's not safe, I'm sure it is. But I trust the numbercrunchers at insurance companies to be nothing more than bottom-line freaks without bias. That kind of insanity is persuasive. And I am sure that the MB 320, because it is significantly bigger and heavier, will absorb an impact as well as, or better than the 9-5.

    Look, I WANTED to like the 9-5. Really. But I still can't get get it to measure up to the competition. For those of you who think having three children is lunacy, maybe you're smarter than me (there are times I would certainly agree). I know you have more car choices. But you still have look past the A4, which is thousands less and more spirited, the Subarus, the 5-series, and the Volvo line (the T-5 and GLT are also cheaper). I can't justify it. (The A6 will be unworthy of consideration until the engine is upgraded.)

    To buy the 9-5, I would have to acknowledge that I am paying a premium just to be different. It's not worth it.
  • We drove the A4 before we leased a 9-3 and it was the car we wanted but decided against for financial reasons. I love the exterior and interior of the A4 but I can tell you without reserve that the A4 is not comfortable for rear seat adult passengers. I road in the back seat of an A4 Avant for five hours from Munich to Prague last winter and it was painful all the way None of the adults in the back seat were particulary large but I'd never put an adult back there again after that experience.

    The cargo capacity of the A4 is a little cramped for a wagon and we'd probably choose the A6/Passat over it but then they were not available or in our price range when we were looking. I'd never accept the annemic 1.8 with auto that was offered.

    We'll see in a couple of years whether either the Saab or Audi/Passat wagon proven themselves to be worthy. I suspect that the Saab could be very interesting.
  • I've had the same problem on two Volvos. They can be damning to resolve.

    I suggest looking next at the "roundness' of your tires. You could have hit a pothole and bended the wheel or your tire might have unusual tread wear. (Technically, you could balance a square or any other irregular form to perfection...).

    You can see an irregular wheel with the help of a mechanics that has a lift you can use. A slow spin (around 10 MPH) will show any irregularity in the spin.

    Good luck!
  • woj1woj1 Posts: 48
    The last time I checked, wagons were meant to haul people and stuff. I looked into the A4/Passart wagons and found that they were just plain too small. The back seat is uncomfortable and there is minimal storage space. The Volvo XC is a joke, a small car in SUV mode...that 5cyl motor is ineffective and the whole car noisy and offering modest carrying capacity. If Saab can make their vehicle large enough, sayto carry my daughter's cello in the back without folding the back seat, then they may find their niche.
    Like most european makes, Saab needs to carve out a specific niche.
    BTW, we have a 9-3 in the stable and am waiting for the "thunderbolt" 9-3 this spring.
  • For the record, a cello in a monster-hard case is an easy fit into the back of a 9000, and I suspect that it would fit in a 9-5 sedan if it can sqeeze through the opening. Inserting one into the 9-5 wagon would be duck soup, not to mention the "load stops" to keep it from rattling around back there.

    The 9-5 sedan comes short of the 9000 only in the rear-seat legroom department. Well, guess what: in it's first 6 months on the US market, the 9-5 outsold the 9000 in its last full YEAR on the US market (1997), and in 1998 the 9-5 sedan-only is on track to outsell the 9000's best year ever. I guess those extra 3 inches of rear seat legroom don't count for much in our market.
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