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Saab 9-5 Wagon



  • I have noticed recently that often when I stop behind another car, my 2001 Saab 95 wagon picks up exhaust smell from the car in front. I took my car to my dealer, but they said that there was nothing wrong with my car's exhaust system or air conditioner. This problem doesn't happen all the time, and it happens in the country rather than the city, where you would expect some exhaust to make it through the AC filter.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what may be causing this problem?
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    The 9-5 has a Great feature you can program into the ACC system. I'm not sure of the procedure but you can program it so that when you come to a Stop, the Ventilation system automatically goes into Recirculation Mode to avoid just the problem your having. After you start back up, the system goes back to fresh air circulation.

    If your system isn't already set like this, I'm shocked that your dealer didn't explain and program it for you. It should be in your manual and I'd point it out to the dealer as something he SHOULD have known!

    Good Luck
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    our saab 9-5 se had a bad smell at times. it turned out to be the maf or map sensor. the kids said the car used to 'fart'. is it always the same smell?
    it wasn't fixed until some kind of warning light went on. i would guess they needed the code to fix it.
    btw, it started after the service department tried to fix another engine related problem (a leak).
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • mjwillsmjwills Posts: 46
    What is included in the scheduled maintenance? Does it include oil changes? My 9-3 vector includes this, but I was wondering on a lease of a 9-5 wagon.

    Also are there any rebates on this car? Do they apply to leases?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    it's 3yrs/36k, so basically 10, 20, 30k.
    i get the oil changed on my own on the 5's too.
    you can try this site or saabusa for some info on rebates, etc.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    mjwills- Here's a direct link to Edmunds' Incentives & Rebates section. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

    explorerx4- Thanks for your feedback/help in this discussion. ;-)

    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    just trying to share my experiences.
    alhough i'm not the primary driver, imho the 9-5 is a good looking, easy to live with vehicle.
    have had some issues, but overall we like it.
    like the no extra charge 30k maint, but had to pay about $300 for new front rotors and pads. actually the rotors were comp'd, but had to pay for the labor portion. based on the amount of dust the brakes produced and the fact the the traction control system probably uses the brakes too, i wasn't too suprised, though.
    will have to decide in about 6 months or so weather to buy it, or turn it in.
    not too many vehicles have heated rear seats, so i have to factor in the kids complaining by switching to something else.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Took delivery of a brand new 2003 9-5 Linear Wagon on october 2nd (my birthday!). End of year deals were great and I got mine for around $38,000. Expensive you say?!? Forgot to mention those are CAD dollars (around $US27,000), including premium and Touring package. I substracted another $2,000 from my GM card for an extremely sweet deal!

    After having owned a Volvo 850 wagon and a V70 wagon (both non-turbo), I am still getting used to this car and cannot say that I absolutely love my Saab.

    What I do like:

    - A lot more sporty and impressive in acceleration than my old Volvos;
    - the Saab is, I find, a far better long distance
    cruiser, and is also a lot more stable at high speeds. My wife would often wake up when I reached 130-135 Km/h (was it the sound or the vibrations?) in the Volvos. I made it to 160 Km/h in the Saab during a week-end trip to Ottawa and even I couldn't tell (Cinderella and the kids just kept on sleeping...).
    - Xenon headlights. I know they will make a huge difference in the quality of nighttime driving. They are great!

    What I don't like:
    - The sound system. While I have the Premium system (200 watts, 9 speakers), I am very disapointed by the high-pitched nature of this system. Its almost as if it has no base... Someone told me not to compare to the Volvo radio since it is sourced from Kenwood and is of course of better quality than the Harmon-Kardon!?! I find that hard to believe. Will ask my dealer to look into it.

    - After 700 miles on it, I still cannot adjust my seat to the comfort level of my Volvo. The Saab's is harder, has less side bolstering and I find myself continuously micro-adjusting the electric controls in hope of finding just the right spot. The sore spot is the kidney area.

    - The numbers seem to indicate that the storage area of the 9-5 and the V70 are similar. While that maybe true, i find that the 9-5 is narrower at the top than the v70. This shows up as the swivvel(!?!) part of the baby seat, when at the top, now intrudes into my rear view mirror view! When it is up, the swivvel now touches around the top of the C-pillar and intrudes inward.

    The real test will be over next summer holidays. ( I do have the Thule Advanturer Box to supplement space)

    - The xenon headlights!!! One is already not working on high beams (stays on low beam...).

    Not enough to say Yeah or Nay at this point, but i do like the looks of the car.

    One question though.

    The xenon headlights have a pair of accompanying side halogen lights that seem to be operative in Europe (they work in tandem on high beams - both xenon and halogen). It seems that Transport Canada has required that they be disactivated for security reasons ( not mine it looks like!).

    Anyone know how I can reactivate the halogen lamps? (Let Transport Canada find out if they can). Besides, i do plan to be respective of other drivers. Living in Montreal and often driving long distances at night, I would like to "get my moneys worth"

    Thx for the help!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    on your new 2003 9-5 Linear Wagon! Thanks for sharing all the details. We look forward to your future notes.... Happy motoring!

    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • 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?
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Congratulations on your deal on a Saab Linear Wagon. That's a pretty darn good deal - if only we had a local Saab dealer. Maybe next time around.

    And I assume you were doing 160 klicks on the 417 (which isn't bad...if you're not caught!). When I first read that, and didn't realize you were from Montreal, I thought you might have been a Torontonian driving down Hwy 7 (two-lane!) at those speeds to Ottawa. "You get there faster if you get there at all!"

    Anyways, Harmon-Kardon is a high-end stereo supplier so I would suggest reading your owners manual and playing around with the controls to see how much you can pump up the low frequencies. I suspect there are pre-programmed equalizer settings, and also (on manual mode) you can adjust the base/low frequencies up.

    I would try addressing your headlight problem with the dealer -- this is a new car, a burnt out bulb seems rather premature. I never had to replace a bulb.
  • grumbgrumb Posts: 21
    I have a 2003 Arc SW with 18K miles and love it. The car grows on you. The headlights are very customizable by your dealer via the Tech II settings, but I am not sure if it would be legal in Canada to activate the halogens. As far as the stereo, SAAB & HK are aiming for sound that is very pure and deliberately does not introduce added bass that is not in the original recordings. You can adjust it somewhat, but don't expect a booming bottom end. Enjoy the vehicle
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    The stereo complaint you have is common from new 9-5 owners. Shame on your dealer for not going through the programing with you, explaining these features and setting your preferences. From you description, it sounds like you have the upgraded sound system, which DOES have a Sub Woofer, but yours is not turned on.

    Check your owners manual. You need to find the proceedure for turning on the "Loud" feature. This will enable your sub woofer. It is dissapointing that H/K makes it difficult to figure this out and that the factory setting is for the loud feature to be off. I guess for some reason, they assume that the Upgraded stereo buyers only listen to AM radio. This is not the "best" sound system you could have but it certainly is not bad when programmed properly.

    Good Luck, I'm sure you will love this car.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    I've had the same question. The best I've been able to determine is that the V6 has done very well, but doesn't have the long track record that the Saab I4 has. Although, given the reliability history of Saabs before the late 90's that may not be a bad thing. The I4 is certainly the more quintissential Saab engine, while the V6 came in from GM.

    I was all settled on the V6 myself until they discontinued it this year, making me worry about as well. Why stop making it if it's doing well? The simple explanation may be that Saab is trying to cut production costs, and only building one type of engine is more efficient than building two. I really haven't heard of any hint of a design flaw in the V6 that would make them pull it.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    With GM Europe coming out with all new V6 engines there's no reason for Saab to stay with the older 3.0L design. The 3.0L is/was shared with the Opel/Vauxhall Omega (aka Cadillac Catera) and that car is due for a major makeover soon.

    My guess is that a V6 will be back in the 9-5 line within the next couple years, as soon as Saab can engineer a reliable turbo unit for it. Personally I'd rather see Saab continue development on a V8 for the 9-5 and skip the V6 completely. But GM will have the last say in this matter.
  • Here's an odd one - when driving on the highway several weeks ago, there was a crashing noise from the front drivers side. I saw a flash or two, and thought a can from the road had popped up and hit the front once or twice. I got home to discover the turning lamp assembly had popped out, and was dangling by the wires. I reinserted the assembly, and figured it had been dislodged somehow. A week later, it popped out again, and banged around against the hood and front panel. I called the dealer from the road and service offered an immediate slot to fix it. I went in two days later, and spoke with the sales manager, who indicated that this has been a problem, confirming my suspicions raised by the immediate fix and availability of the part. Any other similar experiences?
  • sound is not the forte of the HK rig. I don't think they got the loudness contour right. Voice sounds boomy at low levels. You can certainly attract attention, though, if you leave loudness on and jack up the bass.

    One of the first things I did when I got my 9-5 wagon home was disable the loudness control. Makes for a *much* more neutral sounding system, IMHO. Also, distortion is pretty low, so that lowers the "boom" factor. But if there's low information in those bits and bytes, the HK *will* produce it.

    You want to boost it artificially, go ahead. Whatever floats your boat. Most folks haven't hear unamplified music enough to know what it really sounds like anyway <G>.

    But try the "flat" setting first. Throw in a nicely recorded live CD (Allison Krause + Union Station Live, Nine Inch Nails Live, whatever...) and crank it up to concert level. You'll get a nice seat of the pants feeling. Clean and natural. Nothing added. And that center channel!!!

    This is, by far the best sounding car system I've ever owned. Better by far than US$2500 in separates I poured into my last car. In a quiet environment like the 9-5, it makes traffic jams on the NJ Turnpike bearable.


    PS: Dparadis, congrats on the Linear. I think it comes closest to what the Swedes had in mind when they designed the car. With the price you paid, have you stopped grinning yet?
  • Thank you all for the responses...

    Just a quick note to mention that I haven't yet been to the dealer with my sound problem (it's that damn day job...). But I have noticed in the interim that the woofer in the back is shot (very little comes out of it, either with or w/o loudness on).

    My litmus test for the quality of sound is AC/DC - Shoot to thrill (Back in Black) from time 3:20 (bass only) on to 3:50 (high pitched fuzz guitar)on with voice a few seconds later. Crank up the sound at the beginning (watch the windows shake!!!) and see if the system carries and supports the dynamics throughout. And that's just the thing; the windows in the SAAB do not shake (Volvo's did...). And believe me, I am not a boom box type. (Home speakers are Mordaunt Short - English I believe). And I do listen to Norah Jones but I think any system can handle that.

    Will post again with update...

    BTW, I have discovered and experimented a bit more with the sports ("S") setting in the 9-5. It is really remarkable. Every other car that I have owned, as far as I know, only added 500 rpm before gear changes. Didn't do much for responsiveness. In the 9-5 however, everything about performance is improved with the S setting. Must be the magic of Turbo (feels like you're riding a rabbit, ...or something like that...). Can only imagine how it is with the Aero.

    Final note, I find the car extremely smooth. I felt like Jerry McGuire riding home form work last Friday, trying to match the music to my mood. ("Just call me angel, of the morning...":-))

    I started with AC/DC (again) and swear to god, ended up in the driveway listening to classical music. The car just soothes the soul... AMEN!!!
  • when you get out of the city lights at night on a smooth stretch of highway is to hit the "night panel" button. Ahhhh. The night just opens up. One of the best features of the car, IMHO.

    But first, get the da***d sub hooked up! If the sound on your reference recording is just OK now, you'd better be wearing one of those adult diapers when you hit "Play".

    Greg (Pro-Ac, Cary, Rogue, AudioQuest wire)

    PS: Agreed on the tightness of the car. Any rattles I've encountered are due to CD's in the door storage areas.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    2 1/2 years, 9-5 wagon, no rattles. hadn't really noticed that until mentioned here(probably because the rattles aren't there to be heard). btw, it's been read ended and had the bumper cover and foam underneath it replaced. to me, the 6 is smoother than the 4. not the primary driver, but i have never tried the sport mode. i don't drive it like a hot rod and the exhaust note doesn't 'push' me to do that. base 4 seems to have plenty of power though, just not as smooth.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I absolutely aggree Faux...

    Most people probabaly don't utilize the Night Panel feature but I think it's awesome. Traveling the expressway at night I activate it and then dim the remaining lights all the way down. Of course once you hit the metro areas and traffic lights etc... it helps to turn everything back up.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    a few more(little)things about our 9-5.
    the backup lights are great, they throw out a lot of light.
    the door seals work great. i don't have to clean the part where the doors and the a,b,c pillars meet.
    that night panel freaks me out when the gauges all drop to zero, and then the dashboard lights go out.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • The V6 and the Saab 4cyl engines in the 9-5 are both good. Which one you should buy depends on your preferences. Here are the differences:

    V6 - It's a discontinued GM of Europe engine with a single bank of cylinders driving a small turbo charger. Due to the turbo's size, it will spin up quickly resulting in almost no turbo lag, but does not really add much power. The result is an ultra smooth engine that is slightly boosted for decent performance. The V6 engine is only mated to the automatic (no manual trannies here), and its only big drawback is it has a timing belt which requires changing every 30k miles. This costs anywhere from four to six hundred dollars depending on who does the work.

    The 4cyl as has already been mentioned is a true designed and built Saab motor. It is well proven and has a lot of performance potential. In the base 9-5 it isn't even close to being used to its potential. There are a lot of aftermarket companies that provide upgrade-kits to get a lot more power out of these engines. I own a 9000 with a similar 2.3 engine that stock has 258 ft/lbs of torque and 225 hp. If well cared for, these engines are bullet-proof. The 4cyl is available either with an auto or a manual transmission and has a life of engine timing chain rather than the ever so temporary V6 timing belt.

    I'd take the 4cyl any day, but if you have no interest in improving the performance of your car, want an automatic, and don't care about changing the timing belt every 30k then the V6 is a fine choice.

    Chad Payne

    '97 9000 Aero
    '02 9-3 SE
  • I'm a long time Saab owner. A 9000 Aero and a 9-3 SE currently reside in my garage. My family is growing and we now have two children (one almost 3, and the other two months old). We are feeling the lure of a minivan, which apparently a lot of people feel once they have their second child. The space issue comes into play, especially when road trips to the grandparents are required. These trips with two small children require a LOT of storage space for the stuff that goes with them. We'd also like the nicety of a video player to keep them occupied and the sliding doors make loading and unloading kids a snap.

    The point of this message is we are on the fence whether we should join the populous minivan crowd, or find our own road and get a 9-5 wagon. The 9-5 wagon would be a lot more fun to drive, but would also be less spacious for road trips and not as good at things like towing a camper trailer.

    As Bill O'Reilly would say, What say you?
  • My kids are now 3 and 6 years old.

    I too for a while felt that I might be better served by a minivan. However, my first reaction with the first born was one of security. I instead bought a Volvo 850 wagon (and then a V70) which I kept through the birth and first years of the second born.

    The lack of extra space I made up by buying an extra large Thule Adventurer box which can then be intalled on a need be basis. The carrying capacity of this accessory is truly amazing.

    With the grandparents living three hours drive away, we know all about the accessories that needed to be brought along (high chair, portable crib,...) The Tuhle always delivered..

    Now that the kids are past the baby stage, I am happpy to have stayed with the "station wagon" instead of the minivan. I figure you need the space for maybe two, three weeks during the year (vacation time). For the other 48 weeks, you end up with a real car.

    Now that I have the 9-5 wagon, my only regret is not having switched before.

    P.S. To be honest, I must admit to having felt some minivan envy during the latest summer holidays. Both of the couples we traveled with had Siennas (albeit with three kids each) and they looked damned comfortable.

    As far as the DVDs go, just watch for the portables that are now coming out ultra cheap. They can be installed on the armrest between the front seats and plugged into the cigarette lighter...

    Good luck!!
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    The V6 timing belt needs replacement every 60K, not 30K. And Saab USA pays for the first replacement.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Good to read these posts. I'm going through this as well with two kids and a new car purchase coming up. A minivan has never been considered, but I'm glad to know that my plan of a wagon + roof carrier has already been tested with good results. :-)
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    My advice, do what's right after careful consideration.

    We have the Wagon and it's fine for us with a 7 & 9 year old but.... We have always had a good size SUV for those trips where storage is needed. AND trust me.. you will need it.

    Our second vehicle is a Honda Pilot. It's a bit bland but an awesome road vehicle with tons of cargo space. If you need things like Strollers (UGH) and Portable Cribs.. don't even dream that you'll get away with the Wagon alone.. Sorry.

    The video thing? I got that with the Pilot and it's a nice feature but.. now that I've found some nice portable DVD players, I wish I would have gotten Honda's Nav System and a portable DVD player. I found an Awesome one at Best Buy that is a single Screen unit where you insert the Disk into the top of the screen. It has a stand and attaching speakers for when you want to use it as a table top.... around $400 if I'm remembering correctly.

    Good Luck
    PS.. The Pilot is much smoother and quieter over the road than our 9-5 Wagon.. it's just bland.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Well, I can only think of two possible explanations here; one being I have some sort of packing ability that goes above and beyond that of mere mortals, or the second being that the trunk of my Volvo sedan is like the TARDIS...the interior is in another dimension and therefore infinite. I can think of no other theories to support why everyone around me seems to need a big honkin' SUV or minivan to move their kid and his/her assorted stuff a distance of greater than 50 yards, whereas on the two midwest-to-east-coast drives we've made, I've been able to get a stroller, Pack n' Play, and various assorted baby stuff plus enough clothes for a week for myself, Mrs. Lance and Lancer 2.0. Clearly more research is warranted, and either way I think NASA or the Air Force should be involved. It's obvious that either I or my car are the solution to their cargo-carrying problems.
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