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Saab 9-5 Wagon



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    we have a lot in common. have 3 lease payments left on our '01 se wagon. the major powertrain differences with a new arc are a 4cyl engine, requiring premium fuel, and a 5 speed auto transmission. also lacks heated rear seats(which we liked), and onstar optional, as you mentioned.
    our car has been pretty good, sid was replaced, chronic oil leak, that was evenually fixed for good (although they pulled the engine looking for it). brakes replaced at 30k(paid for pads and labor, dics were comped). car has been in a couple of collisions, though(no sheet metal replaced).
    what kind of things did they write up as excess wear and tear?
    our dealer called last thursday offering a 3 month early turn in program. btw a 4k incentive expired last monday. did you get a $500 saving certificate?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Reading the above two posts indicates to me that someone who leases a SAAB probably has a lot more options and incentives from SAAB after three years, than a buyer.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    From what you've described, it sounds to me like you have had plenty of things go wrong with this car. In 30,000 miles we havent had any problems. I am suspicious of a small electrical bug that is showing up now though.

    If we end up with a repair history like yours, I will not be entertaining the idea of buying off lease. I certainly would not pay over the Edmunds Used car quote. I honestly belive you could be looking at an expensive repair future.

    FWIW.. the V6 was dropped because of poor sales. I am not a fan of it and think it will prove to be an expensive engine to maintain in the long run. I think Saab is realizing this as well. There is at least one fan here of the V6 but not me. I can't prove or disprove my position but the dropping decision suggests I have a valid concern IMO.

    Good Luck
  • Hi again:

    Well it's been nine months since I purchased my 1999 9-5 wagon. The wagon had 90,000 km. on it at that time. The car is great and has been a delight even through this tough winter we're having in southern Ontario - it is winter and it is Canada! Do not have snows on it but perhaps before next winter will think on it. The Saab seems a bit lower than my Sable wagon. The tracs and ABS have been a real help on the slippery days and the front and rear heated seats a real comfort! Had one headlight replaced already and now need the other replaced at next oil change (soon). Timing belt was changed in summer when it had its large (read $$$) checkup. Saab dealer seems pretty good. I try to keep this black baby clean of salt and etc. but it's tough!

    Will check back from time to time!
  • A 2001 Saab 9-5 wagon is on my list to replace my 1996 Camry DX sedan. Can anyone offer insights into reliability, utility and maintenance cost? Also, whether the 6 cyl is preferable to the 4 cyl? Thanks.
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Posts: 103
    So you too went from a Sable to a Saab. Did you have trouble adjust to the total lack of storage space in the Saab, compared to the Sable? I've never fallen in love with my Saab because of it, especially on family trips when the car is packed. But it's been so reliable and handles so well, apart from the rather "unsettled" ride style. Just curious.
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Posts: 103
    As my post above, I bought a Saab because of its rep for reliability. Have a 2002 Arc wagon with the v6. While i've never been in love with the car due to the lack of storage space and the rougher ride (compared do my 2000 sable wagon), it has proven quite reliable. Had a coolant leak early on, they had to tear the engine apart for 3 days to get to it, but once the dealership fixed, it never was a problem again, and it's the only problem I've had. The battery light goes on in cold weather for some reason, but goes out after a couple of minutes, and I'm told it's just a Saab thing by a few different people. As for the v6 vs the 4 banger, you couldn't pay me to own a 4 cylinder. I drove a linear sedan as a loaner for a few days and to me it drives like a truck compared to the v6. Saab's aren't smooth rides to begin with but the vibration in the 4 was awful (to me.) The v6 may be expensive to maintain once the warranty is up, but I like the performance. So there ya go.
  • Regarding the SFSC inspection of our 2001 9-5 SE Wagon, we may have gotten lucky. There were several scratches and dents (though nothing major), but the exterior was pretty dirty from city snow conditions, and we were only assessed $183 for a 2-3" square dent/scrape -- a fair assessment in my opinion. Incidentally, we were told by our dealer that the parts & labor assessed for such damage tended to be less than what one might spend oneself.

    We decided to return the 2001 SE, paying the disposition fee, repair assessment and over-mileage charge, and purchased a 2004 9-5 Arc Wagon. As of Feb. 13, 2004 in NYC, the $4500 manufacturer incentive and the $500 customer loyalty incentive were both available. Our final price was $32,150 ($35,100 with taxes & fees).

    I should also mention that by turning in the leased 2001 and taking delivery of the 2004 by the day before our last payment was due, we also saved the last lease payment of $443. We should be getting a final bill from SFSC showing the repair bill, disposition fee + tax, and the over-mileage fee, less the amount of the last payment (we had already sent the check away before we decided to buy in a hurry). This forced us to settle for what the dealer had in stock, but he had a Grey Arc with automatic transm. & premium package, and that is pretty much all we wanted.

    After a week, I would say we are satisfied with the 2004 Arc. It handles the same as the 2001 V6, handles lighter and seems to have as much or more pickup. The interior leather seems less luxurious, the grey interior color is a bit lighter, the steering wheel wrap is thinner, and there are no heated rear seats. This and the lack of included OnStar (now $700 as an optional install on the Linear & Arc) may be what's keeping the price of the car down. We probably won't miss OnStar, because they were never able to diagnose a problem or open car doors owing to Saab proprietary policies or something, and the built-in voice activation cell phone was very cumbersome to use (though it was hands free).
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I'm late with this response but .. oh well.

    The v6 was dropped for obvious reasons. They didn't sell well and the i4 is just a better engine. At least compared to the V6 Saab had. It will be expensive as it ages.

    Saabs I4 is a great engine. The reason someone described it as a Truck like is due to the fact that at idle it is not as smooth as the V6 and even other i4's. The reason is because Saab has alot of hp in this small engine as compared to other i4's... Its simply a trade off. If a rougher idle when sitting at stop lights bothers you, don't get the i4 unless it's a 5 or 6 speed that will be in neural at idle.

    IMO.. avoid the v6 unless you'll have a warranty during the life of your ownership. Actually, Saabs are expensive in any form after warranty. ;) We're on our 3rd Saab.

  • sfsaabsfsaab Posts: 1
    I've had 4 Saabs. Two years ago, I had a V6 loaner from the dealer. I was shocked at how loud and course it seemed next to the I-4. Now I own an SE Wagon (V6), and I have grown to like it. Definitely a different personality than the I-4. I always assumed they dropped the V6 to cut on production costs - one engine is easier to develop than two? In 1994 I was disappointed that Saab introduced V6s. However, I think they'll reintroduce them as the model lineup grows. GM must have a lot of V6s to choose from. My Volvo-owning neighbor recently commented on my "Swedish GM." I thought to myself: "better than a Swedish Ford."
  • I completely agree with you, the V6 is by far inferior to the 4.
    The 4 is a genuine proven Saab engine that last forever. I see many on the road with incredibly high mileage that don't burn oil.
    The V6 is based on much less durable Opel engine.
    The brand new Opel engines are probably as good as the Saab nowadays (Opel has improved tremendously lately) but the V6 in the 9-5 is the previous uninspired Opel engine which I found rather loud, rough at high rpm and much less poweful than the 4 in an aero.
  • txrx71txrx71 Posts: 6
    i am strongly considering the purchase of a 9-5 Wagon...but i was reviewing the specs on it..and i noticed nothng was mentioned about any side-impact bags/curtains for those in the rear seat. does this mean sasb does not hve them? can this be possible? since the kiddos are going to be in the back, does that mean the comparable volvo v-70 has a clear safety advantage over saab? any thoughts??? thanks.
  • Yeah, I have an 02 Arc wagon that has every freaking feature under the sun, but I don't believe there's a canopy or side curtain for the rear passengers. Honestly though, how much safety do we need? Kids are automatically safer in the back seat (than the front) to begin with. I picked Saab over Volvo because it had a better rep for reliability. And not that I use them much, but the back seats in my Saab are hands down the most comfortable car seat I've ever sat in, period. Good luck.
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    I just bought a new 2004 SAAB 9-5 Wagon. We recently had some big rain storms and I noticed that the rear hatch is leaking. The dealer says that every thing looks OK, but I believe that there is a slow drip coming down from the top. Is anyone else have the same problem?
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    It's coming in thru the "third" tail light above the hatch. It took me about 30 minutes, a garden hose and a saturday afternoon to figure that one out. I guess they don't have that kind of expertise at the dealership.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Finding leaks is one of the most annoying and difficult things to do. I had one in my Accord during heavy rains and I'd get a little drip on my right ankle. I spent 2 whole afternoons and untold gallons of water and I couldn't duplicate it. Now it's gone away. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH
  • I am a Saab owner, fourth time, with a 2000 Aero 5-speed that is an absolute kick to drive. From the reading I've done, I understand models produced after, I think, 2002 have a higher degree of structural safety built in and perhaps even a few more passive safety elements. I would LOVE to own a newer 9-5 Aero wagon with every possible option except automatic tranny. Can anyone provide edification regarding worthwhile options, worthless or poorly presented ones, any reliability issues relating to optional "stuff" as well as warranties, suggest any alternative audio gear (I'm having display issues ~ the Harmon-Kardon radio functions perfectly, it just 'sometimes' chooses not to display the station or band selected).

    I'd really like to have the Aero wagon that's the "Big Dog in Town" of all local Saabs. If you have had a good or poor experience with improved performance modifications as well as appearance or "stylin'" add-ons, I'd love to hear your story. I don't check the Forums as often as I'd like, but I promise to read, evaluate, and respond to your missives within 2-3 weeks (sooner if possible). My current ride is fine, it's just that it doesn't have a hatch (my first 3 Saabs were 9000s) and is a beautiful shade of Arrest Me Red (I mean Imola Red, of course). I'd like to drive something a bit more subtle, but with a go factor beyond the normal, "This one goes to 11!" If I could drive a wagon that rips off sub-six second dashes to 60, had a decent all-wheel drive system (a la the Pike's Peak 9-3 of a few summers ago), cornered like a 911, and LOOKED like a grocery-getter, I'd spring for it.
  • We've been looking at station wagons since the beginning of the year, and I like the Saab 9-5 wagon. However, after reading the Edmunds Inside Line column on Saab's financial troubles (, I'm worried about buying a car from a manufacturer that may not be around much longer. Should I just go ahead and get a Volvo V70?
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    SAAB will be around. You should go for the 9-5 with an I-4. I have the Aero Wagon, but for all around use, I'd recommend the Arc. I think that the SAAB ergonomics are better, it's quieter and the Harmon Kardon stereo (optional) is really nice. It's a lot more solid than the V70. If you're thinking used - stay away from the SE V6. The 9-5 with an I-4 has a lot in common with the 9000. If your concerned about maintenance, there are independents around who have been servicing the I-4 config for 18 years.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    SAAB is not really a manufacturer. It's now just a brand in the GM conglomerate. The General can keep it alive as they're doing with Saturn, or they can shelve it like Oldsmobile... strictly a corporate decision.

    Host - Wagons
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    But what auto company is a manufacturer? Just about all auto parts are outsourced. Over the past 50 year SAAB has made a significant impact on the auto world. About 40 years ago SAAB marketed a unibody, fwd, fuel injected, 4 wheel disk car with safety crumple zones. Now nearly all vehicle are built to this recipe. Can't say the same for Saturn and Olds. If SAAB plays their cards right, they'll use the GM financial backing to their advantage and be out in front of the pack in the years to come.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Sorry, but SAAB isn't able to determine how they play their cards. When enlisted men from different countries play cards with a General, whose rules do you think they use?

    If GM really wanted to have SAAB perform in the marketplace they would start with a product as least as advanced as Volvo or Audi. That means a quick phone call to Haldex for an AWD system to throw under their vehicles, adding more differentiation to the AERO with a high revving V6 stolen from Holden or someone, aluminium pedals, etc. Maybe even adding additonal segmenation by having a stripped down, low MSRP, wash it out with a hose, outdoorsy version of the 9-3 like Nissan does with the Xtera. The early 20's crowd would eat it up.

    Then they would borrow a page from Saturn and have transaction prices fairly close to MSRP (i.e, no more fictitous list prices that no one pays and that only cheapens the brand) and a better ownership experience. Believe it or not they might try to support some of the Saab groups (New England Saab Owners, for one) still out there.

    But the biggest problem is the product. The potential SAAB buyer may be different but he ain't stupid: four cylinders and 2WD don't make it anymore in the (winter) niche that SAAB invented. (I can remember when half the faculty at Cornell was running two stroke SAABs with canvas snap on covers across the radiators for cold mornings in Ithaca. What AWD Swedish and German cars do you think they now drive?).
  • bcoolbcool Posts: 59
    Oh, I forgot to mention turbocharging and vehicle aerodynamics as some of SAAB other developments. Many vehicle today don't achieve the low drag coefficients that SAABs of the sixties had. Other manufacturers have resorted to the V6 for more power. SAAB focused it's development on the turbo 4. This is the better environmentally friendly fuel efficient option. Fuel efficiency, environmental impact and occupant safety have always been foremost in the SAAB design. 4WD SUV's were not part of the vision. Even today's AWD/4WD vehicles don't get the fuel economy that 2WD cars get. Don't forget about the additional maintanence required for the AWD option.

    However, I agree with you. SAAB would have been better off in the market place had they offered an AWD option.

    As for safety, Saturn and similar vehicles just don't cut it. SAAB has (or had) extremely high standards with crash investigations and testing being a significant part of the vehicle design process. Testing is an important part of the design process, however it is also the most expensive. I also doesn't stick out on the show room floor.

    Interesting comment about the 2 cylinder SAABs in Ithaca. I remember going to Aspen Co. in the 1980's. Their police department was using a SAAB fleet.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Funny you mention Aspen, I think I recall an ad series about 5 or so years ago where they had Land Rover Discoveries. I guess that they are very open to new vehicles. I'm continually amazed that the state police in northern New England stick exclusively to one of two vehicles: either the Ford Crown Vic or in NH brown/green (you gotta see it to appreciate how bad a color scheme it is) Chevrolets. Come on guys, there are better alternatives out there for the six months a year you need a modicum of traction. The State Police in MA have a significant number of Expeditions which isn't the solution. Maybe Chrysler can put some 300's or Dodge Magnums with AWD in these fleets.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Don't get so excited by the fact that Aspen uses SAAB's. The city gets a cut rate deal from SAAB to use them.

    Also, Volvo may replace them soon:

    Also Dodge announced a Charger police version with both 6 cylinder and Hemi powerplants at the NY auto show last week which will be available this fall.
  • Just a followup -- my wife and I did another test drive of the Volvo V70 and the Saab 9-5 Arc wagon. In the end, we just liked the 9-5 Arc wagon much better, and we picked it up over the weekend. We love it!

    So I guess we overcame the fear over Saab's financial health, and hopefully our purchase will keep them solvent a while longer. :)
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Congrats Wilb!

    You'll love the Saab. We're nearing the end with our 3rd Saab, 2002 Steel Grey Wagon. This one is a lease and I DON'T want to turn it in. If Saab financial would give me a decent buy out, I'd buy it but that's not looking good at this point. So May 11th could be a sad day here. We've had Two 9-5's and althougth they are getting a bit Dated by 2005 Standards, they are still Amazing cars!

    Sadly, I see Saab has taken out some of the features available in earlier years.

    As far as Comments I've seen on this page about GM and Saab etc.:

    Yeah, the General is in control and they've done at least Two REALLY Bonehead moves. First, the Saabaru then the SaabBlazer. What a Shame. Look that the HIT Volvo had with a great SUV design. They can't keep them on the lot even at the insane Volvo pricing and Horrible Electronic Problems.

    I've read recently GM dropped the planned Saab/ Subaru version of the Tribecta and do an SUV Saab on a different GM chasis more in line with what they did for the new 9-3. That should be better. The 9-3 hit a good mark IMO. Take a look at the BMW X3 next time you see one on the road. Imagine a Saab grill on it and you think.. wow now that looks exacly like a Saab design similar to the last versions of the original 900. Think of it next time you see one, you'll see it too.

    Also, I find in encouraging that GM plans to design and build a new European Cadillac at the Saab plant in Sweden. Now that could keep Saab on a respirator.

    I'm hopeful
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Is the 9-5 really more solid than the current-gen Volvo S60/V70?
  • I guess it depends on your definition of "solid". We felt that the specific parts of the 9-5's ride that we liked was the way it handled cornering, and a zippier feeling engine. The Volvo did have a plusher feeling ride, and was a little quieter, but in the end the Saab won out for us.

    Reliability data seems to consistently place Saab ahead of Volvo, although neither are in the same class as Japanese brands. The interesting thing that I found was that both Saab and Volvo seemed to do better than most German car brands in reliability among German car owners. Again, Saab did better than Volvo in this poll.
  • sschribersschriber Posts: 89
    Looking for a midsize wagon and the 9-5 caught my eye. Haven't test driven yet but I found a potential problem when I sat in a sedan last night. Even with the seat lowered all the way, the head clearance seems to be minimal and in this position, you lose all of your thigh support. Any thoughts or similar experiences?
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