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Saab 9-5 Wagon



  • kandacekkandacek Posts: 5
    I've been pestering my local dealer for a test drive. When I went a few weeks ago they had *one* 9-5 sedan on their showroom floor. They had a v-6 wagon on order and were going to let me know when it came in so I could drive it, but it was sold before it even arrived. Wahh. Currently they have no 9-5s period, but plan to order a couple of wagons soon, but they will be the 4-cyl. Since the closest I've ever been to a Saab was at the dealer a few weeks ago, I want to test drive one before I make any firm committment to buy.They sound good, now if I can just manage to find one to check out. :-( I really want a new car by the end of the summer, and had hoped not to get a 2000, but the later it gets the less likely that is. Bummer.
  • bustabusta Posts: 1
    Hello I have been shooping for a volvo for 5 years ever since 850 came out... now its so far that they're releasing the V40 and in 2 years a V80!!??? But I want to get a wagon by the end of summer. Now I heard of this new Saab 9-5 which is giving more mileage than V70 also more taller than the XC version with a very nice price... I also have my eyes on the V40 but I cant make up my mind between Saab or V40??? Can some one help!!!
  • garvgarv Posts: 1
    busta, Saab 9-5 vs the V40, no brainer. The Saab will blow it away. Bigger, Faster, Better looking, and Probably at a similar price. The Saab 9-5 in my opinion beats the V70. If your considering the V40, you should be considering the VW Passat or the Subaru Legagy wagons. I have done extensive research and test drives and will be ordering a Saab 9-5 over the Volvo V70XC and the Audi A6. If you need any info, please let me know.
  • gclugclu Posts: 23
    I have to agree with garv, no comparison when it comes to a Saab 9-5 vs. a V40 -- although I can't say that I've driven a V40 yet. The V40 is priced and sized to compete with the likes of the 2000 Legacy, Passat, and A4 Avant 1.8T. Expect MSRP to be around $25-28 K. There will be no AWD version (just FWD) so its unlikely to match the performance of the A4 -- I anticipate it will compete more with those looking at the Passat -- ie more refined, less performance oriented.
    If you need the cargo capability of the 850/V70 then the 9-5 is the right competitor. The V40 is classified as a sub-compact wagon and has a smaller cargo space compared to big brother V70.

    Hope the info helps

  • gclugclu Posts: 23
    see topic #218 , response #5 for the prices on the V40
  • spencer1spencer1 Posts: 2
    Anyone know of Canadian (Montreal, Toronto) dealers willing to sell 95 wagon off the net? does this make sense with the favorable exchange rates, or did the Canadian dollar fall against the Krona too?
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    The wife & I just bought the 9-5 Wagon in Midnight Blue with the dark leather. WOW! For anyone considering this nifty car, allow me to share our experience:

    We were first turned on to the wagon by Warren Brown, (the superb) car reviewer for The Washington Post. You can read his review on The Wagon review will be the more recent of the two 9-5 reviews he has listed (March 99?). As DC residents, if Warren Brown likes it, we like it.

    We also read every other review we could find -- perhaps 15 in all, being sure to note all the positives and negatives and to check each out on our two test drives. IMHO, the negatives, such as the mirrors being too small, were minor things that any driver would probably forget about or subconciously correct for after a couple days of getting accustomed to the car.

    The long and the short of is that SAAB engineers put of lot of good ideas into this car (Why can't the American auto-makers do this?). That SAAB chose to make a lot of "good things" standard in this vehicle means that they're serious about meeting people's needs. (Although there could be more storage space and cup holders for the rear passengers, but that's a minor point for me.) I also thought the $695 sliding shelf was too much to pay for the 12 or so inches it extends.

    We shopped against other wagons: Legacy Outback, V70, Passat and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.
    The Jeep was probably our second choice, but the heartburn associated with the SUV bandwagon was a bit much for me. Pursestrings note: 9-5 Wagon with leather and automatic compares to a fully loaded Grand Cherokee. Don't buy the myth that some of the SUVs carry more cargo: There really is no difference on the gross cargo capacity (@ 73 cu. feet for each!)

    The bottom line was that the 9-5 wagon offered for us the unique combination of style, utility, elan, and pricing for what we sought: An anti-SUV that can serve as the family car.

    I heartily echo the other posters on this message board who noted specific advantages in the design and execution of the car. No need to repeat them here. New users are advised to skim the entire message history in this list.

    I'm not one to wear blinders...and it was all I could do not to remain objective once we got the inkling that this would be our car. But I think we made the rational and correct choice and I'm proud to own this pleasantly quirky set of wheels.

    I'll post more as we drive it about.
  • cermakcermak Posts: 2
    Ready to get a new wagon and considering both the Passat and 9-5. Does anyone have experience trying to fit a 6'-6" tall driver in these cars? Dimensions don't mean much as far as actual driver position, comfort and legroom. Also - does anyone know if a 4' wide sheet of plywood could fit in the cargo opening, without tilting?

    When I drove the 9-3 a few months ago, it seemed to have much less visibility than the Passat. Is this a Saab characteristic? Could I learn to accept it?
  • ckamm1ckamm1 Posts: 2
    I've been to and it seems like they're legit - email back to my queries sounds like it's easy to get invoice price here (only drawback is that I'd have to go from Ann Arbor, MI to Eastern PA to pick up the car, or pay a delivery fee). I'd rather buy local, but my local dealer seems to balking at matching the invoice price. I'd appreciate hearing from others on their price negotiation experiences with Saab dealers.
  • allynvallynv Posts: 2
    I just test drove a 9-5 Wagon and I'm really impressed. I'm comparing it to an A6 and a Volvo XC. I drove the A6... it is really slow. I haven't driven the XC.. but, the styling is pretty boring. I like just about everything in the 9-5, but the sound system. Does it just take some getting used to? The speakers in the front are mounted on the dash. Seemed like all sound was from the front. Can any of you 9-5 Wagon owners comment on this? Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whether to go with the Auto 4clndr, Manual 4clndr or Auto 6 clndr.

  • I need a little advice regarding the value of the Tracs system provided with the 6 cylinder versus the 4 cylinder without. Also, are there any other issues to be aware of between the two besides the 30 horsepwer? thanks!
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    I found the sound system to be adequate and on par with the rest of the vehicle. Presumably you have toyed with the fader to send more sound to the rear speakers. Am I correct that the only upgrade you can put on the stereo is the CD changer?

    Respectifully, if the sound system is the major sticking point, then I think you may be missing the point about what's great in the car. Others might disagree, but we found sufficient difference in the designs and features between the 9-5 and X70 to be convinced long before we turned on the radio.
  • Our local dealer called me this afternoon to let me know they had a wagon in. I mean it literally just showed up, they hadn't even gotten it off the truck yet. It won't be prepped until tomorrow for me to drive, but my husband and I went to take a look at it tonight. SHARP! Unfortunately it's a 4-cyl so it doesn't have the trac control (which I want if I can't get my RX300). This one is white. We've had a white car before and I got tired of it, but I don't think I'd get tired of this one. However, it has the gray/black interior. Can we say *hot* in the summer? My husband was suitably impressed. He likes it, though he'd prefer a stick. I can't wait to see what it drives like.
  • bassoonbassoon Posts: 7
    I need to order a car soon and I am down to the saab versus the audi a6. to the people who just got the saab wagon - did you get the v4 or v6. I really like the idea of traction control if I cannot get the quattro drive. Also, did you find the steering wheel feels like you are driving a truck?
  • goohousegoohouse Posts: 10
    ckamml: Regarding your questions on pricing, I suppose this is a function of the local competition, but when I bought my 9-5 wagon recently, two separate dealers in the Boston region were selling at invoice. I have also noted that the online price quotes you refer to have dropped over the past few months: I have seen quotes from them with approx. $1000 over invoice as recently as May, but note that they are now selling at invoice. With the 2000's coming soon, they should be dealing on the 99's. The people at SAAB are saying to expect about a 3% price increase for the 2000's.

    basson: I purchased the 4 cylinder 9-5 wagon (the v-6 is currently unavailable). Initially I was disappointed that there was no traction control available, But I've come through the worst two winters on record in Boston (93-4 and 95-6) with old SAAB 900's with no problems. In Boston, it would be my preference to get a FWD over AWD. A recent Car and Driver comparison test of AWD versus snow tires essentially showed that AWD only had an advantage with regard to acceleration and hill climbing. Two wheel drive with snow tires was better with regard to lateral acceleration grip and braking (the extra weight of an AWD system represents a disadvantage in here).
  • MiroMiro Posts: 15
    just to get things straight:
    the 4 cyl is an inline 4
    the 6 cyl is a v-6
  • After reading this thread and the Volvo v70's, i ventured to the showrooms yesterday, 90% committed to the 9-5 wagon. I happened to have the rear passenger windows down. At about 25mph, we experienced a serious air buffeting (pulsing) that was probably about 105db. We also noticed what seemed to be a doubling of the interior air pressure. It was quite painful, but disappeared when the window was closed. We tried it on open roads and next to Jersey barriors, same result. Perhaps it is unique to the car I drove, but I can't believe that. A car with this technology should not cause pain when driven. How did this happen with their much touted aircraft engineers?

    Any similar experiences? I'm buying the Volvo!
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    Nice to see more comments, pro and con, on the Saabs.

    4 Cyl. I would guess most people reflexively prefer the V-6, 3.0 L...and it just may be a better option. But (1) they weren't available (2) we couldn't/didn't want to wait until September when the sales guy told us they'd be in and (3) I wasn't able to ascertain if the delay is due to manufacturing/component problems they had to solve or mere supply/demand problems. That said, the 4 cyl 2.3 L. is a proven engine in Saabs, if a little underpowered. I'm learning to love it and that little growl it makes. With the no-lag turbo, it has proven more than adequate to power the car and it offered excellent freeway acceleration (read "afterburners") when I was dodging the *$^&$##%* pebbles trickling off the bed of the landscaping company truck 4 car lengths ahead.

    Grey Leather. Just another perspective on color choice. Our car is garaged morning noon and night, so heat retention wasn't a concern. DIRT is, and our beige leather Infiniti never seems to come clean to our satisfaction.

    Steering. We read a couple of reviews that had knocks on the steering. No complaints as yet.

    Buffeting. Interesting observation. Will check out tonight. It's a steamy summer in DC and that means cranking that auto climate control down to 64 and Recirc, baby!
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    Is it just me, or does the fabric upholstery on Saabs not hold up well. I stuck my head in a new 9-3 with the beige fabric interior and I wasn't impressed.

    When pondering our interior options on the 9-5 wagon, I was noted the poor condition of the fabric upholstery on a couple of older 900s in for service at the dealership. The paint on some of those older Saabs was in poor shape too (topside surfaces were oxidized).

    Is this a unique Saab problem? Or are the owners of these older 900s just Slaabs?

    Does anyone have any experience to share?
  • snaabsnaab Posts: 72
    Haa. S(l)AABS!
  • ckamm1ckamm1 Posts: 2
    spencer1: We had the same experience when my son put down a rear window with no other windows open.
    Interesting to hear that someone else had the same experience. It was a very loud, throbbing bass that hurt the ears worse than any subwoofer I've heard. Won't put me off from buying the car, but certainly curious that such a flaw made it through engineering.
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    We too experienced the air buffeting, which I would characterize as severe at freeway speeds. Given Saab's claim of aircraft inspired design, I would also characterize this little flaw as "severly disappointing". On the other hand, what aircraft flies around with the canopy or any windows open? Nevertheless, I expect more from Saab.

    Like CKamm, we won't be deterred. In fact, we can't be, since we already own. One of the reasons we missed this little feature in the test drive was the incredible heat wave going on this summer. So we had the excellent AC cranked down for the durations of our test drives. We'll develop a work around. And all the while, we'll take advantage of the superior climate control built into the car.

    To judge this car on this minor shortcoming alone would be to shortchange the overall benefit. Did anyone notice the triple sealed doors and the lack of wind noise while cruising? In fact, by the same standard (i.e. miscellaneous design flaws here and there), many other cars should never even make it off the design floors. I stack our Saab 9-5 Wagon against any competing American, European or Japanese wagon. New buyers considering Saabs ought to perform this buffeting test, determine their tolerance, and perform the same test on the other wagons during test drives. I'd like to know the results.

    I hope that Saab marketing reps monitor these boards. And I hope they convey our severe disappointment to the guys in Sweden at this little design flaw. (That, and positioning on the control stalks...they can't been seen behind the steering wheel spokes!. And why don't they illuminate the stalks and steering wheel controls in the first place?) Fixes anyone?

    Fire Away! For if we don't disclose these little things, we can't expect them to improve.
  • gclugclu Posts: 23
    Am I to assume that these episodes occured with only one rear window open? If thats the case, its been my experience that this occurs to some degree on many cars/trucks due to the aerodynamics of that particular vehicle. And when it does occur, it is typically when the window is open to a certain amount -- usually I notice this with the sunroof open part way. In any event, the buffeting resolves with opening another window.

    I would agree with Glennn though, that I wouldn't hold this "design flaw" against the Saab -- its still on our short list for the next family vehicle.

    Just my 0.02

  • I have the same problem on the sedan.

    Opening the sunroof relieves the noise quite a bit.
  • raaraa Posts: 1
    This was in response to another Saab station wagon conference that got redirected here.
    I also test drove the Audi station wagon. I thought it was a marvelous car EXCEPT it was underpowered. I would never consider buying it because of this one flaw. If they came out with a V-8 version...
  • wcfwcf Posts: 21
    Is anyone aware of aftermarket anti-roll bars for the Saab that are stiffer than stock? I know I can equip the car with Koni shocks, but I would like a thicker pair of anti-roll bars to quell the understeer and reduce the roll.
  • dblotdblot Posts: 5
    I've been following this topic for the last several weeks as we shopped for a new car. After a lot of test drives of various models at various price ranges, we came to the conclusion that the Saab wagon was quite a value for the money, even though it is definitely not an inexpensive car. Picked ours up this past weekend. I know a lot of dealers are low on inventory of these cars because we talked to a fair number of dealers as we tried to find the color we wanted (Frost gray). But for the dealers that do have inventory, we were eventually able to get all of them to agree to sell the car at invoice. I even had one dealer call me back today to see if we had bought one over the weekend because they were prepared to make further price concessions.

    It seems to be an opportune time to buy one since every dealer I talked to is expecting Saab to increase the prices on these cars 3% next year and to make some standard features like the sunroof options on the 2000 models. I got the same info when I called Saab to ask about pricing for the 2000's. I'm sure that as the month draws to a close there will be even better deals available on these cars. And next month the deals will probably get even better. But we were afraid to wait that long, since for this price, we decided we really did want a particular color. For those not so choosy, I hope you can get an even better deal than we did. In the meantime, my wife absolutely loves driving the car!!
  • allynvallynv Posts: 2

    Congratulations on your new 9-5. I had a similar experience in terms of dealer competition for my business. I live in NY and have been a BMW owner for about 10 years. I decided to by my car at Garden City Saab. They were competitive on price, but seemed to offer personalized service at the level that I was used to at BMW.

    Like you, I love the 9-5 Wagon. I bought the 4Cylndr and still can't believe the acceleration in Sport Mode. My highway mileage has been good. Around town has been fairly poor. Hopefully, it is due to the break in of the engine. What octane gas have you used? The manual says 87, but recommends 90. Where I live, the choices are 87, 89, 93, 94. My only gripe about the car.... the tires transmit a fair amount of road noise into the car, especially on bumpy roads.

    Best of luck with your car!
  • dblotdblot Posts: 5

    We just filled the car today. I told my wife the manual recommended 90 octane, but she used 93 since she thought the car needed at least 90. I happened to talk to our dealer today and they said 89 was what they recommended. Good thing given the price of 93 octane gas these days. As far as mileage, I haven't paid much attention to it yet. Thought we'd let the engine break in a bit.
  • gozartgozart Posts: 9
    Congratulations to both of you! I am glad you've joined the club. Just had our 1000 mile service. The car is great. The dealer disappointed us with the loaner (we expected something much better/safer than a Ford Escort, but that's another story).

    We took the car on a road trip from DC to NY and were AMAZED at the cargo capacity with the seats down. And the car handled well fully loaded. No complaints on the road.

    For the record, we're using 92 or 93. I can't bring myself to put "lower grade" juice in the tank.
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