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Saab 9-5 Wagon



  • mrj - Earlier postings suggest that the new model will be more expensive and some standard features will be options . I've had no bugs in the 1999, and love the car. I have a staqndard and will ge getting snows, so the tractin control is not something I really wanted.
  • I just purchased a 1999, 2.3, auto, with heated and vented seats.Paid invoice plus $500 to get car I wanted shipped from another dealer out of state.A 2000 would have cost me about $2,300 more, assuming 3% over invoice, even more if I didn't get black, since the new models charge more for metalic paint. Traction control would be nice, but with the winter mode, should be almost as good. Also wasn't sure if I'd like the new 10-spoke wheels. Does anyone know if the 9-5 has a 18.5 or a 19.8 gal tank? Most reports say 18.5, but brochure and one place in manual say 19.8 Another place in manual says 18.5!! What gives?
  • One other consideration: Saab's offering
    0% three-year financing and 2.9% four-year
    financing on 1999 models through the end
    of the month. Details at Saab's web
  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    lunderwood - I couldn't find the finance info at, but I'll check with my dealers. Do you know if SAAB is also still offering the 3 yr free maintenance? All in all, could be the right month to buy a 9-5 wagon!
  • mrj: The financing info is a little less
    intuitive than it was before the site's overhaul (when all you had to do was click on "Marketplace"), but it's there. Click on "Saab services," then "financing and leasing." For some reason, the financing info is under the "lease" link. (The "purchase" link looks to be a listing of 2000 model prices.) I've not heard about free
    maintenance. Hope this helps!
  • gclugclu Posts: 23

    Saab does not offer a "free maintenance" program similar to the standard programs of Audi, BMW, and now Mercedes.

    What they do offer is coverage for "adjustment and wear items" for the first 1 yr or 16,000 miles (which ever comes first). When I asked the salesperson during a test drive, he said this did not cover routine oil changes, but did cover tire rotations, alignments, etc. I'm still not quite sure what the exact coverage is (I haven't specifically asked to see it in writing, yet).

    Hope the info helps

  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    2 competitive local dealers told me (in September) that SAAB was offering THREE year 50K FREE comprehensive maintenance through the end of September. I was then told by an independent SAAB service center that this program might be extended, but I have not verified that with the dealers. I know what I heard!!
  • gclugclu Posts: 23

    That's certainly new (and good) information to my ears!! -- I wasn't questioning what you heard / know, only stating what I've been told by the one and only Saab Dealer in Birmingham and from their brochures.
    I'll check back with the dealership to inquire specifically about the maintanence program. Is it possible, this is a program only applicable to your state / area for now? Additionally, is the program good if your car is serviced outside of the region at any Saab Dealer/ service center?
    I remember a few years ago, prior to BMW offering free scheduled maintanence on all their cars, some of the area dealerships were offering this for "a limited time" to attract business from other area dealers. Its possible that Saab is "testing the waters" with this program with the possibility of making this standard similar to the other European makers! Lets hope so!

  • For what it's worth, a report I read about the 9-5 SEDAN listed its fuel tank as 19.8 gal. Everything I've read about the 9-5 wagon has listed the fuel tank as 18.5. I suspect (but have no written reason to support it!) that the wagon's rollout cargo floor may use space that in the sedan is used to accommodate the larger fuel tank. They both have a spare tire well that will hold a full size spare so I don't think that factor impinges on tank size in the wagon.
    On a different topic, does anyone know if traction control will be available on the 2000 model as an option with the 4 cylinder engine?
  • gclugclu Posts: 23
    Here's a copy of the link regarding the changes to the MY 2000 Saabs. Apparently, TC will be standard now on all 9-5s

  • aasdfaasdf Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard? They have a diesel in all the other models, don't they? I've not heard a word about the wagon--that would definitely put me in the "buy" column...
  • bloatbloat Posts: 1
    I've been looking quite hard at and for a new wagon. never owned a Saab and am a little tentative but love the wagon. Is the 2.3 with A/T powerful enough for regualar driving with a couple kids and stuff for long trips. Should I buy now or wait? any help will be much.
  • Ready to purchase a V4 9-5 Saab wagon in midnight blue or black...down to the simple questions now.
    Does anyone notice a difference in performance between an automatic transmission or a manual? Manuals are rare in the midwest in station wagons, so even though my first choice would be manual, the automatics are easier to get. Any thoughts?
    Also, with kids I naturally thought the grey leather interior would be best, but it is a darker grey than I had in mind, so may go with the tan/ I crazy for making this choice with kids, dirt, upkeep of lighter color?
    Thanks anyone for responding!
  • Just purchased 9-5 wagon with automatic 4 cylinder. I test drove both manual and auto and felt the auto was just as fast and much more user friendly. Also drove the six. Liked it but not enough to pay the difference. I'm really impressed with the four. It works so well because of the torque comes in at such a low rpm - 1800. Buy the auto you will be happy today and at trade in time. I would go with the charcoal gray and no perferations on the seats given the kid factor. Which ever combo you get you will love the car. This is my first SAAB having been in BMW's for the pass 25 years.
  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    I just bought a 99 2.3 auto wagon for $3,500 BELOW invoice (loaded for $29,388) Basically, there is a SAAB dealer rebate of $3,500 and most dealers with inventory are pushing to get remaining 99s out the door. I looked hard at Volvo XC and the Audi. Saab was best value and fun to drive in my opinion. Wanted to love the Audi, but slowwww and everyone else has a Volvo, plus my wife hated the brick look.
  • I went for the midnight blue/beige combo. I think it looks terrific, as does my wife(by far the more important factor!) I once owned a navy car with navy interior - never again. The dirt shows inside, and during the summer the inside reaches boiling in 3 seconds. Good luck
  • hc3hc3 Posts: 5
    We've driven the Saab wagon in both 4 manual and V6 automatic. We really wanted to love the manual, but compared to the V6, it was pretty sluggish. We also drove the Volvo V70 and liked the manual and not the automatic. The Saab automatic had the Volvo automatic beat hands down. We are down to the Saab V6 automatic and the Volvo V70 manual. Anyone been faced with this decision, and if so, what tipped you either way?
  • sds3sds3 Posts: 1
    Over the years, I've had several Saabs starting with a '76. They've always been manual, always normally aspirated, as the conventional wisdom at that time was that the autos/turbos were trouble.
    Any recent owners have an opinion on this? I don't think Consumer Reports gets down to this level of detail in their reliability assessments. I'd love a wagon, but these two items are making me wary...seems a manual might have less resale value.
  • astecastec Posts: 5
    I have decided to buy a 9-5 wagon with a 4 cylinder engine. Today, however, I decided to consult my mechanic and he strongly advocated
    that I get a V6. The rationale was that a smaller engine has to work harder to pull the car and generates more heat. Saab's are designed and tested in Sweden which is much colder than California, where I live. This extra heat (as compared to V6 plus difference in climate) has an adverse affect on engine life, gaskets, etc.
    Also, he thought that the car might feel somewhat underpowered, when it takes full load (4 people + gear) when I go skiing in the Sierra Nevada
    Mountains. I have no way of test driving it in the hills, thus any comments from those who have driven in the mountains would be greatly appreciated.
    With respect to the engine life question, I realize that the car has not been out
    long enough to make an assessment, however I feel that the same principle probably applies to engines in other makes. All comments and opinions are welcome.
  • I bought the 9-5 wagon with the 2.3 four. I find it to be very strong, especially in "sport" mode. The only time it lags is off the line, but otherwise, goes like most other 200hp cars. As for overheating, this car benefited from the GM testing grounds, extensively in Arizona. It also has a turbo intercooler and an engine oil cooler. I don't expect any problems in this area. I haven't driven in the mountains yet, but sure look forward to it. Best combination of ride and handling of the many sport luxury cars that I tested. Love to drive this car!!
  • My current 1987 9000 is almost 13 years old and pushing 300K miles, still with the original turbo. Changing engine oil/filter routinely, and allowing about 30 seconds for cool-down after operating car has done the trick. Omit these and you're looking for an expensive repair.
    The original auto trans went out the first year, and was replaced under warranty without issue. This was the first year for automatics in a 9000, I believe, and I expect there were a few design defects present. The replacement lasted until about 200K miles, and its replacement is running like new. Again, do the service when it's time and it, too, will last.
  • phc6yphc6y Posts: 1
    Anyone know about fitting three kids in car seats in the back seat of a 9-5 wagon? Seems like a stretch.
  • wcfwcf Posts: 21
    On 21 Oct, my wife and I picked up our black 9-5 with manual transmission in Sweden. It was a very pleasant experience. I am happy to report that the suspension seems somewhat firmer than the '99 models I drove; it still provides a good ride, but is more controlled on the twisties. The leather inserts for the doors are much better looking than the fabric in our opinion. Due to the break-in period, I didn't go over 90 mph, but it cruises well on the autobahn. The brakes seem to be excellent with good feel. At this point, I can't point out any weaknesses with the car, although it will take a while to feel comfortable using the trip computer with the manual firmly in hand.

  • astecastec Posts: 5
    When shopping for 9-5 wagon I noticed a window sticker showing emissions level on the scale of 0 to 1 (the lower the better). I was quite surprised to see that it was 0.7, as Hondas have 0.34 and I have seen mention of LEV in the Saab literature and EcoPower sign on the powerplant. Swedes and other Nordic nations seem to be very environment conscious. What could possibly explain this high emission level? Is this turbo related?
  • Although I personally only have two kids, I have put three in the back seat of our 9-5 Wagon. You are correct in assuming that it is a bit tight, but it works. You didn't say how old your kids are, the three that I have put in back were in a combination of Kangaroo boosters and an Evenflo Ultara 5. The available integrated booster seats make fitting 3 in back much easier, as they take up less room and don't block the seatbelt clasps. My question is why you'd want three kids that close together ... I hope it's a short ride.
  • hc3hc3 Posts: 5
    We were about to bite the bullet on the 9-5 V6 when my wife expressed concern about being able to cart more than 3 kids under the age of 12 in a car with a front seat air bag. That got us thinking about the Volvo V70 with the third seat in the back. Safety is a huge concern for us and we were wondering whether anyone has had experience with rear end damage in the Volvo with passengers in the third seat. We don't want to put a child under 12 in the front seat of the Saab but we also don't want to jeopardize the safety of anyone riding in the third seat in a Volvo. Any thoughts would be helpful.
  • astaasta Posts: 122
    Thanks for an informative board. I'm comparing wagons and I'm wondering how Saab 9-5 owners feel about either the Audi A4 or A6. I test drove the A6 yesterday and loved the ride. Plus when I was at a recent auto show here in southern california I was told the Saab does not offer any sort of AWD option, compared to Audi's Quattro, which seems pretty well established and solid. I am also considering the VW Passat in a V6 with AWD if VW ever intro's it for the US market. I wasn't much impressed with the Volvo - bland, uncomfortable interior that didn't make any ergonomic sense to me. Has anyone done direct test drive comparison with the Audi wagon and the Saab? I've never owned a non-american car so this would be a first for me, going European. Thanks in advance!
  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    I am a long time Audi owner (audi 90, 100) and love the brand. However, when it came time to replace the family minivan with a more agile people mover, I looked at everything, including the A4 Avant (too small), A6 Avant(way too sluggish), Volvo XC (too common, boring, owner issues) every SUV (too ridiculous for around town hauling), and finally.....ta da....the SAAB 9-5 Wagon. The SAAB won for a unique combination of performance, price, safety and overall feel. The 99s are dirt cheap (if you can find one) and are incredible values. Regarding AWD - I spent a lifetime in the mountains driving w/ FWD cars. FWD with good winter tires is all you need for most road situations. I believe AWD lulls many drivers into a false sense of security - resulting in more crashes. Colorado statistics support this - there is an inordinate amount of SUV wrecks in the mountains vs. SUV total cars. Buy the SAAB! Or wait for Audi to boost the power of the A6 Avant - still my dream car!!
  • Asta: Your post on "185" says "bland, uncomfortable interior that didn't make any ergonomic sense to me"

    Tell us more. What is uncomfortable? What is weird about the control layout? Car and Drive had the same comment about the ergonomics about the V70R AWD a few months ago so you aren't alone. I have an XC and its the most comfortable, well designed car I've ever owned. Nice soft Ivory leather, burled walnut trim, "soft touch" dash board and the ignition is on the steering column where it belongs ;-). I think Saab makes "neato" cars and we will test the Wagon in a year or two when our Volvo 940 is ready to retire but to compare a Saab and Volvo and say the Volvo is weird it a stretch.

    Let's call it a draw. They both have their quirks and it depends on the person.
  • astaasta Posts: 122
    stumeister - my impressions of the Volvo were at an Auto Show, so I cannot speak for the vehicle's ride, which is obviously the ultimate determinant, among other factors. Ergonomics can be a personal thing, depending on an individual's height, arm and leg length, weight, etc. For me the Volvo was excessively upright and stiff in the interior seats. The instrument panel and radio/air console did not feel "intuitive", as opposed to say the Audi. I don't recall if I saw any other wagons with ignitions on any place other than the steering column (enlighten me if so). But, I did find the Volvo gearbox, again stiff, blocky, and uncomfortable for my tastes (ergo - ergonomics :)

    I should probably drive the Volvo because the sales rep at the atuot show said I looked him up on-line he's give me 300 bucks over invoice on that top-of-the-line AWD model! We all know about Volvo's vaunted safety record - how does their reliability history rate? Sounds like you're happy.

    As far as the A6 being underpowered - I didn't get to really "let it out" on my test drive as we were in a small, residential neighborhood. Did you feel underjuiced for a 6, compared to the A4? Or were you planning on doing some towing with the A6 and thought in that respect?

    BTW: I have never driven the Saab wagon! My positive review is, again, based strictly on a cursory look at the same auto show. I also agree with mrj about FWD with good snow tires for mountain, winter driving. However, I'll be doing beach driving (gulp), and light off-road, too, which I think benefits from AWD (a little added ground clearance wouldn't hurt, i.e. the subaru line).

    Draw it is! Enjoy your volvo many more years!
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    This is in response to post #184 concerning the safety of the third seat in a Volvo V70. I recently saw a seriously rear ended V70, with the third seat, at a local body shop. The tailgate of the Volvo had been pushed to within a few inches of the third seat on the right side. It appeared to me that anyone sitting on that side could have sustained leg injuries. However, I'm sure this kind of damage is rare, since it appears the Volvo was struck from behind at a high rate of speed, and was also pushed into another vehicle, because the front was damaged as well.
  • ceenaceena Posts: 3
    I just leased the l999 Saab 95 wagon. What a
    mistake. The front seats are so horribly
    uncomfortable I shudder at the thought of driving
    it again. There is a gaping hole under the lumbar
    region that apparently places great strain on not
    only that part of the body but includes pain
    down the front of the legs,arms (drivers side) &
    feet. I've only had it for a week, am locked
    into a 3 year lease, and can't believe the pain
    I'm in. Anyone else having this problem?
  • wcfwcf Posts: 21
    I bought a Saab wagon last week and immediately drove it 600 miles in three days. For whatever reason, they felt uncomfortable in the first 60 miles the first day, and after that they felt great. It almost felt like they were slightly conforming to my body shape.

  • ceenaceena Posts: 3
    I'm wondering Wayne, if the wagon you bought was
    a "99 or a 2000. Perhaps it took 600 miles to
    break it in. Although you did say after 60
    miles it felt alright. I've driven it 180 miles
    & it only feels worse. Who else is suffering?
  • wcfwcf Posts: 21
    It was a 2000 model I picked up in Sweden. I do have the lumber support knob maxed out as well. I also found that I needed to have the front of the seat all the way up and the back of the seat all the way down to provide proper thigh support; being 6'2" that didn't cause any visibility problems.

  • I have test driven the 1999 9-5 wagon and my initial thoughts were that the seats were great! But that's only about 20 miles of driving. Frankly, I thought that they were better than the BMW 528i wagon.
  • hc3hc3 Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the feedback on the third rear seat. It is useful information that we'll take into account as we make the final decision. We are currently leaning toward the Saab and will make sure that the front seat is all the way back if one of our kids needs to ride in front for a short distance.
  • If I order child seats, do they fold up when not in use so that the rear seat can accommodate adults? Or am I stuck with seats that only work for kids? Help, please!
  • kybrkybr Posts: 1
    I've gotten a price of $500 over invoice for the 2000 9-5 Wagon 4-cyl, but "invoice" includes $95 prep and $150 advertising. Does anyone know of better prices out there in the NYC area? $500 over sounded good to me until I started reading this bulletin board and saw some of the numbers on the 1999. Thanks!
  • gclugclu Posts: 23

    The child seat is located behind the front passenger seat and when folded, is a fully functional seat for anyone. The only thing I noticed in the test vehicle was a slight "bulge" but it was not uncomfortable/obvious.
    Hope the info helps
  • Try Saab of Greenwich, CT just got a great deal on a 1999 wagon.- salesman Robert Batman.
  • Just had to respond to stumeister (post #190) since the issue of being stranded by a car came up. I personally know of two people who have had this problem with Volvo 850's, and one with a V70. One of the 850 owners actually got a new car from Volvo under the Massachusetts Lemon Law. Another friend had the problem with his Audi A6 wagon, and he too got a new car under the lemon law.
    Bottom line: Modern cars with electronic and computer controls are ALL subject to these problems, particularly early in their production runs.
  • goohouse: thanks for this info. It does seem that there is always the chance that some poor soul is going to get the "gimp of the litter". I do try and avoid the first model year of any car. Not sure if that helps much; ie the 850s seem to be dogged by some problems all the way through their life. Thank heaven for the leamon laws. I hope I never have to use it (but will if I have to).
  • Well today I finally made the choice.. After considering and test-driving the Audi A4 1.8T Avant (the A6 is just too over priced), the Volvo, and Saab 9-5 2.3T Wagon, the choice was easy.. The Saab. Having owned Saabs (2 900's)and Audis in the past (A6 - current & 100 Wagon -soon to be ex)I admit I was partial, but the Volvo was too blaa. The Audi I loved, but 31K is too much for a glorified Passat.

    And then the Saab came into view. Overall the most interior space, great unique style (I like the quirkiness Saab has), SAFE, wonderful handling (read: traction control), it felt put together better than the rest and most of all, my wife promises to let me drive it once or twice... a month. (joke)

    When comparing safety, cost (first time leaser), history (I've owned 2 of 3 I test drove), brand management (how customers are treated).. there really was no choice.
  • dmeyers99: Congrats on the new Saab Wagon! Did you get a 99 or 00? Would you share what you paid? Options? Color etc.

    Plse keep us posted on your ownership experience (ups, downs etc).

    Happy motoring.
  • wcfwcf Posts: 21
    Others who have purchased Saabs have noted this defect: it is very hard to pry the keys out of our wive's hands once they get a chance to drive the car. Be forewarned.

  • Actually I leased a 2000. Oddly enough, the leasing option was cheaper on a 00 than a 99 (I believe Chase has just offered a very low APR on a lease). As for color and options.. "Arrest Me Red" (laughing) was my wifes choice and I'll admit, I'm not a red car person, but it really works on this car. As for options it's completely loaded including the premium leather package (TCS, HK Stereo System included with this option), doggie cage, roof racks, carpeted cargo area (I think Saab calls it a versitility pack), and automatic (her choice). The sticker price was almost 37K and the price of the lease base was 32.5k (thereabouts).

    In case any New Englanders are wondering.. I bought it at Charles River Saab (I've bought 2 previously from there, and my family has purchased a total of 6 from there.. see Bill Perry he is a great sales guy). There are a few dealers who could get it for me cheaper (about $10/mth) but the service at CRS is unequal.

    I'll let you know how it is in about a month or two.
  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    Yes, Wayne's defect is the same one that I am experiencing. We have had our 99 9-5 Wagon for about 1 month now, and I can't seem to pry the keys away from my wife either.......
  • I'm a student at Central Washington University doing a report on comparing 3 cars. I choose Saab 9-5 wagon, Volvo V70 and Subaru OUtback. All 2000's. I'm supposed to survey 15 car owners, 5 for each car. I know this isn't a response or much of a question I just haven't had any luck finding anyone I know who owns any 2000 cars. If you can I would appreciate you answering these 7 questions to help me with my report.
    1.Have you had any problems with your car so far?
    2.If yes, please indicate what kind.
    3.Howmany miles to the gallon do you get?
    4.How would you rate your car when driving long highway trips? 1 being quiet and smooth, 10 being rough and noisy.
    5.How comfortable is the seating in your car?
    6.Are their any special features youlike about your car?
    7.How would you rate the roomminess? 1 being big and roomy and 10 being small and cramped? Thank you for your time I appreciate it.
  • Here is is list of my comments on my 9-5 wagon, 2.3 4 cylinder, leather pack. fully loaded.
    & general comments to you all:
    Everybody loves this car, and SAAB did a great job.
    I find the previous SAAB seats to be better.
    If you have a back problem, the previous 9000 seats are better.
    SAAB cannot fix your back problems that so many people have these days due to too much driving and sitting.
    Yes, tilt the seat back all the way, seat high, max. lumbar, should alleviate back pain.
    The 9-3 should be dropped and replaced with the 9-5.
    The 9-5 should have been bigger to compete with A6, and bigger cars.
    The trouble is,it's hard to find a nicer car to drive after you've had the 9-5, unless you pay more.
    Safety features are superb. It's too late to say"I should have bought the SAAB as you're heading into the ACCIDENT."
    The cockpit is cozy, and forward visability VG.
    Build quality is way up.
    SAAB has gotten rid of all the old unreliable parts and replaced them with reliable GM OPEL parts. (My Euro friends have OPELS that seem to last forever).
    Buy what you like to drive, not what auto reports say.
    For people in NY Conn area, Lighthouse Motors is rated the best. They do only SAAB.
    Stay away from dealers that handle too many different cars, they don't care about you.
    Drive the car a few times, and compare with others.
    It's hard to find something so special. Many other cars are so alike, for instance Camry, Maxima, Accord.
    Most vehicles are cars. Few are automobiles. SAAB is an automobile.
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