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Saab 9-5 Wagon

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Comments

  • Whats up with your climate control system? Mine has been ok for about ten days. Any news from your dealer(s)?
  • mrjmrj Posts: 21
    I had the car worked on yesterday. Saab service (Mike Shaw - Denver) was great. They "recalibrated" the climate control and acknowledged that they had seen the problem in a few other cars. I'll post if I see any further problems.
  • goohousegoohouse Posts: 10
    My wife has also had this quirky behavior from her climate control. At the last service, the dealer "re-booted" the computer. I haven't heard any more about it since, but clearly there is some sort of software problem. I would certainly rec. that any one with this problem report it to the dealer's service dept. while still under warranty.

    Re. a previous post about the reliabilty of Saabs, I have owned Saabs exclusively for the past ten years (two Saabs for most of that time). I have been very satisfied with their reliability. The first car was traded in after almost nine years, and the second is going on it's seventh year.
  • gmurray1gmurray1 Posts: 6
    Lieberson1,

    I called a service advisor at the dealer about the ACC blip. He didn't offer any explanation or knowledge of having seen it before and said to just let them know when I next bring the car in for servicing. Not the most comforting response, but I guess based on other posts here it does not seem to be a major event to fix. I guess the real question is what could happen if it isn't fixed? I will post more after my next service.
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    I have the all weather floor mats, but don't have the 9-5 waggon yet. The are nice and I think they will hold up well. They are a dark gray color that should hide dirt and the hair from my black lab. I got the floor mats and the cargo mat. They look sturdy and well made.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    Hi,

    I have a 9-5 wagon on order with CarOrder.com. I should get it in 2-6 weeks. I went to my delivery dealer and took a test drive yesterday in a 2000 9-5 with 5-speed. Just what I ordered. Very nice and comfortable. The 2.3 turbo moves the car along quite well. You can feel the boost, but you don't get a big punch.

    The shifting was fine. The clutch was like "buttah". I have never felt such a light clutch. Cant wait to take delivery and put all of my accessories on the car.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
  • Hello again all. I was asked (about 4 months ago) to follow-up on the purchase of our 2000 9-5 2.3t wagon after having "lived" in it for a while. For those interested in the car, let me just say it is an "outstanding" car. Currently it has about 3500 miles on it and each one has been a pleasure (when I can pry the keys from my wife).

    For those who don't know, I looked at the A4/A6 as well as the Volvo (cross country). After passing the 1000 mile mark and being able to hit the "sport button", I can honestly say this car moves.. and quickly. The Audi may have more luxury, but is much slower and about $7k more (A6), the A4 while somewhat quicker, is over priced for size and creature comforts, and the Volvo is just plain "old" on the inside.

    As for problems? Yes the CCS (Climate Control System) bug has hit the car and the dealer is aware of this problem (it's a software issue that will be taken care of at the 5k service). Other than that, and the little incident where my 2 1/2 year old feed the CD player a quarter while I was cleaning the car (he thought it was a piggy bank)this car has been solid (and yes, the dealer fixed the CD player, no questions asked).

    As for overall Saab reliability? This is my third Saab (previous 96-900S and a 92-900S Turbo) and like the other two, not one problem.

    That's the update... Happy driving to all.
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    bmwjoe:

    Thanks for the two-thumbs up on the 9-5 manual shift and clutch.The notchy shift and sometimes uncertain gear engagement in our previous '82 and present '87 900 cooled my wife's ardor for Saabs. However, I think your positive notes and others here has convinced her that this has changed in the new 9-5.

    We have nearly 175K miles on the original clutch and trasmission on our '87,without a problem. I recently talked to someone who said he had 225K on a 1982 Saab 900 before changing the clutch.

    My choice in the 9-5 would be the base car with manual also. I'll be interested to hear how your experience with CarOrder goes.
    Jon W.
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    Jon,

    My wife and I both liked the shifting. Not as firm and positive as a rear wheel drive car since there mst be a linkage. Better than the two Hondas we had and as good, perhaps better than the Subaru. (Subaru has a longitudinal engine so the trany is under the shift.) The clutch was very light in the Saab. I like that the Saab clutches last a long time. The Subaru clutch went at 60k. It was a workout to change.

    I will post how my Car Order experience goes.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    Joe,
    I'm sure I'm the world's worst shade-tree mechanic and probably the oldest dude on this topic, but your mention of the daunting job of changing a Subaru clutch reminds me of the time I changed a wet clutch in a 1948 Hudson Commodore that I had bought second hand. The innovative Hudson had an interesting clutch equipped with cork inserts, cooled and lubricated by fluid.

    In my youthful enthusiasm, I assumed that the clutch chatter and grab was the sign of a worn-out clutch. Too late and many hours under the car in the backyard, I realized the clutch wasn't the problem. Hudson had a split drive shaft and the "carrier" (for lack of a better term) where the two drive shafts ends joined had dropped and allowed the drive shaft to whip free. I was well into the job and changed the clutch anyway.

    More on topic, I guess the reason that I like Saabs so much is that they remind me of the innovative spirit of Hudson. Hudson was the ridicule of the car industry when they went to the step-down design and unibody construction. Ten years later Ford and others adopted the step-down and it became the industry standard. Unfortunately, Hudsons never caught the public's favor, and I guess Saabs are much in the same category. Hopefully, they won't suffer the same fate as Hudson.
    Jon W.
  • I'm a SAAB lover from pre-GM days and am about to take the plunge on the wagon despite my fears of GMization. With that in mind, I'm trying to decide between the motors - 2.3L four or 3.0L six? Does anyone have any insight about whether one is a more established and proven motor? I had heard that the four is a true and proven SAAB model, and the six is an Opel motor. Does anyone have any info on the merits of that one? Without knowing more, I'm not sure that the extra 30 HP is worth the extra $. Thanks for any thoughts!
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    CRoberts3: For what it's worth, I would opt for the four-cylinder 2.3, especially if you intend to keep the car for a long period of time. Another consideration in this period of climbing gasoline prices is that the 2.3 takes regular, while the 3.0 requires premium gas. I've had a few problems with two very high-mileage Saabs that I've owned, but never with either 2.3 motor.

    I understand the 3.0 motor is manufactured in the UK, and although Saab engineers had quite an input into its development, it still remains somewhat suspect for reliability compared to the 2.3. Personally, I would choose the 2.3 with manual shift. I'm not sure the 3.0 gives you that much more power for the extra expenditure. I hope others who have had actual experience with the 3.0 motor will give their opinions.
    Good Luck,
    Jon W.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I like the 2.3 better. It's almost as powerful, and is as strong with tiny tweaking. It's quieter and gets better mileage as well. They've also been making it for a long time though they did modify a lot for the 9-5.

    I'm looking at the gary fisher wagon. Seems nice, but I want ventilated seats. Other than that it's a fine value.

    dave
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    I went for the 2.3 since you can get it with the 5-speed. It is also nice that it uses regular gas. I did enjoy my test drive. The turbo gives this car some nice oomph.

    I have a red 9-5 wagon on order. I should get it mid April. Can't wait.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
  • darandalldarandall Posts: 57
    I have the 2.3 and have found that it has plenty of get up and go - high speed cruising is no problem and the car still performs admirably with a full load. If you do lot's of driving in mountainous country, you may want to opt for the 3.0. My test drive sold me on the 2.3 - I kept asking the salesman if he was sure it was only a four! The manual is another good reason to get the 2.3 - the engine loafs at 75 and is perky up to 90!
  • I took the V6 in my new wagon. Seems great. Lots of power. Maybe a bit too much! Never had a Saab before and thought I needed a V6 based on past experience with four bangers. The four would have probably been fine, but I am very happy with the Six. Coming up on 5000 miles...no problems. (except for the bad power steering pump which was quickly fixed @ about 1100 miles)
  • sherndonsherndon Posts: 8
    2 weeks ago I bought a 2000 9-5 SE wagon (V6) with heated seats. Sun green with charcoal interior. Paid $1,086 over invoice. No sales tax in Oregon, license is $43, so $37,378 out the door. The car has been great so far - 1200 miles as of today. Just had the 1000 mile service. Bought the car at Garry Small Saab in Portland...very professional dealer, ask for Bill Holbert. Did the whole thing over the phone and flew up to take delivery.

    I actually did my test drives at Dirito Bros in Walnut Creek, CA, and they are great, but I am an Oregon resident and don't want to part with sales tax and high DMV fees unnecessarily.

    So far I love the car. We drove it through Oregon mountains in lots of snow and rain, and it performed perfectly. Things I don't like...while in Oregon, some of the roads in Portland and Ashland use a very rough asphalt which the car transfers via significant road noise into the passenger compartment. That has not been an issue at all since I crossed the state line into California.

    Also, the Michelin's were not great on some very wet, slick roads coming off a mountain. The asphalt was very smooth and rutted with a tire line, which was full of water. This is to be expected since these are not major "wet" tires. Did not feel unsafe with these.

    The ergonomics are great, though I swear my seat is a bit harder than 3 other 9-5's I have sat in. The center console cupholder I removed to use the console as storage. Glove box is very large. I don't pack a lot into a car, but I do see how some may say there is not a lot of room for storage in the front. Then again, I was just driving a 99 Silverado, in which I can place a laptop in the center console.

    Told Downtown Saab in Oakland today to reprogram my tailgate lock not to auto lock upon moving. They said they did, but it still locks.

    Like I have seen on a couple of other posts, once my ACC showed a 0 upon starting the car, and then in a minute plus it resumed normal Auto operation. I will monitor...am not concerned, since i am a software programmer and Windows crashes on me or causes blips fairly regularly. Reboot!

    Otherwise, I really enjoy driving this car. It is my first Saab.
  • ejgskmejgskm Posts: 9
    What comes with the Gary Fischer wagon? I already special ordered a 2.3 with 5-speed, heated seats, and ventilated seats. Hope I didn't miss out on anything. Great price below invoice through a GM employee discount. Now I just have to wait the 45-60 days!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Comes with a special gary fisher bike, roof bike rack, cargo floor, load leveler, and aero package for $1880 extra. Not a bad deal. No ventilated seats, though, and I really want that. Not sure I should share, but my back sweats. I wonder if it's possible to order one and have them add the seats? Nice about the GM discount, though.

    dave
  • jacktorjacktor Posts: 5
    California Board of Equalization requires that CA sales and use tax be paid on out of state purchases for use in CA. If DMV is notified by local law enforcement or public agency, they will collect CA tax, CA license fees et cetera.
  • ejgskmejgskm Posts: 9
    Dave-
    I don't think that the ventilated seats can be dealer-installed, but if you do a factory order (45-60 days) it seems like you can have any combination you want.
  • goohousegoohouse Posts: 10
    I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the right tire pressure for the OE Michelins on the 9-5 Wagon. Tire sidewall says 44 psi (or something like that), but the SAAB owners manual says 32 psi. I actually inflated my tires to Michelin recs. just prior to a scheduled service, which only caused the dealership service department to reduce the pressure in all four right back to 32. I'm considering emailing Michelin.
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    Goohouse,

    The pressure molded into the sidewall is the maximum safe inflation pressure set by the tire maker, regardless of application. It has nothing to do with the pressure you should use in the tires when they are on your car. Always follow the vehical manufacturer's reccomendations as outlined in the owners manual or on the driver's door jam.

    The manufactuer usually gives pressures for a specific load and speed. I usually put in an extra psi or two above the reccomendation. This allows for a little leak down between checks. When in doubt, err on the high side.

    Also, be sure to check the spare. These must be inflated to 60 psi or so. In this case the pressure is marked on the sidewall and in the manual.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
  • enckenck Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2000 9-5 wagon with 2.3T 4 cyl motor. It idles like a truck! Dealer says thats the way they are. Has anyone else had this experience?
    Jeff
  • No car should idle like a truck. I have a v6 3.0 wagon and it idles smooth as silk. Your 2.3 should also. Your dealer needs to take care of it. Do not hesitate to contact Saab of America if your dealer is not helping. The phone number is in your owners manual. I spoke with them once and they were very helpful.
    Rick
  • carrutncarrutn Posts: 2
    That engine should be peachy smooth. I'd take it
    back, and if they don't fix get your money back.

    Did the test drive car idle like a truck ?

    I'll bet it didn't ! If you said it handled like
    a truck I would understand ;-)

    (hey, you didn't buy a diesel did you ?)
  • enckenck Posts: 2
    Had factory rep look at my car; he told me that is the way it is! I drove the V6 and it is much smoother then the 4. I have driven several other 4 cyl. and they all shake a little, but mine seems worse. I appreciate your comments. Other wise the car is wonderful! It is kinda like a beautiful girl with a big wart on her nose.
    Jeff
  • Ok...I adjust the temp on the acc to LO.(the setting colder than 58) It blows air like crazy. But the air is not cold! Owners manual says LO is the coolest setting. Tried 58, 59,60, etc...still no cold air. Outside air temp was about 65 degrees. Whats up with my 4500 mile old 9.5?
  • hello25hello25 Posts: 30
    Lord another SAAB topic. Buy a SAAB now and help all the little animals, won't you?
  • jonthan2jonthan2 Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about buying a 2000 Saab. I usually keep my cars about 10 years, & suspensions seem to get soft around 5 years out. I live in Los Angeles and most driving is on the freeway & good streets.

    I would like to know if 9-5 wagon owners have found their suspension too soft and getting softer, as I am concerned that 5-10 years the suspension might be mushy.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    IMHO the shocks are wear items on any car. Original shocks should last 50k miles. After that they may need replacement. The 9-5 series are only 1-2 yearls old. I don't think there are many with 50k and any that are 5 years old Saabs have a good reputation for going a long way.
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    Has anyone else read Edmund's review of the 2001 Volvo V70? The car is a stunner, and for a brief moment,this Saab nut was smitten. Seriously, it sounds like a very nice wagon. However, I'm still a Saab fan.
    Jon W.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Drove a 9-5 wagon ( on the saab gary fisher ultimate trails tour ) . I thought I had better go as we have both the car AND the bike. Talk about being the target demographic! Here's my impressions:

    With the 2.3 and the automatic, the car is somewhat sluggish. The 6 seems to do OK, and I'm sure the aero wagon will be more than adequate. Maybe with the five-speed I wouldn't mind the 2.3, and I do trust it more. Maybe you could also "chip" it for more power. It was quiet and smooth, though; I found the motor to be barely audible. Realistically, it's probably more than adequate for most people, though.

    The car handles very well; I lobbed it into a corner pretty fast, and it stuck it at least as well as my '97 900 SET. There was excellent steering feedback and road feel. It handled a squiggly drive very well, too. I guess the nearest comparison would be one of the lower powered beemers, like the 528. Might not win a drag race, just might win a road race.

    The car is very quiet and refined. Road noise is drastically reduced, and my 900's mind-of-it's-own steering is *gone*. Interior very well laid out, if a bit stodgy. It took a little while to figure out the sunroof controls. Back seats are a big improvement over the '900. The cargo area is very large and accessable. The car looks very sharp ( to me ). The gary fisher model was even sharper. The george jetson cupholder was pretty neat, but I wonder how long it will last.

    The car to compare this to would be a v70 and maybe we'll try that next week while the saab is still fresh in our minds. If I were shopping for a wagon right now, I'd consider these, and the saturn and subaru wagons as lower-priced competition. In my heart, I want the saab, though.

    We rode in a viggen, too. Woah. Just the right colors too: yellow with black trim, black interior, carbon dash.. Not any harsher than our 900, just much faster. The car to get if you have some extra money, want to go fast and furious, yet still be kind of practical.

    I guess the wagon topic is big now, since we've got the hello25 saab troll.

    dave
  • ejgskmejgskm Posts: 9
    What the heck is the "hello25 saab troll"???? And what is the reference to "helping to save the little animals"?
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    How 'bout the bike?? ;)

    Prior to our final decision, the 9-5 was on the top of my list. However, it got nixed by my wife :( Fortunately, she liked the Passat, and I certainly have yet to regret her choice !!

    You may want to include the Passat in your "lower" price alternatives. It has a touch more body roll in the corners than the 9-5. But it is much better than the Outback (didn't test the GT wagon though). If you go with the Passat GLX, you'll find many luxury amenities as well -- the only options are a CD player or the 4motion. I can't comment on the Saturn wagon, since the NVH (IMHO) is not on par with the others on your list -- that was based on riding in my neighbor's L Sedan.

    George
  • carrutncarrutn Posts: 2
    I second that. The passat is a great car. Handles
    very well, very well made, you won't notice much
    size difference to the 9-5.

    Fuel economy ? ~45/gallon !
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    Neil, I believe that would be the TDI you are speaking of that gets 45 miles per gallon. We have friends who have the TDI sedan and they claim close to 49 miles per gallon! The downside of the gas-powered Passat is that it requires premium fuel. Otherwise, I agree, it's a fine car, although I wonder if it's in the same league as the Saab 9-5 SW and the Volvo V70.
    Jon W.
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    Jon W,

    Looking at the Passat GLX Wagon, I would contend that it is on par with the 9-5 and V70 GLT in terms of ride, handling, and comfort. I don't own the Saab or Volvo, but I did look into these two (as well as the Audi A4 and A6) prior to settling on the Passat.

    We could all certainly debate on which one handles the best, has a faster 1/4 mi, etc., but I all think that in the end they all accomplish their primary goal -- a car that can transport a family and cargo in style !!

    The one thing that the Passat is missing, is the extra safety features found on the luxury brand wagons -- eg active head restraints to reduce whiplash, rear passenger side air bags, air bag curtains, xenon headlights.

    With the GLX running at least $5K less than a comparably equipped luxury name wagon, IMHO its a bargain!

    Just my 0.02 !!

    George
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Well, one of my big reasons for NOT getting a saab would be that the (only) saab dealer in this town&state is pitifully bad. But they are the VW dealer in town too. Also 2 passats in the family have been breakdown kings. I also disagree that's it's as nice as the v70 and the 9-5, but it can come pretty close in price. However, these are all my opinions, and not meant to offend anyone who has the car and has had good times with it. A lot of it is subjective.

    As for the lower-priced wagons, I think the 6-cyl saturn is a pretty darn good ride, and the dealer is excelent. The subaru has good 4 wheel drive, and seems able to take a little offroad easily. Neither are as luxurious, safe, or as good handling as the 9-5 though. With both being right around 20K, however, that's not too bad.

    still liked the 9-5 wagon though.

    glxwagon4mo: Actually I already have a better gary fisher bike than comes with the wagon.

    dave
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    Hi George,
    I recently talked to a gentleman, who said he likes the Passat better than his wife's fairly new Cadillac Caterra. I guess that's fairly high praise. However, as Dave mentioned, loaded (with a V6 engine and other goodies), the Passat approaches $30K, not too much under the base 9-5 and Volvo V70. Still, the Passat is on my short list for our next car, although Saab is leading.

    I haven't tested the waters, but I don't think VW dealers are backing off from the MSRP by much, especially since they have a great endorsement by Consumer Reports. As someone pointed out, the bottom line is still the dealer, and fortunately, our area has one of the better Saab dealers. By the way, good luck to you with the Passat.
    Regards,
    John
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    My wife and I were looking for a new wagon to replace our 91 Subaru 2WD Legacy wagon. We wanted the new car to be bigger, plusher and still have a 5-speed. This made for a short list. The three top contenders were the Passat, 2000 Legacy GT Wagon and the Saab 9-5 wagon.

    Our present Subaru has been great for 106k miles. The new Legacy is much nicer in the details than our 91. Much more refined. My wife did not want another Subaru. Nothing bad, just something different. The Passat specifications put it on out list, but the styling left us both flat. Propably a great car to drive, but we could not fall in love.

    In the end we ordered a 9-5 wagon 2.3t via Car Order.com. I also ordered a bunch of accessories to dress it up. I liked the turbo engine on the test drive. With gas prices the way they are I like the 20-30 mpg and the fact it uses regular gas. This will be an exciting wagon. It will definitley be the anti-SUV/anti-minivan.

    Right now I am waiting delivery. I was expecitng delivery in 3 weeks, but Saab saw fit to move my delivery back 4 weeks :-( Still, I can't wait for our car. Especially since I have a basement full of BBS wheels and other accessories.

    Drive Safe,

    Joe
    http://home.jtan.com/~joe/joe.htm
  • Congrats. Now you can change your name to
    SaabJoe! :)
  • bmwjoebmwjoe Posts: 136
    I think I can still keep the BMWJOE handle. I have two in the garage, 1975 R90s (Datona Orange) and a 1986 K100 with EML sidecar. I do more two and three wheel miles than 4 wheels. You can check them out at:

    http://home.jtan.com/~joe/toys.htm

    Cheers,

    Joe
  • darandalldarandall Posts: 57
    I drove the Passat Wagon, and found it had more pronounced body roll than the Saab did. Also, at the time, you could not get the Passat with with a V6. I also found that the rear seats in the Passat were slightly tilted outward, presumably to creat the impression of more shoulder room - it made me feel disoriented. So, now I'm happy with the Saab, although I'm rapidly exceeding the mileage limits of my lease!
  • I have a 1990 convertible turbo Saab and love it (actually it is the wife's car). We are expecting our first child and are looking at the 2001 V70 and the 2000 Gary Fisher 95 wagon. Anyone have any advice?

    Local dealer offered a silver Gary Fisher with front and rear heated seats, 4-speed auto, destination, prep and handling for $37,200. The price sound good . . . is it?

    -Cheers
  • Volvo has very questionable reliability already,
    and being that the 2001 V70 I wouldn't even touch it! (also I have had a Volvo and it will be the last) I would say an Audi A6 Avant Wagon ~V~
    the Gary Fisher 9-5 Wagon. As for the price I would think you could do better than that.
  • gof4gof4 Broomall, PAPosts: 22
    I'm currently looking to trade my '93 mercury sable wagon. This was my second Ford wagon & I would not buy Ford product again(transmission problems,poor
    paint,overall fit & finish). I have never owned either a saab or volvo & would appreciate any comments from the readers as to their recommendations. Which car has better seats for long trips? I recently read in Consumer reports 2000 car edition that they no longer recommend volvo. How is the 9-5 wagon? Reliable?
  • jonw2jonw2 Posts: 49
    gof4:
    I know the feeling on Ford products. Our neighbor's second Taurus transmission just went out, our daughter's '91 Sable transmission has been worked on several times and is currently disabled. We are using our '93 Taurus sparingly as it approaches the 100K mark. We hope to replace our Taurus with a used '99 or new '00 Saab wagon this fall, depending on the best deal. Meanwhile, our reliable '87 Saab is still the family workhorse.

    Anyway, FWIW, I have never owned a Volvo, but we rented an S90 a couple years ago and drove 3000 miles all over the northwest and in some rugged mountain country in British Columbia. The seats were excellent. The performance was very good. But my wife and I both found fault with the rear visibility. This was surprising for a company so dedicated to safety. This may be picky, but it's been mentioned by some serious car reviewers.

    I would choose the Saab 9-5 wagon for best overall value. I don't always follow CU's recommendation in purchasing, but I think they have isolated some problems in Volvo's S70/V70 series. The V70 wagon is a dazzler, but I think it's best to wait for Volvo to sort out the problems in their new line. The Saab 9-5, no ugly duckling, should be a great road car for long trips. And for the economy-minded, the Saab four-cylinder 2.3 uses regular fuel. Anyway, good luck with your decision.
    Jon W.
  • mstsscmstssc Posts: 89
    I looked extensively at both the 9.5 and V70 before I purchased the V70. In the end it came down to the Saab not offering a third seat as well as uncertainty on Saab dealer network (read repair capability) and resale value in my area.

    I even drove the V70 over to the Saab dealer and put them side by side to compare, with Saab dealers cooperation. Very comparable cars but I thought the V70 had a nicer interior - especially in the cargo section. Prices for similar equipment were within a thousand or two - not enough to sway decisions. All around, I liked the Saab styling and tried very hard to convince myself (more correctly my wife) that the third seat wasn't really a must have (I lost, we have used the seat often).

    However, the V70 GLT has been flawless through 19,000 km. We just returned from a 600 km trip with three kids under 6 and the drive was most comfortable and low stress. Performance with the turbo is very good. The owners manual recommends a minimum of regular gas but does suggest premium for best performance.

    Both are good cars but I wouldn't pay the premium price for any of these cars without a long term test drive (one day or preferably a weekend) to make sure you are happy with the purchase. I do this with all cars I buy now as a spin around the block just doesn't do it anymore.

    The rear visibility is a problem over the left shoulder but you get use to it and learn how to compensate.

    Finally, please don't read too much into CR, they recommend the Voyager!. Also, I find car reviewers don't like anything out of the norm - most don't like the console mount ignition on the Saab, and I'm sure they wouldn't like the push button start on my Jag.

    Good Luck

    Steve
  • I recently test drove a 4 cyl. 5-speed wagon and although I thought it was the most ergonomically superior car I've ever been in, I, too, felt, as one writer did earlier in this forum, that the car did indeed sound like a truck when it was idling. The v-6 Passat I had test driven earlier that day was definitely quieter and smoother. Another feature which I've heard previously about Saabs--and which I encountered on my test drive--was its rather recalcitrant shifter. At one point it absolutely refused to downshift from 4th to 3rd gear. You really haven't lived until you're essentially powerless in the middle of a congested strip highway.

    I note that a lot of people in this forum are displaying an interest in the new Volvo V-70 wagon. I agree that it's a beautiful car but potential buyers should note that it's almost totally derived from the v-80, which consumer Reports has noted is notably unreliable. Might not be a bad idea to give the model a year or so to work out the bugs.
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