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Saab 9-5 Sedan

L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
Welcome to the continuation of the Saab 9-5 Part
topic. Those of you joining us from that topic
are welcome to continue your discussion.

If you're new to this topic, you may want to
follow the above link for additional archived


Sedans Host


  • Drew - I saw a 9000 Aero on a dealer's lot recently - Believe it was a '97, and it had a very wide seat with what looked like excellent lateral support even up to the shoulders - the most unusual looking seat that I've ever seen in a car.

    More comments about my '00 V6 wagon. I had test driven the V6 before purchase, but when I picked it up, I immediately had to drive it several hundred miles for a trip. I noticed right away that at idele, it seemed unusually loud, but ever since that first day, it has never seemed loud again, and I sitch in and out of a couple of different cars regularly.

    I agree with bretfraz that the torque band is very useable. When cruising on the highway whatever speed I wish to go just seems to already be in place before I make the effort. The acceleration at higher speeds seems relatively effortless.

    Recently, I've been considering purchasing another car to replace my '87 Volvo 740 wagon (166,000 miles and absoltuely reliable - a tank) with something more modern, so I have spent time looking at the S80 again and drove the 528i.

    My opinion is that I'd be tempted to get another 9-5, though some other part of my brain says to have 2 DIFFERENT cars. Well, my current wagon and maybe an Aero sedan. My observations are that I find the interior appearance to be superior. The instrument locations and tactile response is pleasing. The S80 seems bland, and to me the straigt interior lines of the BMW dash with the red displays seems utilitarian. Plus no in-dash cd player. The 528 is quiet and has excellent road manners, though in a way it is too quiet - can't really hear the engine, and that engine is much more pleasing in the 328i. The 528i just doen't have enough ooomph, though I look at the speedo and sure 'nuff I am moving right along. I would think the 540i would be more satisfying, but then the price - OUCH!

    Frankly I also think the Saab back seat comfort is the best of these vehicles, and this is an area where I think the wagon beats the sedan - the backseat headrests in the wagon are useful and enhance seating comfort, whereas to actually rest my head on the sedans headrests means staring more up than straight - at least for my spine's eccentricities.

    I'm not actually going to purchase another car right now, but I think I'd get a red or silver V6 or Aero sedan.

    (I've got the sun green wagon).
  • Bretfraz - I agree the MXV4's are fine for most people, including me, and are good touring tires. However, I was in Oregon on a moutain highway during heavy rain. The asphalt was a smooth finish and was deeply rutted where most people's tires track in the lane. The rain runoff was poring straight down the road in these tire ruts upon which I was traveling Water was a couple 2 to 3 inches, and the MXV4 did not make me feel out of control, but neither did they cut that water like a knife.

    I drove away feeling like if I had to do that regularly, I'd get different tires. Was in America's Discount Tire store recently and disussed this when they recommended Michelin Pilots, which a few days later I noticed were fitted to 3 9-5 Aero sedans on a dealer's lot.

  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Yes - the seats in the previous Aero were AWESOME! I've spend many hours in those seats and they are definately the most comfortable ever. That is why I am so dissapointed in Saab for not having a design that good available anymore.

    Interesting comment on the Pilots. I've been satisfied with the MXV4's but I will consider the Pilots if I ever need to replace the tires.

  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Interesting last post. I had forgotten many of those comments made. I've been trying to avoid the confrontations here for the last several weeks and only commenting on occasion when I'm addressed directly but that was an interesting perspective.

    Now that I've spoken up, I'll be expecting another attack against me. I'll try to refrain from futher comment though. Hard as it will be.

  • The Michelins are fine on my 9-5's. I have the Pilots on my convertible SE and they are a 'great' touring/performance tire. They don't last as long because of the composition of the tire but oh well it is only money.

    The seats - - I am not overly sensitive in this area but I think the seats are easy to get into, sit in and adjust and they are very comfortable for me. I am just under 6 foot so that might have impact on my comfort perception. I did like my previous aero seats because they looked interesting in design and there was more a sense of lateral support. If Aero seats were available I hope they don't do two tone or leather and suede mixed. The new Audi seats that are available like that look a bit tacky and flashy. Also I don't know if Saab has concerns with certain seat designs and the presence of side airbags in the seats.

    Also just as an FYI the back seat headrests on the sedan do adjust fore and aft. I don't think most people realize that when they pull them up and they snap into the first position. Push the button in and you can adjust them further forward to your liking.

    I have noticed that I prefer 89 octane over 93 or 94 for the V6. My switch was based on input from my service manager/tech. I noted that the tone of the car under acceleration changes and there is no detectable difference in performance.


    Dave Kovacs
  • Glad to see the change in gas releaved you of the sulfur problem. (That doesn't sound good but you know what I mean.) Try 89 octane and let me know what you think too.

    Also I am please to hear your car is perfect and the ACC is a non-issue. Gee maybe you have a Troll under the hood. ;-)


    Dave Kovacs
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    I used to enjoy this site. I would learn interesting things about my car (good and bad)but the site has been overtaken by Saaber who post nearly 30% of all post. I wish the host could help us here, for this is out of control, and its not constructive. Say your peace, sure thats acceptable and the American way, but let the buyer scroll up and down. You don't need to repeat the same things everyday posting 30% of the threads. To bully the site is not acceptable to me. I will be in a read only mode, skipping any "Saaber" messages, so I will not clutter the board also, but this needs to be addressed by the host and Edmunds.
  • As an FYI -

    The SAAB USA site has been updated for the 2001 model year. SAAB USA has also launched the SAAB Pacific Coast Adventure - details can be found on the SAAB USA homepage.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    I asked you to post a single post where I exhaggerated any of the items in your previous post. Instead, you took bits and pieces of my previous posts (mostly out of context) to claim that I also compared Saab to Hitler. Other than finding that comment generally offensive to everyone, I think that you have made your point that you are out to smear anyone who says anything negative about the car.

    Think about it, I generally post a lot of open and honest (and negative) comments about my 9-5, and you must have spent hours creating your last long post to try to discredit me. Many of your posts taken from me say nothing in the context that you listed them, and you appear to have intentionally taken most of them (which in most cases were responses to the discrediting personal attacks) out of context to try to continue the discrediting campaign.

    As I said, the Host has the authority to "disinvite" anyone who is being disruptive to this group. I would think carefully about making another negative personal attack in violation of the Edmunds terms of service. As for making negative comments about the 9-5, although you and others here find those comments "disruptive" to YOUR personal saablover tastes, the comments are accurate and facilitate a discussion of both sides of the saab story for prospective customers.
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    Thanks for the comments on the octane (using 89 versus 93) for the V6 which should be helpful for everyone. I will try it to see if it gives me a more likable tone. In addition, it will save money.
  • Saaber - - depending on your fuel level when you re-fill you might need to got through a tank or two before you note the difference. Best to wait till you tank is near empty before re-filling with the 89 to observe the greatest affect in the least amount of time.

    Dave Kovacs
  • rtd1rtd1 Posts: 22
    I'll be interested to see what the results of dropping the octane rating will be--do report back. I'm surprised that there doesn't seem to be a drop in either performance or mileage.

    While I don't have the numbers in front of me, I recall that the manual has different minimum octane recommendations for the LPT 4 and 6, with the V6's being higher. (My book doesn't cover the Aero.)

    I had assumed the difference was because of the V6's slightly higher compression ratio, but maybe it's something else (emission specs?). The T7 system will protect the engine from any harm due to detonation, so we could probably get away with running Coleman fuel ;-) IIRC the LPT turbo doesn't even have a bypass or wastegate, so detonation protection is left to retarding spark timing, which T7 can perform instantaneously in individual cylinders.

    In the HPT APC cars, the octane rating was effectively a "dial-a-boost" system. Higher octane gas yielded higher boost. I'll bet it's still that way with the 9-5 Aero.
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    The new CU reports on many of the Luxury models. It rates the Audi A6 tops on the list. It does not give the S80 very good marks for reliability, although the S80 is placed in the middle. The 9-5 is not listed on the list (probably due to sales volume).

    From the ealier chatter here by many, it sounds like the A6 with a upgraded engine is a good way to go in the future. The A6 model that CU tested was $38,000 but I do not think that it had the upgrated engine. How does the "regular" A6 engine compare to the 9-5 V6 in horsepower and torque?
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    this topic is off to a decent start with the exception of one post consisting of nothing related to the car but a sarcastic commentary about another guests posts.

    The outspoken critic(s) here do provide informative feedback. In some topics, the dissatisfied owners offer nothing more than Brand-X sucks or name-calling towards those who don't go dump their sure-to-be-lemon right away. Believe, I've seen it all... This topic is fortunate enough to have, for the most part, reasonable guests. Some, at times, have taken it a little too far...

    As I've said in the past, critical feedback is welcome with discretion. Why do I need to say this about critical feedback and not positive advice? Well... These make-exclusive forums tend to attract a majority of satisfied owners or potential owners. Many of the owners are aware of problems areas and will address them with new guests in a more or less objective fashion. It's not necessary to bombard each new guest with a checklist of problem areas.

    Just the same, critical feedback offered with *discretion* is welcome. As long as that is the case, personal attacks toward these individuals will not be tolerated.


    Sedans Host
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    There is actually quite a difference between the Michelin's Pilot and their Energy MXV4 Plus tires.

    The MXV4's are an excellent "luxury" touring tire. It's perfect for cars like Lexus, M-B, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volvo, etc. Its tread design provides a very quiet highway ride with good traction in typical "4-season" driving conditions. If you have a luxury foreign sedan and want a tire that can be used year 'round for most all conditions, the MXV4 is ideal. I can't think of a better tire; comparable but not better.

    The Pilot series are all-season performance tires. Much stronger construction especially in the sidewalls. Not as quiet, smooth, or long-lasting as the MXV4 but better performance. Ideal for Saab, BMW, Infiniti, or other cars that are considered performance-oriented. You can run them in winter but they won't work as good as a typical touring tire. Also expensive to replace. A Pilot XGTV4 or Z4 is perfect for the owner that wants better handling from his 9-5 regardless of engine. Some Infiniti Q45 lovers I know exclusively use the XGTV4 as its the only tire that will stay round and maintain steering quality on the Q45; a notorious tire killer. These guys have ditched other brands by 10K because those tires are out of alignment, flat spotted, or showing considerable wear. On another car those other brands would be fine but not on a Q45. This is probably not the case on a 9-5 but something to consider when buying new tires.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #17:

    Let me echo bretfraz's sentiment here. 3 of my last 4 cars came with Z-rated Michelin Pilots and they are great tires. However, they do wear out quickly on quick cars (mine were all high-pressure turbo Volvos which shred tires in no time at all if you have a heavy foot) and they can be very expensive to replace. I also used Pirelli P-Zeros as a replacement tire and by comparison they weren't as sure footed in wet conditions (was living in Boston at the time) but did seem to last a bit longer. My Pilots did so well that I managed to get by without Winter tires for years in Boston with absolutely no problems at all (of course FWD and traction control helped a lot). I also tried Dunlop SP 8000s if I recall correctly, but dumped them after a few days as they were loud and didn't handle crisply in the corners.

    There are lots of great choices out there and some really are in the same ball park for less money (e.g., Nittos). Also, if money is no object, you might want to look at the new Michelin Pilot Sport tires. These are Michelin's new flagship max performance tires designed for wet and dry conditions. You can find out more information and buy the tire of your choice through sites like (very informative and well designed site for a firm with a great reputation for mail order tires or (probably the best free replacement tire guarantee around).

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • The Audi 2.8 is rated at 200 hp and 207 ft lbs torque. The Audi A6 2.8 is by no means a thriller to drive. I think my Swedish coffee system brews a cup of coffee faster than the 0-60 on the 2.8. It is somewhere around 8.8 to 9 secs. The Audi 2.7T is a much better option.

    Quattro is a great option on the 2.8 and it is standard on the 2.7T.

    To me, the Audi A6 is not an attractive car from the back end. I always think of the Impala cop car when I see the Audi from the back.

    Also having owned Audi's in the past I do believe that the A6 has lost some of its uniqueness. I think it started with my A4. This movement to the more traditional benchmark has resulted in larger sales. However that is probably why I continue to wish that SAAB not become a mass appeal car.

    Also - that whole Audi atmosphere concept is a bit of an overkill. It has resulted in a silver exterior car only being available with the blackest of graphite leather interiors (even the carpets are almost black). Please - keep the wood choices and door panel mixes simple and make the darn silver car available with a platinum gray interior.

    There is an Audi board available on Edmunds specific to the Audi A6 2.8 and Saab 9-5. Unfortunately there is a poor chap in that forum who went from a Saab to an Audi but feels the Audi doesn't have the soul of Saab. Probably because Audi doesn't have those sneaky trolls in the car!!! ;-)

    It is interesting that Audi does not offer comparisons to the Saab 9-5 on its site. The Saab USA site does provide comparisons to the Audi for those who are interested.

    However, I do think the Audi is probably more suited to the average person looking for a luxury European car.


    Dave Kovacs
  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    My 2000 Aero had the same problem. I always use 93 octane, additionally, I tried switching brands, that didn't help. When my ECU was replaced the sulfur smell disappeared.
  • Haven't visited the site in a while. Started with topic 3790 and have now caught up a bit. Noticed that no one responded to individual who asked about integrated key fob. I own a '99 9-5 and currently have the huge key/automatic opener that makes people stare at pockets wondering what that is and am also interested in knowing whether the newer flat automatic openers can be used on the '99 9-5 and if so, whether anyone knows how much they are.

    Also, car has about 15,000 miles on it and I've noticed lately that idle sometimes races, slows down, and races again when I'm sitting at a red light shortly after a "cold" start (it's not cold here yet). Dealer said to check and see if tach also goes up coincident with the racing. Why did dealer ask me that? What difference does it make? Car's idle didn't used to vary so much. Any ideas why it could be doing so now?

    Thanks guys,
    Girl With Saab
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I read last week that for 2001 Saab will have a key with the remote features built into it like some others are now offering. That should take care if the complaints in the future.

    Have not heard any news about the NHSTA forcing them to replace the current ones in the field for Safety reasons. :) Maybe we could start a campaign.

  • Hi,

    You will be able to replace your key and seperate fob for a new integrated fob unit. The 'fobulous' keys are available NOW through your dealer. Unfortunately I have not asked the price. I would assume around $100 to $150. Even the traditional replacement keys are expensive because of the anti-theft circuitry built into the actual key.

    Have you received a campaign letter for the ecu/ecm replacement? I believe this might take care of your idle issue. Although I must say the question from the service manager is odd. What engine do you have?


    Dave Kovacs
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I've lost our extra key and fob. Is the $100- $150 price for the new fob only? I'm curious what the replacement key is going to run me. I'm sure I won't be happy. I'm equally sure that if I pay to have it replaced the lost one will turn up.

  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    I recently saw FOB for 2001 9-5 wagon, all buttons are intergrated in head of key. Service manager stated if I wanted to replace the FOB for my 2000 Aero the new FOB would be in the $200 range.
  • saabbersaabber Posts: 84
    I guess the theory is that saab can make a product that people complain about, and then overcharge the existing customer for the replacement. Maybe that will help them to cut into their losses.
    I state this honestly, and hopefully speaking for all that $200 is an incredible price to pay for an item that obviously does not cost $200 to make. True, the existing customer does not have to buy the overpriced product, but this is just another piece of the "saab" customer loyalty puzzle to put together.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Probably - but as usual your seeing it as "Saab" cheating or an opportunity to complain about Saab.

    A replacement key for my new Montero is $150. What you don't understand is that the new keys with theift protection chips are expensive to replace. That's without even considering the cost of the remote electronics.

    Last three cars I've purchased were: Chysler MiniV, Saab 9-5, Dodge Durango and now a Mitsu Montero. In ALL 4 cases I was warned by the dealer to be careful not to lose a key because they are extrememly expensive to replace now. The days of running down to the local hardware store to cut a new key is over for MOST vehicles. But the deception continues. Lets inform consumers - Saab is the only company ripping us off on this! :) Forget the facts.

  • rtd1rtd1 Posts: 22
    Quite an array of price quotes on TSN about this item. One lister was quoted less than $20 each for the key and head (which are evidently separate catalog items). I don't recall whether he said what the required programming would cost.

    This is clearly one of those items subject to massive dealer markup. If you're lucky enough to live in an area w/ multiple dealers, it's a very good idea to shop around.

    Where the cost gets gruesome is when you're stuck w/o a key or fob. There's no way for the dealer to clone an existing one, so they have to start from scratch. There's a semi-famous story about a Camry owner who lost both key-transmitter sets and was on the hook for $2400 as a result. Could a Saab be much less?

    One thing to remember--always carry an extra key when you're on a trip, in case you lose your main key and transmitter (and don't keep it in your luggage, either).
  • saabeesaabee Posts: 23
    Just got off the phone with the parts manager at my dealership. He stated the cost of the FOB is $140 plus the cost to program it, total cost around $175. Here's the drawback, he states Saab has told him that you must be within 2-3 feet of the car for it to work. So at least initially, the activation distance of the old FOB is superior to the new FOB. If anyone has heard otherwise, let me know.
  • Saaber - I agree that $200 is basically a major markup. Consider that you can get a radio (meaning the technology for radio transmission) for less than $10. The cheapest computers are now only a few hundred dollars, and the key and FOB performs only a couple of tasks. My brother works in electronic circuit board manufacturing and assures me the parts are cheap.

    But, Drew, I agree this is not a Saab-only ripoff. It is a ripoff by all of the dealers/manufacturers who charge extravagant prices for a replacement key/FOB. How can they get away with it? The law of supply and demand. They are the only suppliers. If there was an open market with every corner store able to sell you one of these, then they would not be $200.

    My, I think the current fat FOB makes it more difficult to lose. I have always wondered about it's design though. Ergonomic? Not really, with the buttons on the top edge, it seems it would want to flop over as I am pressing one.

    My '99 Chevy Silverado has a much less conspicuous flat FOB. Now, my question - I have to press three buttons to unlock all doors and the wagon liftgate. The door button twice and the rear hatch once. Is there an alternative?
  • I believe part of the expense of the key is not just the actual item. There are other related costs for data services that go along with the unique characteristics of the key type.

    I personally feel that $150 - $175 is really no big deal if the current key fob is a significant enough issue for the user.

    I recall reading that these type of keys make it very difficult for the car to be stolen so I see it as a means of protecting your investment.


    Dave Kovacs
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I think the price is too high but good point about the stolen car issue. One thing to remember or know if your insurance company isn't rating you properly, a vehilce with an electronic dissabling feature qualifies for a 20% discount on your rate. At least according to my insurance company. Other company's may have different policies.

    I had to check out which technology Mitsu was using before they qouted me a rate on the Montero. I qualified for the discount. Hmm, I still wonder why my rate is soo high though. Bottom line is that the key may be costly but the insurance saving more than off-sets the higher cost.

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