Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    It is strange hearing ten complaints from the same three people based on one negtative comment that I have made, and then those same three individuals go to the host and claim that I am monopolizing this board with all of the back and forth problems on this board. If I could reduce my exposure to be left alone when I make my comments, that would certainly be welcomed. I continue to ask those same three people to ignore my posts, but sometimes I guess they can't resist for "ego" reasons.

    Welcome back dhandley, I wonder where you went to for a few weeks??? David, I think that it is important for you to disclose that (1) created a separate website to criticize me which probabably took you several hours to complete, (2) you were asked by the host to stop making personal attacks (which have just started again in your previous post), and (3) you do not even own a saab 9-5 which means your only purpose here is to participate in the personal attacks as you have done in the past, and continue to do.

    Dhandley, If you are here solely to make personal attacks, you should understand that that is an Edmunds terms of service violation and you have no business continuing to post here for that purpose. By the way, how would i know your employer to contact them? Pretty paranoid I guess.
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    >>He even went as far as to call
    my job to try to get me in trouble for posting
    during the day. <<

    Are you Serious? Or are you joking? I know this will be pushed into a hidden response as it should be but that statement amazed me. Sabber won't even publish his private email and he's calling your employer to complain! I'm blown away by that information. I never really look at the time of day that people post here but I have to believe he is posting during the day as well.

    For me - I'm self employed and logged on all day for work. So checking in here on occasion throughout the day is no big deal.

    As an aside, it was nice having brits email so that he and I could take our arguement private. He wanted me to prove that I knew and had contact with an expert who evaluated his situation. I was able to prove it but of course he did not come back in here and apologized for publicly calling me a lair about it. His reason was that he dissagreed that the guy was an expert. Funny how he quickly dissapeared after that. At any rate - my point is that if we get into big dissagreements - I think it's best to corrispond privately to argue. So Saaber - How about that email adress? Have you put it into your edmunds profile yet?


    ps. I thought I was doing good not engaging in all the usual arguements here lately - but that information was too amazing not to comment. Very dissapointing but telling.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    But little substance about the saab 9-5.

    When you start a post, "I know this will be pushed into a hidden response," I think that you are saying that you know that you are not complying with the Host's request to stick to car issues, but you will do it anyways.

    I have to get back to my secret private investagator job which tracks down a person's employer anywhere in the world based on the person's name and "yahoo" email address and then reports to the employer that their employee is saying things about the 9-5 which I do not like.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Yes one thing you often hear about the 2.3 and 2.0L saab engines is that when you pull them apart that you can still see honing marks on the cyl walls even at very high mileage==not much wear. There are a tons of saabs with super-high mileage at saabnet. I really don't see that happening with the 2.2L unless GM turns the quality corner. All the american car companies have gotten into "cost engineering" which basically means making the car with less money while still being able to sell them. So they cut stuff you can't see or will not notice until you've gotten the car home. This helps short-term profits which is all that seems to matter to a lot of business nowadays. I want to be confident when i buy a car that it will last to two or three hundred thousand miles and still be good to drive. I just don't feel that they build those nowadays.

    The early saturns were built like that, but they cut corners in order to turn a profit--specific example are replacing the back brakes with inferior cheaper drum brakes, removing the performance option from the automatic transmission, moving to cheaper interior cloth, and cutting back on the vaunted saturn service. So i'm not entirely thrilled with the general taking over but they supposedly have taken a "hands off" approach to saab, which i'd like to see the results of.

    I am adopting a wait-and-see attitude with saab right now. I am hoping GM cost engineering and parts sharing do not devalue saab and make make them less unique, respectively. Some of the second is already happening--sitting in a saturn ls2 you see a number of the same interior components, and the same six-banger is up front, albeit not turboed. Soon the saturn 4-cyl will share motors with the saab line as well as the same manual transmission. OTOH, my saturn had no real mechanical "problems" up to 100K miles, but the entire car got "loose" including the engine which had badly worn valve guides despite my always using synthetic oil and filter, and had piston slap. Both of these are attributable to low tolerances in manufacturing ( saves money ) and lower quality metal and materials ( also saves money ) I am hoping saab does not go this direction.

    marketing: Yeah, there have been ads--i saw some during the olympics but i feel that they were image ads and not spreading facts about the car. I really think that's the direction they need to go. They need to explain it's fast to 60, safest euro ncap car ever tested, vented seats, etc.

    saaber: that's quite a response for one sentence said about you to someone else. :) I've been away because of work and a new car purchase.

    (1) yes i did make a web site--it contained only facts about your complaints. Thats is not an attack and how long it took ( 1.5 hours ) is irrelevant.

    (2) I have not been asked to stop making personal attacks and I am not. All i said was that you are trolling and i doubt you actually own the vehicle. That is an observation of your actions, and a fact about my personal opinions. Fact is, anytime a person points out flaws in your argument or shows you in a fib, you yell "personal attack." yet

    (3) I am/was a prospective 9-5 shopper trying to find out info. Don't you always emphasize this group is to get facts to potential buyers? I won't be getting one soon since I recently ( a few weeks ago ) added a 328 next to our '97 900SET. But I want to follow because we may move to one in a few more years from our 900.


    Yes dski i am totally serious. My old e-mail address listed here in my profile was to my job, not hard to figure out where i work. I only chaged it when I realized any random nut could call my job--after the aforementioned e-mails.

  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    >>>I have not been asked to stop making personal
    attacks and I am not. All i said was that you are
    trolling and i doubt you actually own the vehicle. That is an observation of your actions, and a fact
    about my personal opinions. Fact is, anytime a
    person points out flaws in your argument or shows
    you in a fib, you yell "personal attack." <<<

    Well, sorry, my mistake, your comments (including this comment) are all about your opinions on the 9-5 and not about personally attacking me.
    Maybe you are not really understanding the "personal" part of making a "personal attack." That means any time you criticize a person rather than the substance of the person's 9-5 comment. One might perceive the term "trolling" and opinions on a person's car ownership as "personal" rather than nonpersonal. Can someone else help out here?

    David, while you were gone, many here expressed an interest in getting beyond this back and forth negative attacking. Some pointed out that the attacking had all to do with "egos," and little to do with substance about the 9-5. It's hard for change to take place with several individuals who refuse to break the pattern. Let's hope that pattern changes for the good of everyone.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    I hope that the SAAB SUV based on an Aztek comments were a joke :)
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Well, the SUV based on the same PLATFORM as the aztec. What that means is it's going to share the same floorplan ( general dimensions, where parts are mounted, where the doors and pillars are at, etc), and, likely, to a certian extent the frame. Why they can't be like AUDI and VOLVO and just provide a 4WD elevated version of the wagon, I don't know. It doesn't mean they'll have to take the hideous bodywork and work with that!

    The 9-5 is based on an opel vectra platform, but the cars are not really all that similar, but it does help in component sharing. All sorts of frame bits and components can be shared, which saves money and development time.

    If they come out with something as hideous as the aztec, I will assume saab is upset about being bought and is exacting revenge on GM. Escalating from there would be forcing GM maangement to eat luedfisk(sp?) during a visit. That would mean war.

    On the subject, I think saab missed the boat by building their car on the opel vectra platform instead of the opel omega platform. I think the omega is a much more suitable foundation for a luxury car. Test drive a catera vs a saturn LS ( i did ) and you'll see what I mean. Of course the issue is that the omega is RWD, but I would argue that RWD is better nowadays for all but econoboxes with the advanced traction control systems now available.

  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    This is amazing...

    I really don't know what else to do. Most of you have been reasonable about trying to keep this topic productive and I appreciate that.

    hello26 made some good observations. In addition to those, I have a few. saabber does over-complain a bit and over-inform new guests about the flaws. They don't need to be repeated (in detail) every time a new visitor shows up with a question. By the same token, one saabber post draws return fire that usually eclipses his comments.

    For the same reason that saabber doesn't need to repeat the litany of problems on his car to every guest, it's not necessary for each of his outspoken opponents to attempt to disprove him each and every time.

    Questioning credibility is a gray area of "personal attack". I guess maybe that I have the perspective of seeing genuine, full-tilt personal attacks in several other topics on a regular basis.

    I really don't want to ask any body here to leave or make them feel that they should but...

    Talking about the car, not just your problems with the car and not about the validity of other guests' claims would be most appreciated.


    Sedans Host
  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110
    Can you give me the address for that Saaber site? I have to see this. Kudo's, Bravo, You the man!! Thanks for telling it the way it is, ditto!
    I am pretty impressed with the turbo six. Many people believe that only 3 cylinders are turbocharged but all 6 are. Only the exhaust from 3 cylinders feed the Turbo. The 0-60 time on this is 7.3 (Road and Track) with the traction control off. MPH on highway, near 28-29. On the other hand, the Aero full pressure 4 cyln turbo only cuts off .3 seconds (7.0). MPH is better. Historically, Saab has really set the Aero far apart with engine performance, styling, seats. Currently its not too much different than the sedan, and I am not sure its worth taking that very tight suspension everyday for the little extra performance. We will see how the 6 holds up over time. I love the Viggen which has way better specs than the 9-3SE. I have seen that Saab is going to have the 6 with a larger turbo boost next year.
    As far as the Aztec, I believe people misunderstand using the same platform. The platform is only the base metal frame structure that is very expensive for auto manufacturers to produce. The equipment needed to produce the platform is one of the industries largest expense in development of a car. Not the engine, suspension, body, interior, dash, which are all different. Performance, handling, comfort are all different for each car. This is not a Yukon/Suburban situation. Again, thanks for the Saaber site and great discussion topics. I owe you a cold one.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    L8_Apex, thank you.

    dave, you might be right about Opel's platforms, but when is a SAAB not a SAAB? GM answered the question: when is a Cadillac not a Cadillac (when it is a Cimmeron) and they have the Escalade (or as Edmunds called it the "Escapade").

    I did not mean to imply that there was anything wrong with platform sharing but if a future SAAB shares a platform with the Aztec, it would not be a "true" SAAB by virtue of the fact, since what else is there that is "SAAB," anyway?

    You point to FWD as the obvious issue and I agree that it is, but the 9-5 is FWD because SAAB is FWD historically (50 years). I think your word for this is: saabish :) I disagree that SAAB is a luxury car. I think it is a performance car first. I disagree that FWD should be replaced with RWD + computer systems.

    FWD is the elephant in the SAAB room that nobody likes to address because FWD is not highly thought of in a non-economy context. I think SAAB should address this directly! SAAB and Audi excel at FWD, although Audi made its recent reputation with Quattro. SAABs are great to drive because they are FWD IMO, specifically they move side to side at high speed better than any car made-

    You suggest that SAAB might do something with the wagon and I agree with that. I can tell lop that the 9-5 is not an Opel but at some point it might be an Opel or a Pontiac.
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    Thank You, Thank You and Thank You!
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    just got back from 3 weeks in europe.
    rented a passat with the 1.8t.
    o.k. car.
    averaged 27 mpg and 105 mph.
    but ,the car feels not too good when going over 105 or so.
    maybe with the v6 it would feel better at higher speeds.
    the car is good for the usa and our speeds.
    and, at $26,000 in the usa with te 6, i think is a better deal than the 9.5.
    it feels good at 100 mph all day. the longest day was from knokke belgium to berlin. ave. 100mph ,but between hanover and berlin the cruising speed was 115. excellent new autobahn. in the aero i could have cruised at 135 comfortably in his stretch.
    the REASON FOR MYPOST IS TO TELL YOU THAT THE SEATS ON THE PASSAT---CLOTH-- are more comfortable than those on the 9.5. PERIOD.

    AND, while there i learned from the paris auto show, that in europe the viggen is being discontinued.
    the aero will now come with two engines---both the 4 banger,150 and 205 hp.
    will try today, to see if i can order the front seats of the new aero for my 2000.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I saw a picture of tne "future" suv model I believe in one of my investment magazines. It did not look at all like an aztec. Not bad looking, as I have never said anything negative about the looks of a saab. It seemed to look more like suzuki vitera or even the mercedes model, but the picture showed the suv mostly from the front. Its just like the vw beetle sharing the same platform as the jetta. Two much different looking cars, but same platform.

    As for platform sharing in general, it appears that saab has no choice. The company was run into the ground by saab itself, and the only way to rescue the company is to use some cost cutting methods. This is not criticism of the current 9-5, this is criticism of the old line saab managers that messed the company up leading to acquisition by GM and leading to the production of the current 9-5 problems which i mention here.
  • rtd1rtd1 Member Posts: 22
    While we're crawling out on the speculation limb, I'll join in too.

    The Mexico-built SUV is looking inevitable, so we're left hoping that Saab's engineers are given enough time and resources to do it *right*. I think Saaber is in the ballpark when citing the Merc SUV as one of the targets. I see lots of those, along with the eerily similar Lexus model, around town. They're very "carlike", which makes them better in most ways than the garden variety SUV (except for towing and straddling stumps). It will, after all, be a unibody and not a body on frame design, and one can guess it'll hit the market in the mid-$30s.

    I still think they're coming to the dance too late, but Saab may be lucky enough to catch a wave of consumer SUV downsizing as the cost of fuel climbs further. There are at least 17 million Explorer owners in California alone, looking to jump ship;-)

    I don't think a "Saabtek" precludes an AWD 9-5 wagon. They're obviously learning the ins and outs of AWD technology. They're moving convertible production to Steyr-Puch(sp?), who have lots of AWD experience. They also have to be seeing what Volvo and Subaru especially have established in that market niche w/ their AWD wagons. Finally, an AWD wagon would be cheap and easy to develop, as least compared to building a Saab from scratch on a GM minivan platform in another continent.

    Finally, if/when Saab decided to move upmarket, in-house AWD knowledge would allow them to street a 300hp high performance sedan having their performance parameters. (Don't look for any RWD Saabs in this lifetime.)
  • renzo09renzo09 Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 2000 9-5 2.3 and I am curious if any of you have experienced fuel tank thunking at about 2/3 of a full tank of gas? Is it a serious problem worth correcting? Have any of you had the this problem corrected? What is the optimal settings for city driving with respect to MPG and wear and tear? TCS on or off? Sport mode on or off? Have any of you experienced a whistling from the sunroof at 55+ mph? Opinions on the Saab stereo would be helpful. I wish mine had a little more power at higher volume levels? Thanks for the input!!
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Renzo09, I was told that I should not post about the fuel tank thunking issue because new readers could take 20 minutes or so to scroll back several hundred posts to find answers for themselves. Thank you for showing that position to be wrong, and why there is a need to make sure new customers have easy access to the information before they make a purchase rather than after the fact. I guess saab would not like that if the purchasers knew about the problems ahead of time.

    There is a site here in edmunds directly devoted to discussing the fuel tank thunking issue. It is in Maintenance at

    Saab has known about this fuel tank problem the entire time, and there is a confidential service bulletin on the issue, but you can be certain that saab did not want you to know about the problem before you purchased your vehicle. There is a "fix," but it will cost you 2-3 gallons of fuel capacity (according to two separate saab technicians I have spoken to).

    ON the sport mode issue, I like to use it all of the time in city driving because I find the acceleration sluggish from 1-15 mph without it, and I do not like to have to floor the pedal to get acceleration.

    On the stereo issue, this was discussed by many here several months ago when the conversations were more civil. I personally think the HK system is marginal. It does not give a full sound. So far I have not found a replacement that fits, but it will be interesting to hear others views on this issue.

    I have not had the same whistling on the sunroof, but I have had crackling instead. That sounds like a weird problem and hopefully there is no alignment problem up there which is causing the problem.

    Good luck, and i hope you keep us all updated with how you deal with the "quirks" in your saab.
    I know that others are going to now come in to not offer you their postive and helpful opinions, but just to discredit mine. Sorry about that.
  • rtd1rtd1 Member Posts: 22
    The fuel tank noise is an annoyance to some, and I wouldn't hesitate to let the dealer know you've noticed it and would like to hear what your options are. There's no definitive fix from Saab for it that I know of.

    The TCS won't affect mileage in any way. The sport mode will use a bit more gas, as it increases throttle angle and moves the shift points to higher rpms. Whether this difference is more than negligable probably depends on what kind of driving you do. I have the V6 and don't use sport too often. When I do, I get lots of communication from the TCS.

    I took my SE to a high-end stereo shop and they came up with a pretty expensive upgrade plan, which I may or may not ever pursue. It involved retiring the dash speakers, upgrading the F. door speakers, adding an amp and adding a subwoofer. FWIW he really liked the head unit(!)
  • rbrrbr Member Posts: 113
    Greetings -- I'm new to this list. I drive a '97 900SE that is about to come off lease and I'm looking to lease a 2001 9-5 SE shortly. I have had the opportunity to drive a number of 9-5s as service loaners over the last year and a half and my wife and I just test drove a 2001 9-5 SE last weekend.
    On the thunking issue, as an avid Edmunds website reader I have read all the posts on the fuel tank thunking issue, as well as at least the last 300-400 posts on this general site. As I have never heard this noise, I asked my salesperson for a separate "fuel tank thunking," test drive, which I just took about an two hours ago today. We brought a brand new, almost empty, 2001 9-5 SE to the gas station and filled it up to slightly more than 1/2 tank. We then spent about 30 minutes driving the car around performing every maneuver I could think of (fast stop, slow stop, turning fast, turning slow, going backwards then stopping fast, slow, etc., etc. etc... every possible combination I could think of both on the road and in a large open parking lot to try to get the fuel dancing around in the tank). We then went back to the station and filled the tank up just slightly below the 3/4 tank mark (about 2-2.5 gallons more gas) and did the same maneuvers all again. I kept the radio off and the salesperson quiet (although the salesperson did say that she has had a number of customers ask for a similar "thunking" test drive). By the way, temperature was about 60 degrees and road conditions were perfect.

    Verdict -- The only time I heard any sound was when I performed a fast backing up maneuver, hitting the brakes hard, with the tank slightly below the 3/4 mark, and it was so slight I cant even tell if it was a fuel tank noise. It certainly wasnt enough to be bothersome, much less noticeable.

    I certainly do not doubt the veracity of the comments on the this issue, but I could not reproduce the problem using the most scientific approach I could think of based on the comments on this site that the noise occurs between 1/2 and 3/4 of a tank. The salesperson I am working with at Countryside Saab/VW in Minnesota stated that they are certainly aware of the issue, but that they had never been able to reproduce it nor was she aware of any 9-5 customer reporting the "thunking" problem to their service department.

    This is indeed befuddling as I would think its the type of issue that would exist on every 9-5 produced for the U.S. -- assuming they all now have the same gas tank, and assuming they have not yet produced a "fix" that they have now incorporated (I believe the manufacture date for the car I drove was August, 2000).

    We have decided to order a 2001 9-5SE in Sun Green with the tan interior to be delivered at the end of November when my 900SE lease runs out. Notwithstanding my test drive today, I think I'll take mine out for another "thunking" drive before I accept delivery. I hope this adds value to the discussion.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I have the same sun green 9-5 SE with tan interior (2000). Its a good looking car.

    As for your test drive, that was a great thing to do, and I wish everyone else did the same. That's exactly why I post the information about the fuel tank issue. There are some who report it and some that don't. You have done what every new customer should do which is to test drive the car and make a personal decision based on free information and your own experience. I wish everyone did what you did so there were no surprises, and nothing left to chance. This also gives you the piece of mind to know exactly what you are getting for the price you are paying. Good luck with your purchase, and i hope you have the same experience with the new 9-5 that you take delivery on. Thanks as well for using edmunds which has apparently turned out to be a great source for a lot of first time posters rather than just for the "regulars" (myself included) who post here every day. Congrats again on your purchase decision, and please keep in touch on this board with your delivery and driving experiences.
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    ...find posts pertaining to particular subject matter within the hundreds in a thread is to use the browser's Find function. Although it can take a a minute or two over 33.6K or 56K dial-up, using the method via your employer's T1, DS3, etc. or via cable modem or DSL only takes seconds. Simply click on "see all responses" at the top of the page, wait for the topic to load in it's entirety, go to Edit, Find (or Search) then type in "thunk". This will find just about every thunking-related post in the topic. I use this handy functionality all the time.


    Sedans Host
  • r34r34 Member Posts: 178
    I posted the following message under another topic but it seems that people like to go into this one more frequent.

    It seems that buying a 1-2 years old 9-3 is a much
    better deal than buying a new one.

    If the car is so good, why people want to sell
    them in 1-2 years ? (I don't think people like to
    lease a car for only 1-2 years). Is it a bigger
    chance those used cars are lemons?

    Does anyone worry about buying a used turbo car
    because the previous owner may abuse the car or not
    taking much care to the car ?
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Some people get 2 year leases. It's not that uncommon.

    Some people tire of cars after 1-2 years, or realize they made a mistake ( not enough trunk/back seat, not fast enough, etc ).

    There are a lot of 1-2 year old cars of any make at dealers--i've looked!

  • rbrrbr Member Posts: 113
    I will certainly keep in touch about our 9-5 when we pick it up. In the meantime, if I hear anything more about the fuel tank thunking issue (a non-issue for me, so far, thankfully) I will advise this forum.

    I believe the 9-5 is a real "sleeper," particularly given the very aggressive pricing, loyalty programs and money factors that Saab is offering. We also looked at an Acura 3.2 TL, but the 2001 9-5 SE is actually cheaper on a 3yr/36,000 mile lease ($420 vs. $450, plus tax), which I find remarkable given that the MSRP on the Saab is nearly $10,000 more than the Acura TL. Not to mention free maintenance, free OnStar for a year and service loaners through my Saab dealer. Although the TL is a wonderful car, the Saab simply feels more solid to me (and more safe to my wife).

    By the way, I reviewed most of those 300-400 posts not just looking for the fuel tank issue, but also just to get a feel for others impressions of the car. A million thanks to Edmunds for providing this wonderful forum!
  • c21robdavc21robdav Member Posts: 6
    I am the recent new owner of a 9-5 se wagon. I definately do have the thunking problem. It occurs with about a 3/4 full tank of gas and it happens when you are driving and then come to a complete stop. I do mean an absolute complete stop.
    You hear a thunk followed by a series of lesser thunks. I told my dealer (Saab of Greenwich) who said they could install the gas tank baffles for me. But frankly the noise does not bother me enough to install the remedy.The noise itself is not a disturbing or annoying noise to me especially since I know what is causing it. BTW the dealer told me they have not yet installed one set of baffles.
    FWIW I think the HK sound system sounds pretty good and certainly alot better than the garbage Bose system of my Mercedes. Now that is a bad sound system.
  • rbrrbr Member Posts: 113
    I recall reading either in this forum or the wagon forum a theory that the noise may be amplified in the wagon due to the noise resonating in the larger rear compartment without the advantage of the noise insulation offered by the rear shelf of the sedan. Maybe the same effect could be created by driving the sedan with the rear seats lowered, but I dont want to go off the deep end over analyzing this issue.

    By the way, I drove a 5-speed 9-5 wagon for a weekend as a service loaner -- it was a blast to drive. Unfortunately, my wife wont let me get a five speed...(sigh).
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    I believe it was Saaber that stated the 9-5 stereo was marginal and the bass left much to be desired. I couldn't agree more. However, what I found that helps is to set the "bass" control to the deepest bass setting and the "fad" control so the rear speakers become more prominent, it seems to kick-up the bass somewhat.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    Someone stated just recently that the dealer could make adjustments to the stereo to change its features. When I had my stereo replaced (because the original one was defective), the service technician stated that the stereo operated separately from the car's computer, and no adjustments could be made. Any additional thoughts on this issue from anyone? Maybe the original one was not defective, but just not set correctly.
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    >>However, what I found that helps is to set the "bass" control to the deepest bass setting and the "fad" control so the rear speakers become more prominent, it seems to kick-up the bass somewhat.<<

    There is a programable feature for the Stereo that activates or deactivates the Sub Woofer (weak as it is). Check with your manual. It describes a feature that turns "Loud" on and off. If it set to "on" you should get a much better Bass response.

    Once you do this, the best setting is to bias the fade more to the Front Speakers. High End System Experts want you to fade more to the front for the music & voice with bass or Sub to the rear. How often do you sit at a live performance facing away from the Stage?

  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    To clarify my explaination of fade, etc. You can't fade music & voice to the front and fade bass & sub seperately to the rear. What I mean is, With a proper set up, the sub woofer is not controlled but the Fade Feature. So, fading to the front doesn't effect the sub in the rear (when subs are properly place in the rear that is.) A sub can have a seperate volume control (I have one in my other vehicle. In the 9-5 it's a simple on/ off I believe.

    Also, with a quality system, your best sound should be with bass and treble controls in the 'Neutral' position. That isn't nesessaritly true with all systems.

  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    well,i went to the dealer and found out that the viggen seats that come in the european aero are not comming to the usa. but,i was told that who knows,they may just start shipping the aero with these seats without prior notification.

    re--the stereo---it is third rate. i tried to replace it with the nakamichi system and was told that it would not work because it is interlaced with the computer.---who knows .

    i also tried the cadillac system--their top of the line---and was given the same reply.
  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110
    Two different stereo systems. The base model has 150 Watt stereo with seven speakers. The SE has a 200 Watt stereo with nine speakers (including two subwoofers in the rear window deck).

    First hit the weather band button and then turn on your system. Use the SEEK button to scroll through the different function settings.

    Both systems are not inexpensive, and with a few adjustments should meet even the critical listeners taste.

    Don't bother to trying to hard wire your cell phone to the stereo. I did for months, and the technology is just not there (local cell phones are changing so rapidly). Though it was a brick, my 9000 came with a phone installed in the center console. The stereo would auto mute with an incoming call, and you could talk/listen through the mic in the rear view mirror and speaker in the dash. The 9-5 is set up to do the same, but ATT, Nokia, scratch their heads.
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    >>re--the stereo---it is third rate. i tried to
    replace it with the nakamichi system and was told
    that it would not work because it is interlaced
    with the computer.---who knows.<<

    Well, I'll agree to second rate. If you want to make a big improvement, you should be able to have a custom shop change out the speakers with a higher quality. Then add a good amp with a JL Audio Sub. After that - I guarantee you'll love the sound. I did this with my previous SUV w/out replacing the in dash Head Unit and the Sound was AWESOME!

    I think the problem your having is with changing out the factory head unit. The quality of it should be just fine with upgrading everything else.

  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110

    What unit do you have, the base or the SE?
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    dski----good idea. when i went to the stereo place they wanted to install a sub-woofer in the trunk and this took too much space so i walked away.
    your idea is good.---will try to get higher quality speakers and an amp with an equalizer built in,provided it is small.---maybe i can locate rear speakers with deep bass extension and this may solve the tinny sound problem.---even though i am more into the mid-range.
    any other ideas let me know .
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    As a compromise, I will agree to second rate rather than third rate. I have heard worse, but I have also heard much better, especially for a 9 speaker system.

    I tried the WB button, and the only choices were loudness on/off and the preset volume for when you turn on your stereo. Am I missing anything? Are there other options?
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    Is this guy listening to the same stereo as we are in the Saab.
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    The reviewer makes mention of a Harmon Kardon amplifier mounted in the trunk. Anybody seen or heard of this, I've never seen anything in the saab catalog. If a amplifier is available, it solves many of the stereo complaints posted here.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Wow, I'm suprised to read all these negative comments about the HK system in the 9-5. I think it's the best I've ever heard. I've owned Nissan/Bose and Chrysler/Infinity and both were a significant cut below the Saab/HK, IMO. It's design is front-stage/rear-fill which creates a natural sound stage. It's the best way to design a system for the car.

    I used to sell high-end car audio and heard plenty of terrible factory audio systems. And I sold what I thought was terrible equipment, but the customers liked the stuff and decided with their wallets, so I sold and installed it. Everyone has different taste in music and sound, and I'm not criticizing that. But I totally agree with the Ride and Drive article. I've used several DDD discs and some Telarc test discs and samplers (CD's with a variety of music designed to showcase certain audio capabilities) and I thought the HK system was first class. Much better the the Bose crud in my old Infiniti and Nissans.

    To each his own, I guess.
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    SMU - I have the SE.

    ffb - My opinion - You really won't need an equilizer if you can find a quality shop to set it up correctly. My results in the Durango w/ factory head unit were Great. I had Rockford Amp, Great Rockford Speakers (top of the line ones where the key) and the JL Audio Sub.

    I transfered the sub and amp to my new truck and added an Alpine Head Unit but didn't keep the Roockford speakers. Instead they used Memphis Speakers that S**K! I'm swithcing back to the Rockfords ASAP. I do think great sound requires a Sub though. Be prepaired for a shock - I spent $2K with intallation.

    Bret - Compared the the Bose and Infinity Systems you referrenced, the Saab HK system is very good IMO. Particulary compared to Chyrslers Infinity - that one is a waist of money. I don't have complaints about the HK unit, it is acceptable IMO but I do know that it can be greatly improved. It all comes down to what people want and are willing to pay for. For Saab to spend another $2-3K on a great system would be lost on most people who are happy with the current set up. I'm not changing ours but then I have a top of the line system in the vehicle I spend most of my time in.

  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    That article is certainly not about the HK system in my SE. When he talks about setting the bass and treble to 4 or 5 or 0, I do not really get what he is talking about. I have a little knob that I turn left or right. I do not have number settings for these or am I missing things.

    I wonder which HK system the article is referring to?
  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    THE GUY WHO REVIEWED THE HK SYSYTEM must have received a freebie.---i.e.--the article is full of hk supplied p.r.material. ,including photos.
    granted these are supplied by a mfr. when a magazine calls and tells them they are doing an article.....but this one just smells..
    also,he made no reference to the mb ,bimmer,and caddy systems.and,the nakamichi on the lexus.
    granted these cars are more expensive,but not so the caddy.
  • saabeesaabee Member Posts: 23
    I checked with my dealer shortly after my initial post regarding the HK article, asked about the amplifier, he knew nothing. The parts manager suggested I bring the article in and he would check it out with Saab.

    I agree with ffb13 that the article is full of HK produced PR material. However, it could be the article is describing a future optional upgrade for Saab's 9-5 stereo system, but the reviewer just didn't clarify that point.
  • plaaaaaneplaaaaane Member Posts: 32
    Looking for a car, I'm considering safety first. The S80 was great, but the trouble reports are too scary right now. I was surprised to see FOrd owns Volvo, and now I see GM owns Saab. I want to test drive one this week.

    Does anyone know if the GM employees discounts your relatives can get for you- I believe its 5% on a new car- are accepted at Saab/

  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    when i bought my aero i got all the price points,and yes gm does have an employee discount for saabs,and it is big time.higher than 5 %.
    if i recall correctly,my aero listed at $45,500 est.
    i got it for $39,600.
    and the gm employee price i recall was approx. $37,600.----which is slightly lower than the euro delivery price.
    by the way i got the price from the dealers confidential invoice--the one in the back room.
  • saabbersaabber Member Posts: 84
    I agree with you that something doesn't smell right about the HK article. As I noted earlier, there are referenced to setting the bass and fade to "0" or "4" or "5". The article is dated in May 2000, so i do not think they are referring to any upgrades which would not be out until now.
    Notice also that there is an HK website connector at the bottom of the article.
    This could be just plain misrepresentation again, but I am use to this on the 9-5, so I can't say I am surprised.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    I'm not a GM employee but I do know that they get unreal deals on Saabs. I was talking to the mgr. that sold me my 9-5 and he told me all about the employee purchase plan. The dealer gets kicked back $$ after the sale so you should just be able to walk in and get their best price. My dealer had invoice pricing ready to go for GM folks. It's a great deal for all involved so if you want one I say go get it.
  • smu1976smu1976 Member Posts: 110
    The start volume is not the listening volume guys.
    You have a 150-200 watt stereo that comes limited from the factory at the default "9" out of "30" setting. Again, hit WB weather band, then turn on your stereo. Then increase the amp setting to about "25" or "26". Wait about 5 seconds and the listening volume will return to where you had it.
    Now!! Turn up the volume. Instead of listening to a 30-50 watt stereo, your listening to 100-140 clean watts. Drew, now this will keep up with your Mitsu. This is a great stereo. I will use the analogy that you guys have been driving a 200hp car at 50 horses. Turn up the amp, and enjoy. Now your subwoofers will kick in, your midrange much more clear. A little fade to the back helps, but then you have to turn down the bass. Harmon International is a great company, I don't work for them, but stereo's are my true passion. I agree that the directions are the Saab service techs (most) do not even know this. Its a Euro thing. Note: If you have a teen that may tend to test how high this system will go, then you may want to limit the amp volume to the factory preset "9" or "10". I keep mine at "26" to avoid any clipping. But hey, if you blow a dash speaker, have it replaced! Enjoy the sound and then submit your review of this fine system.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Great tip! Hot dang, a built-in gain control. Most car audio amps have a little adjuster that allows someone to adjust the gain, sort of like a master volume control. I used to do this all the time when I sold multi-amplifier systems in order to balance the output front to rear. I had no idea the gain was adjustable in the 9-5. The advise about using a moderate setting is very important since the amp can clip and distort which will destroy your speakers. It's very difficult to blow speakers with too much power but easy to do with too little.

    Thanks again, smu1976. This is the kind of info I'm looking for here at Edmunds.
  • dskidski Member Posts: 414
    >>Drew, now this will keep up with your
    Mitsu. This is a great stereo.<<

    The Saab system does much better than the factory Mitsu's but what you forget is that my Montero was stripped of it's factory system. The Saab HK can't hold a candle to my new one. Trust me.

    I now have a 390 Watt 5 channel Rockford Amp, top dollar speakers and a 10" JL Audio Sub Woofer - all of which are connected to one of the top Alpine units.

    I know how to max out the Saab system and TRUST me, It can't hold a candle to my System in the Mistu. Like I've said, When set up properly the Saab system is fine - it just isn't top of the line. Also it is a shame the properly setting it up is soo mysterious. Why should a good system have to be programmed through odd ways in order to sound its best?

    Don't get me wrong on this. I'm not saying that Saab should be providing anything other than the current system. For the money I think it is appropriate. I'm one who prefers to select my own choices for High End Sound Equipment. The Head Unit in the Saab will work fine for those who would like to upgrade it to the best sound available.

  • ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    WELL, I TRIED The suggestion and did the gain up to 26.----result----a little more bass, but the music and voices are still lacking definition ,--have no "air" round them---somewhat veiled and muddy sound as compared to the best systems out there.
    and, over extended listenning i did get some fatigue---probably the low end or the high end distorting.
    going back to a lower setting for now.

    before trying out the above i did go into a stereo store and they just wanted to add an amplifier--a clean sounding unit,but would not touch the speakers.--just as well.

    and the head unit,the fm reception is good in terms of acquiring and holding a signal,but,not much definition .

    so.i guess i will have to live with this.

    for those of you who think you have a good system may i suggest that you go into a caddy ,bmw or mb or lexus dealer and ask to listen to their top of the line stereos. and,the lexus now has a mark -levinson system as a top end. an excellent company in high end home systems,but in the automotive field i prfer the nakamichi.
    this ,i think is a waste of money as compared to the nakamichi system .
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