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Saab 9-5 Sedan

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  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Jerry -

    We own an 01 Outback Wagon (H4, 5spd) and a 02 9-5 Linear Wagon (auto+prem). Both are great cars and good values in their respective niches. We hope to drive both a long time, although I did test drive an 03 Aero sedan w/stick last week. I was tempted to trade in the Sube but it's just not time yet.
  • I just purchased a gorgeous '99 9-5 SE V6 with 60K miles on it. Although I realize there will be some baggage with that kind of mileage, its only been about 30 days now and I'm already depressed; the CD player stopped working (it wouldn't eject the CD that was in there and the computer said "no CD"), and now the heat on the driver's side is no longer working - in fact, its blowing cold air, and the high temperature this week in Boston was 10 degrees!....my mechanic told me he checked the computer and it said "loose flap", and then told me to take it to a dealer as he was not familiar with this -- has anyone encountered this before? Please someone tell me I won't have to replace the entire heater unit, which I'm told could run $1800..and while your at it, please comfort me and tell me I was smart to get rid of my '96 Honda Accord for this car........
  • Currently driving a 2000 A6 2.7T which is coming to lease end. With this lousy economy, I am looking to downsize and plan to look in the $30-35K range. I really like the new 9-3 and a nicely equipped Arc would be in this range. Wondering if a discounted 9-5 would get me in the same range and be a better option. Any opinion out there on the merits of one vs. the other?
  • mbo222mbo222 Posts: 2
    Just bought (leased actually) my first Saab. 2003 9-5 aero all options. I had to work pretty hard to get my price. Wondering what other people got? I was able to get it for 1000 under invoice. With Saab's 1000 cash back incentive (or $4000 if you use an outsourced lease), I think I got a pretty good deal. I mean Saab right now is using a money factor of 0.0009! I compared this car to the Volvo T5 (fully loaded), Acura TL, BMW 330xi, and the G35. The T5 was a bit jerky on the acceleration, but a good car. The G35 had the best juice but I felt the interior was kinda cheesy. The Acura felt like it was all made of plastic. Don't get me started on the BMW. These guys need to get a clue. Told me the 330 was so superior it would be more appropriate to compare the Aero to the base 325. The base 325, what a joke. Let me know what you guys think.

    Mark
  • Saw a reference to Saab's "Financial Difficulties" a few posts back. How bad are things for Saab? Any talk of pulling out of the US/North American market?

    -Darrin Sharp
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    There are a number of articles about this. Check out Forbes and the current issue of Automobile Magazine (has the new Mustang on the cover).

    No talk of pulling out but that will be GM's call. Saab lost $500 million in '02 and missed their sales targets by a good margin so hopefully they get it together soon.
  • bbf65bbf65 Posts: 29
    Congrats on your new car!

    I agree with you on your comments about the G35, and the BMW's.
    I didn't look at the Acura, and Volvo while i was shopping.
    I too have the Aero and am enjoying it.
    Have had for 4 months now.
    Don't know much about current pricing but anything BELOW invoice (imo) is always good.

    Enjoy your new car!
  • I just brought my 9-5 with 35,000 miles on it to my dealer to have them check the brakes because they were making some noise. They tell me that I need new rotors and it will be like a $550 job. I now know that you can not cut Saab rotors or turn them. So I am still under warranty but we all know it is not covered. Anyone else have this happen.
  • I believe you can probably find an '03 Aero in the upper end of that range, maybe less. There has been discussion on TSN (the saab network), and most feel the 9-5 Aero a far superior sports sedan to the 9-3...the Aero is a FUN drive. Regarding the finances, I was recently told that Bob Lutz (GM CEO) drives a 9-5 Aero, and that they are committed to bring the nameplate to daylight - which means incentives.
  • HAVE ANY OF YOU WHO OWN AN AERO GONE TO THE SAAB ACADEMY. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE ACADEMY IS FOR AERO OWNERS EXCLUSIVELY. IF ANYONE HAS ATTENDED COULD YOU ENLIGHTEN US AS TO WHAT THE EXPERIENCE IS LIKE. I DON'T EVER REMEMBER SEEING ANYTHING REGARDING THE ACADEMY ON THIS SITE. THANKS!
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I replaced the front pads at 28K as they were 80% worn, almost at the wear tabs. My rotors were slightly warped but I decided not to replace them.

    $550 seems a little steep but I don't know the complete work order so its hard to comment. I bought by pads from a TSN sponsor (not a dealer) and they cost me $55/set. One of the easiest pad replacements ever. A buddy and I did the work - replaced pads, flushed brake fluid, replaced fuel filter - in about 2 hours.

    You can buy a pair of OE rotors for under $200. Zimmerman cross drilled rotors are $120/pair. One liter of ATE Super Blue brake fluid is about $10.

    So based on these numbers that $550 price seems like 50% parts and 50% labor. Unless that includes a lot more work than what you described, I'd keep shopping.
  • grumbgrumb Posts: 21
    The reason you haven't heard anything is it is a new benefit for '03 Aero owners and the first class is later this spring
  • After seriously (publicly) slamming the Saab 9-5 in the first two years of my lease (on this site-to those that remember that far back), I finally got use to this car in the final year. The bottom line: the car is an average luxury entry, but it is seriously overpriced. The "lease" residual values tell the true story about what the car is truely worth on the open market. On a current three year lease at 12k miles/year, Saab values the 9-5 at 45% MSRP. This means that the car loses 55% of its value after three years. Mercedes and BMW value their entry series (the C-class and the 3-series) at 60% MSRP. This means that those entries lose 40% of their value after three years. On a $40k vehicle, that's a $6,000 difference. Residual values reflect what the manufacturer believes that it can get when it takes back the vehicle so it does not lose money on the lease. These are manufacturer predictions based on actual resale experience. The manufacturers do not pull these numbers out of a hat.
        Overall, the real market speaks for itself. As for the car, you will have to deal with all of the quirks (e.g., my engine failure light stayed on for two years, after several trips to the dealer). I also hope they fixed the "thunk" in the fuel tank which I finally got use to after two years. However, the car can grow on you over time, and I can see how there is a small group of die-hard followers who will live and die on their saab experiences. For me, on to bigger and better things with the similarly priced Mercedes C-class. A much quieter ride, and less "quirks." As for the 9-5, the car style is nearing its useful life, although I have always thought that the car was attractive. Since, the 9-5, every manufacture as put a lesser priced competitor on the market (including the 9-3). We will have to see what Saab can think of next to survive in this environment of "choices."
  • Residuals prices are notoriously inaccurate and are usually way too high. For example, when my 1999 9-3 lease ran out, the residual was about $14,500 on a $31,000 car on a 42 month lease (about a 47% residual.) The actual market value of the car at the end of the lease was about $10,000 (about 32%). This was not just a guess, it was verified by KBB and Chase Finance kept trying to get me to buy the car for a few grand above market value by lowering the buyout price on the car to about $12,000.

    The point is that residuals are set not only to help car finance companies from losing their butts but they are set to sub-vent the lease to address things like factory incentives and provide competetive lease deals. If you tried to sell your 9-5 at the end of the lease for 45% of MSRP, you would never get it. The 9-5 is so heavily subsidized that the residual is way too high. Incentives on 9-5's (linear usually) run up to $7,000 sometimes, and that kills the residual value. Residual value should reflect incentives, and if you compare your 9-5 residual with the incentivized cost of the car, which is what it typically sells for, vs. the residual on MB's and BMW's which should reflect MSRP as this is what they sell for, I think you'll find the residual percentages are very close on this basis.

    This is not unique to SAAB. I leased a 1997 Maxima and its residual was $20,000 after 3 years but the car was worth about $16,000. But high residuals are great for consumers. The higher the residual, the lower the cost of the lease (if you negotiate properly) because the amount of 'rent' or depreciation you pay will be less.

    As for the C Class, this car is not comparable to the 9-5 IMHO. It is a nice car, but smaller and more expensive, comparably equipped to the 9-5. The 9-5 can easily seat 5. You will be cramped with 5 in a C Class and I think the legroom for four is tight. Considering you can purchase a 9-5 new for the low $30's, it's price is equal or less to the C Class, but the 9-5 size is easily in the E Class territory, which is a far more refined car, but is in the $50's.

    After my 9-3 lease was up, I looked at the following cars:

    New 9-3 SS (it was nice, but I don't like buying new models due to potential for more problems with an untested design. Plus, the leases in December were using 8% MF's, way too high)

    9-5: I like this car but the leases with nice equipment were too high, I don't like to spend more than $350/month on a lease and no more than $1000 down

    Acura TL - Great lease deals but like a sardine can inside, salesman asked me would I be willing to set aside the fact that all seating positions were extremely tight and uncomfortable for a good price: Answer: No way.

    Passat: I usually buy/lease SAAB, VW or Nissan, for me, the Passat was the best blend of safety, performance, comfort and style for a very low lease price, so this is what I got with no regrets (also got a build date beyond coil problems, whew.). In this instance, VW residuals are set very high, they are noted for resale (why so over others I do not know, I think it is because VW's are very stylish right now so they sell well at a reasonable price point), so the lease deals are great, a 25k invoice car for $1k down and $350/month, 36 months, 12k per year.

    The 9-3 deals are getting better and 9-3's are better equipped than the Passat and come with free maintenance for 3 years (major only), but I am wary about the 9-3 for a few reasons:

    1. New model, new model problems
    2. Dealer network is weakening in my area due to low sales volume. My area only has one SAAB dealer mechanic within a 5 hour drive radius and very few independents, so service is very slow (I have lost my 1999 9-3 for close to a month for the heater box issue, thankfully they gave me a 9-5 loaner, but loaners now tend to be saturns)
    3. Increasing platform/parts sharing with GM makes me nervous.
  • gsb2gsb2 Posts: 1
    Needing brakes at 27k....is this normal? Dealer will first attempt to correct it by replacing pads for $220....however, they indicated that the rotors might need replacing for $650...I know brakes go but this early and for this price....help me out..thanks.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Saab brake pads, like many other Euro cars, are soft but also highly abrasive. You've probably noticed lots of brake dust on your front wheels, right?

    The estimated repair $ seems pretty high. Is your car already at the dealer's service department? If not, perhaps look for a reputable independent repair shop in your area. Check www.saabnet.com for listings and/or references in your area.
  • i am looking to buy a used 9-5 and i saw one at the local dealer that i like. it's 2000 9-5 SE with all the standard options plus heated both front and rear seats. the only problem is that somehow it has close to 90K miles on it. The car looks very clean with no apparent exterior/interior faults, i can probably have it for around $13Gs. i would really appreciate to hear any input on this. would it make sense to buy a 3-year old car with this mileage and if the price is right.

    thanks in advance!
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Front Brakes at 27K is not out of line at all for any vehicle. It's all dependant on your driving habits. If you told me that you drive 90% highway, then 27 would be too soon. If you told me you drive 90% stop and go around town, then you should be looking closer to your second set.

    Drew
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    As I've posted in here before, I replaced my front pads at 24K. They were 80% worn. Popped in a set of Pagids which cost me $55/set. Easiest pad replacement ever. Also flushed the brake fluid for good measure.

    Rear pads still have 2/3 left on them so I'll wait for another front pad replacement. By that time rotors will need replacing too. IIRC, Brembo OE repl. rotors are $100/set or so.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I have the exact car but with only 1/3 the miles. $13K is a full retail price, wholesale is like $10K. If I were you I'd be shooting for a price in the 11's +TTL.

    You'll want to confirm the timing belt was replaced around 60K miles. I'd also take the car to a local Saab specialist and have them go thru it with a fine toothed comb. Hi mile 9-5's do not seem to be worse than any other Euro sedan in terms of danger areas but a specialist will know most of the weak points.

    I dunno...... there are lots of SE's with a fraction of the miles for a few thou $$$ more. Why buy this one with 90K on it?
  • jmingjming Dallas, TXPosts: 9
    Hi fellow Saab folks...2000 9-5 2.3 here.

    At about 25-35mph I hear a distinct cyclical thrumming from the front end. Don't really know how else to describe the sound. It's not the tires...I recently replaced them, but the sound is the same before and after.

    Also hearing a distinct crunching sound in the front suspension over bumps when the car is cold. My normally excellent dealer "can't recreate the problem" that I hear every single morning. Rather annoying. Anyone have similar experiences?

    Thanks! Jim
  • dunn3dunn3 Posts: 29
    Hi everyone - It has been a while since I've been on this website (edmunds), and this is my first posting in the saab board. I went through about 100 previous posts, and I'm wondering if any of you would comment on whether I got a good deal or not...

    I bought a new 2001 Saab 9-5 (equivalent to today's linear) with all the options (heated and cooled front seats, HK stereo, auto transmission, etc etc.) in early september last year. The car had 50 miles and was not a demo. I paid ~ $28k. Was this too much?? I thought I read that somebody paid or was offered a '03 9-5 linear for $29.9k.
    Any comments?

    It has been a great car so far : )
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    That doesn't sound too bad, actually. I couldn't tell you what incentives were available at the time, though.

    If I had waited a couple months to buy my 9-5 the cash-back incentive would've been $2,000 more than what I got, but I can't concern myself with what could've been. You make the best deal you can at the time and go with it.

    At any rate, just enjoy your car. I do.
  • This is easy.

    Saab residuals (Reality ones.. not what Chase and Saab dream up) are very soft for a reason:

    Crap marketing. This means that GM in their infinite foolishness has to rely on dramatic subsidies to sell these cars.

    $400/mo, Nothing down? $40K European Large Luxury car? Gee, that's not such a tough thing to sell now is it?

    I think that if GM Marketed the cars the way Saab did when they were owned by the swedes, things would improve. In Europe Saabs have a reputation for iron-clad reliability/durability as well as having strong resale value. But then they are marketed properly there.

    For god's sake look at the damn 9-5 linear! It's HUGE, Very safe, VERY comfortable, the LPT 4cyl gets damn near 30 on the highway! And even at MSRP vs Invoice it's still VERY Cheap for what it is!

    Instead we get $349 a month, come on down!

    There's your problem guys...

    Bill
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Well perhapse GM should create a better marketing pland but to suggest Saab did it better on their own is crazy. As slow as sales are, they are still well above where they were in the pre-GM days. I don't recall any marketing before GM actually. I'm guessing it was all done in the North East to Pointy Headed accentric College Professors back in those days.

    Drew
  • tomekktomekk Posts: 310
    I'd say SAAB's marketing is like IBM's - if IBM invented sushi, they'd market it as "raw, dead, cold fish" (just like they market iSeries, formerly known as AS/400 - ever heard of those computers??? they're the best there is, no kidding) . . . the sad thing is that they seem to be selling the deal and not the car. BMW for instance is selling the car, and they get away with getting 40K+ for option 3-series, made in South Africa. Yuck.
    BTW, just today a friend of mine, who drives BMW 540 (2 years old, 6 speed) told me that the only car he's ever missed badly after sellign it was 9000 turbo (a few years ago), he still thinks it is the best car he's ever had.
    Tomek
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    SAAB should be spending money on building is brand image in the US like BMW and Mercedes has done for decades.

    But SAAB (and GM) are desperate to sell cars to keep the factories moving so they have to revert to "selling the deal" instead of "selling the image". Deal selling gets immediate results, image selling takes decades. SAAB needs results.

    There was a time that BMW was seen as a cheap alternative to the "premium" Euro brands like Mercedes and Jaguar. It's taken BMW the better part of 30 years to convince brand-concious Americans to pay full sticker for their cars and be happy doing so.

    SAAB needs to sell cars. They need to stop losing money. Once that's done they need to expand their model line. Then they can work on improving the brand. Mercedes Benz is one of the 10 most recognized and valuable brands in the world. It will take SAAB decades to emulate this performance. But first SAAB needs to get thru the next 24 months business plan.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Well guys, if you watch ESPN during the next few weeks with all the College Basketball going on, you'll see some great Saab Ads. They have a great commercial for the new 9-3. Saab/GM is advertising out there. We don't always see it because of their narrow Demographic target in the short term I think. I'm in their demographic though. College Football and Basketball seems to be a recent trend for them. ;)

    Drew
  • OK,

    Now this is making me nutty. Bret stopped by my store last week (Great to meet ya!) and has me puzzled.

    2 Months or so ago, I sold an '00 Aero 5-Speed. It was a sort of Slate Green, a grayish muddyish green.. very very pretty color. It was NOT Blue or Scarab Green.

    Was this maybe a special order Euro color? i think I have seen it on Saabs in Europe.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    have been out of here for a while. the car is now going on 3.5 years--2000 aero--
    and very happy so far .great handler.
    but on the snow tire package which is a good deal be careful...i just got burned today.
    the gislaved tires are hard to find and when i blew one out this am on the way from ct. to vermont i ended up going to the dealer in hartford ct.
    no one had theses tires in stock except for the dealer---and the new series 3 are uni-directional.but the problem with mine is that to buy the tire the dealer forced me to buy the wheel also...........$275.00 total bill for one snow tire that sells for about $80.00----or,wait 3 days for them or a local tire store to get one.
    i could have returned home but the spare is not that good . so now i have a spare wheel which i will use to buy a spare all wheather tire and throw away the donut which stinks.

    so,when you buy the tire/wheel combo,think about it before you do.
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