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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • rbrrbr Posts: 108
    "Saab's reputation for reliability is unfounded"

    Do you base this comment on your single experience? My experience with my 2001 9-5 SE has been essentially flawless, with only one out of the ordinary maintenance service visit in three years. I agree that its always a good idea to purchase an extended warranty if you are risk averse (like me) or if you suspect long term problems.

    I have not had the problem you have experienced -- is water getting in causing corrosion? Or was the wrong type of wire used? Possibly it was not repaired properly the first time.

    On the other hand, I'm not in love with my dealer's service department (they keep turning over personnel, and I'm left with the feeling that it must not be the greatest place to work), nor am I pleased that Saab has left a V6 out of the 2004 lineup, so when my lease runs out at the end of November I may look elsewhere.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I've mentioned this before in here but my '00 SE has been about as reliable as my previous Infiniti and only slightly less reliable than the Nissans before it.

    It's widely known in 9-5 circles that the early models did have their problems. As time went on the 9-5 got better. So I would not judge an entire car make by the unfortunate experiences of one person and/or one car. I've got a friend with a Lexus who has seen more service visits in 18 months of ownership than I have in the 3 yrs I've had a 9-5. And think of the thousands of Toyota owners with sludged up engines and Honda/Acura owners with auto trans problems.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I think you've hit on most of the main diffs between the '03 and '04 models. I think for you the real issue will be your long term ownership view.

    If you're leasing you may be better off in an '04 as I assume residual values are better. But check with your dealer for the latest numbers.

    If you are buying and keeping for the long haul then get the car you want. I don't think deals on '03s will get any better (there's prolly not much of an '03 selection to choose from).

    If you're buying and keeping for a short term you're better off with an '04 if only to minimize the depreciation hit.

    Beyond the financial issues I think you should get the car you want. If there's an '03 that's configured exactly the way you want it, go get it. If not, find an '04 that does the trick for you.

    I hope this helps. Happy shopping!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    you can also ask on the Car_man on the lease discussion board here on edmunds to get hte residuals and money rate.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • I am researching and testing a BMW 330i (with the performance package), a G35 Coupe, a Mazda Rx-8, a Lexus IS300 and a Saab 9-3 Aero or 9-5 Aero. After driving Saabs for years (and driving a 99 9-5 SE for four years) and testing the G35, I was ready to make the switch to Infiniti. But now I read about the G35's various problems with brakes, paint, etc., and I am starting to think I should not rule out Saab and go test a 2003 or 2004 9-5 Aero. The problem is that I am bored with my 9-5. I want something sportier and with more performance. Anyone compared the 9-5 Aero with a BMW 3301 or the G35?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    All except the new RX8. Most recently I attended a Saab USA event that allowed invitees to drive the new 9-3 and existing 9-5 Aero against the BMW 3 series, among other competitors.

    You may want to get a copy of Road & Track, July 2002 issue. They compared 11 sport sedans incl the 9-5 Aero, G35, 330i, and IS300.

    Sounds like you want a performance car with more of an edge. No question the other cars you mentioned will give you the sharper feel you're looking for. Of course, that will come at a significant cost in practicality but that may not be an issue with you. Have fun shopping.
  • Hello,
    I just bought a '00 9-5 Aero and I only got one key and one extremely large remote fob. My dealer wants $225 for a new key with built-in remote. Previous messages I've read have indicated that these go for $144, but those were posted over a year ago. Does anyone know how much they are currently charging and if I can get this done anywhere else besides the dealer.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Try - they're a Saab dealer that sells parts and accessories at discounted rates. You might still have to head over to your dealer for key/remote programming.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    the higher up you hold the remote ,the farther away it will act on your doors.-try it.
  • I just bought brand new tires for my '00 Aero and noticed that the car pulls considerably to the right. I took it in to the dealer and they did a 4 wheel alignment, but the car still pulls right. Took it back in and they rechecked the alignment and they checked to balance of the tires and everything is good. They explained to me that it might be the actual tires that are made wrong. Conveniently, this is what I was told last time I got an alignment on my '87 900 and it still pulled left. Any thoughts on what could be wrong, and how I should go about fixing it? Thanks.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I just did the same thing with my 2002 325xi. I put directional tires on my car (Michelin Pilot Sport A/S) and my car pulls right too.

    I was told by several vendors and mechanics that directional tires can do that. So I'm planning on doing a rotation front to rear on my right side to see if that fixes the problem. If not, I'll be trying the same thing on the left. If that doesn't fix it, I'll not be using directional tires anymore. :)

    But I'm looking for a luxury sport sedan. I have been looking at the BMW 5, Lincoln LS V8, and the upcoming Cadillac STS.

    My coworker has an older Saab and has done a lot of work on it. How do the new 9-3 and 9-5's compare quality wise now that they are owned by GM? How about service, reliability, quality of materials, etc?

    I'm keeping my mind open to my new car, and wanted to be more informed about the Saab line.

    Also what are the main diffs between the 9-3 and -5? Is AWD an option on either?

  • My experience with Saab has been extremely poor. My '99 9-5 has been the least reliable and worst new car (out of 10) that I have ever purchased. If you do buy a Saab I hope you live near the dealer's service department since you will get to know them very well. The repairs are expensive and numerous so an extended warantee is essential in my view. My experience with the Saab dealer has not been good and Saab USA (Atlanta) customer service really doesn't help at all. In fact they are on the edge of user hostile.

    I have a major decision to make. (1) Keep this unreliable money pit and make numerous repair trips. The latest failure is "believed" to a simple flapper in the climate control system which will require about 6-8 hours of labor to take out about half the engine to replace a $5 part. (2) Trade it in on anything else but a Saab. (3) Find someone I do not like and sell them the car. (4) Emulate Col. Potter in MASH who put an end to his jeep's misery by shooting it with his pistol.

    Frankly, the Saab is overdesigned and overcomplicated plus poorly built resulting in unreliability. The addition of GM to the mix is not additive. Any personal touch seems to have been lost. These have been my experiences with my first and last Saab.

    Good luck.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    it sounds like the belt on one of your tires is out of line and ,or did not set properly when the tire was built.
    you may need a new tire.
    this happened to me once when i bought 4 tires in one of those discount places......they usually get off quality tires.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    It's one of the most commonly discussed topics in here. Please read back a few dozen posts and you'll find plenty of info.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    it makes a lot of sense, especially with leased vehicles. people are more likely to bring in the car at service intervals if i doesn't cost them any money out of their pocket; and if the car is turned in at the end of the lease, the service history is there. i think volvo has now adopted this.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • Saab Reliability -
    We have been fortunate since we purchased a 2003 Aero Wagon. I have read that prior to 2002 the (-5 could be hit or miss. We have had ours for 1 year in December and have not had one single problem.

    Saab Aero vs Others -

    This is tough, as I am a big Saab fan. But there are some nice sedans out there. I like our Saab as a freeway cruiser but not particularly as a canyon carver. To cover miles on a freeway you can't beat the Saab; Benz, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Jag it doesn't matter. Unless you are talking AMG, M Models, S models, Type R models in those brands you will not find a smoother, faster car with 30 mpg. I have had several new Benz 420's, Audi 3.0's, 530's try to show off and they have been humbled. 0-60 is not blinding but 60-120+ is very fast.

    Now if you have to always take the canyon home I might go with another car. The Saab is not terrible but it is not damped particularly firmly. It tracks well but there is some float over uneven turns, and you hit bump stops on bumpy curves. I think it competes very well with the base levels of Benz C/E class, Audi A6, BMW 530/540, but no way with the AMG, S or M models. This is not even mentioning the G35 or the new Acura TL which are super nice also.

    Having said that I would probably get the BMW 530i Sedan with sport package, or the G35 with Sport package/AWD or the new Acura TL if I wanted to canyon carve.

    I think the Saab Aero needs stiffer springs and it would be an exceptional handler. There are some springs I might buy and I will report back.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I know this is the Saab 9-5 thread, but I'm curious what you all think of the new Saabaru 9-2x? Afterall, you all (and 9-3 owners too) probably represent true Saab owners feelings about what Saabs should be? Are you for it, or against it?

    There's a lot of discussion over on the Subaru forms about this vehicle. A lot of people like it, and a lot don't.

    BTW, there is a 9-2x thread here at Edmunds, if you rather post your comments over there.

  • dskidski Posts: 414
    Well.. I'm not a huge fan of Badge engineering which is basically what they are doing here.. but... Having said that.. the Subaru WRX is an Awesome drivers car. The problem with it is very bland styling for an otherwise exciting drive.

    If Saab styling and engineering can make a few improvements and transform it into a more exciting vehicle.... It could be a very viable car to consider. I'm anxious to see what they do with it.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788

    As you can see, it's nothing more than a 2.0 WRX wagon with a Saab nose. The interior has some parts from the Forester (center dash panel) and the steering wheel from the upcoming all-new Legacy. The seats, interior door panels and rear hatch are also unique to the 9-2x. Other than that it's pure WRX, if you get the turbo (Aero) model. The non-turbo Linear model is a tweaked Impreza 2.5TS wagon. Also, there is no signature Saab ignition switch on the floor.

    Pricing is reportedly going to run from $22K - $30K. For $30K you will probably be able to get the all-new 2.5 Legacy turbo, which will certainly be a much nicer car.

  • Selling my bmw 3 series and getting into saab wagon. What are main differences between 2001 9-5 SE and 2002 Arc with same engine?

    I know of 4 speed versus 5 speed, exterior revisions and different wood interior and stiffer suspension. Is the new suspension much stiffer? anything else of importance.

  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Other than the 2002 costing more to fix than the 2001 in an accident(integrated grill and bumper on the 02)....
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    the 01 se has heated rear seats. my kids sure like them. there is a button the the back of the console for it. don't know if the '02 does. i know the 04 arc doesn't :(
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • Hello! I am so frustrated and disappointed in my Saab. I have had some minor electrical issues - mere annoyances but still a problem. Now I am facing a much larger problem that will probably cause me to sell the hunk of junk. First, note that I have always wanted a Saab - my whole life. My husband was never happy with them, but agreed to finally buying me one for Valentine's Day this year. Anyway, to the point, the car has 9,000 miles on it. It is a 9-5 linear. Last week the engine coolant light came on. So, we called the dealer (which BTW is 1 1/2 hours away) and they said to bring it in - it most likely had a leak. We took it in and they kept it over night. They found no external leak and can't find any internal leak (possible head casket problem). They told me that indeed there is a leak and most likely it is internal, but since they can't find it they want me to continue driving it until it becomes a problem again. I got the car back on Saturday and have begun monitoring the reserve tank. This morning there was a noticeable drop in the level (we are monitoring it after the car has been run and is warm). The funniest thing was that when I picked it up - I went to speak to the manager to explain the situation. Some young sales man asked me (in all seriousness) if I followed the proper break in period. I felt like telling him - "Gosh no! Thank you so much - that must be my problem." But I refrained... :)

    My question, has anyone else had problems with the engine coolant leaking? Any suggestions on what to do? Thanks in advance for your help!!!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    hils111 - sorry to hear about your problem.
    do you smell coolant when the car is warm?
    btw sabb coolant is BLUE, just like a lot of windshield washer fluid. also, if you have a head gasket leak, usually some white smoke comes out of the exhaust. take a look yourself under the car for any blue coloring. call the service manager, and politely tell of him your concern and that you are worried about getting stranded if the car breaks down.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    regarding you extended warranty prices, try searching for 'gm major guard', i didn't look as far as getting an actual quote, but there are places you can buy a GM warranty other than your selling dealer, or at least find out if they are in the ballpark. there are various deductibles in addition to levels of coverage and miles/years.
    how much sense does it make to get a cover everything warranty with a high deductible, vs one that just covers the major components?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • Agree that Saab is unreliable. Had many problems with my 9-5 one of which sounds alot like the one you posted. Noticed slow decline in coolant level over time. There was never a puddle under the car nor could one see any tell tale signs of a leak. The problem turned out to be a leaking water pump which was replaced. There have been no problems since with the coolant level. This car is overdesigned and underbuilt (poor quality) with very expensive fixes. Perhaps the water pump is your problem. Hope it is under warranty.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,680
    what year is/was your 9-5?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    That's a silly general statement. We're on our third Saab now because they have been extremely reliable for us. There isn't a manufacturer or make out there that hasn't had some percentage troubled cars in their run.

    How many Saabs have been in your ownership to base the Proclaimation on?

    Good Luck with the future miles in your Saab.
  • This is my first and only Saab. It has been totally unreliable e.g. 5 sets of front headlights, 2 SID's aformentionned water pump, bad plugs (installed wrong), bad muffler, trunk lid that did not work (required 5 trips to dealer to fix), bad connections to trunk light (twice), leaking oil pressure switch, leaking cam plug, broken climate control "flapper" and climate control that does not work, leaking valve cover gasket, bad right front wheel hub bearing, bad lamp control relay, right front fog light fell off (twice), trunk light bulb burnt out, two recalls. Is this enough reliabily? In addition the car has been serviced every 5000 miles with oil changes following all the required/suggested maintenance procedures. No comment about the tires - not a good experience.
    I bought the car (new) because I wanted reliability, safety and a comfortable ride. I did get safety. Reliability no!! The car is noisy (wind noise)and has a poor heating/cooling system. The repairs are expensive and I really can not find anyone in whom I have confidence that knows how the car works and how to fix it. The Saab customer service has been polite at best, but unknowledgeable and unhelpful.

    I am glad that you were lucky with your Saabs; I believe that is was just good luck. Congratulations. These cars are over engineered and poorly built. My '99 9-5 was the worst new car I have ever bought; the one least lived up to my expectations and predictions of the salesman. I made a bad mistake and will never look at a Saab again. Back to quality - Japanese iron.
  • dskidski Posts: 414
    I didn't say your Saab was not unreliable. My comment was that it is NOT correct to proclaim Saabs are unreliable based on ONE bad car. All manufactures have "lemons" and you got one. Sorry about that.

    What I do know is that after three Saabs, my experience is one of very good reliability. Also, after having participated here for several years, the overall feeling here is NOT one of Poor Quality and Poor reliability.

    I have no doubt that your Saab is a bad one but I beleive it was your Bad luck and my experience is not one of "good luck". Our experiences are currently Three to One. ;)

    Best of luck from here out.
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