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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Are you talking about the same HID's that come with the current 9-5? If so, the answer is no. The nose of the 9-5 was redesigned in 2002 and headlights are not interchangable.

    If you're asking about modding your current headlights to HID technology, I suppose its possible but I haven't read anything about the upgrade.

    Brighter replacement bulbs are available but not easy to find in H7. Search online resources for best selection.
  • I though I share my experience with the group:

    I own a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE 3.0 V6. At 64000 miles the timing belt was replaced by my local dealership. Now, at 75000 miles, the belt tensioner failed and caused major damage to the engine. The dealership did not inform me about the risks not replacing the tensioner. He did say, at the time of service there was no reason for it to be replaced. I am rather dissapointed that a $200 item was not replaced by default when renewing the timing belt. I am now faced with repair costs of over $5000 (plus rental car costs). I bought this car for my family after hearing so many positive comments on the reliability of Saab vehicles. I took care of all the service intervals recommended by Saab. This incident seems rather uncommon - but shows rather serious safety implications.

    If anybody has any tips on how/if to approach Saab, please let me know!
  • I am very interested in the Saab 9-5 Arc Sedan, can anyone give me insight pros and cons if this is a good reliable vehicle and what I might expect (if any) to go wrong with it and approx costs. Also, should one get the automatic transmission now that its a 4cyl or stick with the manual. I'm Finally getting rid of a Lincoln Continental that has been nothing but a money pit and dont want to gain another money pit. Any help is appreciated.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi Brenda - welcome!

    While you are waiting for some comments, you'll be interested in paging back through some of the previous messages here. You can use the links on the page bar and/or the Search This Discussion feature. There is lots of good information here!

    Good luck - feel free to email me if I can help you find anything here in the Town Hall.

  • We have a 2003 Aero Wagon with automatic and have had no problems at all. I have taken it in for the routine oil changes and the 10K service and that is all. We are getting good gas mileage. The car runs really well. I would recommend it, think about the Aero for just a bit more $$$ if possible. Whatever you get, opt for the heated and cooled seats if you can, they are the best feature. We choose the Saab over the Audi wagon and we are happy we did. Good luck in your purchase.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Consumers' Most Wanted Vehicles for 2004 Survey is posted and ready for your input!
  • 03oddity03oddity Posts: 60

    I've had 2 Saabs and like them a lot. I prefer the auto to the stick for congested freeway driving. Consumer Reports recommends the 9-5 for reliability; some authorities point out that the current 9-5, as good as it is, is gradually becoming obsolete in comparison with new stars like the Acura TL or the excellent but overpriced BMWs.

    I took my 2001 9-5 SE V6 (lease ends in 3 mo.) in for service today and had a chance to demo the 2004 9-5 Arc and Aero sedans. My local SoCal dealer is discounting them $7000 to $8000 right now with sale prices clearly posted. Prices exclude leases. Apparently there are some massive factory-to-dealer incentives. Saab is also well known for irresistible lease deals; just make sure you get the national program pricing or better. Leasing is a good option for someone who might be on the fence about keeping the car long term. Note that Saab includes the required services at 10K, 20K and 30K miles in the price of the car; I do recommend interval oil changes every 5K.

    The Arc is a nice, well-appointed and competent sedan; the Aero really rocks. Either one would be a treat for someone who has driven an American-made car. I loved the ventilated seats! Pricey option at $1000. OnStar is now optional on the Arc, standard on the Aero. (I never used mine at all.)

    Re: engines: I prefer the smooth authority of the V6 but it is now discontinued. The 4-cyl turbo engine is very reliable and economical. A bit of turbo lag and slightly jerky shifting on the Arc, less so on the Aero. Power to spare in either case (220 vs 250 HP).

    I'm trying to decide whether to lease an '04 Saab or buy the TL. Saabs depreciate more but if you are starting out with a whopping discount and planning to keep the car a long time, or if you lease, depreciation is less of an issue. Best of luck!

    P.S. Saab participates in the GM Supplier Discount program; find out from your company's HR department or if you qualify. It's free money that's good for an extra discount over and above what I mentioned above. (The amount of the extra discount is the difference between MSRP and invoice--usually $2500-3000.) Makes it very hard to shell out MSRP for an Acura when you could buy a Saab for thousands less than invoice!!
  • bhrobertsbhroberts Posts: 13
    A dealer near me has a 2003 9-5 Linear manual with 42k miles. Only asking $24K. It's loaded (leather, sunroof, etc.) and rides great. I figure the miles are all highway (how else do you put 42k miles on in one year?) Will get warranty for 4 yrs or up to 100k miles, too. I'm concerned that he may be be misrepresenting the engine. The Linear, I think, has only 185 hp? He says this one is over 200? Was there an engine option on the Linear in 2003?
  • 03oddity, thanks for the thoughtful post. I've always thought that at the actual transaction price, SAABs were a good deal. And an even better deal is a heavily depreciated, one year old SAAB. (Although that could be tricky to calculate because if the actual cost of the new Aero is say 8K less than an MSRP of 41K then a one year old Aero would have to be under 30K to be even an acceptable deal.)
  • oldmanoldman Posts: 35
    Did I misunderstand the pricing for a 2004 9-5? Can you really buy an AERO for 8 grand off the list price? Is that allowing for your trade-in? How about an ARC? The carbon fibre dash panel is gorgeous, but I don't like the 17 rims, makes the wheels look too much like a boy racer wannabe. Hence I've been looking at the ARC which is less racey. Anyone like the manual tranny?
  • 03oddity03oddity Posts: 60
    Serious as a heart attack! The dealer (Saab of Santa Ana) clearly posted the sale prices in the cars. Aero was indeed $8000 below sticker, Arc $7000 below. These are new 2004 models. Guess Saab feels the need to move some metal. I liked the features (esp. side bolstering on the seats) and driving characteristics better on the Aero but I agree about the 17" wheels and ultra-low profile tires; they look silly on a grownup car. Arc is a very reasonable compromise. Too bad they don't make the SE V6 any more. I loooove that engine! Can you say "torque"?
  • eitan56eitan56 Posts: 25
    I live in North NJ. I was looking at a 36 month lease-15K miles/yr on an Arc with auto trans & metallic paint. Offer from lone dealer was $999 out the door and $495/mo. According to dealer, the residual value of the car after 36 months is only 46%. Ouch! Money factor is .00033 from Saab. I guess everyone, including Saab, knows how badly these cars depreciate. I'll keep looking.

    If anyone out there can steer me to a better deal in NJ, I would appreciate it. Too bad I don't live near Santa Ana. I'd be driving a Saab right now.
  • Oldman, really the going rate on a SAAB is 8K off the Moroney before you step foot onto the lot. Its no special deal.

    Eitan56, sure a residual of 46% isn't great but SAAB's is nowhere near that low if figured from transaction price. No one pays anywhere near MSRP on a SAAB. To compare residuals between comparable European sedans lets compare depreciation after the usual and customary sale price. Folks claim that BMW has a high residual and a low depreication but thats because they pay darn near close to list. The only reason SAAB has a low residual and high depreciation is the fictitious list that they discount by 8K to 9K every day, all day. SAAB needs to add content (AWD, 5 speed auto--makes sense with the 4 banger to have more selection, xenons across the line,throw another turbo on the Aero engine, etc.) or lower the MSRP. The market just isn't buying at any higher than list less 8K.

    03oddity, yeh, the 17" wheels don't cut it and bend easily in winter pot holes, and the tires can be hard to find (European Car tested an Aero and blew a tire. The had to FLY in a tire from Tire Rack because no one stocked the particular tire/size). But, they are a tentative step toward something good. I'd like to see more performance stuff in the Aero to really differentiate it from other models and to go after the Ultimate Driving Car crowd.
  • oldmanoldman Posts: 35
    I'm impressed with that level of discount!! Unfortunately my dealer is an "Only Price" dealer, only discounting $1400 off sticker, take it or leave it. However, maybe he gives away the other $5600 by one heck of a trade in allowance??? I'd guess it is time to visit them boys. If I was in calif. I too would already be driving an '04 ARC!!
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    I wouldn't deal with that idiot 'Only Price' dealer. The discounts are common knowledge. The Sunday auto section of the Chicago Tribune lists the discounts every week.

    Personally, I'd think it would be a hoot to get a good deal on a car in California, fly out to pick it up and 'road trip' home in a new 9-5!!! I've driven ours straight thru from Colorado to Illinois a couple times now and am amazed how comfortable the car is, even after 16 hours on the road.
  • eitan56eitan56 Posts: 25
    This particular dealer,or Saab for that matter can charge what they want & I can take it or leave it. The Arc is sweet, but I will not pay $999 down, $495/mo. for it. That doesn't make any sense. Heck,I pay less $$ on an Acura TL with more features. I'll try some other Saab dealers or wait it out a few months.

    If any of Saabers in north NJ can direct me to a good deal, you'll be my hero.
  • 03oddity03oddity Posts: 60
    The dealer emailed me a purchase price on the 2004 Aero (loaded to the gills) that ostensibly took into account the GM supplier discount--but in the process another $2800 of the originally advertised discount disappeared, making it a wash. Guess they figured I wouldn't notice. There is a $5000 purchase incentive from Saab that they did disclose, and another $500 owner loyalty cash.

    On a 36 mo. lease, the $5K does not apply. Payments would have been about $200/mo higher than my current 2001 9-5 V6 SE lease (sweet deal: $409/mo plus tax, 15K miles/year, no cap cost reduction, residual $18121). I really don't want to buy a new car that is so many years into its product cycle; that lease makes absolutely no sense financially. Saab Finance will not deal on the 2001 buyout (I'd pay $15 or 16K max).

    Looks like it will be a TL for me.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    We got about 5k of of our Aero wagon we bought last year. I wouldn't be surprised if you can get 8K now(Bummer for me). Oh well ;-)

    Now to the look of the 17" wheels on the Aero. That is part of the Aero sporty look. In no way is it racer or ricey, its very understated. The wheels are no different than the look on the BMW 5 series with sport package. You like what you like, but IMHO you would be worse off with the ARC wheels. The 17" are pretty sturdy, but if you want more cushion you can get replacement Pilot Sports or comparable Bridgestone 730's /950's or even SO3's with 50 series profile.

    As to perforamnce, the Aero is quicker, faster, firmer damped springs, better seats and gets pretty close in MPG to the new ARC. The 2003 Aero had better gas mileage than the old V6 ARC. The sport mode and Sentronic paddle shifters work very well. The brakes are awesome. I plan to add some Goodridge SS brake lines at some point and replace worn pads with Pagid pads when the time comes for a brake repair. The only other thing I might add is stiffer springs for really spirited driving thru the canyons. But let's be clear the Aero wagon handles as well or better than the Audi A6 Wagons, BMW 5 wagons and the M-Benz wagons.

    As to reliability, not one issue. The only issue is resale - depreciation. If you turn over cars quickly then a lease is the way to go. We tend to keep ours for a while so no worries.

    The ARC is nice but the Aero is worth it if spirited / enthusiast driving feel is high on your list.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please, because of the negative ethnic implications from which "rice" terms arose, they are not allowed in the Town Hall. "Boy racer" is a term that seems to convey the intended meaning without the possibility of creating offense. We appreciate everyone's understanding about this.

    If there are any questions or comments about this policy, feel free to email either me or our Community Manager, Sylvia - both of us may reached using our first names AT

  • oldmanoldman Posts: 35
    Buddha, I've never driven on 17s. Are these low profile tires prone to harsh riding on bad roads compared to the 16s? I also hear that 17s are sometimes difficult fitments as many tire dealers don't inventory 17s, so a flat can cause some headaches if you are traveling. Personally, I'd like the aero 5M with 16s, and you gotta deal.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    oldman - The 17's mounted on the Aero have 225/45/17 tires. I have hit a few 1-2" potholes at speed with no problems. The ride is firm but very comfortable. The car is exceptionally smooth on the highway over expansion joints. The springs and struts absorb any rough stuff. I wouldn't go any lower profile than the 45 if you really crave a comfortable ride. Like I mentioned before Tire Rack has a nice seletion of 225/45/17 tires if you need to replace the tires. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires come in 50 series. You really miss out if you get the smaller rims. the Aero is stunning on 17's. Good luck
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    S80 and 9-5 are on top of my choices. Did a bit research and found 9-5 seems to have a better crash test rating than S80. But, to my surprise, 9-5 does not offer side airbags for rear passengers. Why?
  • oldmanoldman Posts: 35
    Kiiwii, I dunno! For such a stylish and safety-related car brand, it seems strange that Saab would be lacking the bags as an option. I too was surprised, because I would not buy a car anymore without that item for passengers. I emailed Saab and asked whether the 05s would have the bags, and their response was "it has not been decided as yet". So there you have it. I suspect budgetary restrictions prevented them from offering them, or developing them, as yet.
  • I have an '02 Linear 5-speed (black over charcoal leather) I purchased new 2 years ago. As I understand it, the Linear has produced 185 hp since '01, with no factory options for increased power. Perhaps the salesman got the power & torque ratings confused (torque > 205 lbs-ft).

    I absolutely love my car, even after attending an auto show last week/getting some seat time in a few competitive models. Probably the only thing that could lure me out of my 9-5 would be a fire sale on an FX35. I even talked 3 of my friends and co-workers into buying Saabs since I got mine.

    Some items which may wear out earlier than you expect include the brakes (I now need new ones @ 48k miles), headlights & foglights. While the basic 48month/50k warranty covers a lot of wear items, I don't know if this will be the case on your extended warranty.

    Good luck on your decision!
  • Newsabguy1, brakes at 48K is early? Not so. Cruise over to the Land Rover Disco and Jeep Grand Cherokee forums. With those makes, by now you would be installing your third to fourth set of pads. Jeep rotors apparently can't be resurfaced, so you'd be into a lot of big buck rotors too.

    I think if I had an Aero I'd ditch the 17" wheels come December 1 and install a Tire Rack/Tires Direct winter package with 16 inch rims and say Artic Alpins. That would improve the ride on the winter pot holes while giving you better traction. Maybe come Spring I'd put on 50 or 55 aspect tires on the 17" wheels and forget about the 45's in New England. Yes, no?
  • bhrobertsbhroberts Posts: 13
    The 2003 Linear with 24K M/T was sold before I could make up my mind, but another one, a 2001 Linear M/T with 40K is about to arrive and was offered at <$20K. In the meantime I test-drove a 2004 Aero M/T which they offered at $6K below List ($42K - 6K = 36K). I am inclined to offer $8K below List (after reading everyone's comments) and tell them to take it or leave it. I hate coming up with all that cash, but I can do it, and I did love the drive. I kept saying "Oh, baby" every time I pushed the pedal.
  • bhrobertsbhroberts Posts: 13
    Just closed the deal on the new Aero M/T. Got it for $7571 off MSRP. I went to and found a similar vehicle and asked my local dealer to match their Delivered Internet Price, and he did. I'm looking forward to driving this car for many years :)
  • oldmanoldman Posts: 35
    I'd like to hear all about your driving/ownership experience with the 9-5 AERO. I'm currently thinking about the exact same car with M/T. So you got it for about 32k? What was the list? What is the 0-60 time? Nobody seems to have the stats for this car. I especially like the carbon fiber veneer dash option.
  • 03oddity03oddity Posts: 60
    At 30K miles on my 2001 9-5 SE V6 the dealer claimed I needed new front pads AND rotors. I'm not a throttle-and-brake driver by any means and I've never had to replace rotors before on ANY car. Cost me around $400. This is a leased vehicle. What's worse, the rotors they put on were warped and drove me nuts until they replaced them again (their expense this time) at 41K miles.

    Anybody think that's normal? I did not contact Saab Customer Service to ask for reimbursement for the rotors (others have commented on how unhelpful they are) but perhaps I should.

    Pads, understandable I guess. Headlights, not so understandable but at least not too expensive (on the 3rd set now). But rotors??

    P.S. I saw the internal cost sheet, rotors are $108 to the dealer, twice that to the customer.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Headlights are understandable, too. With DRLs, they're on all the time.
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