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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    After three Volvos, I decided the S-80 was NOT my next upgrade, esp. since the test car stalled a half mile from the dealership. The 9-5 is the most interesting car on the road at the moment, despite the rusting lug nuts, so I bought a pristine 2001 steel-grey which I love. The reports I am reading here of expensive brakejobs, etc. for 9-5's are laughable; the figures as shown are not at all scary. To wit: owning Swedish cars in the Washington, DC area is a bracing experience (one of the priciest areas to be, why am I here?), but if the alternative is Japanese, Detroit or WAY OVERPRICED Germans, then Swedes look pretty sweet. My main query: have any regular contributors had simply stellar experiences owning a 9-5? I got a 100K warranty and am looking waaaay down the road.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    2002 9-5 Linear Wagon - 30K miles, no problems
    Still a delight and would buy another
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Posts: 308
    Well, on another board there are over 500 High mileage Saabs with between 200 and 300k, so.
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    What board is that? I am interested in reading about 9-5 owners' experiences. I have seen too much negative material about Saabs.
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Posts: 252
    Glad they made it straight for you. Knock on wood our newer 2003 Aero Wagon has been perfect thus far. We'll see in 60K or so though. Consumer Digest and some others have noted that the quality improved dramatically from 2002 onwards. If you don't go with Saab there is Subaru if you need a wagon. The redesigned 2005 is supposed to be killer. The Mazda 6 wagon is supposed to be real nice also.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Edmund's doesn't allow references to other car forum sites. Do a google on 'saab' and you'll find it right away
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    Since you all seem like a seasoned Saab enthusiasts, what's the deal with the so-called turbo boost delay? I have really only noticed that it kicks in late on hills for added power. Otherwise, on flat straightaway it gets you out in front of everyone PDQ, and with a nice roar to boot. Also — any electrical problems I should watch out for? My 2001 only has 28K on it. There's a lot of scuttlebutt here about ignition units. Also, what happens when you remove the large Ecopower-stamped plate to access the DI cassette? (I haven't purchased my Torx wrenches yet.) I assume the plugs will be easy to change.
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Turbo lag may be evident if you're doing a stop-light drag race, but if you're already at cruising speed and need it for passing, the acceleration is instant and awesome, as you already know.

    The large "Ecopower" plate IS the DI cassette. When it's pulled out the 4 ignition coils hang down from the plate. Check your trunk for a vinyl tool kit pouch and there should be a Torx in there. Remove the 4 torx screws from the top of the DI. There's a maroon-colored plug at the driver side of the DI that has a sliding lock clip. Move the clip towards the rear of the car to unlock, then pull the plug to the right to remove. Grap the 'handles' on either ends of the DI plate and the whole thing will pop right out to reveal the plugs. After you've done it once, it's about a 1-minute operation later.
  • domer67domer67 Posts: 1
    I am the owner of a 2003 Saab 9-5 that has about 4,000 miles on it. So far everything has gone pretty well with it except for one problem. When the car has been driven for several hours the control panel overheats significantly. It seems to be due to the climate control system but the overheating affects the audio section as well. The control panel becomes extremely hot and very hot to touch. I called the local Saab service advisor and he said that the some overheating was considered normal. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • aerodriveraerodriver Posts: 12
    The fascia/dash of my 2002 9-5 Aero with 14k miles also gets hot to the touch right around the audio (cassette and CD) unit. I haven't noticed any radiant heat, nor does it seem to affect the function of any components in or around the control panel. The audio works fine, so I've never asked the service tech about it.
  • aerodriveraerodriver Posts: 12
    My 2002 9-5, with admittedly low mileage, has been reliable to a fault. I haven't done any maintenance beyond the warranty-required services (shame on me). Nor have any components failed or caused me any worry. My previous 1996 9000CS had only a handful of minor warranty repairs performed over its 90,000-mile lifespan with me. I think there are plenty of Saab owners out there with similarly positive experiences; unfortunately, they're never heard from on message boards like these.
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    Good point. Online boards seem to bring out the bile in some folks, and to be fair I haven't viewed the Edmunds entries for other foreign makes yet. Interestingly, my insurance only went up about 70 bucks a year as I traded a 14-year-old Volvo with 182K, for a 3-year-old 9-5 with 27K. This says much about their recognized safety standards. No need to purchase a bike rack, either. The trunk and fold-down seats easily accomodate my other wheels. My only complaint about the 9-5 is, yes, the body roll when cornering. But in contrast to others' remarks, I don't find the torque steer at all problematic. Having owned a Scirocco way back when, I was more concerned about hydroplaning during storms. Saab seems to have really refined front wheel drive,
  • teecheeteechee Posts: 5
    I have owned a 1996 9000CS and now a 2003 Aero which has a little over 25, 000 miles in over a year and a couple of months. I just replaced the front brake pads. I did it myself and took less than 45 minutes. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined the brake job is fairly easy to perform with the proper tools. I have had a check engine light come on that was cleared by the dealership after two attempts. I just replaced a cracked tire due to a pot hole, and I recently had the dealership tighten the front window sills as they were jittery on door closings. I love my Aero and really couldn't dream of a more delightful car. A recent review of I believe Car and Driver ranked the BMW 5 series as a relatively lousy car at $50,000 plus. Then there's the Mercedes at $55,000 plus. Give me my Aero any day at $35,000. It might not be perfect, but last time I checked there was not a problem free car available. And the sight, speed, and smoothness of the vehicle is beyond awesome. I look forward to many happy miles with the car. I am however considering a new wheel and tire package for the future. Happy Motoring and God's Blessings to all.
  • yoreet1yoreet1 Posts: 10
    Driving: 99' SAAB 9-5
    Mileage: 75 K
    Problems: None until 2003.
    Then it became a nightmare. I have a catastrophic failure of A/C Compressor and Clutch. Shortly before then I bought an Extended Warranty for 100K at Nationwide Warranty. WARNING: Don't BUY IT! The warranty is administered by MBA DIRECT out of Scotsdale, AZ and they don't give a damn about your car. All they want is to have your money.
    Bottom line- they installed an after-market compressor that broke this year again! In addition I have a problem with brakes' hydrolics and a small transmission leak.
    But....I do not intend to give up on my car (for now:-)) because I love it. Driving and handling characteristics are superb. And it's a true SAAB machine, built in Sweden and not somewhere in Michigan
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    The problems you mention don't sound that uncommon for a 75K car, especially one from the first model year of 9-5's. For warranty issues it might be best to take it to a dealer or a Swedish specialist. I say this cautiously, of course, as all my problems are still down the road (I'm at only 28K). I haven't heard of Nationwide Warranty. There's an outfit called Guardian which was recommended to me by a shop that only works on Swedish autos. Keep the faith.
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    On hearing a pinging from the engine during acceleration, can I assume this is because I am currently using regular-grade gas and not premium? I also have dumped some injector cleaner in to mix with about half a tank. I am starting to think that high-test is the only way to go with the 9-5's. Anyone else had this happen?
  • dmb0705dmb0705 Posts: 1
    Does anyone have experience buying their leased Saab from Saab Finance at the end of the lease term?

    My '01 9-5 lease ends in a few weeks. When I called Saab a month ago to ask if they would be willing to reduce the buy-out price at lease end, I was told absolutely not. They said they didn't negotiate, but if I didn't buy at lease-end Saab would offer my car to the local dealer. Saab implied I may be able to get a better price through the dealer.

    I decided to call Saab Finance a couple days ago just for grins, and they dropped the price by $800.

    Can anyone share their experience? I'm still debating whether to buy the car or get something else.

  • Hey there cwmozart,

      I have owned 4 SAABs; all have been solid and safe, quick and balanced, fun and reliable. My experience with the local dealer has been unsettling. The factory-trained tech seems to only want to R&R (remove and replace) malfunctioning components. In my Wisconsin city, there is a local devotee of SAABs whose mission in life is to sell & service used SAABs (only). I buy from him and have all non-warranty service done at his shop. I own a Volvo, too. A similar "Import Car Repair" servicer for that car is a good find whenever you purchase a hard or expen$ive to repair import. One such servicer exist in this area, too. I have told my children to find the servicer that satisfies them before they purchase a used import. I think that is a good policy for everyone.

       I have had two accidents in my SAABs and will never buy another vehicle. One was an "off-road" experience when I fell asleep and the other was a van that t-boned me at 35 mph (I called 911, opened the door, and climbed out of the ditch). Both verified the sturdiness of SAABs and the degree the designers went to develop safety systems that work perfectly. I am still driving the "off road" vehicle that was repaired perfectly and drives as new.
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    Thanks for the interesting ownership history. I've had only Volkswagens and Volvos up until my 9-5, and it's certainly the best car I have owned. Someone on another auto chatroom said perhaps GM got smart and gave Saab the resources and the support to engineer and build something truly excellent in the 9-5. Where I live (Virginia outside Washington), you can't believe how many 9-3's are on the road. European car sales are quite high here; however the 9-5 has only recently started being seen in larger numbers. There's a fair group of repair shops, and 2 dealerships (Virginia and Maryland). My relationship with them is only beginning. How are Saabs in the snow, since Wisconsin was mentioned? Volvos are awful.
  • Dear CeeDub,

       It does snow quite a bit here. Since I moved up here, I've purchased only front-wheel drive vehicles (except for a disastrous 1980 LeBaron that my dad from Cincinnati sold to me at a very low price). In this climate, all four wheels need snow tires and I have had four per vehicle since around 1986. All-season does not cut it here. In March, when it warmed, melted, froze, then snowed about 6-8 inches, I was the only vehicle on the road making any headway. The TCS is a great feature unless you are in a hurry.

       I have read that the 9-3, up until its current iteration, was not a very safe car, being based upon an Opel design; it crash-tested poorly. This fact was not well-publicized by GM. In snowy weather, the 9-5 is the big dog on the road, with a set of Gislaveds or Arctic Alpins as your contact patch. I've purchased from my local SAAB devotee and from the Tire Rack with no problems whatsoever. Our Volvo is a turbo, too; it has an automatic, though. I don't feel as in control in the snow in it. My 9-5 is an Aero with a 5-speed. IJDGNB.
  • lcp1lcp1 Posts: 14
    In statistics there is a axiom called"the lie of the small number"
    It has to do with drawing firm conclusions based on a statistically insignificant sample.Kind of like branding all cars built by ANY manufacturer as being lemons based on your singular ownership experience.I suggest you reference the slightly larger data bases and
    recommendations made by Consumer Reports,J.D.Powers and Edmunds regarding Saab products.
  • tamitami Posts: 4
    I'm not really into cars. I'm not the type to read Car & Driver magazine or know all the stats about horsepower. But I did a bunch of research before selecting my Saab 9-5 V6 back in 2000 -- I wanted a really safe car that was also a little different from all the other sedans out there. Well, I was in practically a head-on collision a few weeks ago and, after sitting stunned in the puffy softness of the airbag for a few moments, opened up the door and walked out of the car with one small scratch on my knee and a bruise on my foot, knee, and wrist. The police, EMTs, and tow truck driver were all in awe that I could walk away from such a bad accident with so few injuries. I truly believe that the force of the Almighty was with me, AND the superior protection of the Saab saved me. I need a new car now . . . guess what I'm going to buy? Oh by the way, although the hood and engine are destroyed, the inside cabin is still pristine, and if you looked at the remaining 3/4 of the vehicle from the windshield on back, you would not even know it was in an accident.
  • tamitami Posts: 4
    What do y'all think about the 01 and later 9-5s? Why are there so many Linears for sale? And Arcs and Aeros so hard to find? Is there a problem with the Linears?
    Thanks in advance for your suggestions,
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Wow, Tami - glad all you lost was your vehicle. Just curious, the airbag didn't hurt you?
  • wilcowilco Posts: 5
    Hi Tami-

    A used Saab is an excellent value because of their rapid depreciation. I recommend a 2002 or later (I own a 2003 Linear) because of the redesign that year - not many new features but many refinements. There may be fewer Arc's and Aero's on the used car market just because of the lower volumes of those vehicles sold.

    The 4-cyl Linear has plenty of power on the freeway (where the turbo is quick to spool up), but you'll notice a small difference in around town driving compared to your previous SE.

    Google 'saab bulletin' for some message boards that have classifieds.

    Also, FYI, no major redesign until 2007 model year on the 9-5.
  • cwmozartcwmozart Posts: 13
    About (your remarks for) future re-design for the 9-5: Any chance it will retain its great engineering details and distinct Swedishness? What does everyone think? The new little 9-3 has really taken off around here (D.C.), but it seems less and less a real Saab. Ugh.
  • tamitami Posts: 4
    Thanks Pat and Wilco for your comments. Nope, the airbag didn't hurt at all, it was like a fluffy pillow. There was a little white dust on my clothing but no other harm from the airbag.
  • mlebauermlebauer Posts: 1
    Has anyone seen this problem?

    I just got a 2001 9-5. The AC works intermittantly. The problem seems to be connected to the outside temperature shown on the SID information display module. When starting the car, it shows ---, or no reading. At that time the climate control / AC works fine. After a while, the temperature reading goes to -40degF, or sometimes another reading but always less then -20degF. At that point, the AC switches to heat and the discharge to the floor vents. That is normal if the car thinks it's that cold.

    Any idea where the fault may lie? With a temperature sensor? With the SID?
    Thanks for helping
  • chalkpiechalkpie Posts: 21
    I just visited my local Saab dealership today. They have a "new" 2004 9-5 Arc that has roughly 5000 miles on it (was a dealer's car). It is an auto with the premium package. Asking price is $28,004 - original sticker was $37,950. The drop in price almost seems too large - does this seem abnormal? Or maybe they are asking too much for a demo with that amount of miles? Just wanted some input on this, thanks. Hypothetically this would be my first Saab :)
  • tamitami Posts: 4
    seems a bit odd. An '03 at my local dealer with 13,000 miles was marked at 28,750 so you would think that an '04 with so few miles would be substantially more.. check here on edmunds, on kelly blue book ( and for comparable prices. Good luck!
    P.S. Just bought a '01 SE :)
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