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Saab 9-5 Sedan



  • 400hp biopower twin turbo 3.0L V6 AWD

  • My wife and I hate the car buying experience. So in our 24 years of marriage, we have owned two cars each. We drive them into the ground, then go get another one.

    It has been 13 years since my last car (a 1993 Mazda 626). And I had almost talked myself into buying another Japanese car--a Honda Accord (sensible, practical, and really quite nice.) It had the three things I really wanted this time--leather, heated seats, and stability control (with the EX V6).

    But I just couldn't do it. And so I started looking for alternatives. And as I did, the infamous Saab depreciation became my friend. For 8k less than the sticker on a new Accord EX V-6, I bought a lease returned 2003 9-5 Linear with the luxury package (HK stereo, memory seat, etc).

    First impressions from my first week: I love riding in it. I understand the "long in the tooth" comments about the interior, but my wife has a 96 Volvo wagon, so maybe I have grown accustomed to the look. But frankly, I like it. I have made the stereo adjustment described elsewhere in this forum, and it helped greatly. I love the field of view as I drive, and the sentronic is useful with the steep hills around here (and for the poseur/entertainment factor). And the low-end torque is impressive, even with this base model. I have yet to get up to speed in Seattle rush hour traffic, so my gas mileage has been around 20 (are you 34+ mpg folks screaming through Montana or something?)

    Someone in this forum called the Saab a "Swedish Jaguar." By that, they meant it was stylish and unreliable. I agree with the first part of the assessment. Time will tell with regard to the second. But I am willing to bet that the inconvenience will be overshadowed by my change in outlook as I now look forward to the morning commute as an excuse to drive my new-to-me 9-5.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    For anyone who owns a 2006 9-5 with Prestige audio and Navigation, how good does the audio sound and how accurate and intuitive is the Navigation system?

    Also, is there any noticeable wind noise at highway speeds, i.e. 70-80 mph?

  • 10 days ago I purchased a Midnight Blue 2002 CPO ARC for $17,900 with Metallic paint, Touring Package (Xenon, Park Assist and Rain Sensitive Wipers), 3 new Michelins (4th one has very little wear on it)

    That year they improved safety, suspension, steering, brakes and other components. It has 42,000 on clock and 28 months left on warrenty. Pulled to L a little, they did an alighment, no charge.

    With nice seats (ventilated), great sterio (did the suggested modificaions to get all the power, what a difference!) and stability control, this is a nice car for the $. I really like the Xenon lights and seats.

    My other Saab, 2001 SE was a very reliable car at 80,000 miles with few problems and I expect the same with the '02.

    I highly recommend the '02 and '03's over the earlier model, handles much, much better. ;) :D :D

    Jim Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
  • rayz1rayz1 Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a 2006 9-5. I am entitled to GM supplier discount. What would my purchase price be if the MSRP were 38.5K?

  • mayablumayablu Posts: 1
    I have the same issue. 1999, 0-5.
    Replaced fuel sensor, still no good.
    Drive all day, in and out.
    Once in awhile it will not start, strong batt, turns over - just does not kick in.
  • bach63bach63 Posts: 18
    I am interested in looking at the 9-5, but between 3 dealers in my area, (Denver) they have a total of 7 cars between them. Does anybody know if deliveries of the '06 models are slow, or are they just selling them as fast as they get them? Thanks for any input.
  • Plenty of sedans here in Maine but not a great selection of wagons, re: 9.5's, '06's Guess wagons have caught on.
  • paulr11paulr11 Posts: 9
    Got rid of my '99 9-5 two years ago. During its first 2 years I was back at the dealer for service 12 times in addition to the scheduled SAAB maintenance. Bought a Toyota Camry. In 2 years of driving (same number of miles in 2 years) I have only been back for scheduled maintenance, NO REPAIRS. Looking at this board after 2 years I see that Saab quality is just as bad as it always has been. These are over designed cars that are poorly built.
  • jaydolljaydoll Posts: 120
    Lease is up very soon on my 2 door and I am looking to get into a four door car that is fun ot drive. So far I have test driven 03 BMW 530 manuals, and 06 330 manuals. The 530 just didn't do it and while I really liked the 06 330, 40K is a hard pill ot swallow.

    I have located several 03 aeros with zennons/loaded with 30-45K miles all certified for approx 19500-21500.

    Really liked the auto version of this car better than the stick. With the turbo, the sport mode auto had more pep than I could coax out of it with a stick.

    02-03 aero owners, what had been your reliability experience?

    Thanks for your help.

  • pearson244pearson244 Posts: 16
    I would agree that a Toyota, just about any Toyota, will be better than any Saab, reliability wise. My friend has a '99 9.5 and she has had to replace the turbo, ignition cassette and deal with a warped head, all prior to hitting 50K in mileage. Consumer reports gives the '99 a poor reliability rating, so that is a suspect vintage. However, my '01 was great, 60K miles and only minor things the dealer took car of, except the front R wheel bearing went at 80K, but it make a racket for two weeks before I brought it in. Just bought a used '02, will see how that holds up. Anyway, as someone said, folks either love or hate Saabs. But if you want to moan, go buy an A-6, like I did, not once, but twice. Lovely vehicles but what a pain in the butt, electical issues up the yazoo.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    I am sure the Toyota is more reliable than any European brand including Saab. The trade off here is to drive something a bit more interesting than Camry or Accord or even Acura. If you are just looking for reliable transportation with good resale - then stick with the Hondas and Toyotas.

    Maybe they are better now, but every time I look at new cars (sedans) I take the latest (affordable) Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Acura for a spin and they are just not for me.
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Posts: 308
    Well I have been trolling this board because my 2005 six-month-old Toyota 4runner has been dead and flatbedded to the dealer since last Friday.

    So despite Toyota's rep, I have had a 100% failure rate with Toyota products.

    And it's a boring vehicle to drive.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    And it's a boring vehicle to drive

    Most SUVs are, not just toyotas. That's why people drive Saabs ;)
  • jazzysaabjazzysaab Posts: 3
    I need a diagnosis on my 2000 Saab 95 2.3T

    I get in my car and I'm ready to go and my battery light comes on. Ok.. I think.. Maybe I need a new battery.. I go to drive the car and the steering wheel will not turn it won't budge. After reading the manual I'm thinking the belt that goes around the alternator and the power steering pump has broken. It was late last night and I really couldn't see it. What do you SAAB heads think. I love the hell out of my SAAB so I'm not giving it up...

  • scottb2460scottb2460 Posts: 1
    The belt is broken plus the idler pulley is also likely broken. This is a fairly common occurance as they get older. It was also common on my 1995 9-3 as well as my curent 1999 9-5. The exact symptoms you describe have happened to me. So you will likely need to replace the pulley and belt and both are less than $50 each from the various internet parts websites. Who knows what the dealer charges. Also check out the 9-5 bulletin boards on
  • carrotcarrot Posts: 3
    Haven't checked this site for a long time since I had Saab repurchased my car in 2004. Checking back to this site again and I am not too surprise to see a lot of people still have problem with the 2003 SAAB. I can certainly understand what you guys have gone through; see if I can help to make any constructive advice here:

    Starting with key problems I still remember I had with my 2003 SAAB Linear.
    I picked up the car in the afternoon, and the nightmare began in the evening.

    - Malfunction light ON the same evening I picked the brand new SAAB with less than 100 miles on it)

    - Interior light OUT (this I would not blame GM/SAAB 100%, but definitely blamed the dealer in Acton, MA which obviously did not check the car thoroughly before they gave me the key)

    - Noise from roof (a part was loosen)

    - Hand Brake could not be released (This is VERY serious. SAAB knew about this and did NOT proactively recall my car because it had automatic transmission. They wanted to fix the cars with manual transmission first. How could SAAB assume that people with auto transmission do not use hand brakes??? I almost could not get to work one day. Luckily, I was not alone trying to get home in a snow storm!)

    - Brake noise (come on! This was a NEW car!!)

    - Front passenger side seatbelt did not retract appropriately (SERIOUS safety issue!)

    - Malfunction light was on almost on a bi-weekly basis for same or different reasons (= going to the dealer on a bi-weekly basis), etc, etc.

    Within 5 months I had the car, I knew I had to do something about it BEFORE the lemon law protection on my car expired (you need to find out the lemon law of your OWN state. Lemon Law varies by state and it DOES EXPIRE after certain miles and months…).

    HOW? Couple tips here. The key is to be VERY proactive and organized. I do not have a law degree and did not hire a lawyer thru the process but I took this matter very seriously like doing a part time job. The good thing is a lot of resources are avail on line and I got what I wanted at the end.
    - Gather ALL related info: All details are necessary. The date and mile when your car break down in every single incidence, all receipts, invoice, etc. All the evidence.

    - Put things on paper in a formal manner: Write a formal letter to SAAB (templates specific to lemon cars are avail on a lot of websites) indicating explicitly that you car is a "lemon" under the Massachusetts (in my case, it’s MA, check out the law in your own state) Lemon Law with reasons of course.

    - CERTIFY EVERYTHING you mail: Do not be cheap on the postage, make sure ALL letters sent to SAAB are CERTIFIED mail. You need to know someone at SAAB has received your mail. They HAVE to return your letter if it's lemon related.

    - Follow Up by phone Regularly: SAAB will assign your case with a case number if it's qualified case for repurchase or replace. Call them at least on a WEEKLY basis to follow up. I called them so often that the receptionist recognized me and I recognized them. Do NOT lose temper to the people including the receptionists who are handling your car though it could be hard some time. You need people to be willing to work with you on your case.

    - WRITE EVERYTHING down: the time you make the call, the receptionist's name who takes your call, everyone you speak with, the date you send the letters, everything that's related to your case.

    - Know what you are asking for: Want $ or another SAAB which can potentially breakdown again? You can certainly take the risk of having another SAAB but I did not.
    ---A: Considerations on another new SAAB: The newer model SAAB actually has fewer options than the 2003 one even though new models are more expensive. Since the car you want to return has depreciated, it means you will need to pay more (depends on the mileage that's already on your car) to have a car with fewer options (putting aside that it could be another lemon after all). That math did not work for me.
    ---B: Considerations on getting money back: You will not be getting the total you have paid for but you really have used the car for couple months after all. In my case, the option was clear. I did not want another SAAB ever again. The experience and inconveniences was way too unpleasant.

    -IMPORTANT: DO YOUR MATH RIGHT even after you get the check: Good that can I am pretty good in math. When SAAB cut me the check, it was missing the couple $K I put down as down payment. Had I not double check the math EVEN AFTER I receive the check, I would have missed couple $K.

    The whole process took about 2-3 months. Be PERSISTENT. NO ONE else cares if you can return your car for cash except for yourself. I got the impression that my car dealer and SAAB certainly wanted me to give up perusing the refund.

    The SAAB dealer in Acton, MA provided absolutely NO support to me which added pain to my experience. I asked them to proof that I had made X $K on the down payment and they refused. Luckily I paid by credit card and ended up sending SAAB (again, certified mail!) the proof of payment. Even when I picked up the car from them the interior was dirty (finger prints on ceiling) with small paint chip on the rear bumper. Anyway, all’s water under the bridge now.

    One more note. Definitely, I had to return my lemon SAAB to a dealer (I did not go back to Acton then) in order to pick up the check. I KNEW that the dealer was RESELLING the lemon I returned…

    I got a Japanese car and moved on...

    Hope this is helpful.

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Its kind of discouraging to read some of these posts. But when you go off line and get out on the road things look better. I came down from Montreal last night in a light rain. Everyone just chugging along down I89 in various Far Eastern vehicles, radios on, cell phones in use, planning to stop in White River or West Lebanon to refuel. Suddenly out of the gloom came a late model black AERO with Quebec plates in the passing lane. He just blew by. Going so fast, he looked like was after the guy who spent the weekend with his girlfriend! It made me feel good.
  • rs9904rs9904 Posts: 15
    own two saabs

    99 9-3 base auto 93k miles running great. Some warranty work over the years. Little since warrranty expired

    04 9-3 linear one or two minor things under warranty. Runs great 21,000 miles.

    Great overtaking power. Excellent fuel economy. Good handling. Safest cars on the road.

    My next car will be either a 9-3 sportcombi or the end of the line 9-5 sportcombi
  • sa29sa29 Posts: 2
    I have a brand new 95 2.3T. Beautiful jet metallic black. I leased it in January 2006. Incredibly fun to drive. Right now it is sitting in the shop on its 10th day and they are trying to figure out a problem I have with it shutting down for a second or two (just enough to scare me at 80mph) and then coming back up. I honestly don't really have a problem with the problem itself. I have a HUGE problem with how the dealership has treated me and my little electrical problem. They initally tried to put me in an Enterprise rental and make me pay the fees for how ever many days they would have my car (keep in mind my car is 4 months old). Needless to say I threw an f*ing fit and they put me in a dealer loaner. I have had no communication from for 7 days and then when I complained to the person I bought the car from, he blamed it on the new "GM policies" they have to adhere by-such as putting me in a piece of sh*t rental instead of a brand new Saab loaner. Luckily I only have a two year lease because as soon as I am done with this car I am going straight to the BMW dealership where I know I will be treated with some respect. I love my Saab, but there are lots of beautiful, fun cars out there that have dealerships and people behind their products. I don't think GM has figured that out.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Well this was also my biggest beef with Saab - right from delivery of mine in 2001 I went through this with them after day 3. Not the same problem and not as serious but just as p*d off. Saab owners have high expectations - as they should. Problems happen with any car. What makes the difference is how they are handled.

    I now try to reduce as much monetary risk as I can when leasing and have a couple of rules I live by.
    - no downpayment, no security fees, I will walk first.
    - lease through the dealer (ie GMAC) this keeps the organization financially interested.
    - remind the dealer when you need to that it is 'their' car and 'their' problem - your just borrowing it.
    - be prepared to park it at the dealer and stop payment on the lease - it usually gets their attention - but of couse has consequences.

    Try to always keep the ledger in your favor - sometimes, thats the only way they will listen.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    This is one of the dumbest postings I've seen in a long time. Stopping payment on a lease, even a GMAC lease, is about as smart as stopping payment on a car loan. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer have any interest in it anymore. The lease has been sold, just like your mortgage. (Gee, I hope you don't stop payment on your mortgage when your roof leaks.)

    Saab owners have high expectations and somewhat quirky personalities. Thats OK. But lets be business-like. If you feel that the dealer is nor performing as contracted, sue him. Don't futz around by leaving your 35K car at his dealership thinking that he will lie awake in his McMansion thinking about it. What he is lying awake at night pondering is how he can get out of such a loser brand and into a Bimmer franchise before he loses any more money on these sleds.
  • dshamusdshamus Posts: 4
    I have recently replaced the entire audio system in my 03 Aero. Unfortunately, my onstar is on but I cannot hear it when activated. My tech says that he has almost exhausted all possible places to find a "cure" for the problem. Does anyone have any suggestions either how to fix this or where to go to find a fix?

    Dave P
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Missed my points.

    1. Being 'business like' requires two parties and the dealer/manufacturer does not always cooperate with this - sorry 'your' problem.
    2. Sueing costs me more money.
    3. On a lease - It's not 'my' 35k car, on a loan - it is.
    4. The house is 'my' house.
  • aeronautaeronaut Posts: 12
    Top marks for the 9-5 in this study done by the people who know the goods - the warranty industry. The usual suspects, asian appliances led by Honda, inhabit the top 12. The 9-5 is the fourth best european on the list and easily outclasses its arch rival BMW 5 series which lands in 93rd place and 3 series in 65th. This 10 year study covers the entire run of the 9-5, very impressive result.Top 100 most reliable in past 10 years
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Sorry, we just don't agree:

    1) One party to a relationship can be business-like without necessitating that the other side is business-like.

    2) Sueing a merchant especially in states with consumer protection laws offerring treble damages (such as MA) can be very profitable with negligible up front filing fees.

    3) People who lease often have a very limiited idea of their exposure and the need for GAP insurance. I don't think it is a good idea to leave a car that one has responsibility for in a hostile environment. Maybe you do.

    4)Sure, with a house you have a title albeit with a lien holder and with a leased car you aren't the "owner". In both situations you have responsibilies, obligations, and exposure to risk and liabilities.

    My main point which you haven't addressed is that the local Saab dealer and Saab/GM could care less what you do with your leased vehicle. They no longer have an economic interest in it. If you leave it on the dealer's property you stand a good chance of someone using a screwdriver to add pin stripes to your paint job. Flaws that you will have to repair at the end of the lease. After a couple of days parked on his lot, the dealer-principal will have it towed away. He will then go back to his five year business plan to get into a German franchise with what little money he has left, all the while muttering about the over-educated nerds who drive Saabs.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Sorry, we just don't agree:

    Your'e right - we don't.
  • dshamusdshamus Posts: 4
    Sorry to hear you have had problems with your Saab. On the bright side I own an 03 Aero that now has 62000.00 miles on it. I have taken extremely good care of the vehicle to the point that far exceeds the Saab requirements. I have never had any problems with this vehicle with the exception of having to change out my battery 400 miles ago. I have been reading all of these posts and wonder some times if it might be a lack of maintainance or taking care of the Saab that is the problem. Maybe I just got a good one but I love my 95 and would trade it for nothing out there. Besides, I am one of a very few in New Mexico that owns one and it certainly stands out everywhere I go, to include passing Toyota's and Honda's on the freeway. My question would be, when did GM get involved with the manufacturing of the Saab, could this be the problem?
  • saablcpsaablcp Posts: 195
    It would be hard if not impossible to name any other mechanism in our day to day life that we are more dependent on than our car.When IT breaks down and lets US down absolute chaos ensues.The end result is when the ONE car we own fails us...every car that manufacturer produces is at least suspect and more often than not now considered to be absolute Garbage!!Which is why we have to look at the big picture,such as the 10 year study of reliability the previous poster referred to.Any one of us is entitled to draw conclusions regarding the relative worth/reliability of OUR ONE car.In the science of statistics drawing any conclusions based on that one experience is statistically irrelevant and is known as "the lie of the small number"
  • sa29sa29 Posts: 2
    So my car has been in the shop for almost 30 days now. Apparentley they are swapping out new parts in new cars to put in mine, to no avail. I am going to try to get out of my lease (2-yrs, have only had the car 4 months)since I feel this car is a lemon. I don't feel comfortable with they way they have handled the situation from the beginning, which initially was their crappy customer service. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about doing this?
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