1999 SAAB 9-5 Sedan 3.0 turbo


I love driving this expensive to maintain car


The battery has failed twice, it was not detected by the monitoring equipment until the it failed.

The headlight module failed and had to be replaced.

The alternator had to be replaced at 110,000 km.

The right front turn light housing fell out, although the car has no collision history.

Various instrument lights no longer work.

The LED displays have digits that sometimes cut in and out.

Sometimes when the air conditioning is on, the rear vent is producing heat. The dealer doesn't know why.

General Comments:

This car has all the bells and whistles, including heated and air-conditioned seats.

I only dealer service, because that was how it was maintained prior to my ownership.

I have had some serious repair bills, though I am beginning to suspect at least part of it might not be the car, but the competence of the dealership. They replaced a headlight three times before figuring out it was the module and not the bulb.

This car is hard to service. When the alternator failed (a rebuilt cost $700.00 , new would have been $1400.00 ) I was shown that the engine had to be lowered out of the car for the service people to get at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th January, 2005

22nd Sep 2009, 22:28

Very helpful survey. I am a new owner of a'99 Saab 9-5. I purchased it with 86,000 miles and now at 96,000 I'm ready to sell; a lot of those same issues.

1999 SAAB 9-5 2.3 turbo


Wonderful car to drive - when it works


The environmental control vents failed at 58,000 miles causing loss of temperature control. Although it was past the warranty period, SAAB kicked in $1000 toward the repair.

The informational display was replaced at 48,000 miles. It has since failed to the point the display is unreadable (since the 65,000 mile mark), but I'm unwilling to have it replaced again.

Power window switch failed.

Rear brake calipers and rotors were replaced at 98,000 miles after the rear driver side set failed by locking up.

General Comments:

I've been a long time SAAB fan, this was the fifth SAAB we've owned since 1980. In general, they have been long time reliable performers with an occasional, rather expensive, problem.

This car, however, has turned me off to the new line of SAAB's for the foreseeable future. The technological complexities have made the cars unreliable and costly to repair. When problems appear in parts of the car that shouldn't be a problem until they've reached a ripe old age, it becomes too big of a nuisance to enjoy.

From an operational standpoint, it feels like a big powerful luxury car with sport-like responsiveness. Highway driving is comfortable and stable, all while getting better than 30 MPG at standard freeway speeds. Driving fatigue is never an issue. There is some delay in acceleration, but once it gets powered up, it smoothly ramps up in speed. I don't know how many times I've felt like I was going 65 MPH and looked to see I was actually going 85 MPH. In town, the car maneuvers well, but the gas mileage drags the average down a bunch.

If SAAB would offer a 120,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, I'd buy another one, but otherwise, I can't afford the downtime or repairs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th October, 2004

1999 SAAB 9-5 SE 4-cylinder turbo


Our Saab experience has been a costly mistake.


Spark plugs have been replaced repeatedly.

We had to replaced the battery twice by 60,000 miles.

The car has produced multiple "engine failure" messages that have required dealer attention.

General Comments:

The engine has had problems on a regular basis.

The car has repeatedly failed local emissions standard testing.

The car held its value like a sieve.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd January, 2003

1999 SAAB 9-5 Wagon turbo


A comfortable wagon that drives like a rocket, but in fact is a major LEMON


This car had several "minor" recalls within the first year that required 2 trips to the dealer.

The battery blew out within the first year, requiring a tow to service.

Within one month of replacing the battery, the car had to be towed again to service. The fuel tank leaked, and had to be fully replaced.

Within less than one week of replacing the fuel tank, the car started spewing excessive exhaust. The turbo seals had blown and the entire turbo unit had to be replaced.

Four months after replacing the turbo unit, there was a burning smell when the car was idling. The crankshaft pulley seal was leaking and had to be repaired.

One month later, the transponder receiver was replaced for "not accepting key."

Three months later, the car started failing again, and would not move more than 20MPH. It had to be towed. The vacuum pump was broken, damaging the brakes. The entire brake system was replaced. This repair took about one week, and necessitated consultations between the dealer and "Saab Tech" to fully sort out the problem.

General Comments:

This car has racked up 3 to 4 major repairs per annum. It has been almost completely rebuilt, except for the transmission. I would be a fool to keep this car beyond the warranty period.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th September, 2002

14th Jun 2005, 23:56

Wow, that's pretty bad for a car with around 35,000 miles. You always have to be cautious when buying a first model year car because they could have some problems that weren't solved by a recall and such.

1999 SAAB 9-5 SE Turbo 3.0 200hp turbo


High performance sedan that feels like an expensive sports car



General Comments:

Fast for a sedan. Go with the 3.0 liter 200 hp turbocharged engine. 0-60 in 7 something seconds.

Exterior styling is awesome. Dealer service is excellent. Really like this car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2000

4th Jul 2002, 06:43

Don't think there is a 3L turbo! Maybe 2.3L turbo or 3L V6 normally aspirated.

16th Aug 2002, 08:16

The 3l v6 is definitely turbo charged.

21st Jan 2003, 12:51

I have a 9-5 Wagon. Stay with the 2.3L four. It's great on fuel and has plenty of power. Stay with the manual trans. It is smooth and easy.

I think this is an elegant piece of automotive work. I left German cars for this and I am glad.

1st Dec 2005, 15:05

Got a 9-5 2.0SE LPT manual. Thinking of automatic transmission instead - are they any good? (getting lazy..). I concur great power and acceleration with the turbo. A real sports saloon - and better than my brother's E-class.

29th Nov 2007, 13:47

Good alternative to a BMW or Audi.

5th Oct 2014, 11:08

It's not. Period.

5th Oct 2014, 19:30

That's YOUR opinion.

1999 SAAB 9-5 2.0


Skip this model!


This car has been to the dealer on a monthly basis with various issues. It is by far the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th July, 2000

26th Jun 2008, 06:14

Ditto, I have one, and the build quality is total crap.