2002 SAAB 9-5 2.3 turbo


Best car you can buy for the price in the second hand market, with a unique look and personality


Nothing at all.

Only done an overall check after purchase, and replaced one radiator hose, engine oil, transmission oil, coolant fluid and associated filters, pollen filter, one engine support.

General Comments:

Best car for the price. At one stage, I looked for a 2003-2005 Mazda 6 to replace the 626, and didn't really find any difference in comfort, handling and noise level. So, I wouldn't invest just to have a newer look but the same car basically. I continued with the 626, and later started looking for something else. I paid for this Saab exactly the same amount I would for a 2004 Mazda 6. For the same price, the Saab is a far better car. Not only because of the turbo engine, but for everything such as suspension and seat comfort, handling, noise level, smoothness and effortless driving.

I haven't owned or driven the car long enough to comment on long term reliability. But the one I bought is a really problem free one for a ten year old and 140000 kms car. No pixel loss on the displays, no Xmas tree on the cluster, everything works perfect.

Some downsides, although of minor importance exist:

Relatively small interior space, lack of storage space, front bumper is too low, striking everywhere. Also, some maintenance is really more complicated. For example, to change the pollen filter, which is a 20 second operation in a Mazda and doesn't require any tool, you need to take the whole glove box out, and take out some other part to reach the filter in the Saab.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2012

17th Aug 2013, 09:42

I changed one by one all the parts that are famously known to last only around 100,000 miles. So, the car is good for another 100,000 miles! No problem at all other than the above stated preventive actions. Oh yes, didn't start once, it was the crank position sensor, engine died during drive, was the fuel pump. These are within the list of well known 100,000 miles lasting items, so these with all the rest (DIC, PCV6, coolant bypass valve, radiator hoses, water pump, belt, tensioner and so on...) are out of way now. So, don't expect anything other than regular oil changes.

Unfortunately, people don't do these and are not happy because all these items fall down one by one. Better to get them out of the way in one go.

Even with all these changes and repair, I am very happy with the car. After all, I paid less for everything (buying the car, parts and repairs) than I would have for a new 60 HP Clio/Corsa. I would never spend so much and drive a 60/70 HP matchbox.

This total price includes also other spares that I didn't fit into the car yet, but I am going to when needed such as starter, exhaust silencer, alternator, spare hoses, cam shaft drive chain and pulleys, and I don't them remember all.

So folks, stop complaining about the car you bought for almost nothing, but you expect to behave like a brand new one.

7th May 2016, 15:36

Here is the author of the initial review and the 1st comment.

The vehicle is running strong, now at 170000 km.

The car is running perfect, no faults. I did some other parts changes as prevention and others for comfort (rear suspension trailing arm changed because they were noisy etc.).

The only faults (really minor and next to nonexistent) are a leaky oil cover gasket despite replacement, airbag light coming on now and then (diagnosed as a faulty sensor in the right front door, but changing it didn't cure the problem, if we may dare calling that a problem), CEL coming on and off on its own (diagnosed as a faulty signal to/from O2 sensor, again new sensor doesn't cure, however it's good to know why)... and that's it. I learned to live with these and don't bother about them, nor trying to cure them.

Otherwise, the car is perfect. 250 BHP, relaxed motoring, comfort. Again, for the investment that I did, I am more than happy.

Sometimes, I thing about changing my car. Then I see that no car of same price offers that much (specially the 250 HP turbo engine + 5 auto gears) nor the same interior space. Instead of having a car with less power, less room, harsher seats, but maybe with more in cabin electronic toys, I am extremely happy to keep my Saab... until around 2020/21 and then switch to a... Volvo S60 I guess.