1999 SAAB 9-5 Station Wagon 2.0T from Saudi Arabia


Does not live to Saab's reputation


1st year: Electronic control unit had to be changed.

1st year: Battery dies suddenly.

2nd year: Battery dies.

2nd year: Exhaust rusts.

3rd year: Fuel tank breaks at the neck.

3rd year: Excess soot collects in the fuel system. Car hesitates. Black fumes come out of the exhaust. Fuel system needs cleaning every three weeks

Fuel consumption: 16.5 L/100km.

3rd year: Key-less entry transmitter failed. (changed)

3rd year: Electronic display loses pixels. (changed)

General Comments:

The car is very comfortable, but its electronic system is bad.

The SAAB agency in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia is bad. They do not believe the customer; they treat the symptom and not the cause of the problem until the problem gets out of hand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th August, 2003

1999 SAAB 9-5 SE 2.3 turbo from UK and Ireland


For the money, nothing can touch it, fast, comfy and reliable


The drivers door lock not working, fixed by dealer, however later found a problem with the connector to the door when fitting a stereo. This is due to the plug not connecting properly.

Automatic climate control sometimes displays only two numbers and then rectifies itself.

General Comments:

I had a stage one upgrade done before I picked the car up, however, as is usual with turbo cars, the performance changes daily! Can be quick, but handling is not sporty as the car doesn't turn into corners very well. Saying that, this is a big car and the Aero set up would rectify this.

The stereo is absolutely rubbish. A problem I had in my last Saab. No bass or you blow the speakers! Have since fitted all new stuff. Now sounds great.

Not an easy car to work on and the main dealers are expensive, I use an independent dealer, very reasonable, servicing is half the price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2003

1999 SAAB 9-5 SE 4-cylinder turbo from North America


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 from North America


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 from North America


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 from North America


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.

1999 SAAB 9-5 Station Wagon from UK and Ireland


Deviations and unacceptable materials


The car had only travelled a short distance, about 1 metre, was moving slowly in reverse and was in contact with no objects of any description. Yet the suspension suffered a catastrophic failure. This car's suspension fractured on a cold morning for no apparent reason.

SAAB admit that there are 'deviations' in the cast suspension component and also the 'not acceptable' presence of a well-known embrittling agent called cementite.

General Comments:

Despite these 'deviations' and unacceptable materials, SAAB try to make a case that the real cause is accident damage.

SAAB get their lawyers to claim payment of around £800 sterling for replacement of the failed component.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st March, 2000

1999 SAAB 9-5 SE 2.0 LPT from Poland


Creaking front seat assembly. Creaking rear suspension.

General Comments:

Awful dealer and after sales service in Poland. Do not buy the 2.0, it is underpowered for such a big car. On German autobahns have never been able to get it over 200 km/h, whereas manual says 215 km/h is possible.

Love the dashboard and interior design - it really grows on you. Exterior is acquired taste but you get the feeling of being one of a priviliged/intelligent (?) few who have not fallen for the obvious A6, 520i, E class choice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 1999

5th Oct 2014, 11:10

In my opinion, the 150 BHP 2.0t is doing surprisingly OK (at least in my car).