2000 SAAB 9-5 SE 6 cylinder turbo from North America

Summary:

Not great reliability, but great on the road when it's fault free

Faults:

Rear struts at 40K+.

Wiring harness fault repaired under warranty.

DIC failure, 50K miles.

Nagging coolant leak - 15K - not found until after

the warranty expired. Finally fixed it around 90K.

Oil leak from filter adapter - 80K miles (fixed at 105K).

SID failed at 20K.

Blend doors failed - 90K.

SID repaired (self) - 92K.

Replaced alarm siren batteries - 95K.

ABS module failed - 75K.

Lost hood emblem - 101K.

Alternator failed - 105K.

Headlamps burned out rapidly (daylight running lamps) - finally removed fuse 35 (now run Silverstar lamps = better visibility).

General Comments:

Like many owners, I love my 2000 9-5 SE Saab when it has no issues. Lots of stuff failed faster than any other car I've owned.

The DIC's went and were allegedly not covered in the subsequent recall.

I recently had to get a coolant leak fixed that the dealer could never find until the warranty ran out, and the alternator just went at 105K miles. High cost repair due to the car's design.

Another annoying issue was an oil leak from the top of the engine, due to the adapter that is fitted due to the turbocharger (both items were cheap parts with high cost, major labor to fix).

I had major issues with the heater blend doors two years ago.

I was able to replace the siren batteries and rejuvenate the SID myself, following online instructions on SaabNet and another site at considerable savings. The SID is going to need attention again, but its function varies with the outside temperature, and it averages about 85-95% good pixels (dealer replaced once under warranty).

Had the ABS system fail, but had it rebuilt by a company in Boston, MA, that warrants their repair forever.

All in all, it runs well on the road, brakes have lasted about 40K miles per set (replaced twice), but last time I switched to ceramic pads, which run cleaner and don't seem to wear as much as the metallic pads.

Warmed up and on the road, it gets around 30 MPG; around town it does less well, but overall mileage is usually from 21-24 MPG, depending on mix of driving and temperature across a 5,000 mile composite.

I no longer use the dealer for any repairs as I found an indie in VA who services German and Swedish cars.

I buy parts (wipers, filters, etc.) come from different suppliers at better prices than the dealer's.

I've been running on full synthetic oil since 35,000 miles, and the engine seems to be doing OK. Next service I may be tempted to check the oil sump. Change the oil at 5K miles.

Last winter, the hood emblem paint sloughed off during a major snow storm. Rather than buy from Saab, I got a replacement from an third party that supplies decals for European cars (eu-decals.com). (Highly recommended)

When running well, it is very comfortable, responsive and looks great. Will run on regular (87), but is supposed to run on 93 octane. Much better performance with 93 octane, but no better gas mileage.

I Like the sport gear range in the tranny. Also the winter range button has been extremely useful a few times.

However, knowing what I now do about the maintenance issue I experienced, I'd not have bought this car. Will keep it until the wheels fall off though - not worth much on trade or sale. High depreciation as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th October, 2010

2000 SAAB 9-5 6 cylinder turbo from North America

Summary:

Maintenance nightmare

Faults:

Have replaced timing belts; $800.

Rebuilt engine; $2,700.

Replaced turbo; $2,500.

Replaced internal fan; $600.

Replaced front muffler; $800.

Radio doesn't work.

On 3rd battery. Have only used car 2 months last year.

Now the oil is getting into the radiator overflow, and probably needs a head gasket or something.

General Comments:

Worst car relative to expense I have owned in 40 years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th October, 2010

16th Oct 2010, 17:38

The dealership is very expensive. Firestone Services has taken great care of my 9-5. Mine is a 2004 Sportwagon, and has been very reliable.