2002 SAAB 9-5 Reviews

2002 SAAB 9-5 2.3 turbo from Turkey

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.3 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired139453 kilometres
Most recent distance140758 kilometres
Previous carMazda 626

Summary:

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

Faults:

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.

2002 SAAB 9-5 Aero turbo from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission turbo Automatic
Distance when acquired30000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles

Summary:

Friends don't let friends buy Saabs

Faults:

I have moved to 2 places with my 2002 9-5 Aero, and each place I have really gotten to know the Saab Service Centers. I can't express enough how this car has ruined my impression of Saabs forever.

In the last 6 months, I have had it towed 8 times. Each time, it has put me or my husband in a dangerous position where it shuts off completely while driving, and the steering wheel locks up. To the point where you can barely steer it off the road.

I have been to one Saab dealership, where #1 they charge you $115 just to look at it, and #2 they can't seem to figure this out. My regular mechanic has been so nice and patient with us bringing it in every other week, he sometimes doesn't charge for the labor. I really think we probably put his first child through a couple years of college. Unfortunately, he has tried everything, and as soon as we get it back, it dies again.

Looking back on the maintenance records, I saw that since I bought the car (almost 5 years ago) I have taken it to be serviced 28 times (or possibly more), which is about once every 2 months. Ridiculous. Luckily the first few years my costs were covered by the warranty.

I will never buy a Saab, and will make sure that I tell anyone considering it to stay far far away, unless of course they love to watch thousands of dollars disappear quickly.

I never was one to express my feelings on picket signs, but I have considered the thought now to do so in front of a dealership. Better yet, maybe I will start a bumper sticker business and the first one will state "Saabs born from jets: let's hope more thought went into creating the jet"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th September, 2010

3rd Oct 2010, 18:40

Sorry to hear this, but if you can't even do basic maintenance, then a SAAB really was not for you...

3rd Oct 2010, 20:27

Buying cars is like trying your luck; sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not.

Let the new owner of SAAB try to save the situation, maybe they are better than the previous owner?

13th Oct 2010, 16:26

To the first comment: what does this review have to do with basic maintenance?? She never said she doesn't perform the basic maintenance... the problem is quite severe, and is simply another disappointed and frustrated Saab owner who would obviously trade in all the repairs for simple maintenance.

14th Jun 2012, 08:45

She never once mentioned specifically what actually had to be fixed in the '28 times' it went in.

No help...

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 23 reviews