2002 SAAB 9-5 ARC 2.0 LPT from UK and Ireland


Good all round


Crankshaft position sensor at 178,000 miles.

Head gasket changed once.

Sludge needed removing twice. But I do not change oil more regularly than once every 12,000 miles.

Coolant valve failed.

Clock has failed completely. Many pixels lost on SID.

General Comments:

Reliability good. Still on the original exhaust and clutch at 178,000 miles/8 years. Original battery lasted 170,000 miles/8 years.

If serviced at experienced authorized dealer at recommended intervals, the car seems to last pretty well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2010

2002 SAAB 9-5 Aero 2.3T from North America


Perfect highway commuter sports sedan


I blew the wiper motor during an ice storm due to no fault of the car.

I had phantom "brake light failure" warnings for about 20,000 miles, that just ended one day for no apparent reason.

Recently my check engine light came on and is coding that I have no coolant, but my info display that checks coolant levels (and obviously the visual check of the reservoir) tells me that I indeed HAVE coolant.

The fuel floater in the tank must be broken somehow; if you fill it up, the tank reads empty until it uses an 8th of a tank up.

General Comments:

Most comfortable car I've ever owned. Everyone raves about the seats, the Aero package seats are exponentially superior to the standard seats.

It's a very quick car, but it does have trouble getting the power to the road smoothly without a painful sounding tire hop if you lay into it too hard.

The stability/traction control system is incredible, I live in the northeast and when the roads are bad this car drives excellently, the only thing really stopping it is ground clearance.

Speaking to ground clearance, I've had the front bumper repainted twice to the tune of $1800 to hide marks from curbs and road hazards.

I want to trade it in on a newer model, but it seems no one wants to let these go. I only got this one because it was my dealer's and he was buying a brand new one.

Besides the annoying lights and messages, this car has never stranded me or had any major repairs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2009

2002 SAAB 9-5 2.3L from North America


Not a bad car, but not good enough


The tires wore quickly and had to be replaced at 40,000.

Full brake job at just over 40,000.

Lots of stuff while on full warranty that I can't remember!

Transmission computer gets out of whack, requiring dealer intervention pretty often.

Battery dead at 55,000. Very expensive to replace.

General Comments:

This car rides very smoothly, but handles more like a traditional GM sedan than a traditional Saab. Very nice on long highway jaunts. Plenty of pep.

Three big problems: (1) ridiculous cost of repairs compared other cars; (2) very bad resale value, especially compared to my previous Saabs and Volvos; (3) worst car in the snow that I have ever driven, and that includes my father's rear wheel drive '72 Olds 88!

Do not get the extended warranty because it is through an outside insurer, not the manufacturer, and they will claim things are not broken and put you through the ringer before they fix anything.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th December, 2008

16th Dec 2008, 14:35

You're complaining about having to replace tires, brakes and a battery?

Those are all normal wear items.

2002 SAAB 9-5 Aero 2.3 from North America


More jet than wagon


Several dash bulbs, thermostat, mid exhaust pipe, ignition switch sometimes won't turn headlights off (I disconnected the daytime running lights to solve the problem), display pixels, driver's heated seat broke, driver's seat leather isn't wearing well, suspension is creaky and a little unsettled over bumps, shift linkage is terrible... worst of the many standard cars I've driven (including a VW van). Hard to get into 1st and reverse at times and a hitch going into 3rd. Long, sloppy throws. Can be fixed with an expensive aftermarket short shift kit retrofit. Knock somewhere in the undercarriage when I let the clutch out aggressively (exhaust banging on something?) Hard to work on yourself (difficult access too many parts). Expensive parts, few mechanics.

General Comments:

This car is a highway rocket. Not much to write home about until the high pressure turbo kicks in in 3rd gear, then you are thrust forward very quickly. The 9-5 is solid as a rock on the highway at high speeds, however, the steering is slow and doesn't transmit a great deal of road feel. The suspension won't get upset at high speeds but feels a little loose and sloppy over choppy pavement. Overall still lots of fun on straight multi-lane or winding country highways.

Like all Saabs, the 9-5 is very safe and comfortable. It has been a very practical car for our young family... lots of passenger and cargo room. Great stereo. Much better driving dynamics and economy than an SUV or minivan without losing much space. One of few wagons available with a stick shift. Horrible depreciation is your gain when buying used (best used European performance car bargain).

Very good winter car. Starts, clears windows and heats up fast. Not as good in the snow as other Saab models I've driven, but is still better than average.

Ideally, to own one of these, you should be an automotive enthusiast who is willing to work on the car yourself, locate affordable parts and deal with the one (typically) place in town that knows how to fix Saabs. Non enthusiasts will get taken to the cleaners for repairs.

The jury is still out on the long term reliability of this car, but I really like it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2008

11th Jan 2011, 13:38

I have a 2002 9-5 Aero... and I am extremely pleased with it. The car rides a little hard, but than again, so does BMW, or at least the ones I have driven.

As for the Snow.. I was looking for information myself, but I am currently driving in frozen ice, snow conditions, and it has performed well. Then again, I am extremely careful, and I try to be safe. These roads are a mess her now, in GA, but I feel comfortable in driving.

Hope this helps.