2002 SAAB 9-5 Arc 3.0 V6 Gasoline from North America


Awesome vehicle with lots of torque


I've had the car for 7,000 miles of driving and had very few problems. The turbo was bad when I bought it and was replaced under warranty. The water pump had a slow leak which was also covered by warranty.

General Comments:

Automobiles are meant as transportation, but SAAB's are considered an Individualist car. They are for someone who recognizes fine engineering, ergonomics, comfort, safety, and innovation. They are for someone who doesn't want vanilla transportation - for someone who likes different. SAAB has always led the pack for others to copy. My 1973 SAAB had a heated drivers seat and front-wheel drive. Actually the first and all SAAB's were front-wheel drive. Who else had that in 1973? In 1997, they introduced ventilated seats along with seat heaters. And now 10 years later, Toyota/Lexus is copying. To me, the cockpit is very well thought out. There are many features that make owning a SAAB a treat. The passenger outside mirror tilts down when in reverse so you can see the curb (button to activate) and then returns when you go forward, seat heaters/coolers, cooled glove box, Bosch anti-lock brakes with active yaw control, side air bags, radio with weather band, CD, and cassette. Memory seats, direct ignition, bi-xenon headlights. Tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

If you want a generic car with no personality, buy a Honda or Toyota. If you want a European car that costs a bit more to maintain but makes you grin every time you drive it, buy a SAAB.

This is one of the few cars I've owned that I can't wait to drive! I love to just sit in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2006

2nd Oct 2006, 09:03

"Actually the first and all SAAB's were front-wheel drive. Who else had that in 1973?"

The mini cooper had FWD several years before this.

Saabs are nice cars, but not their definetly not the most innovative leaders in the auto industry. Their Swedish counterpart (Volvo) has a lot to do with Saabs success.

2nd Oct 2006, 12:32

Saab & many maunufacturers were mass producing FWD before 1973.

Cord produced FWD's in the 1930's. Even Oldsmobile made a FWD car back in the mid 60's

(the Toronado) but Saab was one the the first popular FWD vehicles here in America.

Saab was a very innovative automobile manufacturer, as even in the late 1940's their vehicle aerodynamics were astounding.

Although Saab has since sold it automobile division to GM, I still feel they are one of the better manufacturers of quality automobiles.

19th Oct 2006, 08:49

Also, my 1987 BMW has heated seats. I don't know who was the first to do this, but I doubt even this BMW was the first to do this and it def. wasn't saab.

21st Jun 2007, 08:42

FWD is not as good as RWD on a car with more than 170 bhp.

21st Jun 2007, 12:06

'FWD is not as good as RWD on a car with more than 170 bhp.'

If you don't have a limited slip diff!

25th Nov 2007, 22:43

Actually, heated seats are from SAAB.

15th Aug 2013, 21:33

SAABs are awesome, and have always had leading luxury and safety features, but I believe the Citroen Traction Avant was the first production FWD car back in the 30s and 40s, before the legendary DS was introduced in the 50s.

Have you had many problems with the V6? The previous generation V6 was prone to serious issues and timing belt replacement every 40 thousand km. I am considering either a Griffin or an Aero, and am not sure which one would be more reliable in the long run.

17th Aug 2013, 09:57

To me, take a 4 cylinder Aero. If you do all "100000 miles items" after purchase, you will have a quiet mind for a long time.

10th Apr 2014, 03:23

As a ex master tech for Saab and having owned many, this is the best and surest comment/advice I have heard!

2002 SAAB 9-5 Aero 2.3Turbo from North America


Not particularly thrilled with my Aero


When the car was purchased, there was a problem with the battery holding a charge. A new battery was installed and have had no problems since.

New front rotors and brake pads were required at 60k miles ($650).

Car sometimes has starting problems (has been happening since 50k miles). It'll either take a while to kick over or sometimes will stall out when first started in the morning. I'm going to get the spark plugs changed.

ABS component failed at 40k miles. It was replaced by the dealer under warranty.

Passenger side window seemed to come loose at 45k miles. It has a rattle when halfway down when the car goes over bumps. I haven't gotten around to having it checked yet.

Check engine light comes on every 5-15k miles. The car shows no signs of problems when it comes on though. I initially paid $65 to have it shut off by the dealer (dealer said nothing was wrong), but have since let it go off on its own (as it does). It does prove to be annoying though.

A new bearing plate and front struts were required at 50k miles ($800).

A Service Anti Theft Soon light came on at 65k miles. The system seems to work fine, but again, the light proves to be annoying.

General Comments:

This is my first SAAB and have been highly interested in purchasing one since I started driving. To be honest, I'm a bit indifferent about the car. It's a beautiful, safe and ultra comfortable car; and performs reasonably well in all weather conditions, however, with the annoyances and the astronomical cost of maintenance, I've lost the love for the car that I had at purchase. I understand that it is a luxury European car and requires costly maintenance, however, maintenance parts (shocks, brakes, tires, etc.) seemed to fail much more prematurely on this car than any other I've owned; especially since the car isn't driven rough; ever.

I recently relocated and my new local dealer isn't so great. They constantly tell me something new that I need done to the car after I've already done it. For example, about 4 weeks after I personally changed all filters in the car (Air, Fuel, Cabin) and the serpentine belt, they told me I needed new ones because the parts were old and worn out. I'll be looking to sell the car soon and will probably go the BMW or Lexus route.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th September, 2006

7th Aug 2007, 16:14

To the comment about the check engine light - I've got a 9-3 aero which did the same. Dealer couldn't solve it, but fixed by a local specialist replacing the direct ignition pack.

14th Sep 2007, 18:14

About the check engine light coming on - I have 02 9-5 Aero - check engine just came on few days ago - took into speciality foreign service shop and they diagnosed immediately (no problems w/car-light just came on) - it's a $15.00 part called a P0116 I believe - part is in & will take back to have replaced - hope this works in mine - just thought I'd share the info!