2004 SAAB 9-5 Reviews

2004 SAAB 9-5 Aero 2.3 Liter High Output turbo from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.3 Liter High Output turbo Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired39000 miles
Most recent distance44000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-7X

Summary:

Well built Swedish Speed Sled

Faults:

I bought this car at 39,000 miles, and have replaced the following things:

Direct ignition cassette with 4 new spark plugs.

Mini-dash bulbs.

Things I need to replace:

Serpentine belt.

Climate control actuator clicks three times upon start up.

General Comments:

What I like:

This car is VERY fast. This is a true sleeper.

This body style still looks like a SAAB.

The acceleration from about 10-60 is mind-blowing.

The 5 speed automatic transmission shifts well.

The seats are comfortable, and this car is very good looking with the black Aero body kit, Xenon headlights, etc.

The vented seats are kind of a neat thing too.

It is VERY quiet on the road.

The center info center with all of the lights is very cool, and feels like a SAAB.

The turbo gauge is fun.

Good Harmon Kardon stereo.

Well built, solid car. The sound of the doors as you close it is a nice solid "THUD!"

What I don't like:

The cabin air filter is a pain to change.

The cup holder is awful.

Off the line performance is just average. However, once the turbo kicks in after about 2 seconds, it throws you in your seat.

Some mechanics are reluctant to work on it. They think this is an exotic, when it is just a SAAB.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2011

2004 SAAB 9-5 Aero 2.3 ltr H.O.T. from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.3 ltr H.O.T. Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired35 miles
Most recent distance41000 miles
Previous carSubaru Forester

Summary:

A uniquely styled, high performance sport sedan for the right amount of money

Faults:

1) Cracked Engine Mounts replaced at 31,000 miles (warranty).

2) Replaced bad throttle body at 31,000 miles (warranty).

3) Leaking rear shocks replaced at 31,000 miles (warranty).

4) Coolant bypass valve replaced at 35,000 miles (warranty).

5) Weak battery replaced at 35,000 miles (warranty).

6) Fuel line retaining clips installed at 41,000 miles (factory recall).

7) Door handles replaced at 25,000 miles (factory recall).

8) Worn SAAB badge (hood) replaced at 31,000 miles (warranty).

9) Direct Injection Unit replaced at 41,000 miles (warranty).

General Comments:

The SAAB 9-5 Aero is a seriously quick car, with excellent road manners. Not an off the line monster, but extremely capable once the turbo spools up. Punch the gas at highway speeds and the passing power will throw your head back into the head rest. Very little torque steer for a front wheel driver. Requires an owner interested in a unique driving experience who is prepared to handle some of the quirks that this limited production car can present. Not for drivers looking for a completely worry free Japanese appliance ala Honda, Acura, Lexus (although these are all great cars, and our family car is a Honda).

The Good:

A very quick sedan with excellent highway power.

Excellent gas mileage. Observed average of 24.9 between city and highway. Bumps up to nearly 33 mpg under normal highway driving conditions.

Extremely comfortable seats.

Unique - there simply aren't very many of them on the road. The car definitely stands out.

Stiff ride and tight handling without being harsh.

The Bad:

Wind/tire/cabin noise. This car really should be much quieter so as to compete with other cars in its segment. Granted, the car is shod with high performance tires so you would expect it to be a bit noisier, but even with this in mind the car could use more noise dampening.

Weak air conditioning system. The car is always able to cool the cabin quickly, however it would be a huge improvement if the volume of air coming out of the vents could be increased. I've inquired with SAAB about the weak air flow and they have admitted that it is a design flaw inherent to the climate control system. Perhaps this will be improved in future models.

Service costs. Although all of the issues that have come up on this vehicle have been handled under warranty, it's daunting to think how much it would have cost had I been forced to pay for the repairs. A good indie mechanic is a must after the car's warranty expires (Master Saab Technician Walter Wong in Southern California is a prime example of the best kind of indie mechanic).

Reliability (components). Although the car has never stranded me, it seems as though some components fail rather easily (see list above). I'm a stickler for service and don't abuse the car, so the failure of a number of these items seems unusual.

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

Review Date: 13th August, 2007

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 4 reviews