2005 SAAB 9-5 Arc 2.3T from Sweden - Comments

9th Jul 2006, 18:38

I have been driving a rental Saab 95 estate 2.0 turbo for 2 weeks. This is one of the worst cars I have ever driven. It is physically as big as my wifes 3.5L Villager, but has half the internal space. The trip computer is indecipherable. The HVAC controls are counter intuitive. It is slower than my 10 yr old Maxima and can't pull the skin off a rice pudding. The (new) car smells of rancid kippers after it's parked for a while. The upholstery is horrible cheap vinyl. Fuel consumption seems very high. Handling is poor. Brakes are mushy.

28th Nov 2006, 01:05

That comment above (July 06) could not have been written about a Saab Turbo. Can't pull the skin off a rice pudding? Either your rental company's not looking after their fleet or you're quite mistaken. The 9-5's got heaps of torque and heaps of room. That review just doesn't ring true at all.

23rd May 2009, 17:55

Saab seats are all leather, and the internal space is huge. The July 6 comment is very fishy and foul.

24th May 2009, 22:31

Actually, Saab's leather seats are leather only on the seating surfaces, not on the backs and sides.

As for roominess, the old 9000 was considerably better than the 9-5.

Agree with the comments on performance, though.

1st Aug 2009, 11:23

We needed a third car for the au pair and I wasn't about to buy her a new car, so I really wanted to like the Saab 9-5. It's safe for the kids and cheap (used) and perfect for the au pair. I had a brand new 1994 Saab 900 in college and have always like Saab's styling inside and out.

I test drove two Saab 9-5s. Both at reputable Saab authorized dealers. A 2001 with 52,000 miles for $7,100 2.3t and a 2005 9-5 2.3t with 62,000 for $11,000. Both were in very clean condition.

Here are my observations. Saab age very fast, so there was virtually no difference between a 2001 9-5 with 52,000 miles and a 2005 9-5 with 62,000 miles other than the re-design's cosmetics. Both engines were LOUD. You could hear every cylinder firing and resonance of the intake manifold. I've driven Hyundai rental cars (4-cylinders) that are smoother. A lot electrical things were not working on the 2001 Saab 9-5. The brakes were horrible and mushy and stopped like a 1980s car. The turbo engine is rough, loud and underpowered. You have to have a lead foot to make the turbo kick in and for the car to move. I would never make a left turn without a green arrow in this car.

Then I thought I could solve the problem by buying a 2001 9-5 SE V6 light pressure turbo with 68,000 miles for $6,500. I went to the dealer to look at it and he told me it was at another lot and to come back tomorrow. I came back the next day and he admitted to me it was still in the shop for repairs. A Saab 9-5 apparently couldn't even stay on a used car lot without needing repairs. And then I read all the frightening reviews here and I said forget it.

In the end, I bought a 2002 Passat 9-5 V6 4Motion Wagon with 72,000 miles for $7,300. People on the internet say the VW 2.8 30V engine is bullet-proof with proper fluid changes. This car after 72,000 miles drove almost as well as the 2002 Passat 1.8T we bought brand new back then, except there was no turbo-lag. At 72,000 miles, this VW engine was smoother than our 2007 Mercedes R350 4MATIC and 2009 C300 4MATIC (both purchased new). The paint even looked new and was much better than the newer 2005 9-5 and on par with the much newer Mercedes. Incredible.

Thanks again to this forum for helping me avoid buying a Saab 9-5 (where my heart really was). My wallet & I thanks you.

5th May 2010, 19:35

I have a 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon with 5 speed automatic and a 1998 Audi V6-2.8 stick. Both are nice cars. Though the Audi is pretty peppy, the Saab feels much faster. I have never timed them but, I would be surprised if the Saab wasn't faster in most/all acceleration and speed tests. Uh, and it is bigger and gets 30+ mpg on the highway. The Audi gets maybe 25.

28th Nov 2012, 00:56

Interestingly enough, you say that these reviews on the 2005 Saab 9-5 were instrumental in shaping your decision to stay clear of the Saab, thereby preserving the integrity of your wallet as a result of not having to shell out big bucks for chronic repair costs on the Saab. Fair enough.

However, you curiously extol the virtues of the 2002 Volkswagen Passat - a car that has racked up as many, if not more poor reviews than the '05 Saab 9-5. I hope your wallet didn't have to pay for this irony.

26th Dec 2012, 10:47

Well, despite all the negative comments (amongst the positive ones), I recently purchased a 2003 9-5 Aero with 140000 km on the clock, and I'm its 4th owner.

I have to say that this was the 6th or 7th 9-5 that I checked for an eventual purchase.

On this particular one, all displays work, all inside equipment works, it's impossible to hear the engine at legal speeds; maybe just a little at very low speeds. The engine is in great condition etc...

All I did was to change the upper radiator hose, one engine support, all fluids and filters, and that's it.

All these to resume and say that if the goal is to get a 9-5, you need to look out for one that was not considered and driven like a race car.

I chose this 250 BHP engine for smooth, silent and effortless driving, and it is doing great. This car should not be considered as a sports car, just because it has powerful engine, and it is not one.

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