MSN Cars in the UK have taken the new 9-5 out for a spin. They drove the diesel version with the new 1.9l engine fitted. There were a few faults and a few signs of age, but in general terms they were prety happy with the car, and especially happy about the price.
The ambience is uniquely Saab, but it has also lost some of that plainness that made earlier models seem rather dull and unimaginative. Quality switchgear and controls add the final touch…..
…..This engine…..originates from the doomed industrial venture with Fiat, which uses the same unit in Fiats and Alfa Romeos. That venture may have had its problems but the engine range that came out of it doesn’t. Used here in 150bhp form, there’s ample power and torque to deal with a car even the weight of the 9-5. 320Nm of torque ensures that this is an easy, relaxing diesel to drive, with decent acceleration without the need for continual gear changing. High speed cruising is also some the 9-5 takes in its stride…..
…..What doesn’t seem too good is the level of refinement. While no means bad, and certainly an improvement on the old 2.2 TiD, the 9-5 1.9 TiD is not as refined as some of its rivals or even a Vectra with the same engine…..(that’s got to be a worry – Swade)
…..What the 9-5 does extremely well is cover great distances while cosseting the occupants in absolute comfort…..
…..Many Saab buyers choose the Swedish brand because they want something different. Architects, doctors, those who need to make their mark in a different way, have been the core market. They may still love the new 9-5 and we liked it too, in its quirky way. We like the Audi A6 even more, but then that costs another £3,000.
The full test is here. Personally, I think this car will look pretty good in black, silver or white. Get into the primary colors and those chrome surrounds are really going to play havoc with the aesthetics.