I’ve not linked to much of it before, but Canada’s John Le Blanc from Straight Six is a favourite around here. He’s just published his Cinderella list, a group of underdogs that shouldn’t be overlooked amongst the better new cars of 2006.
Cars are organised into classes, and his Cinderella pick for the Luxury Sports Sedan class is none other than our own 9-5:
The flock has always chased BMW’s leading 5 Series. But if your mama didn’t raise no ewe, try the energetically enigmatic 9-5. Despite freshened 2006 sedans and wagons arriving with updates to the chassis, interior and exterior, the 9-5 is still old-school Saab with a blown four-banger producing 260 hp (up 10 on last year’s) torque-steering the front tires like Chubby Checker. For members of the Anti-Teutonic League, the 9-5’s smooth road manners match the equally Scandinavian-suave interiors. Note: BMW is the only other carmaker in this segment that offers an available manual transmission. Where others start in the mid-$70,000 range, check off every option on a 9-5 and you still can’t bust through the $55,000 mark.
Not sure if he’s talking US$ or CDN$, but that 9-5 sure represents some value for it’s class. Still the most underappreciated car in the Saab range, except by those that own them.