9-5 review

Dave Thomas, formerly of Autoblog and MPH magazine, shot me an email yesterday. He’s now writing for and has just finished a test run in the 2006 9-5 SportCombi (or SportWagon as it’s known in some other markets).

It’s an interesting review that surprises in some parts and confirms some thoughts in others…

The new headlight treatments look awkward in photographs, but in person they grow on you…

Totally agree. The Dame Edna look is emphasised in photos, but in the right color and importantly, in person, the new 9-5 front ain’t half bad.

The back end, however, dramatically disappoints.

I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the tail lights here and I disagree. I think the tail lights on the wagon look a lot better than what they do on the sedan. They don’t have the sharp corners like the sedan and benefit from the gentler treatment. It’s just one guys opinion vs another’s and totally unimportant really…..

But I’m right ;-P

In terms of the cars ride, Dave gives it the thumbs up. It’s not stellar, but it’ll do more than enough to keep you very interested when you want it to. I think this sentence will sum up the thoughts of many a Saab owner, even me with my Viggen:

A daily commute can be either an absent-minded affair or as engaging as you can handle.

Dave takes a few marks off the interior. He found it felt less ‘expensive’ than it should have. Comfortable with a lot of the Saab touches, but less luxurious than he would expect in a car with this price. Having not spent much time in the car I can’t disagree, but this sentence made me chuckle:

The driver’s seat even made an embarrassing noise when it rubbed against the center console as I tried to get comfortable.

What was in your lunch, Dave? Yeah, blame the car!

Gotta say, this one had me baffled:

The 9-5 wagon comes equipped with numerous safety features, but could do better.

The 9-5 is reputed as one as the safest cars every built and whilst there’s no 2006 model crash test data yet, it’s hard for me to believe that Saab would allow it’s reputation to slip in this regard.

Despite my little digs here, this is a good review and pretty much sums up where the car is at right now. A really great drive with a couple of shortcomings that the faithful will gladly overlook.

A recommended brief read.

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  1. is actually pretty good. I listen to their weekly radio/webcast show, CarTalk, starring Click & Clack – The Tappet Brothers (Ray and Tom Magliozzi). If you’ve never heard the show, you missed out a lot. But luckily you can hear all their archived shows online, at:


  2. Tom and Ray were great in their small role in ‘Cars’.

    ‘Don’t droh-eeve like my brothah.’

    As for the article, you nailed it!

  3. Thanks for the mention and link. I think for the safety it didn’t have the side curtain airbags. It did have stability control though.

    But there’s no way the taillights look right. I love the 9-3 combis lights. very cool, very modern. these look old and out of date. and just like an Audi, but softer. eck.

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