9-5 Linear Review

UPDATE: How embarrassing!  The link originally provided was accidentally linked to a picture of the new Saab Oz Director instead of the actual article.  I guess I shouldn’t write articles for the site right before going to bed!  

Link now fixed.


It’s hard to be objective about a road test that’s so complimentary.

So I’m not going to try.  I’ll just say that this is definitely one of the better reviews I’ve read and leave it at that.

It’s a 7-day road test of the 2006 Saab 9-5 in it’s Linear guise, published by Carpoint, the Australian motoring affiliate for MSN.  The writer is Joe Kenwright.

The new 9-5 has received a tepid reception here in Australia.  Most of the reviews so far have been your standard "we had an afternoon with the car an this is what we got" type.

As mentioned, this is a 7-day test and the extra time with the car has created one heck of a positive impression:

 The 9-5 Linear has the low-pressure turbo version of Saab’s family 2.3-litre petrol engine pumping out 136kW and 280Nm with remarkable ease. It can run on basic unleaded but does better on premium unleaded.

It reflects Saab’s enormous investment in getting the most out of a four-cylinder engine in a big car when it has the punch and smoothness of a medium-sized six and the economy of a four. In fact, it is the easy-going and frugal nature of the engine that is the big surprise in a 1559kg family car that can match the big locals in interior comfort and boot space.

The ability of this car to maintain highway speeds on broken bitumen or corrugated gravel has to be experienced to be believed. It is refreshing to discover a current European car that will maintain its edge in dynamics on all Australian roads, not just billiard smooth freeways…..

…..View the Saab 9-5 as a more sophisticated Camry/Accord/Maxima with some character and benchmark safety and you get a sense of why Saab sales are climbing globally. It does the job, efficiently and effectively to the point where you can focus on other things that matter.

Here’s hoping that this marks a bit of a turnaround in the reception of the 9-5 here.  Sales overall are well and truly up on a mediocre 2005.  Whilst the Aero is the halo car for many, the Linear 9-5 represents some pretty good value and performance.  Good writeups like this, based on real life test conditions, are another stepping stone for Saab Oz.

Recommended reading. 


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  1. Good review and he sound true, but still…The testing distance was only 482 km!
    The test pilot still doesn’t know about the excellent comfort, the ultimate seats and the entertainment this car gives in a long distance drive.
    Twice a year I visit some relatives living 900 km away, I stop once for feeding myself, and if my right foot has been heavy I need to feed my car as well. If I drive in legally speed this will take me 11-12 hours including lunch and no need to refill at all.
    This tester would need 14 days to finish this range…Hopefully he gets something to eat during. 🙂

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