UPDATE: Talk about eggs (n Grits) on my face!!
When I first looked at the link for this article, I noted the date just above the headline, which was a current date. I failed to see the smaller typeface date just under the name of the author – July 2002.
My apologies for passing this off as a current test. With only one small profile picture of the car to go on, I didn’t notice the difference. I’m very embarrassed about the error, though it’s still good to see how well the 9-5 went in this test.
Thanks to Eggs for pointing out what should have been the obvious (and the grace with which he did it).
A motoring journal has praised something other than a BMW as being the best in a comparative road test AND ranked the Dame-Edna-lookalike-too-old-FWD-so-it-has-to-be-bad Saab 9-5 as fourth in the field of eleven cars tested.
Road and Track have put together a group of 11 Sport Sedans and given them a good run in Arizona’s mountain and desert country. Their final rankings were as follows:
Some thoughts on the 9-5 as tested by Road and Track:
Saab calls its high-pressure 2.3-liter turbo the HOT engine, for High Output Turbo, and it’s a well-chosen acronym. The smooth, torquey performance of this amazing 250-bhp inline-4 won a lot of hearts and minds on our three-day blast through Arizona….
….There’s just a hint of turbo lag when you first put your foot into it at low rpm, but it spools up quickly and howls down the road. At cruising speed on the highway, there’s almost no delay when you move out to pass; you can leave it in 5th gear, wait a subliminal fraction of a second and then move out in a nice surge of strong, immediate passing power.
A great engine alone, of course, does not bring a car up to 4th place in this august company, and the Saab has much else to offer….
….The car turns into corners decisively, holds a line with good balance and feedback through the steering and produces little body sway. It’s an easy car to drive fast, and it feels good doing it….
“Not only was I surprised by the ferocity of the engine, but the chassis proved to be just as enthusiast-oriented. This car attacks corners and handles extremely well for a big front-driver.”
….Basically, the Saab is a car that does everything well, yet still has enough personality to impress itself on the memory. It’s fast, fun to drive and it has character.
I’ve gotta say, I’m pleased with the inclusion of the 9-5 in this test. Car and Driver did a similar comparison last year using the 9-3 Aero, which didn’t fare nearly as well.
Perhaps the identity of both these cars is one of the things that Saab need to sort out for the next generation. The 9-3 share similar body styles, similar size and only 10hp separates them in their top-of-the-range guise.
Regardless, it’s pleasing to see the 9-5 get some of the kudos it surely deserves. Hopefully a few other publications are going to pick up on it soon.
Thanks to Aeronaut for the tip.