I roasted the 9-5 a few weeks ago for being behind the competition and I still think that Saab will benefit immensely from a new 9-5 coming to market. But this is an interesting eye-opener.
I have to thank WooDz for sending this in. I don’t have a link to the test he’s referring to, but his research and writings make a good point – the 9-5 might be a little long in the tooth, but still represents pretty good value and a neat package.
I’ve recently been reading a German Auto magazine where they put the Mercedes E 200 Compressor against the Audi A6 2.4 V6. The test was more about driving the budget end of the model range as opposed to the AMG E63 or the S6. The bottom line had the Mercedes outdoing the Audi by 2 points, achieving 72 from a possible 100.
After reading the technical info I thought that it would have been nice to see how the 9-5 2.3t Linear would have pitched up against the two Germans.
For a start it’s €4,500 cheaper than the Audi and €7,000 less than the Merc.
But we all know that the Saab is going to have a few short comings because of this. First up it’s not German and therefore what Managerial executive would want to drive it. Secondly it’s smaller than the other two and the slowest by 6kmh with a maximum speed of 230kmh. (BUT…..when was the last time you drove at over 140mph?)
Then there’s the luxury aspect. None of the following are available options on the 9-5 Linear.
Front Parking sensors
Active Cruise Control
4-Zone Climate Control
Electric Steering wheel adjustment.
It doesn’t have light sensors that are corner sensing. Neither does it have Air Suspension or ‘Keyless Go’.
But I guess as you were reading through the monstrous amount perceived inadequacies I’m sure you came to the same conclusion as I. What the hell do I need all that gumpf for, when it’s only going to weigh my car down and eat away at my fuel?
Once you take all the useless materialistic rubbish out of the picture you’re left with a good cost effective tourer. Most car reps want to get from A to B quick, safe and still feeling fresh. Heated seats are good and so is leather to up the image.
But what tends to impress most is getting through the traffic without a fuss. So what the 9-5 offers is 280nm of torque from 1800 – 3500rpm as opposed to best the Germans can offer with 250nm from 3500 – 4000rpm which was the Mercedes E200.
What this means is that you get 0-100km/h in 7.8secs in the Saab, whereas in the Audi it takes 9.4seconds and the Mercedes 9.8seconds.
What about mid-range acceleration? The real life sort of stuff that Saab build there drivetrain around. This is where the Germans start to really look a bit shaky. From 60-100km/h the Saab takes 7.5 seconds, the Audi takes 9.8 seconds and the Mercedes E200 takes 10.1 seconds.
Unfortunately the Saab has only got 5-Gears so its fuel economy isn’t great, But it’s still better than the 6-Gear competitors and what’s more the acceleration from 80-120km/h in 5th Gear is just 11Secs! closely followed by the Audi in 17.8 seconds and finally the Merc with 19.6 seconds.
Just go and count those 8.6 secs out loud…. and whilst you do, go and put the kettle on……
Yes the 9-5 is looking a bit, well, like a car designed in the 90’s
But it’s by no mean’s dead and buried. I’m sure there are a few people out there who are thinking that Saab might not be for them anymore….That the only sure way to get class leading engineering is from a German manufacturer. They may still have a soft spot for the Gripen but not now because GM is involved.
Maybe after reading this you may realise that the Saab 9-5 is a worthy contender. After all, new or used the 9-5 was designed by Saab, engineered by Saab and is built by Swedes.
Sensational stuff, WooDz.
Exactly the sort of message that Saab need to get out there in the market.