This is a MUST READ for anyone considering the purchase of a new 9-5.
SaabScott, the President (or is it former President?) of the Saab Owners Club of Canada has recently finished a two-week stint with a 2007 Saab 9-5 SportCombi.
Scott’s a 9-5 owner already, having a 1999 model in the garage, so when he emailed me to let me know about the article I was most curious to read about his experience, and what he thought of the latest 9-5.
Having driven it myself a few times in the last 8 months or so, I know that this is one great car. The divisive point is the new look, but there’s little doubt about the quality of the car once you get behind the wheel.
It’s that very first tactile impression, the one where you sit inside the car, that Scott deals with first:
While getting used to the seats took a little bit of time, realizing just how good they were took no time. The side bolstering and range of movement will allow just about everyone to find a position that will be as comfortable as they could possibly want. This car was also equipped with the memory function and 3 buttons. More importantly though, was the fact that the memory was also tied to the side mirrors! Nice touch Saab……
The interior layout is functionally identical to the original model. There is not a single feature that has been left out. In fact, it is quite the opposite. There are a number of new features and what carried over from the 1999 have been simplified and made more intuitive.
The Night Panel button has been moved due to the fact that the SID has been incorporated into the instrument cluster. Once you have spent time behind the wheel, you realize that the placement of the button is actually better than before …
Whilst I’m not a big fan of the alterations made to the climate control system (i.e. going from buttons to knobs) there is little doubt that the 9-5 is a classical Saab design. Age has its benefits, and one of those benefits as far as the 9-5 is concerned is that the dash area has been refined and improved overall as the years have progressed.
I have heard a lot of comments (good and bad) about the interior materials. I found everything to be quite satisfactory. When the brushed aluminium came out a couple of years ago, I didn’t really care for it. However, the treatment that Saab has used is quite easy on the eyes and blends in very well. The door materials are tasteful and not cheap and are easy to clean up (important in a climate such as ours). The doors still have that “thunk” when you close them and seal you into a very quite and comfortable cabin.
There’s a LOT of interior discussion in this review, which I think is great. It’s the place where you actually spend most of your time so it has to be good. Scott’s done a really thorough job assessing the interior in a practical way and from a Saab point of view.
But he does manage to take it for a run, too.
The engine mated with the 5 speed automatic transmission is great for driving in just about any situation. Throw it into gear and go. Passing on the highway is a breeze … put your right foot down and either or both the turbo and transmission respond almost instantly…..
….With all of this power available, the handling has to be up to par and there is no disappointment there either. This car is glued to the road … in all weather conditions. Let’s cover the dry first. You point the car where you want it to go and it goes. There is very little body roll and not once did I ever push the car anywhere close to its traction limits. And for a car of its size and weight, it feels very “toss able”. In the wet and snow, this car lives up to the fact that it was designed and built in Sweden. Even with the standard “all-season” tires on it, the car gripped well. Driving across the 401 in the midst of a blizzard with very high cross winds caused no concern. The car tracked true, even through the snow between the lanes. At no time did I ever feel that the car was at all loose on the road. As a matter of fact, the steering is one of the big improvements over my car … it is very tight and direct and turn in is immediate!
I’m deliberately limiting the amount of content I publish from this review as it’s well and truly deserving of your attention at the source. This is a very thorough piece.
Whatever you think about the way the new 9-5 looks (and I think most people have become OK with it now, except you Zippy 😉 there’s little room for doubt about the way it drives.
This is one great Saab.
Click here to read the full review. As mentioned it’s something I’d consider a must-read for anyone familiar with the 9-5’s heritage and contemplating a return to owning one.