1999 Saab 9-5 Review

Consumer Reviews
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Sue Mead Sue Mead Editor

CARLSBAD, California — Our convoy of wagons snakes over the spine of the southern Sierras and drops into the hot, parched Anza Borrego Desert. This was once a portion of the Butterfield Stagecoach route, and I can only imagine the contrast of travel. My coach has seats that will cool my backside (or heat it when the desert cools at night), a chilled glove box to keep liquids cold and chocolate from melting — not to mention nimble steering, a superb suspension and a turbocharged engine to propel me through space at speeds that range from slow to many horses.

A sign directs me to our lunch stop, some two-and-a-half miles into the desert on a slightly rutted dirt road. I realize that I’ve been on this trail a number of times in the past, but always driving a sport-utility vehicle or a light truck. Today, my transport is a Saab 9-5 wagon — and I’m impressed by its safety and comfort, versatility and fashionableness.

These days, SUVs dominate the U.S. market. In fact, it's almost cliché to mention the light truck segment's explosive growth in the past decade here. In Europe, however, where fuel prices are higher and streets smaller, even the most thrifty and maneuverable SUVs are a rare sight while the likes of the Suburban, Expedition and other large sport-utes are as foreign as Fiats in Kansas.

 

 

Fuel for the sport-wagon fire

Light trucks don't sell well in Europe, but the demand for vehicles that combine sport and utility — the fuel for the SUV boom — is alive and well there, just as it is here. Enter the sport wagon — a niche product stateside, but all the rage across the pond.

Audi's A4 and A6 wagons, for example, are some of Europe's hottest cars but sell in relatively small numbers in North America. Mercedes' C-Class and BMW's 3 Series sedans have found many American homes, but did you know that both could be had in station wagon form in their home markets? With the exception of the popular Volvo wagons and Subaru’s Outback sport, the sport wagon is still a relatively new concept, but it’s a niche that is growing fast.

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October 3, 2015
2012 Saab 9-5 4-Door Sedan Turbo4 Manual FWD

Very good!

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Enjoyable conducting!! Safe! Elegant! Classic! Strong! Good quality interiors!
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September 14, 2015
2011 Saab 9-5 4-Door Sedan Turbo4 Premium *Ltd Avail*

Rare gem and a unique proposition.

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It looks like nothing else and moves with remarkable balance and grace. In keeping with SAAB traditions, the instruments are clear, the seats incredibly comfortable, and the back seat room almost shockingly... + More »
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August 24, 2015
2011 Saab 9-5 4-Door Sedan Aero XWD *Ltd Avail*

This is a road car and can compete with anything out there in my opinion; it is fast and it is comfortable.

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I own 2 Saab 9-3s, a Sportcombi and a Convertible; this 9-5 is very much a Saab but a much bigger and more luxurious one that is made for the road. I am used to tossing my other two around but this 9-5 really... + More »
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January 19, 2016
2009 Saab 9-5 4-Door Sedan Griffin

A great car

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It was one of the last models sold here. I bought it with all possible accessoires. And Hirsch Tuning of course. A cognac leather interior and at this moment almost 200.000 on the counter. Normally I buy a new... + More »
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December 13, 2015
2002 Saab 9-5 4-Door Sedan Aero

great engineering, too good for the market, too trying for the timid

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2.3L turbocharged 4-cyl 5-speed manual is a great car... keeping it running is a challenge with so many electronics and sensors to maintain, but it is like flying a plane, quiet & fast when you need speed... + More »
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April 20, 2015
For 2002 Saab 9-5

A well-performing, comfortable, fun car.

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The car is 13 years old so of course things are going to happen. But it is comfortable, the performance is great, it is fun to drive, and I can carry a good amount of bulky stuff in it.
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