Crawl around the 9-5's interior, and you'll quickly take note that it's one of the roomiest, most comfortable cabins in this class. Thanks to its Saab's Swedish heritage, combined with its Dutch ownership and management, its seats are among the best of any vehicle for taller people up front, with top models getting extending thigh supports as well as great back support that isn't merely lumped at the bottom. There's also a bit of side support to hold you in place for corners, without giving you the wedged-in feel of some sport seats, and the soft, pliable, ventilated leather is breathable and comfortable for the long haul.
In back, the perches are configured for adults, too. Two can sit in long-distance comfort in back; a fold-down armrest and pass-through, as well as contouring, make the middle position best kept for shorter stints. Back-seat passengers also get their own climate controls
While most German mid-sizers like the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class end up putting the pinch on rear-seat accommodations as soon as there's someone taller in the front seat, the 9-5 still manages enough knee room and legroom for taller adults in back.
Ride quality in the 2011 9-5 is great—just absorbent enough in the top Aero model to soak up coarseness and minor bumps while staying quite firm, well-controlled and responsive. Engine noise is pretty well muted, and wind noise is never an issue.
The driving position is great, too, with the swoopy instrument panel design putting everything quite close at hand. Up close, Saab hasn't worked very hard to mask the GM roots for most of its switchgear, but that's quite alright; some of it feels directly poached from Cadillac, the rest from Opel and Buick.