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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
The 9-5 has not yet been rated in the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) roof-strength test, but the IIHS has given it top 'good' results for frontal, side, and rear impact. The federal government hasn't yet tested the 9-5—and likely won't as it's a rather low-volume model—but in EuroNCAP testing it achieved a top five-star rating, too.
Saab is one of the few automakers that maintains its own team of crash investigators, in its home Sweden, and they design their vehicles not only to meet specific government and safety-organization crash-test criteria, but to reduce injuries in the real-world crash conditions they see.
Standard safety features on the 9-5 include a third-generation active head restraint system, side curtain bags, front and rear side bags, plus of course electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. Saab also says that the brake lights will flash rapidly under hard braking to help alert drivers following.
There's a lot of active safety in the 9-5, too, including bi-xenon Smart Beam headlamps, a Lane Departure Warning system, and a head-up display.
Those who value safety will find a lot to feel secure about in the 2011 Saab 9-5.