Review: Swedish police(man) drives Saab 9-5 2.0T

I loved driving the 2.8T V6 Saab 9-5, but I reeeeeeally loved driving the 2.0T four cylinder version.

I received the following today from Henrik N, whose developing love for the 9-5 four-banger seems to be pretty similar to my own.

I enjoyed reading this……

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I write to you for the reason that yesterday I took the new 9-5 for a test drive and would like to tell you about it.

I don’t even own a Saab – I drive a VW Golf, but I love them because I grew up with several of them (the favorite was a Saab 9-3 Aero, 2002, hazelnut metallic). I work as a police officer in central Stockholm, and we have some Saab 9-5s as patrol cars. Unfortanately most of the patrol cars ar Volvo V70s. They are good cars by all means, but they lack the sportiness and “true feeling” of the Saabs.

I was visiting the Saab dealership in my hometown Växjö last tuesday to take a look at the new car. I spoke to the salesman and for some reason I told the guy that I am a police officer in Stockholm. I was complaining about the fact that we mostly have Ovlovs in my district and that I wanted the new 9-5 as my next patrol car. The Salesman seemed to get excited and offered me a test drive. Unfortunateley I didn’t have time to drive it right then, but we scheduled a test drive for the following Thursday morning.

I was very excited, because I have read so much about this car, and have admired so many pictures of it – finally it was my turn to drive it!

I went there with my girlfriend and told them that I was scheduled to test drive a 9-5. It was a different guy this time, and he didn’t seem to care or bother who I was. He gave me a car key and told me where the car was parked.

I took a seat in the cockpit and was really amazed by how big and comfortable it felt on the inside. It was the 220hp vector model (turbo4) manual transmission. I put the key in the center console and started the car with the start button. I was feeling a rush when I did it, I was finally to drive it!

I put it in first gear and started to move away. It felt very smooth and the gear shift was very solid. Earlier saabs I have driven have had quite a “rubbery” feel of the stick, but this one felt very solid and gave me a fealing of high quality. This is a great refinement compared to older models, the feeling of solid quality.

I think that most of the gadgets in around the driver had a nice feeling of them. They were easy to comprehend and gave me the right feedback when I used them. It’s evident that the Saab engineers have put a lot of work in improving this aspect of the car, compared to the old 9-5.

I took the car for a spin around the medium sized city for about and hour. My impression was that the 220hp engine was very strong, agile and more than sufficient for that big car. I accelerated hard and realized that in the second gear I had reached the speed of 110km/h in practically no time at all, and didn’t realize I was driving so fast.

The car is extremely stable in any speed, quiet and comfortable. It’s a car that you can drive for hours without getting tired. The seats are extremely comfortable and I had a great driving positon even though I’m 199cm tall.

I was driving through the central parts of the city and in the country side on courser roads. Even though the car is so big, it feels much smaller on the road when you are driving it. The steering is very accurate, and you have a good feeling about the front and back end of the car, so I felt confident in parking it and reversing it in a small alley. It was very sporty in the corners and was great in overtaking other cars on the road.

Finally I had to return the car to the dealership (after showing it to my friend who is a Volvo freak and actually was astonished by the car). I was more than satisfied with it. It was better than I expected in most aspects, and looked much better in real life than in pictures.

The only cons with the car according to me are:

  • The steering wheel is a bit too thin – I would like a more solid feeling of it.
  • The roof line makes the head room in the rear seat too low (I’m almost 2 meters tall though)
  • The dash looks a little too cheap with all that gray plastic, I’m hoping that they’ll fix that for the next years’ model.

Those few cons are things that I can definately live with. This is the greatest car I have driven so far, and I hope that it will be a great success for saab. Unfortunately I have to wait for a used one in order to make it suitable for my budget.

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