2011 Saab 9-5s arrive at US dealerships

I’m getting quite a few emails now about the fact the 2011 Saab 9-5s are arriving at US dealerships. I’ve heard from people in New York and California, so they’re definitely getting out there.

This means that you’ll now have a chance to check out the 2.0T versions of the Saab 9-5 for yourself at you local Saab dealer. If they don’t have one already, they should have one in very soon.

US offerings of the Saab 9-5 2.0T include:

  • Saab 9-5 Turbo4 (MSRP $38,525)
  • Saab 9-5 Turbo4 Premium (MSRP $43,435)

There’s also a dual offering in the 6-cylinder range:

  • Saab 9-5 Turbo6 XWD (MSRP $48,030)
  • Saab 9-5 Aero (MSRP $49,565)

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Tim B was present at his local dealership in Denver, CO, when th 2011 model arrived today:

As I was standing in the shop today, the first deliveries of 2011 9-5s pulled in. A 4 cylinder biofuel version was first in line, and then the 6 cylinder pulled up as we were hawking. In the pics you can see all the space in the engine bay for the 4-banger. Both interiors had wood-grain dash options and looked much better than the all black dashes.

Click. And note the parchment/wood and black/wood combinations.

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Dave J even got to take a ride in one…..

Dear Swade,

Thought you might be interested in USA first impressions regarding 2011 9-5 2.0L Turbo. I was at my dealer in Northern Virginia today where the first batch of 2011 2.0L Turbo FWDs arrived. I did a test drive and I’m impressed. A few months ago I test drove a 2010 9-5 Aero V-6. The four cylinder drives much more Saab-like, in a good way, in my opinion. I say this as a three decade Saab owner of 900s, 9000s, 9-3s, and a recent 9-5.

This new vehicle feels lighter (which it is), smaller (which it isn’t) and more maneuverable than the V-6 Aero. All good things in my view. I felt more attached to the engine and road. I could hear the engine versus the total silence of the V-6. I like this…not loud, just there. There is a slight amount of understeer and very slight turbo lag but you wouldn’t know it unless you had driven previous SAABs. Anyone who has doubts about the four cylinder turbo in a car this heavy should have no worries. My test car had plenty of acceleration and torque. These 2.0L Turbos accept E85 Ethanol or unleaded petrol. The dealer did not know the petrol octane requirement. They were still learning about this vehicle.

Saab made some interior adjustments which I like over the Aero. Gone are the chrome IP surrounds. They are replaced with wood. The medal foot pedals are replaced with rubber pedals. There are a few other minor changes in center console materials. In my opinion, this is a more classy interior than the chrome treatment of the sport oriented Aero. The exterior front end also looses the lower bumper Aero chrome surrounds and is a solid color and finish. Also gone are the twin chrome exhaust tips. You simply see a solid back bumper and don’t notice any exhaust pipes. Again, more to my liking than chrome adornments.

One major oddity of this model vehicle for the USA is that it comes with no spare tire. The spare tire compartment is empty except for some small tools, a small electric compressor tire inflator and a small container of pressurized gas containing tire sealant. I was told two versions of why there is no spare tire. First, a Saab mechanic acquaintance told me they did this to keep the weight down to meet certain USA federal standards for vehicle classification. Second, my salesman, who readily admitted the car did not come with “run flat” type tires, indicated the car had no spare tire because SAAB determined tires are so reliable and spare tires get used so rarely that they are now unnecessary. Incredulous, I didn’t buy that. If the tire sealant fails to inflate a flat tire you are literally “dead in the water”. A full size spare or a space-saver spare will, apparently, be an after-sale option. SAAB had better get their story straight on this and provide some answers.

Window sticker pricing, as I recall, for the 2.0L FWD base model starts at around $43,500USD, without optional equipment. I was hoping the base model would come in a bit lower. But you do seem to get a lot for the money. Anyway, I think this might be the vehicle which pulls longtime SAAB customers into their dealers here in the USA. I’m very impressed…except for the silly issue over no spare tire.

Judging by the price he saw, I think Dave was looking at the 9-5 Turbo4 Premium rather than the base model.

And the spare tire issue, this is one that a lot of manufacturers are dealing with in this way. I think I’d personally prefer to have an actual spare tire as well, but then again, the number of older cars I’ve seen with a spare that’s never, ever been used is actually pretty significant.

That aside, it sounds like Dave was as happy with the 2.0T 9-5 driving experience as I was. It really is a cracker of a car.

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