SCWC check out Saab 9-5, Springmans Saab

We’ve been following events related to Saab’s reintroduction into Canada for some time now and one of the dealerships that’s been in contact quite regularly through comments is Springmans Saab in Vancouver, BC.

Last weekend, Springmans hosted a group from the Saab Club of Western Canada. Around 10 cars and 20 people attended and many of them got to see and drive the new Saab 9-5 for the first time.

SaabKen is a both at Saab Central and here at SU and he emailed me the following report from the weekend.

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At our December 18th club meet, we went to visit Greater Vancouver’s first (and so far only) post-GM Saab dealership, Springman’s SAAB.

Their staff greeted us with tremendous hospitality (you know who you are, gents …. ). Some of us luckier ones got to sit in, and test drive, the 9-5. They only have the turbo 4 (6-spd) at the moment, but will be getting the Aero Turbo6 XWD in the next month or so. New inventory for Canada is still trickling in.

Below is some very limited footage of my drive (only out of the dealer lot, since all the parts where I was cruising supersonic we’re not allowed to post cuz a certain important somebody from Springman’s is sitting shotgun ).

Oh, the DI 2.0T (220hp) turbo 4 was sweeeeet and if anyone thinks it’s inadequate for the 4,400lb 9-5, you HAVE to drive it first to see how sweet it is, or else shut the heck up. I think in the clip I shifted up to 2nd at 4000rpm but it likes to rev. The shifter was still a bit too Saabish (read: notchy) for my taste, but at least the throws were short and the shift knob shaped perfectly. Torque steer ….. nada. Turbo lag ….. nada.

Here goes…. (two other SCWC-ers heard speaking from the backseat)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSipmSx3bC4

I’ve not driven the Aero obviously, but I can easily imagine years of me happily driving with the turbo 4 without any urge to step up in horsepower nor the fancy driver-adjustable suspension setup. But I’m quite curious how different the FWD and XWD feel in spirited driving.

I’ve posted some pics here (and note how tiny the 96 looks compared to the new 9-5! – SW).

And also one other highlight is meeting a new member to SCWC, Jason, who brought his ’73 96. He also has a Sonett (in rebuild mode, I believe).

Again, my big thanks to Jason Powell and Rob Adolph for their time and hospitality. We look forward to being part of another event with Springman’s Saab in the near future.

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Cheers
Ken

Rune
Guest
Rune
5 years 9 months ago

The BioPower gauge is a curious one…

Supposedly, what we get in the winter is E75. I expected to see this reflected in the percentage displayed. But it happily never budges from the 100% E85 mark. At least not in my car.

John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago
I agree with the test driver – the Saab shifter needs a little work. I drove a Saab 9-5 turbo4 base last Friday and was not very happy with the feel of the manual transmission…but I fell in love with the car. My current (five speed) manual 2008 9-5 is much better in the action of changing gears. I am a little confused (and upset) to find this new unit is not up to or even close to the “BMW” gold standard of movement. That said, I am about to order a vehicle…just waiting for my dealer to explain the… Read more »
mcwill
Guest
mcwill
5 years 9 months ago

John,

As you suspected, the gearbox does get smoother as you put some miles on the car. I have covered over 10k miles now and the gearbox is a lot easier to change than when I first picked up the car.

John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago

I really appreciate you taking the time to convey that information.

Thank you!

Jason Powell
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

One of our tech’s told me the cars come programmed with a breakin period. You do nothing and the car breaks in as you drive, so should drive better after I think 5000k. I’ll check for the actual breakin period today and let you know.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 9 months ago

Jason, I reckon SaabKen broke it as it seemed fine when I drove said car when you first got it in!! 😉

Jason Powell
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

I had to call Saab customer assistance and they told me on the new 9-5 the break in is at 3000kms, or was that miles???

JTMav
Guest
JTMav
5 years 9 months ago

I own a 2010 9-5 Aero, we had about 2-3 inches of snow last night and this morning. I have 18″ Saab wheels and dedicated snows and with the XWD system the car was amazing in the snow. I couldn’t spin the wheels at all. You wouldn’t know the pavement was slippery, went up a steep hill like it was 75 and sunny. Really amazed, I always ran snows on all my Saabs but this takes it to a whole new level. Would think up in Canada it would be worth consideration. I am in Boston.

Christofer
Guest
Christofer
5 years 9 months ago
Nice car me like , but why do they even offer it with that monochrome display in the speedometer why not use the multicolor one as standard? the multicolor one gives the car a much more modern interior and the cost for that would be almost nothing and it would probably be easier to build all cars with one display type, or am I wrong ? Personally I wouldn’t buy a base model with the monochrome display, I rather buy a second hand car a year later with the multicolor one than buy one of those as new. I think… Read more »
John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago

You are 100% correct.

The non-navi display is an embarrassment to Saab! Those looking to buy a Saab because it’s a Saab won’t really care, but those cross-shopping the competition may consider it a joke and thus a deal killer.

What is with the space between the display and the selection buttons?

I would rather have a dummy navi screen there, even if it never worked.

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

I could live with that.
Much worse is the stripe of “wood”… False, un-saabish, un-scandinavian and without any kind of meaning and reason in a modern car….. – Fortunately one can buy the car without it..

JTMav
Guest
JTMav
5 years 9 months ago

It’s not real wood, looks worse in person. The base model interior is, to be polite, very cheap looking. As others have said the monochrome display looks terrible and the fake wood looks very fake in person. I know Mueller said they are working on some interior upgrades for next year, but it’s a shame that some people’s first impression will be defined by this. At least the Aero looks clean and modern with the NAV and metal accents.

JTMav

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 9 months ago

Maybe this is the new Saab retro look?
But seriously, I agree with you, not so much because it is monochrome, but because it is really GREEN. Someone buying a premium car doesn’t want to be transported back to the seventies. As a student I spent months in front of Tektronix terminals analyzing data. I don’t want to be reminded of these bloody green screens every time I get into my luxury sedan.
Hm, should be careful, Swade doesn’t like us to complain about these ‘small’ things.

mo
Guest
mo
5 years 9 months ago

the green display is very cheap looking, and its sad that the base srx here offers the color lcd as standard across the board. its ridiculous that you have to pay extra for that, its not like the 9-5 isn’t already over-priced….

John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago

Didn’t someone once say “It’s the little things that count”?

Ned
Guest
Ned
5 years 9 months ago
I drove a Turbo4 auto last week, and agree the engine is plenty for the car. With the manual, it should be enthusiast-worthy. Despite the car’s size, it feels light from behind the wheel, which is quite an achievement. I thought the suspension could use more refinement, because neither ride nor handling was truly outstanding. (Keep in mind my frame of reference is a 2010 Acura TSX, which is much lighter and incredibly agile, with excellent suspension tuning for an enthusiast’s daily driver.) The 9-5 drives well though, and would be fine for comfortable daily driver/family hauling duty. It’s certainly… Read more »
saabken
Guest
saabken
5 years 9 months ago

Thanks Swade 🙂

2-don
Guest
2-don
5 years 9 months ago

Yup, that radio looks bad and that green display isn’t too hot either. I have only seen the Aero model until now but I think Swade might be right about only a Sat Nav in ALL cars. That is definitely a deal breaker after seeing it! It’s a great car and the interior needs to look it.

Smithy
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

Anyone living in south Sweden who wants to pick up a Saabaru?

SEK 139 900 :-
Blocket.se

I think it looks quite tough. 😀

Trev
Guest
Trev
5 years 9 months ago

Off topic, but good press for Saab. MotorTrend has a piece on the main page(of the website) detailing Saab’s Make A Wish donations. Many people read this website and I cannot imagine they would pass up a chance to donate Saab’s money to a charity and drive an excellent car.

http://wot.motortrend.com/feeling-generous-test-drive-a-saab-to-help-the-makeawish-foundation-10042.html

Carl-Henrik
Guest
Carl-Henrik
5 years 9 months ago

Those photos of that 9-5 are just wonderful!!

Talladegan
Guest
Talladegan
5 years 9 months ago

They really are! Great wallpaper 🙂

Jason Powell
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
I understand the comments about some of the inside trim or radio controls and such. These comments have been on almost every post about the 9-5 and I’m sure the point has been well made by now on that. I know as a dealer it could come accross that I’m making excuses for the company, but really? Saab was taken over in January and had a dealer base that was almost begging for product as their lots had emptied of the GM/Saab 2009 models and they had become used car lots. Saab had to take the already completed 9-5 and… Read more »
turbin
Guest
turbin
5 years 9 months ago

Well said. Great work you’re doing there Jason! Can’t wait for the Oz launch in April.

John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago

I agree with your commentary – however I am the one about to pony up $45,000 to purchase a new 9-5.

My dealer had a good suggestion however, and it may benefit anyone not completely happy with the new 9-5 interior.

Don’t buy one. Lease one.

Saab is now offering an attractive price point on the new 9-5 with a lease duration of just 27 months.

I figure the (anticipated) summer 2011 MCE should perfect this car, so why not go for it now, and then get another new one in 2.25 years!!

Long Live Saab!!

Carl-Henrik
Guest
Carl-Henrik
5 years 9 months ago

If Saab can offer you a good deal, then I would say that a lease would be just as perfect as owning one. When the lease is over I guess you can either choose to buy the present car, or lease a new one, with the later option giving you yet a new car. 😉

Dmain
Guest
Dmain
5 years 9 months ago

As one of the “backseat boys in Saabken’s test drive, I read this and although we did not have a go at the V6 XWD, the rest of the article reflect my exact impressions of the Saab 9-5.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20101222/CARREVIEWS/101229966

aeroottawa
Guest
aeroottawa
5 years 9 months ago

+1 Jason.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 9 months ago

I have to say I agree with Jason 1000%! A year ago we were as good as dead and now look where we are. Im just thankful that we have an enthusiastic dealer with guys like Jason and Rob here in Vancouver to promote the Saab brand. These guys are working hard to get things up and running with the limited resources that they have so lets cut the negativity and support their efforts.

saabken
Guest
saabken
5 years 9 months ago

+1 Zippy. And for the record, the 9-5’s tranny is gonna break itself in with usage, so I don’t have to do the onerous “breaking”-in for it [grin]

If all future Saab retailing in Greater Vancouver (and elsewhere) are as fantastic as Jason and Rob (and everyone else) at Springman’s, SAAB’s future is pretty damn bright as-is. With 9-4X, 9-5Sport Combi and 2013 9-3 in the pipeline, these guys will be busy busy busy !!

SaabR
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
@ zippy, saabken and others who have commented- Thanks for all the kind words! The reality is, we do what we do beacuse we are excited and truly believe in the Saab name. We happily invite anyone to come in and talk, see, drive, whatever. It’s what we do. Of course selling cars fits in there somewhere but there is a lot more to it than having a car on the lot and flipping someone a set of keys and saying “There you go!”. I would be also be lying if I said that guys like Swade and SaabsUnited, saabken… Read more »
Perry
Guest
Perry
5 years 9 months ago

isn’t the green display originating from the fighter jets?
I suppose it is a safety feature being easy to read and recognise in a critical situation.
If I may try to be objective.

saabken
Guest
saabken
5 years 9 months ago

Yes. And this guy would fully agree with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGwRorQz7w8&feature=related

Apparently the AIM-7 Sparrows and the zero-zero ejection seat are dealer-installed options 😉

Jason Powell
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

You see, for me that’s what is cool about it. It ties the history together. IMO

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