Brief thoughts – Saab 9-5 TiD

Mats is a good mate of mine living quite close to Trollhattan. He’s got fine automotive tastes, but as far as I know is yet to add a Saab to his garage. I’ve been waiting for him to drive the new Saab 9-5 for a little while now.

This is a good story, because it not only fulfills my wish to get Mats into a 9-5, it also sees his boss fulfilling a wish to finally buy a new 9-5 of his own. And it seems he’s very happy with it.

The two of them took the boss’ new 9-5 TiD (160hp) on a 450 mile trip – just enough time to stretch the legs :-).

Writeup and photos are below.

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I told you my boss got his new 9-5 on the 28th of December… Yesterday we did a 450+ miles trip in the line of work and I have just one thing to say – What a car !

He originally wanted the TID with the automatic gearbox but that wouldn’t fit inside the budget so he went for the manual and added the HUD and Bluetooth. (I’m used to driving manuals but my boss’s last two cars have been 9-5 wagons with the 2.3 engine and automatic gearboxes and before that two manual 9-5’s)

The last weekend was warm here in Sweden so some of the snow had melted and this morning was the first morning with below freezing temperatures. The road was a bit slippery but the 9-5 never felt nervous, just solidly planted on the road despite running on unstudded winter tires. This car comes with the sport suspension by default and I think it handled great, firm but never rough, even on ice-caked roads it was never harsh in any way.

Out on the highway the first thing that hit me was how quiet this car is. There were three people in the car and we easily carried a conversation between the front and backseats doing around 100km/h or more. I drove it myself for a few hours and you really need the cruise control in this car, it disguises the speed to such extent that the risk of speeding is evident, luckily the cruise control is all handled from the steering wheel and very easy to use.

You also very quickly get used to the HUD and being back in my own car, looking down at the speedo, suddenly felt very awkward. As always in a 9-5, the seats were sublime. We spent around 9 hours on the road yesterday and it never made me feel tired like some cars do.

All in all….Saab have created a great car, the 160hp diesel engine performs well, I never felt the need for more power when passing trucks or other cars. Sure you have to downshift to 4th gear but I don’t mind….makes me feel more connected to the car…..

The tripcomputer is never reset so the 5.9 liters/100 km is the usage since it was new. Over 1900 km’s driven. Not bad for a brand new engine in such a big car!

Frank Wulfers
Guest
Frank Wulfers
5 years 8 months ago

It’s nice to read these reports about diesels we can only dream about in the US. And that you don’t need a high-powered engine to really enjoy a 9-5.

Thilo Bubek
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Nice to hear, most of the NG 9-5s are sold with this diesel engine here. I also had the experience that this engine is absolutely OK (of course not so funny like a 2l turbo, but not bad). And 5.9l/100km is really good for this large and heavy car (Even if I my 9000 Aero only took 6.4l/100km last year on my way back from Trollhättan to Tromsø).

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Sounds like everything has come together pretty well to make this a nice cruiser. However, the downshifting to overtake a truck would be a deal breaker for me if I would consider buying a 9-5. Maybe someone with the more powerful diesel version (180hp?) can comment?

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

I thought the main reason most drivers opt for a manual gearbox was so that they could control the power to thier needs?

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Overtaking a truck at 60mph without down shifting should be no problem for a Saab. I think the huge amount of torque is exactly what makes a Saab stand out in the crowd. It also makes a Saab more suited for a manual gearbox. If you like it you can row through the gears at your hearts content, but while cruising there is enough torque that you don’t need to.

Kjell Erik
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Kjell Erik
5 years 8 months ago

I don’t know if you have had any experience with the turbodiesel engines. I think they are great. In europe they hardly sell anything with a petrol engine. I have driven 110 hp and 120 hp td engines and they feel great for everyday driving. I don’t think it is more hazardous to overtake a truck in a less powerful turbodiesel than it is in my hot aero. The diesel isnt that slow.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Which is exactly why I’m so surprised that down shifting is necessary. I already told my wife that if we get a new family car a turbo diesel is high on the list. If I cannot overtake a truck without changing gears with the 160hp 9-5 TiD then it’s not going to be on that list.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Gerrit, you have to remember the new diesel manual (6) gears are VERY looong. One gear downshift to get out of that fuel saving cruise mode.
In an older 5 gear TiD you don’t EVER have to downshift below 60 mph. The best torque is between 2500-3500 rpm anyways and people not used to diesels don’t realize they get the best acceleration if you don’t go all the way up the scale.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Sorry for the bad writing. Rough (long) day…

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Yup, I got it, loooong 6th gear overdrive to save a percent or so on mileage, probably negated by having to down shift all the time.
What you’re saying about the torque of a turbo diesel is why I was so surprised, didn’t realize it had an overdrive.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 8 months ago

Actually no. The ‘overdrive’ is IMO only for motorways/freeways. If you’re trucking along on a regular highway (60-70 mph) your already in 5th gear and don’t need to downshift unless there’s a ‘need’ to go really fast (past one of our Teutonic friends stuck behind a semi when it’s snowing). Saw a lot of them today BTW.

Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 8 months ago

I´m not sure that downshifting is necessary, you only think so in a quiet, comfortable car. I have test it myself (last summer) and I did it myself but when I think about it. It was just to hear the engine, you cant feel the increase in speed if it´s cosy. On the other hand, maximal acceleration comes naturally to me anyway. It has 350Nm or allmost at highway speed I think even thoe it ´s not accelerate in the same way as an petrol engine.

Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 8 months ago

I proberbly forgot the 6:th gear when I think it over!!!!!!!!?
Think 5:th gear when reading my answer.

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

No matter what car I’ve been driving (the lastest one a Mercedes E-class combi) I’ve always downshift overtaking a truck (both manual, and with automatich through kick-down effect). Why? Well.. it always goes faster than sticking to the same gear.

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Agree!
It is a good principle always to be in the “wrong” lane as short time as possible.
(Especially when more then one car intends to pass a truck or another slow-going vehicle:
I think we all here know the annoying feeling when a car in front of us overtakes and does it so slowly that we – as the second car – are “hanging” out there much to long…..)

Only disadvantage of this principle is that I, when driving my turbo-Saab, sometimes reaches the double of the legal speed, before getting into the “right” side again.. 😉

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago
The situation is different in the US with mostly multi-lane highways and being allowed to pass on the left and right side if possible. In The Netherlands you are (or at least were) allowed to exceed the speed limit when passing a slow vehicle, so as to decrease the amount of time spend in the “wrong” lane. In the US it is, in practice, never allowed to exceed the speed limit by more than 10mph. Within a week of getting our first turbo-ed Saab I was pulled over for doing more than 30mph over the speed limit when overtaking another… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

🙂

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

Is thankful so many BMW, Audi… and yes, Saabs come with slushboxes….. can you imagine living in the greater Philadelphia region (as I do) with even more people yacking or texting on the phone all while trying to command a shift stick tranny?

Oh the insanity.

Arild
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

I can concur with everything Mats is saying. 🙂

saabdude
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saabdude
5 years 8 months ago

And Car and Driver magazine like SAAB’s center info screen…a lot. 😀

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/10q4/2011_10best_design_details-10best_cars

Way to go SAAB!!

saabdude
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saabdude
5 years 8 months ago

…and Spyker comes through here as well. A double-header win.

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 8 months ago

To bad that Saab management has banned the “Borns from Jets”….
This is what Car and Driver writes on the Saab victory making the central instrument a 1 of 10.

Saab 9-5 Central Info Screen
The altimeter-style digital speed readout—finally a “Born from Jets” reference that isn’t dumb—is as stylish as the GPS-based speed-limit notifications are useful.

Time for some serious rethinking of in what direction SAAB is driving. I am all for aerospace and competition rally and racing. What it really boils down to. Most people I know share this notion.

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

I always liked the “born from jets” ….. better than using rap music singing hamsters to sell cars

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

What about rapping hamsters in planes?

But seriously, “Born from Jets” has been milked to the extend of becoming a joke. The connection is so far in the past (1948?) that it comes in at a similar level as using “Born from Tractors” for a Lamborghini ad.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

I see the point where it could be overused…. but a new slogan , with ties to aerospace could be a coolness factor some people could not resist! Plus, most people dont know how long it has been sine Saab and Saab aero parted ways.

saabdude
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saabdude
5 years 8 months ago

Anyone for “Born from Moose”?

David.Baxter
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David.Baxter
5 years 8 months ago

🙂

baas900i
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baas900i
5 years 8 months ago

TiD DPF issues have been solved ?

jan Eric Koch
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jan Eric Koch
5 years 8 months ago

I can agree for 100% with Mats his impression.
I drive this same car since August and also have the average consumption of 5.9 l gasoil/ 100 kilometers.
Only one remark; I would like to have the Sense Drive as an option and not only standard in the Aero. On Belgium roads that could have been a real asset.
For the rest just a wonderful car; best Saab ever had.

William
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William
5 years 8 months ago

Swedish car magazine Vi Bilägare have bought a 9-5 for it’s 2011 testfleet (which will be driven for a year and at least 40 000km.) I’m a bit worried they’ve got a typical early new Saab with typical quality problems. a faulty clutch and failing electronics that left the car stranded on a car ferry hasn’t made them write nice things up to now… Hopefully it will behave better after some treatment at the dealer 🙂

Matsvbg
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Matsvbg
5 years 8 months ago
The manual sixspeed is geared pretty high. If you drive 90km/h in sixth and want to overtake on a single lange road I dont want to wait as long as it takes the car to get up to speed. (6th is basically overdrive gear for cruising) Fifth gear works better but I dont mind changing gears so a quick downshift to forth to the the car into “dogfight” mode then back up into fifth and into sixth once you’re passed the truck works for me. I only overtook a few times and then we were 5 adults in the car… Read more »
Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

William where did you read that? I thought the cars where just presented?

Johannes
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Johannes
5 years 8 months ago

Henke – It is in the new number of Vi Bilägare. It is not so fun to read…

Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

Johannes, I agree not so fun! But I wouldnt agree with William and say its typically!! But its mechanic and sometimes it doesnt work and thats why warranty exsist 🙂 I wouldnt worry about it. We have 2 new SAAB 9-5 in the family and we havent had one problem with them!

Niklas G
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Niklas G
5 years 8 months ago
Niklas G
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Niklas G
5 years 8 months ago
CMHOHIOMAN
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CMHOHIOMAN
5 years 8 months ago

I was looking at a online advertisement for Buick Regal (GM) turbo. Its a DOHC 2.0L 4 cylinder Ecotec Direct spark ignition 220hp 258 torque…Hmmm…sounds like the SAAB 9.5 or soon 2011.5 MY 9.3 engine….Interesting.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago

Sad though that this 118 kW base Diesel tows only 1700 kg, while the weaker (110 kW), lighter OG9-5 is rated for 1800 kg, and the 9000 even for 1875 kg “for sport purposes”. 1700 kg is not enough for a horse trailer with two horses.

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