A new Saab 9-5 owner’s preliminary thoughts.

This is fantastic stuff.

Gryphon95 is one of those early adopters that many of us would like to be, one that we should applaud. He’s one of the guys who’s put his money where his mouth is and purchased a new Saab 9-5 Aero V6, one of the first to be delivered here in the US.

It’s been a rocky road, too. Through comments and via a couple of emails, I know that he’s felt the ups and downs of Saab’s ongoing journey more than most because he’s got around $50K of his own hard-earned riding on this company and this new product.

Gryphon got his car last week. These are his initial impressions as left in comments earlier today.


1. My car before last was a Mercedes R-Class. That thing was a tank and was bank-vault quiet. The NG 9-5 feels as secure and as quiet.

2. It’s a beast. The thing clings to the road and surges forward with amazing thrust when you give it some gas. You can feel every single one of the 300 HP that the Turbo V6 delivers. Also, there’s no turbo lag that I can perceive.

3. You might think that the HUD is gimmicky. However, in two days, I can say that I would not want to drive without it, especially when following navigation instructions. Never having to take your eye of the road is true safety feature.

4. The fit and finish is superb. I think the interior is subdued. It may be too subdued for some. Comparing it the Jaguar XF, which looks like it was designed with the style sense of a 60-year old blind hooker, I will take the SAAB reserved styling any day. The last car that I tested before the 9-5 was the Audi A5. The quality of the materials seemed the same to me.

5. The infotainment in the 9-5 is exceptional. The navigation system is the most detailed I have ever seen. I thought I was going to be underwhelmed after seeing what BMW put in the new 5er, but SAAB knocked the navigation out of the park. It’s intuitive to use. If you like a touch screen, you can use it as a touch screen. If you like to maneuver with knobs and buttons, go for it. Call it “Pilot’s Choice.”

6. The car has the simplest pairing procedure I have ever seen. I did not have to refer to the instructions even once. A minor gripe is that the Bluetooth has to be paired to the device called “General Motors.” You only have to see that once, but I gave it a big boo. However, I promptly forgot about it. I bet that this will be addressed in short order.

7. I love the parking assistance. With a car as big as the NG 9-5, I like having it. Another minor gripe is that I would have liked a back-up camera. I bet that this, too, will be fixed before long.

8. Think the Lane Departure Warning is a dumb idea? I drifted a little out of the lane going about 55 MPH, and the warning prompted me to take quick action to get back in the lane. I can see this being a real life-saver.

9. The seats are great. I have seen a lot written and said about how tall drivers will love the car. Well, I am 5’6″ and 138 lbs. As a short, thin driver, I sometimes have trouble finding a seat that will hold me in place. In no time, I found the perfect driving position in the NG 9-5 and stored it in memory. The key fob even tells the car to move the seat back to my settings whenever I use it to open up the car. Nice touch!

Like I said, I will do a better review after my first road trip, but these are some preliminary thoughts.

My last thought is that the car gets lots of looks and attention. I went to grab a Red Bull at 7-11, and — when I came out — a guy in a hot SAAB 9-3 Viggen was DAMNED excited to see the car and absolutely loved it. Of course, I was just as envious of his Viggen. Talk about a car that still looks and sounds great.

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