More test drive impressions of the Saab 9-5

Meg H is (I believe) part of the New York Saab Owners Club and was one of the people who helped out with the Saab Support Convoy there.

Meg recently took a drive in the new Saab 9-5 and was kind enough to send in her impressions to share here.


First impressions: Much larger in person, very sleek lines, clean and does look like it’s in motion due to the chrome on the lower door edge leading up on the outer edge of the back door to the C pillar. Very roomy front and back seats with a large trunk.

Second impression: There’s a lot of chrome on the front grille, lower fog area and a strange vent on the front lower panel of the fender in front of the door. Not sure of its function and if it makes a difference in airflow to the passenger cabin.

The American version in the light panels verses the European has strips of blue in the trunk area of the brake lights, front lights and turn signal areas which actually light up orange.

Third Impression: Car looks like a Saab with still a lot of GM influences which make sense since it was developed under the GM reign.

Beautiful black metallic paint with a black interior, Comfy seats with a lower thigh extension cushion, head rests were not so comfortable for one at short as I am.

We did talk about a test drive but it didn’t happen at that point. Went home and took the 93 turbo vert for a spin, ended up back at the dealer to see what floor traffic was like and to look at the 9-5 again. This time I took it out for a good 13 miles.

The car has lots of power, is very smooth, quiet and crisp through the turns and very comfortable to drive. Has a very interesting heads up display with a compass in the middle of the speedometer which has a digital vertical speedometer I found repetitive. At 70mph it kept on displaying that I was exceeding the speed that was programmed (not sure if the onboard settings were set to go off and warn you at that speed) and found this to be a little annoying. The 9-5 has understated luxury, like most Saabs, and portrays Saab’s Heritage on what they were built on: Performance and handling.

The window label was not displayed on the car but it was estimated to come in at around 50k. I would be interested to see how the FWD 4cy will handle compared to the Aero XWD.

I loved the black color, but feel that for better visibility and for it to stand out among it’s competitors, Saab needs to allocate colors that will stand out more on the road for those who will notice something new driving by them. Every other BMW, Audi and MB on the road was black during my test drive. The car needs to stand out and say “HEY LOOK AT ME!!!! I’m different from the rest and get people curious as to what it is.”

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