Top Gear and the Saab 9-5

Many of you have been waiting for Top Gear to get their hands on a new Saab 9-5 and the magazine spawned from the show has done so.

Their verdict? Read the full report for yourself here.

Overall, I think it’s reasonably positive. They don’t like the base model diesel (and they’re not the first to say this) but they do report positively on the V6 Aero.

It’s a good car, but in some versions the Saab-ness is woefully absent. The base-spec diesel is a big, solid, stylish cruiser. But it was developed under a huge GM global programme, and feels like it would make a perfectly satisfactory Vauxhall Omega…..

….. (The V6 is) a heavy car, but we never got it to wobble about. The steering is calm and precise, the stability good, the grip unfailing. It’s a solid and reassuring car. Doubtless exactly what you’d want if you’d ploughed £38k into a big Swedish saloon.

Unfortunately, it seems they didn’t get to drive a 2.0T gasoline version. It has some great dynamics on the road because whilst it has some pep, it doesn’t have the weight of the V6 model. I think they would have really liked one of those. It was my favourite version of the car, without doubt, and I can’t wait to see what Hirsch do in terms of tuning that engine.

Top Gear really – and I mean really – made some sense when they said this:

But now it’s independent, Saab ought to simplify its purchasing and put the best suspension design on all versions. That would sharpen up the steering, improve the ride, and mean that the dull chassis on the base versions won’t kill the reputation of the posher ones. And stop the taunts of ‘Underneath it’s just an Insignia’.

Rarely has a truer word been spoken.

I know car companies love to have steps up a model line’s ladder, but why can’t those steps be limited to engine and trim options?

Why not make the dynamics of driving a 9-5 excellent, no matter which model people choose?

HiPerStrut should be standard across the line. It makes a LOT of sense.

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