Auto Zeitung test Saab 9-5

Auto Zeitung is a German publication (with a bit of a history, too, but that’s beside the point here) and they’ve recently published a Saab 9-5 review in their print publication.

Alexandros has been kind enough to provide a summary. Like all reviews, there’s some good and some not-quite-so-good but it seems pretty positive over all, especially for a German magazine reporting on a non-German car.


Overall I think it is a very positive test for a German car magazine. Here is the conclusion of the author:

“Rarely were high hopes and expectations lying on a car model, as this is the case with the new Saab 9-5. Even if it doesn’t reach the technical refinement of the premium German competitors, it leaves however a strong impression. Engine, chassis and safety equipment of the not only in terms of pricing competitive, new Saab 9-5
are now back on the state of the art.”

And some highlights of the article….


– the typical Saab design is well received, as evidenced by the numerous upraised thumbs of pedestrians
– the Swedes remained faithful to their design-line
– the head-up display is highly recommended
– the widely anticipated and different-colored a-pillars do their part to the fact that the driver cockpit feel like in a jet located
– especially the guest in the second row can look forward to a very generous legroom and a comfortable back seat
– front driver and passenger find generous space on the large and well contoured sports seats
– the two-liter engine impresses with its low vibration and accelerates the 1781 kg heavy sedan strongly
– the test consumption lies at reasonable 10l per 100 km
– Highway comfort is quite convincing
– even in comfort mode the 9-5 takes curves with little body roll
– the large wheels have a positive influence on traction and braking characteristics, a hot brake value of 34.5 meters speaks for itself


– the massive C-Pillar posts complicate the view
– backing out of a parking space backwards becomes a test of courage
– the engine tends to stutter at low speeds
– the power of the engine can be moderately dosed
– the light steering is on something unpleasant
– the chassis is in the city due to the mighty 19-inch tires still unsatisfactory

27 thoughts on “Auto Zeitung test Saab 9-5”

  1. backing out of a parking space backwards becomes a test of courage

    Not just Saab, I hope all car makers attend to this in the future. It can leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach, I try to reverse in as often as possible these days, most of the cars I drive have bad visibility.

    Seems like a positive review alright!

    • They should add a backup camera as part of the nav/LCD package, like they do on Volvos. Although I drove some pretty long sedans before, they just takes some getting used to. Just back out slowly and give everyone some time to react.

    • Hi Bernard,

      I ‘ve used the word “moderately” for the translation of the German word “mรครŸig”. Other translations could be “mediocre” or “lukewarm” or…any ideas from other German speaking readres?

  2. the technical data is interesting by the way.
    This 9-5 has a weight of ca 1780 kg; manual and FWD. This is not much as I think for the size of the car. While for example Audi is telling at the moment how they reduced the weight of the new A6.
    No A 7, aka as the more expensive new A6, that’s been tested so far has been much below 2000 kg! I know quattro etc., but with this in mind no V6 Aero XWD should be called fat.

    • Daniel,
      the Turbo4 is about 50 kg more heavy than the new A6 2.8 FSI, but Saab has an I4 engine and Audi a V6.
      The Turbo6 is about 130kg heavier than then the new A6 3.0 TFSI quattro.

      • Me,
        empirical studies have shown that Saab-drivers are lighter than their Audi counterparts, so that evens out. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Just kidding, although there is a correlation between degree of education and obesity, and it is a fact that Saab drivers are the most highly educated of the bunch in general, so it just _might_ have some merit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I would have thought this applies to Mercedes drivers more than Audists. Audi’s are often driven by ‘fat cats’ these days but that doesn’t necessarily have to be taken literally.



      • Hope Audi is not like VW.
        On this test the Saab had a “tested” weight of 1781kg, the list weight is 1730 kg.
        On the same magazine there was a comparison between the VW Passat wagon the 3-series wagon and the C-Class wagon.
        It was quite interesting that the “tested” weight of the Passat was 130kg over the list weight.
        The new (it is not really new) Passat is very light, but only on paper. :-S

        • What really annoys and puzzles me is that when VW does a facelift nowadays, it’s considered a “brand new model”. This goes with both the “new” Golf (MK 5.5 IMO), and the “new” Passat. The media rarely point out that it is merely a facelift, but if it were a Saab they would jump all over the fact. Clever marketing?

          • The German Press do not dare to contradict VW. They don’t say noting about the fact that every SUV from the any brand at VW will be a Audi with just another badge, or any luxury Limo will be a Porsche with another Badge (although I keep asking me why Porsche???? ).
            VW hasn’t got its MQB platform ready, or maybe it is not sooo modular as they say, thus they had to build a Golf MK 6.5 and a Passat MK 5.5 both not only based on the old PQ Platform, but almost identical to the previous car, as you say a face-lift technically speaking.

            Interesting enough is the fact that Saab has developed the Phoenix modular platform in a fraction of the time VW is needing for its MQB platform.

  3. Incidently, this is very same issue of Autozeitung that also contained the reader survey with the truly bad results for Saab that I reported on a couple of days ago.

    In the same issue, there is also a test of a Koeniggsegg.

    • But there is another survey about dealer and service satisfaction. Saab comes in 7th with 70.1% after Subaru (75.8%), Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan (70.2%), and BMW (70.2%). Saab is among the Top 3 in the categories
      – vehicle presentation in showrooms (3rd)
      – satisfaction with the consultation (1st)
      – knowledge and competency of the dealer staff (1st)
      – satisfaction with discounts (2nd)
      – friendliness of the staff (3rd)
      – possibilities for test drives (1st)
      – information and service upon delivery (2nd)
      That’s a top 3 in 7 out of 12 categories. Saab has to improve the selection and number of new cars (29th of 30), financing/leasing offers (26th of 30), workshop service (22nd of 30), garanty (last …why?!?) and goodwill (22nd)
      All in all, that’s far, far better than I’d have thought and it could be a really important aspect in promoting the brand. And it helps to explains why people who testdrive a Saab usually buy one: the service seems to be great.

      • bk-aero,
        I’ve rad somewhere that Saab Germany has a new financing partner, besides GMAC Bank. Maybe now the financing/leasing offers get better.

  4. Bernard, maybe it could be translated by ‘the power is not easy to dose’.
    Looks like the 9-5 was a bit too wild for them ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • That the power was not easy to dose probably also caused the problem with the stuttering engine at low speeds. Usually this indicated a torque deficit at low rpm, not something I would expect from a Saab.

    • To me, this sounds more like an exemplary problem with the stationary running regulator or the petrol circuit. A dirty petrol filter perhaps? Could be dirty or incorrect spark plugs, too. I have never heard of problems with low rev running before this.


  5. The history of Auto-Zeitung.
    As I can remember I read this paper in the middle of the 1970s the first time.

  6. Bk-Aero: I had mentioned that, but would you really consider this a good result? Where the dealers are best in class when they want to sell you a car, but are really bad in service, garantee, and obliginess (or what was the word;-)?), i.e. raise their ugly heads when they were able to capture another customer? Ok, that was a bit cynical, but the results could be interpreted that way

  7. They said state of the art, which is a great compliment I think. I really think the new 9-5 is a superb looking car. The more I see it the more I like it. I have not seen one in the flesh yet though. I think I will go down to the local Toronto SAAB dealer this week, they should have them by now.

  8. Me: interesting point! Could the MQP concept fail? Indeed, one would have expected that after the new Touran is MQP based, the same transition would happen to the new Passat.

    On the other hand, the previous Touran was already based on the same platform as the Golf, and the Passat on an enlarged Golf platform, so no strong indication that MQP should not be able to host all those cars.

    And Is Poenix ready?

    • Touran is still PQ based
      The only MQB car out there is the Sharan, AFAIK.

      Interestingly enough is that MLB from Audi is working quite nicely (A4 – A6, maybe A7), and shows the possibilities of such a Modular system.

      I don’t know how far Phoenix is, but the first car will be out on the streets in 20 months from now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Me: omg, how embarrising is that. You just revealed to the whole world that I am not a VW expert :-)). You are right, Touran still Is PQ35, Sharan II is the first MQB. I had confused them. Strange then indeed that the new Passat is still PQ46.

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