I know Saabs are good in winter conditions, but this is crazy!

Poor thing.


For some more pleasing and elegant eye candy, here’s a Dutch test of four cars that people wouldn’t traditionally expect to have all-wheel-drive. One of them is the Saab 9-5.

OK, it’s in Dutch, but the scenery’s nice.

19 thoughts on “I know Saabs are good in winter conditions, but this is crazy!”

  1. That poor 900! :O As for the Dutch road test: It has nice footage but for the rest it’s.. not that good. It doesn’t deserve the name ‘test’ as it’s just some guys playing around in the snow with several completely incomparable cars. Nice that they were positive about the 9-5 though, eventhough they really didn’t go very in-depth with it. They did mention the Opel influence in both chassis and interior areas, that’s something that will never go away I’m afraid.

    • Can it be that expensive to get rid of that Opel steering wheel? Seems that it appears in both 9-5 and 9-4x … A small detail in otherwise fantastic new cars

  2. Here’s another one. Very old local piece about a road that’s like an ice track. With two little boys acting all tough, a reporter that’s boring as hell and random people coming out of the cars involved, this is hilarious even if you don’t speak Dutch.

    But important: see that car at 2:10 driving by without any problem? Yep, you guessed it…

  3. I’d really like to know what the Dutch Journalist thought about the 9-5’s XDW in snow. Dutch translators wanted!

    • I second that!

      I must say, the 9-5 looks like a supermodel! I can’t believe how sexy it looks from some angles!

    • Here’s a translation for you:

      We are here in Austria in the Glaunentaler Gletcher Strasse. That’s a good location to test these four cars. They are four completely different cars but they have one thing in common: They’re cars that are normally not often orderd with the 4wd option, but you cán have it.

      In the Netherlands, only a hand full of VW Golfs are ordered with 4motion, a four wheel drive system. But it comes standard on the Golf R. And it does indeed feel better, when the 270 horses are distributed over all four wheels rather than just two. It takes a different driving style too, which you have to get used to at first. For example, when the car starts to slide your first reaction is to get off the gas, because things are not going well. But if you have enough space on your hands, just give a bit more gas and the car’s all wheel drive system will pull the car right back on track. A fun consequence of this (4wd, red) is that you can take hairpins sideways. But first ofcourse you have to disengage the ESP.

      Talking about ESP, the ESP system in the Saab 9-5 puts up a real fight before you get it switched off. First traction control gives way, but then you have to depress the ESP butten for a full seven or so seconds more to definitively switch the ESP off. And it is only then that you can truly slide the Saab around and have fun with it. The 2-liter turbo engine develops 200 horsepower and the XWD system, as Saab call their all wheel drive system, makes sure that power is distributed appropriately over the front and rear axles. Like the other cars here, it uses a haldex clutch so really, normally it’s a front wheel drive car and only when circomstances so demand is power also sent to the rear wheels.

      Like the Gold R, the Skoda Superb comes with 4WD as standard. It’s the same system but it’s in a completely different car. It’s a different personality. This car has a 3,6 liter V6 which develops 260 hp, whereas the Golf has a 2L tubro with 270 hp. It’s a very different personality, also caused by the fact that this car has a longer wheelbase. So when you want to play and slide around with it a bit, it takes a while before the back starts sliding. But when it does, you can drift it very well and it’s easily controlled. And that of course is fun in such a luxurious car.

      Of these four cars you’d probably most easily associate the Kia Sportage with all wheel drive. However, the times wherein SUVS all had all wheel drive is long gone. Since about 95% of these cars (SUVs, red) never leave the paved roads, normally front or rear wheel drive would suffice. But it’s a different story in snow and ice of course, where you will thank it for it’s all wheel drive and winter tyres. The cars all wheel drive system differs to that of the other three cars in that is has locking diffs. Locking them will send an equal amount of power to each of the wheels, which might come in rather handy when you are seriously stuck. The Sportage’s 2 liter diesel engine has 136 horsepower. That’s by no means excessive, but it will easily do. The fun thing about the Sportage is that you can easily have fun with it surprisingly easily. You can throw it sideways with ease and that is especially fun to do on these slippery mountain roads.

      For those who just drive in the Netherlands, all wheel drive has little purpose. A good set of winter tyres for the coldest few moths will be more than enough. But if you travel into germany or go on ski vakations on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth considering. you’ll simply have more grip, especially in combination with winter tyres. Don’t forget that driving an all wheel drive car demands a different driving style. The car will behave differently from cars with either front or rear wheel drive. It takes some getting used to. Up hill you may have heaps of grip with your all wheel driver, but down hill you’re subject to the law of gravity just like everyone else. All wheel drive does have its limits, but they’re further away than with two wheel drive.

  4. That 9-5 looks fantastic plowing through the snow! (I wonder why Dutch viewers would be interested in mountain driving performance — they live in Holland?)

    • Yes, they live in Holland but they are allowed to leave the country.. 😉 Germany, Switzerland and Austria are not that far away. Amsterdam Austria is only about 600 miles/1000 kms. Germany and Belgium have some nice hilly country roads as well.

    • Holland is a nice place to live but all the flat terrain can get boring. I used to live there and we would leave almost every weekend and go to Germany or the Ardennes in Belgium; even Luxembourg sometimes.
      There are some really fun roads not far away — especially in the Ardennes.

      And to be fair, there are some hills around Arnhem and Maastricht — well slight elevation changes anyway . =)

  5. Gorgeous HD photography production on the “test” drive piece, but I agree that the cars compared were anything but similar. Brilliant to see the 9-5 in it’s natural snowy environment 😉 and that snow covered curvy road is a Saab driver’s slice of heaven!

  6. I’ve forgot why 9-3 TTiD doesn’t have a XWD option? It could really breath new life into this old boy, especially with the interior upgrade around the corner.
    Heck, I could pull the trigger for one if they’d just got the backseat fixed in the SC. (the boot/trunk floor really needs to become flat when folded in a 5-door SAAB!). Practicality, remember?

    • Forgot to say that throw in a 9-3 version of DriveSense in there as standard as well for MY11.5 and we can stop talking about discounted Saabs. If the current model is going to be the bread and butter for a few more years, better make the upgrade attractive to us Saabers first and foremost.

  7. Beautiful scenery…beautiful photography. The cars look fantastic, and the SAAB looks right at home playing in the snow.

    BUT…8.8 seconds for 0-100kph for the 2.0L XWD Turbo4? That’s pretty pathetic.

    My ’08 9-5 SC Aero was rated at 7.5 seconds, with a fairly similar GVWR. And my Audi A5 2.0L 4 cyl. TFSI, which weighs under 200 lbs. less, is rated at 6.2 seconds for 0-60 mph by Car and Driver, so 0-100 KPH is only a tick slower.


    Those numbers REALLY need to improve.

    • …and yes…I know the C&D reprot shows the car wighing in at 3649 lbs…but my state registration shows the car wieghs 3950 lbs.

  8. This morning (around 5:30am) there was about 10 cm snow on the highway (in the fast lane). A slow truck was in front of me… I simply drifted into the fast lane, accelerated to about 100 kph and kept going.

    The 9-5 was like a snow plow at that point. Rock steady too.

    • That’s one of the many reasons I love Saabs. When many other cars have to be left in the driveway in snowy weather (esp. mb’s and beemers), Saabs are up to the job.

      “The 9-5 was like a snow plow (…)” 😀

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