US Saab 9-5 SportCombi will have 2.0T engine

There was a bit of uncertainty surrounding the US release of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi yesterday.

US press material referred only to ‘a turbo engine’ and Inside Line quoted Saab staffers stating that the new wagon will only come with one engine. Several different publications speculated as to which engine that will be.

After posting some enquiries over to Saab Cars North America, I can now tell you that the one engine in the Saab 9-5 SportCombi will be the four cylinder, 2.0T 220hp engine.

——

It makes sense.

Whilst some will lament the lack of a V6, the 2.0T is the volume seller and the economical choice for Saab’s new wagon. Those looking for a halo model, the usual argument for more power, are generally not looking for that halo vehicle in a wagon body.

If they’re only going to certify one model variation in the US market for the time being, the 2.0T is the right choice. It’s a great engine and priced accordingly, will create a lot of interest.

Good call.

106 thoughts on “US Saab 9-5 SportCombi will have 2.0T engine”

  1. As the large wagon market in the US isnt that big it makes sense to just have the 2.0T. If you want a V6 then the 9-4X is your baby. I suspect the 9-4X will easily outsell the 9-5SC in the US (and Canada) anyway. I agree its a good call.

    • I meant I would like one in XWD and manual transmission, but you get the idea. Enter button works faster then the brain sometimes. I can’t wait to see one of these in the flesh.

    • I am with you on the XWD with a manual. Those who want more power could always spring for the Hirsch upgrade.

    • Me too! No aero package means a no go on the wagon for me. I could look to Hirsch for some added power if needed but the Aero trim is a big selling point for me.

      • I wouldn’t get worked up over the Aero package. I sat in an Aero 9-5 sedan at the LA Auto Show and wasn’t impressed by the quality of the seats. The seats in my 2003 9-5 Aero wagon/sportcombi are MUCH more comfortable. And I have 30hp more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • I have the 2010 Aero 9-5 sdn with the leather ventilated seats, and they are amazing. Better than my 2006 9-5 combi’s (non-Aero) seats by far. I also like the piece of the seat that slides out to give one’s thigh’s better support. Of course, I did not get to see a non-Aero to compare those seats to the Aero, but I can’t see it getting better these days.

        • I sat in the 9-5 Aero seats at the LA auto show also and I’d have to disagree with that, I think they were one of the best parts of the car. The OG 9-5 Aero seats are really good too, but I think the new ones are an improvement. I haven’t sat in the non-Aero seats for the new 9-5, but if the difference between Aero and non-Aero is anything like the difference in other Saabs, I hope they do decide to make the Aero trim available, whether it be as separate options or the complete package, or even with the V6 engine at a later date.

          -Rogan

          • To me, the 9-5 Aero seats at the LA Auto Show reminded me of a firm German car seat which are uncomfortable long term to me. I find Saabs ands and Volvos generally have more comfortable seats than BMW, Audio, and Mercedes (with the exception of the S class). When I buy a Saab, I want a Swedish car – not a wannabe German car.

            In my opinion, the best seats ever were in the Viggen.

          • Yes, the Viggen seats are amazing. They really hug your back. My back always feels better after a long drive, I don’t have that with any other car.

  2. Excellent, they followed one third of my advice already. Now just add FWD and manual, make it possible to keep all the costly extras to a minimum and they’ve got a winner.

  3. This is the only logical choice, to be sure. It would be nice to have a manual option, too, but don’t hold your breath waiting for one.

  4. I agree the 2.0T is the right call for this market. One thing I’m curious about is the sales figures for 9-5 sedans and combi’s back in a “normal” year like 2004 or 2005. My gut feeling is that the combi had a pretty significant percent of the total. Personally, I know 4 people that owned 9-5s including myself and they all owned combi’s.

  5. This was my thoughts earlier.

    I think your gasoline prices will increase during the year. Therefor I think the 2,0T engine would be right for Saab and even manual as an option.

    I dont know how Americans think when they buying Saabs? Lets say that the 9-4X take the bigger more fuel-thirsty part and the 9-5SC stand for the more โ€œless is moreโ€ thing!
    Thats what Saab is about and the spirit of the company. Otherwise they could go buying an Bimmer or any other German car.

    What do you think? Am I to โ€œSwedishโ€ in my thoughts?

    • You may be right, Tomas. I have read conflicting reports in the last few months here in the US. Some reports say people are definitely moving away from SUVs and into sedans and wagons (wagons had fallen out of favor here, but may be on the rebound). But then I also read a report that said sales of CUV and SUV was running about the same as in recent years. Last time gas prices went up to $4/gallon here, many people began to think again if they really needed/wanted a SUV. With gas now at $3/gallon and rising, this may again push more people to the sport combi models.

  6. Bummer. The Audi A6 wagen offers a 300 horse V6 last I checked. I was hoping Saab would match that. I would even look to a Hirsch edition if it was made available. I currently drive a Audi S6 wagon (which I know is usual for someone from the US) and was hoping to upgrade to the new 9-5 combi. My other car is a late model 9-5 Aero and I sure want to stay in the Saab family. I hope Saab reconsiders their engine options to the US.

  7. How much does it cost to certify a car variant in the US? It seems to me that the cost they allready have had developing the car should be higher than the cost to certify it? So, if you allready have had the big cost, why don’t you add the small cost so that you can actually sell the car?

    The only thing that makes sense is that both the sedan and the wagon shall have the same engine and transmission options.

  8. I have a sneaking suspicion the 2.8T isn’t long for this world. Cadillac has already dropped it and Opel/Vauxhall only uses it in the low volume Insignia OPC/VXR. And Saab probably doesn’t sell too many of them outside the US. It could be there’s a big powertrain change coming for MY2013 and SCNA doesn’t want to introduce a new (low volume) model only to replace it the next year.

    And on top of this, I thought the 2.0T XWD was a likely proposition for the US in 2012. Will the 9-5SC feature this setup? I think Saab has seen it’s not going to be a cakewalk in the US and they’ve seen the light. Maybe some out-of-the-box marketing is finally on the way.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head. The engine is being phased out left and right and it honestly doesn’t deliver that great of numbers anyways. I really wonder if we will even see the 2.8T in the 9-4x when it starts hitting dealerships.

      But I don’t get the impression the 3.0TT is anywhere near completion to take the charge,be it for Saab or GM.

      I wonder if with the combination of Hirsch, Saab plans to drop to one engine, with the available option of Hirsch upgrades to get better numbers. Until they can get a new higher end engine in place…

      • If I were a dealer stocking vehicles I’d steer buyers towards the Hirsch upgrades. But I think in the long-term Saab’s engine partnerships will yield a more efficient and impressive (speaking in numbers) replacement for the 2.8T. Wasn’t GM’s contract with Spyker to prevent powertrain changes only through MY2012? That’s why MY2013 sounds like the time more engines โ€“ like the BMW 1.6T slated for the new 9-3 โ€“ will be phased in across the range.

  9. This is just what we need right now, especially the way gas prices will be heading this year. Other than my first 3-cylinder 96, all-but-one of my Saabs have been 4-Cylinder Turbos which have that renowned performance with economy.

    Now the main issue is to find reasonable and competitive leasing arrangements to have the drivers’ seats occupied.

    • Yes, I have enjoyed the 4-cylinder 2.0T on my 2000 9-3 for almost 11 years now. Plenty of power and torque when I need it, but 30+ MPG on highway driving and 25 MPG on mixed driving in town.

      I don’t compromise. I own a Saab. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Given the fact that only one engine would be an option, they made the right choice. It speaks more to the practicality of a large wagon. It can be bumped up to 260 HP for less than the cost of an AERO. It avoids the “sticker shock” that people complained about regarding the 9-5 AERO in 2010.

  11. Awesome! Count me in if I can get that in a manual with XWD.
    Beautiful looking vehicle, and would fit my needs perfectly.

  12. If it comes with XWD fine, but in nearly 50 years of driving I have never wished for 4WD when I have FWD and good tires–and we get about 5 months of Winter in Montreal. XWD is more weight (more fuel consumption), and more mechanical and electrical stuff to go wrong. XWD is more image than a necessity in a moderately powered car of this type and size. We need to keep in mind that the sports model is the 9-3. But if that’s what the 9-5 comes with I won’t complain (I’ll just think it’s money for an option I could live without but others can’t, in the same category as a sun roof–I bought the OG9-5 even with it as standard).

    • @ Bruce… Very good point…about the added weight dragged around for around 360 days of the year, never needed. Would I like a 9-3SS or SC with XWD, sure! Is having it worth the extra loss in MPG and additional cost??…. umm.. maybe not.

      Living in PA and having two 4WD vehicles in the family… I know of the additional problems. My service guy said most 4wd failures are related to lack of use. The 4wd system sits dormant day in , day out, sometimes for a whole year. When 4wd is then needed, stuff breaks from not having been “exercised” with use. His words were “four wheel drive, use it or lose it” and advised me to exercise the 4wd at least 2-3 times a year no matter what the weather.

      I know the XWD system is different, but the point is, more stuff to drag around and break for the few times it “might” have been needed.

      Only the individual buyer can decide if his driving conditions warrant XWD and if the cost of having it is worth it.

      • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve not heard of lots of Subie owners out there with massive failures of their full-time assymetric AWD components

        • That’s why I mentioned that I know 4wd and XWD are indeed different… my point was really aimed at the MPG loss for the rare need of the XWD.

          sorry if I mixed the two too much…

        • No, new Subie Outback owners are experiencing a front end shimmy that Subaru can’t seem to repair, last I checked.

  13. @ Bruce:

    I think many of us Saabers know and understand the (under-valued) functionality of FWD, esp. on a SAAB ๐Ÿ™‚ I also hear a lot of folks who want AWD because they perceive it as being better and safer. Whatever their reasons, in N. America, perception plays a big role in consumer choice.

    Audi has Quattro
    BMW has X-Drive
    MB has 4Matic
    Volvo has ….. what’s their AWD called anyway ???
    Subaru has Assymetric AWD

    Whatever the marketing jargon, the plain fact is having AWD helps sell cars. Period. Saab needs sales, desperately. Get ’em into the showroom and send them out in a FWD or AWD Saab. Who cares. We know once they become Saabers they become Saabers for ………. life. And that’s good, innit ?

    • @ Saabken….I wish you were right

      We know once they become Saabers they become Saabers for โ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ. life. And thatโ€™s good, innit ?

      Kandiru January 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

      Please please put the 6MT on the 2.8L XWD sedans and combis
      by fall or i will have no other option but to hop into an Audi S4 at
      the end of my Turbo X lease

    • I would say definitely coming. If limited to one engine it would likely be the 2.0T, if 2 engines then 2.0T Linear and TTiD Aero. Why, because that’s the options for the 9-3SC currently on the SAAB Oz site.

  14. Off Topic, but does anyone know when will Saab Canada update their webpage….it’s almost February. Still no build option, prices, just dealer info…

  15. Hirsch ECU Chip Please!

    And I’m not so sure that the 2.0 is that more fuel efficient. I noticed the EPA sticker on the 2011 I saw was 20/28. So only a 1 MPG bump over the 2.8T. And the 2.8T is XWD, the 2.0T was not.

  16. Actually Swade I think it’s a bad call, not a good call..even your unscientific poll clearly shows over 30% want a v6 Saab needs to offer a variety of options not just one.. If the one only engine option goes through they will pay for it in lost sales, just my prediction .

    • Vince, would you agree it was a good call if the decision to have only one engine was taken out of SCNA’s hands?

      As it was related to me, the 9-5 Combi is expected to have quite a limited marketshare in the US compared to other markets. This small share is the reason for the decision (or more likely, one of the reasons, plural).

      Now, given that situation – and I’m not saying the reasoning of the decision makers is right or wrong – but given that situation and the decision that’s forced upon them, I think going for the 2.0T is, indeed, a good call.

  17. I agree with Vince. 220HP won’t cut it. What baffles me is why there is nothing between the 220hp 4 and 300hp 6. Why can’t they bring back the 2.3l only make it more modern? There is easily 280hp in a modern remake of that engine. Oh well I will have to keep driving my 2003 Saab wagon. I won’t buy a 4000lb car with only 220hp.

    Things are different here in the US. No one buys a $50,000 car because they need it. They buy it because we WANT it. I don’t need 300hp but I want it. I have my wife on board. When they bring the Aero 6 XWD over I will buy it. Until then I will shop Audi.

    It’s clear VM is clueless about the American car buyer. Something is up with the 2.8l motor disappearing. I’d love to know what plans they have to replace it. They have to have a 300hp motor or most Americans won’t give Saab a second look.

    • Sheesh. You had me until you started calling people clueless. Until you understand the full situation, the conditions in which decisions are made, it’s best to hold off from the name-calling.

      It’ll be a shame if Saab lose some customers to Audi because they don’t, or can’t offer the 2.8 in this one body style. I’m sure they’ve taken account of that. I’m very sure they’re not in the business of withholding desireable models just to spite people. And I know they’re not dumb.

      There’s a guy here in comments named Edis who will be able to tell you all the technical reasons as to why the manufacture of B235 engine was discontinued (around three years ago, actually).

      • Well I certainly did not call him dumb. I called him clueless when it comes to the American market. That is a far cry from calling him dumb and certainly not name calling. I stand by what I said. It’s different here and I don’t think they understand that. VM is my hero but that doesn’t mean I can’t be passionate about wanting Saab to be successful here in the states.

        The mindset is completely different here. Every morning I see kids driven to school in 300HP SUVs that never see so much as a dirt road.

        In the end it really isn’t that big a deal. They won’t sell very many wagons here. I’d probably be the only one! But please don’t put words in my mouth I never called VM dumb. He is certainly not that. Maybe clueless is too strong a word… How about uninformed? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • The H-motor family (with the B205 and B235 engines) was part of the package which was sold to BAIC. Theoretical (but not practical) they might be bought from BAIC then, but probably it is better to continue the broaden the deal with BMW and include their new 2.0T motor (180 kW/245 hp, rated torque: 350 Newton meters) – provided that OK with BWM of course. They first plan to include this in their X1’s with an expected consumption of 7.9 l / 100 km.

  18. Only offering the 2.0T in a large wagon like that is a bad choice for the US market. Haven’t they learned from the lack of a powerful V6 in the previous 9-5? Saab enthusiasts may like the thought of a 4 cylinder engine but the general car shopper who spends $45K on a car in this segment expects a V6.

    The 9-5 is in different segment in Europe where there are versions with much less equipment and gas prices are so much higher. Yes, gasoline is getting pricier in the US but it really doesn’t matter in this luxury segment. What difference are we talking about? A couple of hundred dollars a year?

    Why can’t they just offer a V6 option without the expensive Aero trim? De-tune it a bit to 250hp or something but at least offer a V6 FWD in the lowest trim level. Let the customers decide what they want.

    • Can I just say first up that like everyone else, I’d prefer to see them offer both engines for the US market. That would be the ideal.

      For some reason – and this may well be recitified in the next model year – but for some reason they’re restricted to one in the US at launch. Given that it’s one only, I think the 2.0T is the right way to go.

      We saw what happened with the sedan when it was launched with just the most expensive offering. People called them stupid. Now they seem to be getting the same for launching the wagon with the less expensive alternative.

      Wulf, with regard to launching without Aero trim….. I think what you and others have said about people’s expectations in the US market answers that one. If they launch without Aero, they’ll be talked down for not being classy enough. FWIW, they’ve said it’ll be limited trim options, not just one trim option. Hopefully that means limited to a base model and an Aero/luxury model with no other model in between.

      Again, I’m 100% behind the idea of more choice, but I’m trying to understand the limited position they’re in and the reasons for what they decide. I’d suggest more demand will bring about more choice.

      • It’s easy for us outsiders to tell Saab how they should run the company but we just don’t know enough details. As far as I know, the 2.8T engine always has been an expensive engine because it is manufactured at the opposite side of the world from Trollhattan. Perhaps that’s a reason they only offer it in the more expensive Aero trim. But what actually is the cost difference with the 2.0T?

        The 9-4X doesn’t have a 4 cylinder engine and perhaps they should only offer the 9-5 with a V6 in two trim levels in the US: Luxury and Sport. I really enjoy the power in my 2005 9-5 Aero but wouldn’t mind trading in the sport suspension for comfort.

        • You might have hit the nail on the head with this, Wulf….

          The 9-4X doesnโ€™t have a 4 cylinder engine

          I don’t know, but maybe they’re planning to sell the 9-5 wagon to those OK with the four-pot, and point the V6-lovers to the 9-4x.

          • That would be good marketing. It would also get the SC into the snow belt of north eastern and central west US plus Canada with an engine that really does make good sense. Gas in Canada is already averaging over a dollar a liter, well over $4US a US gallon (around $5 Imperial). We are already a 4-cylinder market much more than the US (even MB sells the B-class here, not in USA). And a risky thing for control on a slippery road is hundreds of pounds or kilos imbalanced toward the front and too much power. SAAB wagons (as the Boston-area commenter noted) are also very common here. I think SAAB has it right . . . 9-4x with a V6 with the US as the main target especially for conquest sales, 9-5SC with whatever drive and 4-pot for the hardcore win-them-back SAABies up here and nearby. I liked that factory-delivered Hirsch tuner idea for those who want additional bragging rights with their car!

            That’s quite a line-up . . . 9-5, 9-5SC as a 4, 9-4x with V6, and a whole line-up of freshened then revised 9-3s, all with base (base in NA is not base in Europe–these re all leathered and optioned up) and Aero version. That’s an impressive full line (even without a future compact).

            Sorry to ramble on, but one more point. Many contributors are absolutely right that buying off a lot is key in NA. My car was shipped from Edmonton to Montreal . . . I paid extra to have it done quickly. One reason is that, at least in the past, I understood that SAAB would do a run of cars to Canadian specs a few times a year, more often to US specs (they are not much different, but not identical–e.g., metric vs. English distance recorders, different base options, even different certification stickers!), and so on for other markets. I suspect this will not change, because they need to load a boat to Halifax or Baltimore or wherever. That means special ordering a car is not as it is in western Europe where SAAB has the volume and a trailer truck or train-car ride to the market with one or six vehicles. Ordering a SAAB to specs could mean a wait of many months for NA delivery. It is one of the complications for restarting a European delivery plan (we collected a VW camper in Europe 20 years ago and we had to order it 4 or 5 months ahead). Perhaps the new factory is more flexible, but building one car to specs for NA could be a money-loser on delivery alone.

    • FWIW ………… just read in Car & Driver that the new Ford Explorer (GVW: 4,900lbs) will come with an optional 2.0T Ecotec making 237hp:

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_ford_explorer_limited_4wd-road_test

      โ€œFord will introduce an optional 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder in 2011, producing an estimated 237 horsepower and 250 pound-feet …….โ€

      It would seem almost suicidal for the Explorer to even have the notion of a small 4-banger as a base engine and one of only two engine choices.

      Like I said above, the new 2016 CAFE standard calls for 35.5mpg.

  19. Given the apparent “power” sensitivity of the US market, can somebody please explain why Caddy dumped the 2.8T in the SRX citing less than 10% take-up. If fuel economy was not a concern then price? More than 90% are apparently happy with the reportedly very lacklustre non-turbo V6.

    On that basis what percent of real buyers would turn down the SC on basis of no V6?

    Also I wonder what the historical sales figures were for 2.8T 9-3SC in the U.S. as percentage of overall volume.

    Thinking out loud.

    • I used to have the ballpark figure for 9-3 V6 sales written somewhere. I remember asking about it when they decided to drop the V6 in the US for 2010.

      I can’t find it now, but it was something very small. IIRC correctly, it was less than 10% sold in the previous model year being V6s.

      You want to slice that up between SportCombi and Sedan sales – the SC would be miniscule.

      • I think the main reason the V6 in the 9-3 didn’t sell was because the Aero trim was $6-7K more than the base models. For 2009, the lowest priced 9-3 was $30,360. The only V6 was offered in the Aero XWD which was $43,605. If they would have offered a V6 Arc for $32K, numbers could have been different.

        Aero sport suspension and American roads are not really a good combination.

  20. OK… done biting my tongue…. It would appear , and maybe it’s just me, that Saab simply cannot satisfy the needs of so many people here.

    Let’s take a few things into consideration. I would think most of us here are somewhat car enthusiasts… that is why we are here. However…the casual Saab buyer / owner buys a Saab, feels in tune with Saab… but is not a enthusiast… otherwise we would have a bunch more unique commentators here.

    As enthusiast we desire newer, faster, better….I appreciate those traits and share them as well, to a point.

    However the hip, tree hugging, “north face” wearing, latte sipping casual Saab shopper may be looking for uniqueness, value, and safety. They want something that says “smartness” of a Saab without the nose in the air standard equipment of a BMW. ( no personal insults to present, BMW driving company)

    Most of the Saab people locally I have talked to say they love their Saab, but they have no clue about DI, camshafts, ECU, Spyker, Hirsch, JAJ, Griffin UP… ect….

    If I was not a enthusiast, I would not have found ( and spent so much time at)SU. This is where I took all my car enthusiasm for GM and gave some to Saab. (let’s not flame about GM, that’s old too)

    Saab going to 2.0T for the US is a smart move no doubt based on sales records for previous years. If the Aero outsold the 2.0 from 2006-2010, don’t you think they would make more Aeros? The TurboX was a hit for ENTHUSIAST wanting something different than the run of the mill BMW or whatnot.

    Or was it?

    Dose of reality…V6 and XWD was not enough for the TurboX to quickly sell 600 units. Even in early 2010 I was still seeing left over brand new 2008 TurboX’s on the lots at Saab dealers in PA…. one had 6 yes 6 of them. (#1Cochran in Pittsburgh) The economy was in the crapper, gas was over $3.25 a gallon and guess what… we’re not all that better off than we were in 2008/2009.

    Like it or not, MPG still sells and will sell. We might grimace and moan as enthusiasts… but the casual buyer sees those MPG numbers at the same time they see the MSRP. I for one join the crew of trading MPG for HP… but only to a point.

    I feel, and this is just my opinion…. that 90% of the Saab buyers are the casual car buyer… they make intelligent decisions….but only 10% are enthusiasts willing to pay extra for HP over MPG.

    like I said… maybe it’s just me

    • Fuel economy really isn’t an issue in the US in a $40K+ vehicle. The difference between an average of 20mpg and 25mpg is about $40 a month at 15K miles a year. A car like this including insurance will cost about $600-700 or more a month. Does $40 difference really matter? Yes, fuel economy is important for the 9-3 but not the 9-5.

      • Really, I think the point i was trying to get was a lot of people complain about this or that but do not sit and see the numbers as the Saab management do. Its the point that historically, the 2.0 must have been the better seller, that why they opted to go with it for the 9-5 combi.

        Maybe I’m having a hard time typing what i am thinking. I was trying to draw the line with what the few ENTHUSIASTS desire versus what the majority of Saab buyers actually buy.

        This is why I used the TurboX example. As enthusiasts we want them… however, clearly there were not enough enthusiasts who could afford or justify them, that is why there were left over ones.

        It was more of a complaint about those who are simply never happy with anything Saab offers. Surely you see that point.

      • The math grades in the US have been dropping dramatically over the last 30 years. I’m pretty certain that a lot of people are not able to follow your simple calculations. Instead they will just look at the MPG numbers on the sticker, especially with the gas prices heading in the direction of $4 per gallon again.

        • I am sure the MPG number on the window sticker is important for the average car shopper. But aren’t Saab owners smart and educated? ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the targeted 9-5 buyer in the US is someone who earns $100K or more. If my net monthly paycheck was $6000 a month, MPG numbers wouldn’t matter. I certainly wouldn’t lay awake at night of spending $40 more on gas every month.

          The V6 is rated at 17/27 but I couldn’t find the numbers for the Turbo4.

          • Numbers for Europe are 9.9 l/100km for the 2.0T and 10.6 l/100km for the 2.8T. This converts to 23.8 and 22.2 mpg. That’s only a difference of 1.6 mpg which is even insignificant for the European market. Why even bother with the 2.0T in the US?

          • Well maybe there’s a reason your net monthly paycheck isn’t $6000. Listen to 74Stingray.

            The 2.0T sells more so they opted for it. I want more power, especially in a big heavy car, but I’m not a typical car shopper. I own a Lotus, obviously practicality is thrown out the window with that. This isn’t rocket science. Yes it’s a VERY tough sell, a $45000 car with only 4 cylinders and 220hp. And yes you need a 300+hp V6 in this segment, but there weren’t any options so Saab went with the fail-safe 4-cylinder. Bullet proof, tried and proven, and sales sales sales.

  21. For those who don’t want the 2.0 4 cylinder, for Christmas sake, get either the 9-4x or get the darned Audi if you think its so great. Sales for the SC are so small here that it doesn’t matter what engine they put in there. Reality is that the 4 cylinder drives great and there will be Hirsching available. We should be happy there will be a SC; last year we didn’t know whether the company would even survive. I want Saab to thrive here, but look at the SU poll on the 9-5 powertrains, which speaks for itself.

  22. Will the hirsch update include the 2.0 later?
    If I remember correctly only the v6 had a Hirsch update in the 9-5 in the list we saw here at saabsunited a couple of days ago.

  23. Audi has a V6. Toyota has a V6. Kia has a V6. So what?

    Even increasing sales fewfold to their desired target levels, Saab will be far from outselling any of the “leading” premium cars. And so be it. Saab is a niche brand for those who don’t want to follow the herd and appreciate good engineering.

    This includes the appreciation for the power and torque delivery of a well-honed turbo mated to a brilliant automatic (the auto used in the Saab is indeed brilliantly programmed) over a V6 that looks great on paper but only keeps whining on the road as the guessomatic shifts gears desperately looking for pulling power.

    I encourage everybody here to drive a 2.0T auto 9-5. This garantuan-sized juggernaut moves swiftly and effortlessly even with optional XWD, and drive as nimbly as a Mini (in fact, I drove a MINI Countryman recently, it’s a good little car, but didn’t feel that nimble!) – this is worth far more than a temporary win in spec sheet wars.

  24. When will we have a proper discussion on SU on factory warranties. It differs so much between markets. Read an article in DI.se on the swedish market. Saab in the bottom with BMW an ovloV 2 years. Opel 5 years and on the top Mitsubishi with 8 years.

    Would Saab sales speed up if they offered 5 years. If the products are so fine and high quality then that would be a piece of cake!

    Saab US has always have had longer warranties compared to Sweden.

    • 4 years/50K miles for US.

      Do you get the free scheduled maintenance for 3 years/36K or is that different too?

      • The only manufacturer to consistently offer “free maintenance” in Europe is BMW.

        I personally find “free maintenance” to be a very bad idea. Everything you get for free tends to be, pardon the word, crap. BMW incurs the cost of your “free maintenance” and will do everything to drive the costs as low as possible, while service stations will try to get your car out of the door as quickly and effortlessly as possible for it not to cost them too much on a fixed budget. See how GM’s warranty service rates system worked “miracles” for their ownership experience and reliability ratings.

        Good maintenance is very important, and I’ll gladly pay top dollar/euro/krona for that instead of the manufacturer trying to make it up on me with parts and repairs. I’d rather Saab gave us a 5-year all-around warranty they’d stand by and do everything for no single repair to be required in that period, and pay the technicians good money to make sure my car is properly looked after everytime I am at the garage.

  25. A lot of the enthousiasts back the decision to offer just the 2.0l engine. Yes we do not know anything for sure about the background of that decision. Nevertheless the whole specification is a another setback, and the whole business plan now looks very shaky.. Saab is not capable of offering a V6, an absolute requirement in the US market, and apparently will offer the 9-5 sc just in combination with xwd. By omitting a V6, Saab positions itself outside the premium segment in its prime target market. If it would be a strategic decision, in other words, not to offer a V6 at all for years to come, it would be a disaster. Probably there must be something with the 2.8l being replaced by GM in the foreseable future, and Saab shied away from certification costs just for one year or so. Fuel economy is not an argument at all, as the 2.0l with xwd and automatic, what most people will buy in the US, does not yield significantly better mileage than the much more refined 2.8l engine.

    Let’s sit back and look at the big picture as we know it. As a result, Saab now has an even more fragmented product offering, which does create no brand identity nor cover key requirements in key markets for the two full years to come, and which makes no logic at all to any non-enthousiast outside spectator:
    – 9-3 is offered for North America just with one engine for now, the 2.0l 210 hp. The new 1.6l 163 hp and the 150hp engines available in other markets are not offered in the US at all. If Saab changes to the 220 hp direct ignition engine, this is a slight advance, but not so much with respect to fuel economy. Up to now, Saab USA does not offer the new 1.6l 163 hp engine as well, the one that really improves mileage. Btw, the 1.6l is offered in other markets just with a manual in combination with xwd. To offer it with automatic, and introduce a hirsch-tuning would improve the offering with respect to gasoline price sensitive buyers.
    – 9-5 sedan is offered as V6 2.8l Aero and as 2,0l 220hp, the latter just without xwd.
    – 9-5 sc will be offered exclusively with 220 hp, exclusively with xwd. No offering of the new 1.6l 180 hp engine for both the sedan and sc, the only really fuel efficient gasoline engine available.
    – 9-4 will be offered with a 265 hp V6, relatively dull, but apparently or hopefully to be improved, and with the 2.8l V6 turbo.
    As a conclusion, there is a huge mess in the whole product line-up, no brand and not even model identity, the most important thing to create in a turnaround from a negatively perceived past. Obviously, for the US the sc should be offered with the 220hp fwd for those regions, where snow is not so much of an issue, and the sedan 220hp with xwd for those areas with heavy winters. The lack of a v-6 for the sc positions the car outside the premium segment, an additional manual for the 9-5 and 9-5sc would be helpful, but a fwd 2.8l 300hp is not necessary. For the brand new 9-5sc and the 9-4x, both heavy cars with load capacity required, developed since years, not even a single overlap in engines will exist, a remarkable fact. And finally, the 1.6l engines with real fuel economy are not offered at all, not even for the smaller 9-3. All gasoline engines are just offered for Europe, where they will not be big sellers due to the character of the market in most countries, with an emphasis on diesel engines.
    For Europe, there are some advances, primarily the stunning improvements in the 9-3 and 9-5 2l diesel offerings. But:
    – The 9-3 diesels cannot be combined with xwd, which would create the real sales.
    – For the 9-5 sedan and sc, there won’t be a bigger diesel, such as a fuel-efficient 6 cylinder. Saab cannot compete thus in the European premium segment, which is essentially diesel-based. Thus, the new 9-5 sc will not have a competitive engine in Europe, the primary target market for that model, because the market essentially is a combi or wagon market.
    – For the 9-4x, no diesel at all, a killer for sales in Europe.

    Each engine specification decision might be based on a rationale case by case, some of the reasons we do not know. But as a whole, i am afraid to say, the whole offering lacks coherence and a strategy. In my view, there will be few big sellers:
    – In the US, the lack of a 9-5 sedan 220hp xwd prevents big sales for the 9-5 sedan, the lack of the 2.8l V6 and a 220hp fwd for the 9-5 sc. In Europe, the lack of a V6 diesel will prevent big sales both for the 9-5 sedan as well as sc.
    – The 9-4x line-up might be okay for the US, but would be better to have it with the 220hp 4-cylinder, hirsched up. That would create brand identity. For Europe, the absence of a diesel makes it a non-event.
    – For the 9-3 and 9-3x, the lack of a diesel xwd prevents big sales in Europe, in the US there is still open space for hope, but if the business decisions follows the same logic to avoid costly certification, there is not so much hope for big sales for the 9-3 as well.
    I think Saab should review overall strategy and product specificiation first for the US, but also for Europe. With the currently announced offering, it will be difficult to achieve the goals.

    • Thanks for this clear summary of the situation. In my opinion, this is critical points that needs to be dealt with. Personally, I am not so interested in the 9-4X market and I think that SAAB shall put their resources in Europe on other, more important items, such as the XWD for the Diesel engine for 9-3 / 9-5.
      It is good to be small in some senses, but in this sense the size and resources of SAAB might lead to longer recovery time. Only looking at the line up with the 9-3, 9-4X and 9-5, this is a good starting point. Could SAAB also develop the 9-2 class with, and this is important both 3 and 5 door versions – don’t make the mistake Volvo did with the C30 only offering the 3 door version – and a smaller SUV (more competing with e.g. the BMW X1) possibly called 9-2X and with the proper set-up of engines and FWD / AWD there are very good prospects for SAAB getting up substantially in sales, even double the sales to at least 250 000 units per year.
      In order to secure this, and it hurts my heart writing this but only looking at this from an economical side, I think that SAAB needs a capital injection and most probably from the stock exchange market. This will probably lead to less influence from VM and thus less control of the company, but also a more stable ground to stand on. Doesn’t all of us want the brand to avoid another dip in the future…

  26. Michaelb, You are always so bright and shiny! Always so positive!!

    Do you really think that they havent studied the numbers how they have sold before? Do you really think when the rest of carmakers is going towards smaller engines SAAB should do the opposite? Even F1 will have 1.6 liter turbo charged 2013!!

    • Sorry Henke, I do not understand you. Read again what I have written about the 1.6l engine availability for both the 9-3 and the 9-5 regarding the US.
      But for such a big and heavy car as the 9-5 is, a four-cylinder will not be sufficient both in the US or in Europe to be in the margin rich premium segment. An 8-cylinder is not necessary.

      • There is no “1.6” engine in the 9-3 as we speak. The “163 hp” engine in the 2.0 XWD is a detuned version of the regular LK9 2.0.

        There is a 1.6 Turbo engine in the 9-5. It’s a Family 1 engine made in Szentgotthard, which is a dud. However good it looks on a paper, it’s a post-haste GM job completed when suddenly the 1.4 DI turbo that was supposed to make 180 HP was canned and plans to retool Szentgotthard to Family 0 canned. In short, it is no better than the 1.4 (which means its pretty weak for a girthy car like the 9-5) and consumes a lot of fuel in real life conditions (upto 14-16 l/100 km if you want performance from this engine).

        • sorry for the mistake with respect to the 1.6l, however the fuel efficiency of that 163hp seems to be much better than for the 220hp.

          • This all boils down to engine programming vs testing cycle. How else would you imagine the 180 hp diesel gets the same rating as the 130 hp diesel. The engine is the very same, as so are all four-cylinder petrol “engines” in the 9-3, which in fact are all different tunes of the LK9.

            I believe Saab only needs two engines – one petroleum and one diesel. Preferably just one trifuel engine burning CNG and bioethanol/petroleum mixes to get rid of the dirty diesel (diesel is dirty, however you look at it, it just is). With the most power Saab can get out of it with good reliability and reasonable fuel consumption. Perhaps with chip-tuning available at the dealership to either this or that setting, or even selectable using the in-car infotainment system.

          • Bollocks !!!
            The 163hp XWD engine has exactly the same consumption values as its 210hp XWD counterpart.

            If you only want to spread FUD, you are allowed to do it somewhere else.

            Tahnk you.

  27. Actually, initially, the Saab 9-5 was V6-only in the US and somehow this “prevented big sales”. Have you driven the 2.0T and 2.8T and compared them side by side? While I find both engines grand, I don’t think the 2.0T is in any way worse in terms of refinement, and in many ways more modern.

    Saab will never be a brand that offers “V6 on the cheap”. That’s Buick. That’s the difference between those brands. Which might be why Buick will continue to outsell Saab fewfold in the US. And that’s OK.

  28. It’s to bad horsepower and 0-60 sell cars in America because when it comes to Saab they really shouldn’t apply. If you are going to buy an Audi because it has a V6 option, your loss (and Saabs unfortunately). ๐Ÿ™ It’s so silly because a Hirsch 2.0T is almost right on par with the V6 anyway, but people can’t get around that, just like they have to have XWD. The average consumer just has no idea what the point of a car is anymore, it’s all status. “I need my XWD and V6.” No, no you really don’t… Poor Saab, can’t please everyone!

    • +1 about the status.

      “Mine is bigger than yours” has already led to too many monster trucks on the road. I’m sorry to say the same is true for sedans, including the new 9-5.

  29. It’s funny reading all the comments. One thing I think we can all agree on is we are passionate for Saab to succeed. Almost a year ago Swade predicted we would be arguing trim levels and here we are doing exactly that.

    Just some further comments on the US desire for more HP… We have rediculously low taxes on fuel here. We could argue all day on the ethics/merits of that. If Europe had low taxes on fuel and it was less than $3 a gallon like here I think we would see a completely different picture. I think the engine of choice would be the highest HP engine available. My fear is the people in charge have grown up in an environment where fuel and CO2 levels are taxed high. It’s created a completely different climate. A completely different way of thinking if you will. While the 2.0T will almost certainly sell more cars here The higher HP engine is necessary even if it’s just a perception issue. One only needs to read reviews from Motor Trend or Car and Driver to see that.

    Meanwhile It’s just nice to be here arguing!

    • Not to be harsh; but I sometimes feel that many – especially American – commenter’s here tend to argue that Saab should be compared to Subarus etc. when talking is about price-matters and to Audis etc. when talking are about engines and equipment…..

      • 1+ troels but also they compare design with acuras and buicks . americans have no idea what good design is. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • @ Saab_andee……pfft. ๐Ÿ˜‰ rubbish… we gave the world the Edsel, the Pinto and the Dodge “K” car….. pfft… lets not forget the Gremlin… double pfft.

          what did you Europeans give us????? The LeCar.

          pfft pfft pfft ๐Ÿ™‚

          • everytime i see the gremlin i think at waynes world ๐Ÿ™‚

            great cars – ๐Ÿ™‚ of course we european love the fiat multipla OG ๐Ÿ™‚

          • See, who has the bad taste in car design???

            Waynes World featured the wonderful AMC PACER, not the Gremlin ๐Ÿ˜‰

            plus, our gas guzzlers in the late 60’s were pumping out 400+ HP while you euros were still putzing around with 2 stroke three bangers….. so ease off the American bashing will ya otherwise I’ll have to get drunk and kick my dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

            I was having a uneventful friday afternoon till now ๐Ÿ˜‰ , Thanks Andee…

            ( I hope you notice my sense of humor and do not take my foul comment seriously. Otherwise may the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your nose hairs)

          • sorry 74 i havenยดt seen waynes world for a while but the amc pacer is also a wonderful car ๐Ÿ™‚

            itยดs friday and TGI(am european) so i can drink a wonderful sanmichlaus beer (better than a bud light ๐Ÿ™‚ )

          • BLECH! Yet another insult…. suggesting bud light…. pfft

            Weihenstephan Krystallweiss… thank you very much… or shall i say, Danke!

            whew, nice to have some fun humor in between the doomsday comments,

  30. Btw, we’re not the only ones discussing engines. Most people on the Porsche Boxster forums are horrified by the prospect of getting the Audi TT 4-banger for the 2012 Boxster model.

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