Saab 9-5 – the winter car owner’s review

Saab dealers in areas that get snow in the winter should bookmark this owner’s review and send it out to prospective customers. Better still, make a printable version of it and pass it around when people come in to the dealership.

Nothing speaks to an prospective owner quite like the testimony of a current owner. Someone who, like they’re thinking of doing, has sunk their own hard-earned money into a vehicle. Sure, they may have a vested interest in liking the vehicle, but they’ve also lived with it and know its good and bad sides.

One of our own SU regulars, Arild, has written an owner’s review of his 2010 Saab 9-5. The review focuses on the winter driving characteristics of the car and it’s a very good read.

In conclusion, I can highly endorse the new Saab 9-5. The performance during winter is second to none. The good old Saab slogan “Vinterbilen” (The Winter Car) can also be used on Saab’s latest car!

Here’s the bookmark. Head on over there and read it for yourself.

There are some nice pics elsewhere on the site, too. Well done, Arild.

19 thoughts on “Saab 9-5 – the winter car owner’s review”

    • “The verdict was unusually unanimous. Saab 9-5 is by far the most competent winter car of our five new models. Too bad so few will notice it.”

      • Strange, it works for me.
        a similar picture of the Cruze can be found here:

        or, use Google and search on
        2011 Chevrolet Cruze Center Stack – Picture / Pic / Image

        Note that I don,t want to compare my lovely SAAB whith this car in any other way, I just noticed that I could operate the heating very nice with my gloves on, something that is impossible in my 9/5. Small details, but could be an issue when it is -22 degrees C

        • Have read a few tests of the Cruze, while a good budget choice, many are annoyed by its’ temp selector – it is all to easy by accident to unknowingly change the position with the right knee. It is awkwardly positioned, to far out on the panel.

          • @theSandySaab
            Ok, I just drove the car for a couple of miles and did not see this. So, somethng between my SAAB solution with a 1×1 cm button and a better placed knob in the center stack then. Or maybe go back to automatic heating so I dont have to press this button everytime I start the engine.

  1. Our 2009 9-5 wagon is doing an excellent job for us during this long, cold, snowy winter. It was 8 below zero F yesterday evening as we drove home (-22C); pretty cold for March 6. We also have Nokian Hakka R tires, and they are terrific. Our 9-5 came with heated front and rear seats standard, as did the 05 9-5 Aero sedan we had before it. One of my gripes with the new 9-5 is that they apparently don’t (yet) offer heated rear seats. I drove a new Jeep Grand Cherokee the other day with a heated steering wheel, and that was very nice, too. I would like to see Saab make the 9-5 an even better winter car and give it standard heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

  2. … a test which they say that was won by the Saab “by a (wide) margin”. To extract some more points:
    – “The 9-5 appeared to be indifferent to the road conditions. We were all impressed with how smooth and supple it was to drive.”
    – They were pleasantly surprised by that the engine (room) was as clean as new after 5000+ kms
    – To change fuses and light bulbs was exemplarily easy.
    – The heating was excellent, “keeping a summer climate” even when it was, at most, -32 °C outside

    There’s also a winter test between a Mercedes E-class and Saab 9-5 – won by Saab – in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, behind their paywall…

    • Argh, sorry, that was of course supposed to be about the test in Vi Bilägare mentioned by OddJob above.

  3. I recently had the opportunity to drive the 9-5 with the 2.0l Diesel and XWD on snow and icy conditions. Just can confirm your findings, the car is excellent, absolutely magnificient in very difficult conditions, the engine as well. The only negative for me: In full acceleration, the engine gets louder than I like, but it is really powerful. Maybe for the Diesel even better isolation should be considered. Also the interior was fine to me, absolutely competitive to BMW or Mercedes. I could imagine even better notes, if the dashboard would not be just black.

  4. Arild, can anyone tell us more about the QuickHeat (Saab option?). Does it work automatically with the ACC to reach desired cabin temperature as quickly as possible?

    • Yes, QuickHeat is totally integrated and there are no extra buttons or switches. In other words, you don’t notice it except for the warm air that flows through the air vents. 🙂

  5. Its a great read, and a reminder of how good a FWD car can be with the right shoes on. Makes me happy to see some FWD appreciation for the company that has always approached it as a design feature, not just a means of propulsion. If more people put snow tires on their cars and stopped drinking the all season tire Kool Aid, we would see fewer accidents and feel less need for AWD for a large portion of the motoring public. People just don’t have any idea how good this set up can be. That said, XWD is VERY good!

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