4 TPOXOI test the 9-5 vs. the 9-5

4 Wheels (4 TPOXOI) is a greek car magazine, and ChrisZ was kind enough to point us to a comparison they made in February.

Greeks not only write with different letters, they also make some strange comparisons.

Their piece compared two Saab 9-5s.

In one corner we have a Saab 9-5 2.0T/220hp Aero Auto XWD

1.998cc, 220hp/5300rpm, 350Nm/2500-5000rpm, weight 1,862Kg.

and in the other a Saab 9-5 1.6Τ MT6 FWD Linear

1.598cc, 180hp/5500rpm, 230Nm/2200-5500rpm (with 266Nm in overboost mode), weight 1,591Kg.

(Those must be their measured weights, as the official data is 1695-1835 for the 1.6T, and 1750-1910 for the 2.0T XWD Aut.)

Yes, that second engine looks a little bit strange in that big engine bay, but you can be assured that the 1.6T will no have no thermal problems in there.

From what I can understand from the cryptic Googletrans, the smaller engine has big tax advantages, so it would certainly be interesting if that “small” engine can cope with such a big car.

Their verdict? Well, it seems that due to the low real life weight the lesser brother can compete face to face with the big brother. I’ve never seen a car that weighs less in real life than the specs, for instance Audis and VW’s weigh 100kg in real life more than in tests from what I’ve seen.

Some acceleration figures:

0-100 km/h
1.6T = 9.5 secs (SAAB figure 9.5 sec)
2.0T = 9.9 secs (SAAB figure 8.8 sec)
Has something happened here?

0-400 m
1.6T = 16.7 secs
2.0T = 17.2 secs

0-1000 m
1.6T = 30.4 secs
2.0T = 30.6 secs

Yes, 300kg is a lot of extra baggage to carry from a stop.

But when the car overcomes the inertia, the weight is less of an issue.

80-110 km/h with 3rd/4th/5th
1.6T = 4.7/7.2/9.0 secs
2.0T = 4.5/6.0/8.9 secs

120-140 km/h with 4th/5th/6th
1.6T = 5.7/7.3/10.4 secs
2.0T = 4.7/6.4/10.0 secs

The weight and the torque converter automatic transmission are also a reason for the higher fuel consumption.

1.6T = 11.5l/100km (SAAB figure 7.8 l/100km)
2.0T = 13.2l/100km (SAAB figure 9.9 l/100km)

Well, up to this point the 1.6T seems to be a very capable engine, so why shouldn’t you spend 50.000SEK more and buy a 180hp 9-5 instead of a 163hp 9-3? You really get a lot more car for that extra money.

But there is a small detail on that “lesser” 9-5 that I didn’t expect to have that big impact on the performance.

If we look at the last pair of figures

Stopping power 120-0 km/h
1.6T = 58.7m
2.0T = 54.9m

we see that the 1.6T needs 4 meters longer than the 2.0T to stop– that’s almost an entire car length!

The 9-5 1.6T has smaller brake disks, but I thought the lighter weight would compensate for that. Perhaps knowing these figures I’d either step back to the 9-3 or having the extra 20.000SEK buy the 2.0T FWD Man (or upgrade the brakes).

All in all it is a very positive and optimistic comparison, showing that the smaller displacement 9-5 is a very capable car, and has only one flaw. If you can read Greek it may be worth the read, as the Googletrans is a little to cryptic to tell.

Without fanfare and unnecessary movements of sensationalism, the Swedes, despite their problems which are now for the most part in the past, manage to reposition the new 9-5 in the heart of a difficult class against the dominant German trio of Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. It’s a rather pleasant surprise, because the Swedes didn’t just make superficial changes, but  managed to create a car that does not claim to be overly sporty, but it is extremely refined in a way that it hugs the road, and is sufficiently spacious and luxurious with its interior decoration and sophisticated aesthetics. If nothing else, fans of all kinds will come to love this car, making it once again alternative choice in the category, supported by reasonable selling prices, and of course the lower engine tax 1.6T version.

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Doctor Donk

Interesting… would be nice to get in 2.8 to this duo. and compare stock aero system with brembo official kit.

And about braking – i can be wrong, but it looks like 2.0 got 18inches with 245 higher quality tyre… Probably 20mm helped a lot in braking, while costed some acceleration.


Yes, I agree.
Tyres should not be underestimated.
Still, the 1.6 Turbo looks like a pretty attractive option.


I belive you are right. The tyres can completely change a cars behaviour and feel. I just switched to summer tyres and it`s just unbelivable what difference it makes from my wintertyres.
Driving around on “all season tyres” should be forbidden during summer.


The power to weight ratio on both of those cars is almost identical, 8.5lbs and 8.8lbs to each horsepower for the 2.0T and 1.6T, respectively. Of course that is according to their “measured weights” I guess the 0-60 figure are very close to the suggested test numbers and the driver of the car pretty much makes the difference?

Once they’re “rolling” I guess the 2.0T’s higher torque figure helps propel the car faster than the 1.6T.


The Summary is so good. It really points out what is great about the 9-5, and what is great about Saab. Love it!


The magazine is a very respectable one usually saying good things about Saab, while being fair to them.


The test results got me really by surprise. I expected the 1.6T to be sluggish, where it’s not. Of course we are talking about a heavy auto 2.0T XWD against a light 1.6T FWD. According to the test, the XWD showed better handling response and feel in wet roads and bends, but the FWD was not bad at all. Only in high speeds (above 120km/h) the 2.0T (due to its higher torque) had an acceleration advantage over the 1.6T. In lower speeds the heavy 2.0T showed pretty much its weight . For the performance enthusiasts, the 2.0T provides a broader… Read more »


Greeks not only write with different letters..

Correction: you write with different letters. 😉

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