Independent.ie test the Saab 9-5 – find hope

You’ve got to love the Irish. They have a way with words.

Any road test with the words “by golly” is one that I want to read. Unlike so many other articles you might come across, you know that someone using that phrase is not trying to be a road testing rock star.

Our author draws parallels between the resurrection of Saab and the resurrection needed in the Irish economy:

This car had a strange effect on me. Let me tell you why. Last year, the chances of me reviewing it were remote. Saab was in its death throes. The obituaries were written. It was effectively on the scrapheap.

Yet by dint of perseverance and God knows what else, somehow it was salvaged. It now has a future. It now has plans…..

…..I am so numb with the gloom of economy and society at this stage I am beginning to wonder if we are anaesthetising ourselves with the bleakness. Sure, an economy is not like a carmaker but there are parallels. And we have to believe we can do a Saab.

He eventually gets to driving the 2.0 TiD as well. It’s not 100% wine and roses, but it is a very good and honest assessment of the car, without the flowery catchphrases you get used to in the motoring press sometimes.He even goes so far as to recognise when his criticisms might constitute nitpicking. Amazing!

There’s praise for the engine, the cabin, the seats and the solid build quality and cruising comfort. On the flip, there’s some downside on the gearbox and dashboard. As mentioned, it’s a very honest assessment.

I’ll let you get to that yourselves. Click here to read the full review over at The Independent.

For a final word, though:

I wish we had the equivalent for dealing with the whiplash of budget cuts. We don’t. But we might take some heart from the Saab experience. We can bounce back. No doubt at all about that. And what a great symbol it would be if we could get the ministers out of their big state cars and into a few Saabs. It might stand as a daily reminder of what can be achieved.

Saab 9-5 review from Ireland

When I attended the Saab 9-5 launch back in June, I was there with members of the Irish and German automotive press corps.

The 9-5 took a few punches from the Irish in terms of driveability, primarily because like the English types we’ve wanted to stone to death heard from recently, they seemed to be funneled into the base model diesel quite a lot.

Saab has just hosted another round of press drives in Ireland, giving access to a wider variety of cars to a wider variety of journos and it seems they were a bit happier testing the car on home turf.

From Drive Magazine……

So, what to make of the 9-5, the first car to be launched by ‘New Saab?’ Well, it would be easy to give it the curate’s egg verdict; good in parts, but ultimately not up to the lofty standards set by its major German competitors.

But that’s just not right. True, there are flaws but it’s good enough, more than good enough, to compete with its head held high and it has an easy likability about it, that few if any other premium cars have.

Now, with journos having access to more varieties of the 9-5, you might think they’re writing about an Aero there. But it’s not. In fact, it’s the same 2.0 TiD Linear that their compatriots liked, but just not as much.

I hear from a contact there in Ireland that they had extremely good feedback from customers during a recent test drive campaign there, too, with over 150 test drives taken and a lot of happy customers as a result.

We get awfully picky about this car – for good and noble reasons, mind you – but any considerations to perceived flaws should not be viewed as the end of the world, as can often be the case in comments here. The baseline for any considerations should rightly be “This is one heck of a good car, whether it be a new start for Saab, or not.”

Thanks to Emmet for the heads up!

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