Auto Zeitung test Saab 9-5

Auto Zeitung is a German publication (with a bit of a history, too, but that’s beside the point here) and they’ve recently published a Saab 9-5 review in their print publication.

Alexandros has been kind enough to provide a summary. Like all reviews, there’s some good and some not-quite-so-good but it seems pretty positive over all, especially for a German magazine reporting on a non-German car.


Overall I think it is a very positive test for a German car magazine. Here is the conclusion of the author:

“Rarely were high hopes and expectations lying on a car model, as this is the case with the new Saab 9-5. Even if it doesn’t reach the technical refinement of the premium German competitors, it leaves however a strong impression. Engine, chassis and safety equipment of the not only in terms of pricing competitive, new Saab 9-5
are now back on the state of the art.”

And some highlights of the article….


– the typical Saab design is well received, as evidenced by the numerous upraised thumbs of pedestrians
– the Swedes remained faithful to their design-line
– the head-up display is highly recommended
– the widely anticipated and different-colored a-pillars do their part to the fact that the driver cockpit feel like in a jet located
– especially the guest in the second row can look forward to a very generous legroom and a comfortable back seat
– front driver and passenger find generous space on the large and well contoured sports seats
– the two-liter engine impresses with its low vibration and accelerates the 1781 kg heavy sedan strongly
– the test consumption lies at reasonable 10l per 100 km
– Highway comfort is quite convincing
– even in comfort mode the 9-5 takes curves with little body roll
– the large wheels have a positive influence on traction and braking characteristics, a hot brake value of 34.5 meters speaks for itself


– the massive C-Pillar posts complicate the view
– backing out of a parking space backwards becomes a test of courage
– the engine tends to stutter at low speeds
– the power of the engine can be moderately dosed
– the light steering is on something unpleasant
– the chassis is in the city due to the mighty 19-inch tires still unsatisfactory

Saab Caravan test drive event in Norway

Olav’s road test of a Saab 9-5 1.6T was part of a long test drive event – a Saab Caravan – being held by Saab Norway.

The event is about half way to being done, but the good news if you’re in Norway is that there are still plenty of dates where you can join in the fun.


Saab Caravan Norway Dates

Check out the Saab Caravan page at Saab Norway for full details and make sure you get some seat time in Saab’s new 9-5.

And kudos to Saab Norway for a great initiative.

Saab Caravan Norway

First Report: Saab 9-5 1.6T

There hasn’t been much said about the baby of the Saab range to this point. The 1.6T must have just started making its way to dealers as I haven’t read anything about it yet.

One of our longest serving regular readers – Olav S from Norway – recently attended a dealer event and had a chance to drive a couple of 9-5s, including the 1.6T.


Today I was invited by our local SAAB dealer here in Stavanger, Norway, to meet SAAB Norway’s SAAB Convoy. They had brought a lot of cars with them (a lot of different versions of both 9-3 and 9-5), but I was only interested in different versions of the new 9-5 tonight. Earlier this year I test drove the 160 hp TiD with the automatic gearbox. Nice car, but since I don’t care about diesels in fine automobiles I was pretty much excited that today I could take a ride in the 220 HP Aero with automatic and XWD. And I did, BUT, I also test drove a 9-5 with the new 1.6 Litre and 180HP engine!

Some impressions below, I’ll start with the newcomer.

SAAB 9-5 with the 1,6 litre 180 hp engine, blue metallic exterior with cream coloured leather (I don’t remember the codes), manual gearbox, navigation and (I guess) 17” alu wheel on soft winter tyres:

  • The interior is superb, and the cream colored leather suits the car very well.
  • The transmission isn’t the best I have tried, but not bad either. It is slightly ‘sluggish’ in lower gears, mainly 1st.
  • Somewhat soft but very comfortable suspension. Precise steering.
  • Some torque steer occurred under acceleration, but I guess that might have something to do with very soft winter tyres. Not a big problem at all, but this brings me to the next point:
  • I was really surprised how well the small 1,6 engine moved this heavy car. Very impressive if I may say so! On low revs it is a bit ‘lazy’ but when turbo pressure started to build up the heavy 9-5 took off pretty well. The engine runs very quiet, but is slightly more noisy under acceleration than I’d expected. When I got used to the ‘package’ the whole thing really impressed me. Remember: the 9-5 is a big and heavy car, and a 1,6 litre engine isn’t exactly a giant powerplant.

Then I jumped in and took the Aero XWD with 220 hp for a spin. The Aero was fitted with (I guess) 19” turbine wheel, automatic gearbox, HUD, navigation plus more. Colour combination: Silver with dark leather.

  • Colour, external trim and interior is just superb! Very, very good seats, with some new and great adjustments for the front seats. I also tested the rear seat and with my 1,9 meter above ground level I had no problem whatsoever back there. Excellent ergonomics in all seats!
  • HUD is highly recommended. The whole package in that car is recommended!! A must have…..
  • The automatic transmission isn’t the world’s fastest maybe, but I found it pretty good.
  • I also tested the ‘manual’ gear shifts from the paddles on the steering wheel and they worked pretty much faster than my 2005 9-5 but maybe not as fast as the fastest ‘automanually’ gearboxes in this class.
  • The 220 hp engine is pretty fast for this heavy car, and the car is extremely fun to drive especially on twisty roads of all kinds of quality. Very quiet engine, actually the whole car was very quiet. Very high ‘MUST HAVE FACTOR’!

The 9-5 with the 1,6 litre engine felt to have a harder suspension setup than the Aero. I found that strange, but forgot to ask the SAAB representative when I returned the keyless thing.

It’s a short and a fast summary in very bad English, and maybe it’s not news at all, but I just wanted to share my enthusiasm.

I asked my Dealer about how the SAAB sale was going, and he just smiled and said the good old SAAB days are back. When I was out there they sold several new SAABs, and they had also received around 20 new SAABs this month – they were all already sold out to customers. Well, not exactly, the Dealer should keep two as they needed more demo cars.

It was very nice watching the new enthusiasm at my dealer, and what a healthy sign it was to see lots of people queueing in front of the desk, signing their names on the list for test drives.

Go SAAB, GO! drive Victor’s Saab 9-5

Vincent from has just dropped me a line to tell my about a video they’ve shot featuring the new Saab 9-5.

And not just any old Saab 9-5, as you can tell from the headline. They picked up Victor Muller’s own Saab 9-5 and took it for a spin.

The dialogue’s in Dutch, but there are subtitles for the rest of us.

Good work,!


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