Friday quick and safe snippets

First off the bat, is which now features a review comparing the 9-5 to the A6. They deduct points for interior quality but comment on the 9-5’s road holding qualities as “best in class”. I am a little surprised that they compare fuel economy seeing as the 9-5 comes equipped with more horsies and torque. That is the only category where the 9-5 loses, yet they only reward it a score of three (Audi gets five) in their summary. Nice interior apparently beats the nice feeling you get from piloting the car through the ‘twisties.

Thanks Thomas for the tip

Pam, our on the spot IIHS spotter, let us know that IIHS has completed another test of the 9-5. This time they have put a poor unsuspecting 9-5 through a heavy side-impact. Designed to test what happens if a car gets struck by a SUV, the 9-5 holds up nicely, though IIHS notes there is a possible chance of rib fractures. Adding side curtain airbags in the rear helps the new 9-5 improve upon the score set by its predecessor.

It will be interesting to see the 9-5’s rollover score. That test only provided the Audi A6 with an ‘Average’ score and that is one event where Saab have a long history of success thanks to “on the roof” Carlsson. Which will bring to question those reviews that typically award the A6 the same safety score as the 9-5.

On the lighter side of things, a nice classic Saab 900 Turbo makes a cameo appearance in the Beastie Boys Fight for Your Right (Revistied) video. Jamie, who provided us with the link calls the cameo “unlikely”, but I am not sure what he meant by that. (BTW: That video is probably not safe for work. Public urination is frowned upon in the workplace I believe — proceed at your own risk)

The Hirsch Performance 2011 Spring Collection

The newest Newsletter has just arrived from Site Sponsor Hirsch and I have reprinted it below for you all to see.
The Hirsch Performance 2011 spring collection of accessories for the Saab 9-5 is now available.
At the Auto Zürich and Detroit car shows, Hirsch Performance previewed a few accessories planned for the new Saab 9-5 with the 9-5 Hirsch
Performance Concept. The forged 20″ wheels are already being delivered, and now additional products have been finalized for production.
Hirsch Performance wishes you a spring full of driving enjoyment!

AMS test the 9-5 vs. The Teutonic Three

In the last issue of the Swedish auto,motor&sport the 9-5 had to show if it was able to withstand a face-to-face comparison with the new Audi A6, the BMW 5-series and the Mercedes E-class.

The test is a little bit unfair for Saab, but the guys at AMS knew it from the beginning, as the big V6 diesels of the Germans are compared to the TTiD4.

We knew that a four-cylinder diesel would fall short against the other six-cylinder diesels. But we wanted to see if Saab 9-5 chassis is still champ in the class.

Read moreAMS test the 9-5 vs. The Teutonic Three

Vi Bilägare Crowns 9-5 Winter Driving King

Respected Swedish car magazine Vi Bilägare recently tested 5 very different cars in a head to head comparison to see what car best handles Swedish winter roads. Unsurprisingly to us (but surprising to them), the Saab 9-5 not only performed well in a variety of snowy, slushy, cold conditions, but was actually fun to drive while doing so. They were happy to report that their long term 9-5 test vehicle hasn’t had any issues since it first had an unfortunate software malfunction which left them stranded (and very unhappy) on the side of the road. Since then, Saab issued a fix and the problem hasn’t resurfaced. That they were able to give the car top billing after an early production glitch is a good sign of their character as auto journalists.

Anyone who drives this car comes away impressed, whether they try a 2.0T or Aero V6. When I recently spoke with my dealer’s owner, he said he had to turn in his 9-5 Aero demo because he got 2 speeding tickets in a matter of weeks. This is in snowy upstate New York, where we get on average 100″+ of snow. If you haven’t tested a 9-5 yet and you’re even remotely in the market for one, get to your dealer and try one out. I don’t need to sell you on it, the car sells itself. Full translation of the article after the break.

Read moreVi Bilägare Crowns 9-5 Winter Driving King

Zippy and the Saab 9-5

Zippy’s a Saab 9-3 owner and one of our long-term family here at Saabs UNited and I know he’s been very keen to get behind the wheel of a Saab 9-5 V6 for some time.

Last weekend he had the chance to drive an Aero, courtesy of Rob over at Springmans Saab in Vancouver, Canada.

Zippy was kind enough to send in his thoughts.


I’d love to be able to say I actually laid down $70,000 and drove away with a massive smile on my face – as well as a huge hole in my savings – but in reality I had taken my car out for an inspection when Rob handed me the keys to a 9-5 Aero with a stunning dark cocoa and parchment leather interior and told me to ‘enjoy’.

The car was loaded with every conceivable option except a sunroof. At first the sight of all of those buttons seemed overwhelming bit in actuality they are intuitively laid out and after ten minutes in the car I was an expert.

I am not big fan of automatic transmissions, but the paddleshifters, in reality, have about 80% of the fun factor of a manual, which surprised me. If I were to have an auto I’d never have the car in Drive choosing to shift “on the fly’ as it makes the car just that much more enjoyable – and drivable.

Drivable? In Drive I found the car was a little reluctant to downshift when you put your foot down, even when in Sport mode. Heading out to the highway I decided to see what the car was capable of merging into traffic. I found my slot and floored it….my response was “holy $h1t” – said out loud – as a smile grew from ear to ear.

I loved the HUD, which was easy to read and showed my current gear when in “flappy paddle mode” as well as my speed which seems to reach high numbers in no time. Its a huge safety feature as I never had to take my eyes off of the road to check speed etc.

The engine doesn’t even feel turbocharged to me as it actually feels like a small V8 the way the power is instantly fed thru to the XWD system. I just cannot imagine what this engine feels like in a 9-3 TurboX albeit with “only” 280bhp.

The offramp gave me an opportunity to test the sticky XWD system which didn’t even flicker when I abruptly took my foot off of the gas at the same time as braking trying to trick the system. You would never even know the car had XWD. It just felt like a well balanced, rock solid car. I would love to be able to drive this car up Cypress Mountain with its hairpin turns and sweeping bends to see how it handles on the twisty bits. I didn’t get the opportunity to use the SATNAV system but the car sure looks better with the full colour screen over the green screen that was in the base 9-5 I had previously driven.

Heading back to the dealer I kept getting odd looks from people thinking to myself ‘what the heck is his/her problem?!” until I realised that people were actually looking at the car. A thirtysomething couple in an old(ish) E-Class stopped just ahead of me and to the left craned their necks getting a better look at the cars lines with that “what kind of car is that?!” look on their faces when the woman lowered her window and asked me what it was I was driving. Having explained her it was the new 9-5 I also took the opportunity to tell her who to go and visit if she wanted to get a really good look and take one out for a spin – or better yet replace their ‘German taxi’. They then held back to get a look at the cars behind as I pulled away from the lights. This car turns heads and I can only imagine what kind of response this car would get if it were driven in the busy streets of Vancouver especially in Arctic White.

My final impression? A very roomy rock solid four door sports car with a Jeckyl and Hyde personality. In Comfort mode it wafts along as a luxury sedan should but when switched to Sport mode it turns into a snarling four door sports car with the ride comfort a luxury car.

Is it perfect? It would be if it had a manual transmission. That is why I would have to get a manual 2.0T Aero Hirsched-up to 260bhp with XWD, a set of 19inch Edge rims, DriveSense and that SATNAV with HUD but no such beast exists here in North America so I guess I have to start saving up for the V6 Aero. All I can say is that anyone who owns one of these cars is very very lucky and I am 110% green with envy.

Thanks to Rob and Jason at Springman’s Saab for sharing the car with me and taking time to “talk Saab”.

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.

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