The Saab 9-5 is an executive class or E-Segment car manufactured by the Swedish automaker in 1997 as the successor of the Saab 9000. It remained in production for two generations until 2012.
This transverse front-engine, front-wheel-drive Saab was available in sedan and station wagon variants, with the second generation receiving a four-wheel-drive option. In March 2011, its production ended when Saab turned full ownership of the company to General Motors.
The First Generation (1997-2010)
Saab built the first generation, codenamed YS3E, based on General Motors' GM2900 platform and powered by Saab's B205 and B235 inline-four engines. The diesel engines used were initially Opel Ecotec 2.2L, replaced in 2006 by Fiat's 1.9 JTD 16-valve models.
A turbocharged V6 engine from General Motors was available with an automatic transmission on the Arc, SE, and Griffin models, distinguishable from other models by the twin tailpipes. In 2004, a turbocharged inline-four engine replaced it and improved further in 2006. Transmission options available were a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed manual gearbox fitted as standard to base and Aero models.
Saab's B205 and B235 engines had significant failure rates due to engine oil sludge, a problem which Saab addressed for model years 2004 onward. The company also came up with retrofit update kits to repair the older models.
The IIHS rated the 9-5 with the highest score of ‘Good’ in the Head, Neck, Chest, Left Leg/Foot, Restraints, and Head Restraints segments, ‘Acceptable’ in the Overall Front, Structure/Safety cage, ‘Margina’ in the Bumpers segment, and ‘Poor’ in the Right Leg/Foot segment.
Its safety features include Saab's Active Head Restraint that would prevent whiplash resulting from a rear impact, torso and head airbags in the front, safety cage, deformation zones, reinforced doors, and pillars. It featured the signature 'Night Panel' display option, as well, which dimmed all but essential information on the dashboard.
The available trim levels in Australia include the Base, S, SE, Griffin, Aero, Arc, Linear, Vector, and Biopower, with the following engine options:
- 1.9TDI: 1.9L inline-four turbocharged diesel engine producing 110kW (148hp) at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 200rpm, paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
- 2.0t: 2.0L inline-four turbocharged petrol engine producing 110kW (148hp) at 5500rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1800rpm, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 2.3t: 2.2L inline-four turbocharged petrol engine producing 125kW (168hp) at 5500rpm and 280Nm of torque at 1800rpm, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 2.3t: 2.2L inline-four turbocharged petrol engine producing 136kW (182hp) at 5500rpm and 280Nm of torque at 1800rpm, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 2.3T: 2.2L inline-four turbocharged petrol engine producing 162kW (217hp) at 5500rpm and 310Nm of torque at 2500rpm, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual gearbox
- Aero: 2.2L inline-four turbocharged petrol engine producing 191kW (256hp) at 5300rpm and 370Nm of torque at 1900rpm, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 3.0L V6 petrol engine producing 147kW (197hp) at 5000rpm and 370Nm of torque at 1900rpm, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission
The Second Generation (2010-2012)
Saab revealed the second generation, codenamed YS3G, at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in 2009 and later introduced at the South Florida Auto Show in Miami. It used the GM Epsilon II platform for its underpinning and was available in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Production ended due to Saab’s bankruptcy, resulting in only 11,280 total units made.
Euro NCAP gave the 9-5 a five-star rating in overall safety. Adult occupant safety received 94% and 34 points, Child occupant safety received 80% and 39 points, Pedestrian safety received 44% and 16 points, and finally Safety assist received 86% and 6 points.
Australia received a limited number of trim level and engine options, viz.:
- Aero trim level with the 2.8L turbocharged V6 petrol engine, producing 221kW (296hp) at 5500rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2000rpm, 0-100km/h acceleration in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- Vector trim level with the 2.0L turbocharged inline-four petrol engine, producing 160kW (220hp) at 5300rpm and 350Nm of torque at 2500rpm, 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 240km/h, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
- Vector trim level with the 2.0L turbocharged inline-four diesel engine, producing 118kW (158hp) at 4000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1750rpm, 0-100km/h acceleration in 10.1 seconds and a top speed of 215km/h, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission
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Author: Luka Kusic