Author Topic: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)  (Read 32073 times)

Tech II

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Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« on: 02 July 2011, 06:11:56 PM »
Thanks to Chris (Zaphod) for the suggestion.  This topic is for owners to review their Saab in their own words for the benefit of other contributors to STT who may be interested in buying or just reading your views.

We look forward to reading your reviews!

Kev_Mc

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #1 on: 02 July 2011, 08:37:07 PM »
May as well have a go with my current car - 2008 9-5 TiD Linear SE Auto

This is my 4th 9-5, and the 8th Saab I've had.

The main reason I bought this car was because of the economy. I needed an Auto as my knee was playing up a bit, and with 35,000 miles to cover a year, a diesel was the sensible option.

At the time I bought the car, I was looking at other marques. There was no way I could get a similary aged BMW 5 series or Audi A6 for the same money. Best I saw at the time was a 5 series which was 2 years older, and with double the miles. And that was still 4000 more.

I was initially wary of going for such a big car with a 1.9 diesel, but after test driving a couple of cars, found that they had a decent amount of power. Certainly enough to keep up with the flow without effort.

My previous car was a 9-5 Aero estate. It's hard to draw comparisons with Aero's in general, as there was something wrong with mine and it was no where near as quick as it should have been. The TiD felt just as quick from rest - it was only in mid range where the TiD is lacking compared to that Aero. I've often thought of having the TiD remapped as it could do with a little more shove in the mid range, though I've wimped out so far.

Economy is very good. The official combined figure for the car is 37.2mpg. My journey to work is 72 miles, with mostly Motorway and Dual Carriageways in quiet traffic. In 8 months of doing this journey, I have yet to get as low as 37mpg. I average more like 45 mpg for the commute, though have had over 50mpg on several occasions - 53.1mpg being my personal best.

I don't keep an eye on the economy in town, as I do so few miles in town traffic, so it's not that relevant for me. I think in town it's probably around 30mpg.

The VED is high for this car as it's an auto and just slips into band K - think it's 225 for the year to pay for these superb roads and world class public transport system  ::)

Styling - it does grow on you. I didn't like it when it came out - especially the rear, but quite like it now.

Things I don't like about the car:

  • Steering wheel - looks better than the older 9-5 one, but I hadn't realised I held the wheel at the bottom on the M-Way so much - can't do that on the new one.
  • Computer SID - on the old car you could go backwards and forwards through the different options, on the Dame Edna car you have to click all the way through to get round to the one you want. Annoying if you press it once too may times, then you have to click it 6 or 7 times to go through everything and get back to where you wanted to be.
  • Dash - looks a bit bland IMHO.
  • Linear SE - wished I'd gone for a Vector Sport with leather and bigger wheels. Ah well.
  • Could do with more cup holders in the front. (Did I really just type that!   :-[  )
  • Rain sensing wipers - not very good at sensing rain. Fine once you tell it's raining by turning them on yourself. Works fine after that. My old Skoda Superb was exactly the same - don't think it's a Saab thing.
  • Depreciation  :'(

Good points:
  • Economy as above.
  • Space and practicality - though this would go for all 9-5 estates.
  • Performance is very respectable - could just do with a wee bit more in mid range.
  • Radio/CD is more industry standard - so a lot easier to upgrade to a new double din unit (unlike the old car)
  • Seats - still very comfy and supportive.
  • ESP - not standard on all 9-5's, but this has saved me on several occasions when it's kicked in before I even realised the car was losing grip.
  • Real world crash safety
  • It's a Saab!


I'll add more to this when I think of it. Generally happy with the car - it's no where near as bad as the motoring press would have you believe. Because of the depreciation, I really think you'd struggle to get a better comparable car for the money.

« Last Edit: 02 July 2011, 09:25:08 PM by Kev_Mc »

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #2 on: 03 July 2011, 07:02:06 AM »
Well,

I have two. Both '02 Update cars. A silver Aero sedan and hers is the Linear Sport Estate, also silver. They look great together in the driveway.

Both very different in their own ways and they do their jobs well. Packing the family and all the gear for a weekend down the beach sees the wagon deliver huge practicality and excellent fuel economy. We regularly see 40mpg from this car on the long highway runs, and for a petrol turbo automatic it is arguably the most economic car in its class on the road.

City stuff, sure it's not so hot on the fuel usage but other benefits far outweigh this aspect when you consider the bigger picture. Buy the car SH and maintain it in good condition, and you gain so much value that any fuel economy issues are then quite redundant. Depreciation benefits the purchaser and should be seen as a good thing in any aquisition of a motor car. SAABs are an attractive SH proposition because of this.

The charcoal leather interior is bomb-proof and scrubs up really well, when I could be bothered cleaning it out after the girls have trashed it. Great interior materials and the leather is tough enough to withstand musical instruments, plants, beds, timber, you name it. Roof racks are a must so you can build a fence on the weekend after a trip to the timber yard. Oh, and tow a boat half way around the country for a regatta is really easy. Getting 800km out of a tank is quite achievable on these trips.

Why did I buy it? Easy. A fabulous passenger safety cell, 4 smart airbags, seatbelt retractors, active headrests, huge side intrusion bars, burst proof doors, thick metal skin, ABS EBD TCS and a proper 5 star crash rating that beats many cars 10 years younger.

The Aero sedan is different in so many ways too. A serious contender in the traffic light GP and overtaking sees other cars positively shrink in the rear-view mirror. It looks great (see avatar), goes hard, and makes me smile every time I put the key into the ignition with my left hand. Sure, it is always saying, 'let's go!' and the suspension is a tad too taught over the choppy stuff, but it corners magically. Track days see the car pushed hard and it is always quick around the course. This car does not feel like a front-driver and I love the way the engine and gearbox ECUs chat to each other, adapting to my driving style. Put decent fuel in it and you do the car a favour.

Understanding this car early on took some time and it is all in the throttle application you use. To get the most from this car requires a certain understanding of the way it was engineered in the factory. Do it right and there is a decent reward for you. There is no torque steer and next to no turbo lag either. Stylish, well equipped and it surprises many who ride with me, for many reasons.


idlerider

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #3 on: 03 July 2011, 01:03:15 PM »
Years ago, we had a 900 combi turbo (the very early one, with no lights on the tailgate) and absolutely loved it. So when we were looking for something a bit nicer than our old Volvo V40, I was encouraged to see loads of good reviews for the the 9-5, although everyone said "avoid the Aero". However, when you live out in the long grass, you have to have what's available for your money - and that turned out to be a 80k mile, 2003 Aero estate, bought this February from a well-regarded main dealer for 4K. It had a few soft dents here and there and the usual Xenon sensor gone, corroded wing mirrors, shot rear suspension bushes/shocks and cracked shark fin aerial. But the comfort, quietness and staggering performance were a revelation.

After we'd had it a few weeks and checked on these forums (fora?) I discovered that this one seems to have every option offered, apart from the roll-out boot floor: sensing wipers, fold and sensing dip mirrors, leather memory seats, wood dash, Xenon lights, upgraded stereo, ESP, TrafficMaster, etc. Next step is for our local indy to drop the sump and fit the new breather kit. It sometimes feels that owning an Aero is like driving an unexploded bomb but we'll keep our fingers crossed and so far, it's looking like the best car we've ever owned (hmmm... possibly apart from my BMW 635csi - utterly beautiful but completely impractical).

Living here, with our roads, fuel economy is something you only read about but the Aero usually manages about 29-30mpg, which is a bit better than the old 1.8 Volvo - and with a lot more style!
« Last Edit: 03 July 2011, 07:04:57 PM by Pelorus »

Saabotage

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #4 on: 03 July 2011, 07:42:35 PM »
Hi Chaps

Thanks for the invite!

For those that haven't met me, I have had quite a introduction to 9-5's over the last four years. I bought Blackun 2lt lpt

just about four years ago this month.

I've had another three since! Redun was bought as a breaker with some shiny bits! She got broken :(

So be it.

Next in line was Aero of the 2002 variety.

My latest motor is Madame Hellga a 2007 model Aero.

I would advise all potential buyers to look at the car with the highest spec that they want to buy.

Blackun was cheap. Then she cost lots of beans to upgrade. (Electric Leather, New Turbo, PCV,  Sump Drop etc)

My only grumble is that Hellga is starting to fall to bits. She is not even five years old and only 38,000 miles.. 

Go  look at a few...Buy!

And then main thingy....

ENJOY!! 8)

Kev_Mc

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #5 on: 03 July 2011, 07:58:34 PM »
Welcome to STT Saabotage  :)

steventon95

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #6 on: 04 July 2011, 03:58:21 PM »
In my early days, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, we had a 96 two stroke (four gallons and a pint of oil for a quid), later on a a 96 V4 and a  5-door 900. After that went into Company Car mode for a long time, but post-retirement, we have gone 95 Estate. Now on the third one, all bought for modest money ...

Why 95 Estate? Primarily need a good motorway barge and load lugger ... descendents in York, cottage in France etc etc.

First one was a 2.0 petrol automatic, black with cream leather, mafia staff car. No real problems, except got a free new ignition cartridge at some point.

Second was a 3.0TID with a new engine which seemed a good idea at the time but turned out to be a pain in the fundament. Also SWMBO disliked the sporty seats and 17-inch wheels / sports suspension.

Present one is a silver 2.2TID which I bought as a stop-gap when I got really annoyed with the 3.0TID. Now on 172000 miles, had a rear suspension sortout last year, but it just seems to keep trundling on. A bit rattly on start-up, but 45 mpg on the motorway. SID is OK with one pixel out.

What's to like? Big load space, comfortable seats, comedy cupholder, and driving position that suits my podgy old frame.

What's not to like? Space saver spare, replaced rapidly by a real one from Fleabay. Essential for continental travel. Flimsy estate load cover (outrageous replacement cost). Tendency to eat rear tyres (wear on inside edge)

microbe

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SAAB 9-5 2005 2.2TiD Estate
« Reply #7 on: 04 July 2011, 08:53:06 PM »
Hi All,

this is the first Saab I have owned and got it at 2 years old from a salvage yard as a stolen recovered with no keys. I left my tale of how to get it going on the old site, but it was fraught with difficulties and dealing with the dark side of the automotive world.

Anyway, what would I advise a prospective buyer - it's a solid well built car and very comfortable. It averages about 40 to 45 MPG and will cruise beyond the UK speed limit all day. Being a Saab it gets comments about being upmarket as compared to a Vauxhall Vectra. The fact that there are so many common spares amuses me!

The bad bits - needed a new EGR valve at 3 years old and that took a bit of time to sort out, but relaced it myself once I worked out what the problem was. The inside storage is poor and we never have enough space for CD's wipes and all the usual tat. Reversing is difficult as the visibilty is not great, but we haven't hit anything yet!

Would I have another? Not sure. The 2.2 TiD is OK but not the greatest diesel engine for response. The resale values are poor, so it always a cheap buy, but a cheap sell as well. My need was for a nearly new diesel estate at the lowest possible price that would last some time. On that basis I have not regretted the purchase.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: 04 July 2011, 09:04:24 PM by microbe »

Norfolk Jim

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #8 on: 05 July 2011, 02:27:58 PM »
Well this is my 5th Saab having migrated from Volvo due to poor fuel consumption.

My first was a 9000cSEi (non turbo) manual 2.0 which was in white but superb condition and enjoyable ride. Nice to look at but had plastic wheel trims...............had no trouble selling that as I'd found my first Abbott car. This was an 'N' reg 9000cSE auto 2.0 turbo in black with black leather that Abbott took to 195hp. I really loved this car and that was now about 6 years ago and I still see the chap who bought it in Norwich - still shines great and no trouble. I hankered for more go and arrived at Abbotts again and got my first Aero. This was an L Reg black auto with Carlsson alloys and every extra. We did suspension, brakes, exhaust del & intact pipes and ECU and nearly all they did taking it to 285 hp. It flew but alas SWIMBO wouldn't travel in it as ride was too hard even on softest setting!

Sold that for good money and got my first 9-5. It was one of the first estates being a 2.3tSE 'T' Reg on frost grey. This had every extra (you name it and it had it)including self levelling suspension, loading floor, vented electric seats etc. Removable Saab towbar, roof bars, CD changer etc. The whole works. Loved the comfort of this car which went to Abbotts who remapped to 225hp. Put 65k on it but sadly had to have engine rebuild - sludge. Sold it to young musician guy up north with 198k on it and its still going with near 250k on it so Abbotts rebuild did it good.

NOw for last 2 years 2003 9-5 auto Aero estate which I love to bits - even if it has been a pain at times.

Would I buy another Saab - you tell me! ;)

Geoff1951

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #9 on: 07 July 2011, 09:12:32 PM »
Regular readers have heard this before. Bought my 2.3 lpt auto Vector saloon in late 2005, at 10 months old with 13k on the clock, after 6 unhappy months with a 2.0t 9-3. Nearly 6 years later it's done 93k. More miles and months than any other motor I've owned in over 40 years driving. (Can't believe I'm 60 in December!).

It's had Hirsch tuning and suspension, new turbo including precautionary sumpdrop, throttle body, DI cassette, Michelin tyres around every 15k, (average, backs last much longer than fronts), new pads all round twice, new front discs, a new battery today (89), still on original exhaust. Gives me around 26mpg.

Alloy wheels showing their age. A little shopping trolley rash. A new front wing when a BMW X5 drove into me 2 years ago. A new windscreen following a big stone chip caused an MOT failure.

Bad point?  The stereo is rubbish. But it takes cassettes, hooray! Good point? I can drive 250 miles nonstop and not feel in need of a chiropractor afterwards.

The 9-5 is not perfect. Peugeots and Citroens from the 70's and 80's rode better. It doesn't handle like my 1967 Mini, nor my 1990 peugeot 309GTI.
It's not cheap to insure. I wish it used less fuel.

BUT, BUT, taking everything, everything, into account, it's the best car I've used from a Mk1 Viva to a Mercedes S Class.

sean treacy

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #10 on: 10 July 2011, 06:03:42 PM »
well,what can i say,back in 1985 bought my first saab,a black 99 3 door turbo my1980 and in its day what a car.turbo charging then was very rare and there on was smitten with saab,s.from then i had 3 900 turbo,s a gm 900 turbo which if i am honest was not so good.then i went on to my first 9-5 griffin which now belongs to my brother(steve treacy)but during ownership of the griffin i bought a 9000 aero originaly to sell on but fell in love with it on the drive home so sold the 9-5 and kept the 9000 aero which in my opinion was a great car but having 2 children age was against the 9000 and she had rust in not so good places so out went the 9000 aero and in came my first 9-5 aero wagon which brings me to why the 9-5 at present is best.after a 9000 i needed some thing the same size for practicality and the 9-3 is just too small for my family and was advised by my local indie to go for the 9-5.i then sold the aero wagon and now have a 9-5 manual saloon aero.i have stuck to the aero,s as i love that mid range grunt especialy with the manual and all in all they are still great value for money as long as you treat them like a baby and give them all they need.overall the 9-5 aero is in my opinion a good all round car.

Geoff1951

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #11 on: 11 July 2011, 06:23:54 PM »

..the 9-5 aero is in my opinion a good all round car.

And that's why I wish I'd gone for an Aero in the first place.


By the by, I drove an acquaintance on a 35 mile trip this afternoon. She's on her second Merc SLK (the small sports convertible) and also uses her husband's Audi A6 and BMW 3, plus other similar cars besides in the past. Very impressed by the Saab's cabin comfort and functionality. And the Parrot hands-free.
And no, not just being polite.
And no, I didn't drive to impress her.

Norfolk Jim

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #12 on: 13 July 2011, 09:47:29 AM »
You'll have one one day Geoff. I got mine in the end!

Geoff1951

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #13 on: 13 July 2011, 10:43:42 PM »
Cheers Jim - but I think only if I'd won last night's Euromillions.

G.

Norfolk Jim

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Re: Review your classic Saab 9-5 (M98-10)
« Reply #14 on: 14 July 2011, 04:45:13 PM »
Did you see that Geoff - I just thanked you...........golly gosh.............

Let me think - you'd buy Saab itself???? Or would you pay off the Beckham woman to go back where she came from?