With Saab now under new ownership from Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker, their future looks promising. Saab’s new 9-5 has been a long time coming, it’s been almost 13 years since the last ground-up model was introduced, has it been worth the wait?
From the outside this new 9-5 is sleek and aerodynamic, the wraparound windscreen is similar to a jet’s cockpit windscreen, the roof flows rearward from the windscreen and slopes downwards into large angled c-pillars. Inside, the first thing that’s apparent is the sense of space, both up front and for rear passengers the 9-5 is exceptionally spacious and scores really well in this department. Within the main dials facing the driver is an aircraft instrument-style speedometer, similar to an altimeter in a plane’s cockpit. To further enhance Saab’s aviation credentials, an optional heads-up-display in the windscreen is available.
Regrettably, the 160hp diesel engine is sluggish when accelerating from low speeds, while you wait for the revs to increase and come into the engine’s narrow power band. This is somewhat frustrating around town, but once at motorway speeds the 9-5 comes into its own. Switch the cruise control on, sit back and relax as the kilometres pass with ease, it’s an immensely comfortable long distance tourer.
My 2.0 TiD test car was the Vector model which is priced at €39,500 and sits in tax band B, thus entitling you to a modest €156 annual road tax. There is a 2.0 TTiD available which produces 190hp and is available across three trim levels, from Linear at €40,500 to the top of the range Aero model which will set you back €48,770.
Saab’s all-new 9-5 is a fine car, I did enjoy driving it, however it’s still got a little way to go to match its main rivals from BMW and Audi.[table “39” not found /]