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Displaying 21 - 23 of 2001 Saab 9-5 23 reviews.

2001 Saab 9-5 Base WagonReview
ophelious writes:
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Interior Noise:
Maintenance Cost:

Quirky Car That's Fun To Drive But Is An Endless Cash Suck-hole —

As far as station wagons go, the Saab 9-5 is not so bad looking. They look pretty sharp. There are plenty of ways to haul things, from the cargo area, to putting the seats down, to using the roof racks. The glove box even runs to the AC to keep things cool if you want to. They use a nice paint that seems to hold up well. At almost 200 HP, it accelerates quite well, though it's heavy and you'll spin the tires from a standstill. The inside is very comfortable, great for long rides. It handles fairly well, and with all the glass visibility is very good. It gets about 19 MPG in the city and 26 on the highway. You can get even more HP if you opt for something other than the base model. The stereo, if it has the HK upgrade, is very good, and even has a powered sub-woofer. Unfortunately, there is no reasonable way to upgrade the head unit and keep the speakers/amp. It's a package deal. If you change out the stereo/speakers/amp, expect a headache. The only weird thing is the use of an extra speaker in the middle of the dash, which I would think mess up the stereo soundscape. I think it's there to be used as part of the hands-free phone or onstar system, but sound comes out of it when the radio is on (though it seems to be at a lesser volume) and that's just weird to me. This is a good car for snowy conditions. It is heavy and solid feeling, with lots of airbags. The ABS/Traction Control system seems to work, and there is a "winter" setting on the transmission to keep your tires from spinning when getting rolling. I would love the car based on these things (safety, comfort, power) but instead I almost hate it. The reason why is because it breaks down. A lot. I know it's a 2001, but mine only has 80,000 miles on it so you'd think it would hold up better. From the lighting (there are millions of tiny little proprietary bulbs that make everything glow) to bigger things. Common issues are for the turbo to start failing (mine started crapping out at about 75,000 miles, and I belch blue smoke whenever I start it,) for the battery in the alarm system to fail (like mine has, and it's soldered into a board behind the wheel,) for the SID screen to stop working (it's the little display that, ironically, tells you what's wrong with the car) and for the "blend doors" in the climate control system to stop working (meaning your vents won't work right.) All of these things have happened on my car, and I've only driven it about 7500 miles since I bought it. I've also gone through three stereos (the first stopped playing CD's, the second went up with a wisp of smoke), and you have to take them to the SAAB dealer to have them activated for supposed security reasons. My transmission is also a bit wonky, and by wonky I mean that the neutral safety switch has failed and it's leaking fluid from the torque converter. In short, it's F'd. Many of the plastic trim parts inside have broken, and my front defroster doesn't work (air just blows into the dash.) The rear wiper works only when it wants to, and then only at weird times when the switch isn't on. The taillights have had the seals fail and they get water in them when it rains, water that never goes away. They remain filled up like little fish tanks. The car is a huge pain in the keester. A big thing to consider is the PCV system. The original 9-5 4 cylinders (I don't think it was on the 6) had a poorly designed PCV system that, for complicated reasons, led to oil being "cooked" by the turbocharger. This resulted in gloppy particles that look like coffee grounds, ones too large to make it past the strainer to the oil filter. These will gum up the strainer, clog tiny holes, and choke the life out of your engine. Compound this with Saab telling people they only had to change their oil every 7,000 miles or so and you end up with engine sludge. I had my pan removed for cleaning and it was pretty gross (about $200, if I recall.) I replaced the PVC system with an updated version from Saab myself (a chore, but only about $50 if I remember) to keep the problem from happening again. You also have to use synthetic oil to reduce the likelihood of future gummage. Mid-grade gas, too, is needed for it to perform correctly. You are really supposed to use premium (I think the octane requirement is 90) but mid-grade (at 89) is closer and cheaper than premium (at 92). You can use regular, but performance suffers. Overall, I wish I hadn't bought this car for a high price, only to have have Saab go bankrupt and see the value plummet. I wish I hadn't bought this car because it doesn't run right, and the Saab guy gets $90 an hour to look at it. The Saab parts division is separate and still operating, so getting parts is still possible. Overall, though I have a soft spot in my heart for Saab, they did me wrong with this car. Does all this mean that you shouldn't buy a Saab 9-5? I only mention all my specific problems to give you an impression of overall Saab quality control. If you find a good deal on a Saab, just make sure you get it looked at by a mechanic. Of course, mine was looked at by a mechanic and all these problems were ones he either didn't notice or occurred after I bought it. In short, in my opinion, Saab is dead as a car company. The only people who should be buying Saab are those who are nostalgic and want an old 900 from the heyday of Saab. If you buy a Saab, you will pay $$$ and then not be able to find parts when it breaks because the company is essentially gone. **NOTE: I couldn't afford to repair this car and sold it at auction. I got $900 for it. That means I took a $5000+ bath in the space of about a year. The mechanic wanted $1000 to replace the turbo and another $1000 to fix the transmission leak. $250 for the rear wiper and $350 for the neutral safety switch. $500 to fix the blend doors. And that didn't touch the other issues. Did I mention I wouldn't touch another Saab with a 12 foot torque wrench?

Primary Use: Family transportation

Pros: 1. Comfortable (mine is leather...don't know about cloth)
2. Plenty of room for people and things
3. Built in booster seats for the back seats
4. Harmon Kardon Stereo sounds great
5. Turbo
6. Superior paint
7. Heated seats
8. Traction control
9. Luxurious styling
10. Nice sunroof
11. Advanced climate control with separate vents for rear seats
12. Rear seat armrest with cup holders.

Cons: 1. Things break all the time
2. Expensive to have fixed
3. Great stereo, but impossible to upgrade without rewiring the car
4. Engine sludge issues
5. Have to use at least mid-grade gas
6. With the bankruptcy, it's getting harder to find new parts

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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2001 Saab 9-5 SE WagonReview
Mark writes:
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Maintenance Cost:

New Second Saab — Recently acquired to replace an old Saab 900S hatchback. Very comfortable, lots of load space, performance good rather than great. Car is one owner with full saab service history. Its an Auto with leather, climate control etc. Condition is excellent for a 130,000 mile car which cost only £2100. Fuel consumption seems ok.

Pros: Comfort, good mid- range acceleration, load space

Cons: Not the prettiest Saab

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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2001 Saab 9-5 Review
maxthecat says:
these are great fast ultra safe cars.
vs1999 Honda Civic DX Hatchback
2001 Saab 9-5 winning categories:
  • Power
  • Handling
  • Looks/Style
  • Front Seats
  • Back Seats
  • Cargo Capacity
  • Family Car
  • Value
  • Would Buy
Handling Ranked 1999 Honda Civic DX Hatchback worse.
"the saab is an all out sports car"
Family Car Ranked 1999 Honda Civic DX Hatchback worse.
"more room and safer"
Is this review helpful? Yes | No

Displaying 21 - 23 of 2001 Saab 9-5 23 reviews.

Reviews From Other Years

2011 Saab 9-5 Reviews

Review By Guru275PX

This is a type of car that you can’t find with decent conditions in the market. I have spent at least 8 months to search for these car S, but I have to give it up. Read More

Review By Urmikant

It’s a great car with all bells and whistles. Except forward collision braking system. Back up camera is also a desirable feature which is not available. Read More

2010 Saab 9-5 Reviews

Review By high_speed

Fantastic automobile, and quite unique. Great mix of style and performance. Its such a shame that GM killed this historic brand. Read More

Review By Guru9D8TTJ

Safest car GM ever built. This model had a sophisticated AWD system which was ahead of its time. The car is roomy, has the most comfortable seats in its class and a host of technically advanced fea... Read More

2009 Saab 9-5 Reviews

Super Saab By saabs4ever

love it, i finally found a garage that can fix it this car is awesome i can say anything bad about it The fuel mileage is great, fun to drive, safe as can be. overall a great car. saab forever Read More

2008 Saab 9-5 Reviews

Would Like To Own It But... By Mshash

This drives beautifully and gets great milege on my weekly commute to Boston 33MPH on the Mass pike. there is nothing negative I can say about this car except that we are selling it. It is fun to dr... Read More

Slightly Pricey, But Great Performance By Lee

Beautiful, fast, and smooth. The 2.3 engine puts out 265hp, and the turbo has little to no lag. Smooth performance anywhere in the RPM range. Read More

2007 Saab 9-5 Reviews

Review By dleesac

The Saab is not comparable to any other car. It is unique and wonderful to drive. I wish Saab cars continued to be marketed in the USA. Read More

It Moves With Stealth By classic_001

SAAB swedish engineering at its best , a reliably engineerd vehicle with a safety rating comparable to Volvo a really spacious family sedan that glides down the road with very little road noise like ... Read More


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