2002 Saab 9-5 Overview


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2002 Saab 9-5 Overview

The 2002 model year brings several mechanical enhancements and trim level adjustments to Saab's mid-size sedan. Most revisions focus on the 9-5's performance. Highlights include more responsive steering, a new electronic traction control system, improved suspension, and more horsepower on the sporty Aero models. Saab has also added an adaptive front airbag system and an optional five-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.3t and SE trim names have been dropped. The base level 9-5 is now called the Linear, and the mid-level model has been renamed the Arc. The top tier Aero trim returns with the same name. All three trims are available with both the sedan and wagon bodies. Despite several notable improvements, the 9-5 prices changed little between 2001 and 2002.

There are three engines available with the 9-5, and all are dependent on the trim level. The Linear houses a 2.3 liter inline four, turbocharged for 185 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Arc inherits the SE's 3.0 liter V-6, which generates 200 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. Like the Linear, the sporty Aero is powered by a 2.3 liter four cylinder engine, but a more powerful turbo produces 250 horsepower, up 20 horses from 2001, and 258 pound-feet of torque here. Linear and Aero buyers can choose between a five-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic transmission. The Arc's V-6 can only be paired with the five-speed automatic.

Saab's 9-3 and 9-5 sedans and wagons continue to receive considerable praise for strong fuel economy, considering the ample power supply. The 2.3 liter-powered 9-5s have EPA estimates of 20/30 for the automatic and 21/31 mpg for the manual. The less efficient Arc gets 18 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Drivers report mixed driving miles-per-gallon in the low to mid 20s.

The 9-5 has also been acclaimed for its new and improved automatic transmission, responsive steering, solid handling, and abundant cabin room. The 9-5 continues to earn low marks for value-in-class and reliability. Reviewers have commented that Saab's sedan now seems a bit antiquated compared to steadily emerging European competitors, and owners continue to caution prospective buyers about the frequency, cost and frustrations associated with Saab service. However, the 9-5 still offers a unique interior and exterior design, which continues to attract new buyers.


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