One way that the Saab 9-5 differs from the Saab 9-3 is that it comes in just one trim, whereas the 9-3 comes in two (based on engine size). This lone trim can be upgraded with the Aero Package of options, which adds sportier characteristics but does not change the engine.
That engine is a 4-cylinder, 2.3-liter turbocharged plant that produces 260 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Its EPA-rated fuel economy of up to 20 city and 30 highway is acceptable. The motor features Saab's Trionic Engine Management controls fuel injection, ignition timing, boost pressure control, and electronic throttle control. A 5-speed manual gearbox is the default, and there's an optional 5-speed automatic transmission, too.
Since this is a luxury sedan, many nice amenities come standard: leather seating surfaces with heaters for both rows, a cabin air filter, a power moonroof, dual-zone auto climate control, 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with 3-position memory, tinted heat-absorbant glass, side-window de-misters, and all-season tires on 17-inch, spoked alloy wheels.
Safety received major attention in the design of this automobile, and it comes with features that help to maintain the driverÃ¢Â?Â?s control (ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, traction control, Electronic Stability Control) and features that help the car to see and be seen (side-mounted directional lights, halogen headlights, front and rear fog lamps, daytime running lights, headlamp washers).
Passengers are protected by the Pendulum B-Pillar, which is constructed of high-tensile steel that works with the sills and crossbars to absorb impact energy before it reaches the occupants. Active head restraints and all types of air bags are in place, as is a load-shift barrier that keeps trunk cargo from entering the passenger cabin when there's a frontal impact. All models of the 9-5 have done very well in government crash-testing.
Other nice touches within this car are the dark walnut interior wood, a Night Panel instrument display that reduces distraction for driving after-dark, and a Harman-Kardon audio system with 200-watt amp, 9 speakers and 2 subwoofers; has steering wheel-mounted controls and volume that adjusts with the speed (it is also mp3-compatible and comes with 6-CD in-dash changer and XM Satellite Radio).
Again, a separate Aero trim is not available as such, but the Aero Package of options can be added to upgrade the 2.3T. That package includes a lowered (by 10mm), sport-tuned chassis for increased handling and stability, and firmer shocks and springs to improve cornering, braking, and accelerating. Inside the seating is notched up to sport leather, and there's tinted chrome trim on the inside door panels that also appears outside on the fascia. Best of all, all buyers and lessees of Aero-upgraded 9-5s are welcomed to the Saab Aero Academy, a two-day, hands-on class in performance driving that is held in Atlanta.
You may also add the 60th Anniversary Package, which celebrates Saab's milestone with exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint (including Ice Blue not otherwise available), unique leather seats with embossed logo and contrasting inserts and stitching, and the Visibility Package (xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, Saab Park Assist, auto-dimming outside mirrors), which can also be added separately. Individual options that are available, besides the aforementioned automatic transmission, are a DVD-based navigation system and OnStar technology.