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2008 Saab 9-5 Overview

Following Saab's jet airplane analogy, which the automaker frequently uses to describe the design of its cars, we'll refer to the 2008 Saab 9-5 as in a holding pattern. Since its introduction for the 1999 model year, the 9-5 has retained the same basic exterior and interior design, although it did receive a minor design refresh in 2006. And with a full redesign scheduled for 2009 (or perhaps even 2010), the '08 version of the 9-5 changes little from the previous year.

Fortunately, the 2008 9-5, while not cutting edge, doesn't seem too dated. Available in a single trim, the 2.3T, the 9-5 features aerodynamic headlights, a three-port front grille, and clean, simple lines. A 260-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine drives the 9-5, though some critics note that the engine's exhaust note fails to inspire. Still, the engine moves the sedan along quickly enough, with decent fuel economy. The engine links to either a five-speed manual shifter or an optional five-speed Sentronic automatic transmission.

Despite the lack of a fresh design, the 9-5 comes nicely equipped with such features as a power moonroof, leather-appointed seats that are heated in the front, a six-disc in-dash CD player, dual-zone automatic climate control, XM satellite radio, and OnStar.

Two other features might make the 9-5 an attractive purchase for car shoppers. A 100,000-mile warranty inspires confidence in the vehicle's quality, while no-charge scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles certainly adds a nice bonus.

The 9-5 also excels in safety features, with active head restraints, a full range of air bags, and traction and stability control. In addition, the 9-5 has done very well in government crash testing in past years.

Updated by Anonymous

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