Saab 9-5 in the test. Amazing: In Trollhättan still good cars are built

The Sueddeutsche has taken up the Saab topic. Saab also builds cars and does not always just crisis. In addition to one Report on the Saab 99 there is also a recent test of the Saab 9-5. If, like us, we no longer like to hear the issue of liquidity and financing, here is a really worth reading Saab test.

The South Germans write:

Amazing: In Trollhättan still good cars are built: on the road with the large Saab sedan 9-5.


The car manufacturer Saab likes to boast of its shared past with the aircraft factory of the same name. And it's true - there is a traditional connection here, which, starting with the Saab 96 racing ball with its two-stroke engine, has always been incorporated into the shape of the vehicles. It is still clearly visible in the company's youngest car, the 2009-9 model, which was introduced in autumn 5 but is only now gradually coming onto the market.

There is the very round snout, the sloping, analogously shaped windshield, the roof that is pulled forward and also very round, which transforms the passengers in the front seats into pilots, and the long sloping line of the entire body that tapers towards the rear.

This building reminds of the most famous fighter of this manufacturer, to the Hunter J-29 from 1948, also called the “flying barrel” – or, because airplanes often look like fish, the wolffish with its ball-shaped head and its stretched body. The car isn't necessarily pretty, but it sits low and straddling the road.


It's big, even for the rear seat passengers, it carries the beltline high and the side windows low, which makes it look durable. It appears strong and, yes, elegant, and less aggressive than the competition, which always seems to want to cater to the equally vulnerable and winning self-confidence of the average department head in the middle of his career.

Anyone who has perceived the many crises that this manufacturer has had to experience in recent years and that have by no means endured, must be amazed that this car even exists. And much more: that it is so good.

It feels heavy and stable on the road, but steers easily and precisely like a sports car. It takes a long time for small roads with tight curves to become an effort, and when you want to go straight straight, the car reacts more calmly to bumps than most left-lane slingshots.

The vehicle is quiet, so quiet that you constantly underestimate the speed, you sit on firm but comfortable cushions, there is space everywhere, but nothing is soft, disordered or excessive. The car is fast anyway, after all it has 220 hp, although the turbocharger is a particular pleasure - which you then notice when it comes to fuel consumption.


Previous Saab models occasionally made an unfinished impression when they came onto the market. On the second 900, for example, the windshield wipers sometimes lifted when the car drove faster than 150 km/h, the early 9-5 tended to buck if it was driven too often on short distances, and in general the tugging was always part of the too strong Motors on the steering are one of the fundamental characteristics of a Saab.

All of these shortcomings have disappeared, the latter perhaps also because of the four-wheel drive. And it's a mystery how Saab, a company that probably has to worry far more about its financing gaps than it can care about quality controls, can put such a mature, finished car on the road. But apparently not all of the good engineers have left the small factory in Trollhättan, and the ambition appears to be unbroken.

It's strange how easily a Saab can be distinguished within a group of vehicles of similar size, similar design and similar technical equipment. Perhaps there are standards for this that cannot be grasped using the usual models: Of course, it is easy to come up with the formal borrowings from airplanes and the Scandinavian design, the tidy and functional interior design. And the quiet rattle of the four-cylinder engine is also typical of the brand.

But there are other characteristics that the driver notices but doesn't think about: For example, you can clearly see when the turbocharger kicks in. The fact that you perceive technology as such is only one thing. The other thing is that such a device suddenly seems like something luxuriously inventive, like the virtuoso trick of a superior designer.

And someone must have measured and thought very carefully when they placed the armrest exactly where the elbow of a medium-sized driver sits, when they designed the inner door handle like a large eyelet into which two curling fingers fit exactly - and when he gave this car the roof that was pulled forward, which arches over the driver and front passenger like a protective umbrella, so that you feel safe and yet look boldly ahead.

Maybe it's your imagination: wealth, consideration and a cautiously enthusiastic relationship to technical modernity seem to be in balance in this car, and it may even be that these relationships are also reflected in the way you drive such a car, quickly , but never unreasonable - well, that's probably going too deep into aesthetic speculation. But one can still say that the driver always has the feeling that he is the one driving and that he has been given responsibility for something rare.

One obstacle remains: consumption. The car can hardly move under ten liters per hundred kilometers - and if it did, it wouldn't be appropriate for it. This is due to the technology with that very turbocharger. But there should still be a diesel engine with a two-stage turbocharger that burns barely more than half, and this one with four-wheel drive - and wasn't there also a station wagon announced, one that would accommodate the already large trunk (with the ones that fold forward Rear seats) expanded again, so that two double basses on the loading area should no longer be a problem?

Yes, of course, at the moment people in Trollhättan seem to have no money at all again - but shouldn't so much tenacity, so much taste and so much skill have to be rewarded one day?

Source: South German

Pictures: Saab Automobile