Purchase advice Saab 9-5 NG. Part 1

In the next few weeks it will be three years since the last generation of Saab 9-5 new generation limousines rolled off the line in Sweden. With the expiring leasing contracts, Saab fans and friends of individual mobility have the chance to secure first-hand a large Saab sedan. Because a successor will not exist in the medium term.

SAAB 9-5 NG Aero Sedan
SAAB 9-5 NG Aero Sedan

In cooperation with the Saab partners in Bamberg and Kiel we have created a comprehensive purchase advice. At its launch, the new Saab was considered the finest alternative in the upper middle class, which has changed little. The 9-5 still has its very own flair and features, which are only available with this vehicle.

Even 4 years after the debut, it can happen to the 9-5 driver that passers-by pull out their cameras when they see the large sedan from Trollhättan. The Saab is so rare! For people who can't do much with the brand - and we're talking about the vast majority - the LED light bar at the rear and the ice-blue front headlights are still eye-catchers. With the 9-5, many features of the Aero X study have made it into series production. Passengers taking a seat in large Sweden for the first time are delighted with the line speedometer, which cites aircraft heritage.

With the new 9-5 generation, the Saab designers had finally shown courage again and long overdue and went their own way. DNA that was believed to be lost has been breathed new life into Swedish design.

A little miracle ... that this car even exists.

It's actually a miracle that the 9-5 NG sedan came onto the market at all. First it should have been built by Opel in Rüsselsheim. The works council there, in disagreement with its colleagues in Sweden, campaigned for it. In fact, the first 6.000 bodies were pressed in Hesse and transported to Sweden in 2010 for assembly in the Saab plant, which is now owned by Spyker.

The sedans of the 2010 model year are therefore all without a sunroof and of Hessian - Swedish origin, since Opel only produced this one variant. Only from the 2011 model year, recognizable by the B as the eighth position from the right in the VIN, did the 9-5 become a 100% Swede, and the body came from the press shop in Trollhättan.

The 9-5 came onto the market hastily, caused by the tragic events surrounding the small brand, and went through its maturation process in the first months of production. 2011 models show an astonishing degree of maturity and are therefore always preferable to a 2010 model.

SAAB 9-5 NG sedan
SAAB 9-5 NG sedan

Body - endless space

With the 9-5, Saab was back in 2010 where it had started in 1984 with the 9000 and was also in 1997 with the 9-5: with a competitive product in the upper middle class. This had changed a lot in the past few years. Companies such as Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat have withdrawn from this segment. The offer for individualists has become manageable.

The market is dominated by the premium trio from Germany. A monoculture, which makes it somehow boring to yawn. With a length of more than 5 meters, the 9-5 fits exactly into the spectrum of Audi A6, BMW 5er and Mercedes E-Class. The rear entry is not optimal for taller people due to the retracted, almost coupé-like roofline. Nevertheless, Saab has done the trick, that even big people in the rear have enough headroom, and the interior compensates for the difficult entry with feudal space.

One of the strengths of the sedan from Trollhättan is to travel in comfort; the interior noise is low. The feeling of space is excellent, as Saab - contrary to the trend - has relied on relatively steep side windows. Clarity is not a strength of the 9-5, but the competitors are no better. Nevertheless, the 5-meter load also fits through the narrowest parking garage, I involuntarily tried it out with a pre-production vehicle in Berlin and survived without scratching the paint.

Useful are the parking sensors on the bow and stern, which can be used in such situations as an auxiliary instrument for centimeter-accurate navigation. For the 9-5 they are mandatory, so you should pay attention when buying. There are also variants that have the parking sensor only in the rear, which is not a good thing.

Center console in 2012er design
Center console in 2012er design

Features: Linear - puristic Scandinavian.

While a Linear in Germany usually means basic equipment and was rarely sold, this variant was popular in other European countries. There, from a tax point of view, the basic price counts, and the vehicles were often well equipped.

In Sweden, most linears have xenon and fog lights, parking assistance and cruise control, while in Germany there are vehicles with halogen light. Who are then otherwise naked. Halogen variants also lack the LED signatures, the vehicles are also visually less attractive. The fabric seats in Linear do not deserve any recommendation and have nothing to do with what we expect at Saab.

Nevertheless, even a linear has its own specific appeal. Because linear means Saab Design in its most puristic execution and is therefore probably the Scandinavian design line.

Features: Vector - the golden mean.

Most vehicles on the market are the same Vector Equipment and are then equipped with partial leather seats. The seating is acceptable, but it is recommended to look for a model with comfort or sports seats. Often the navigation system is missing in these models, but this does not have to be an exclusion criterion. Because the right workshop equips with manageable effort from the monochrome display to the large navigation system.

It is always advisable to take a very close look at the vehicle of your choice. Because almost every little thing at Saab had to pay separately, the list of surcharges was long. There are also vehicles that do not have things that are taken for granted, such as heated seats.

Features: Aero - more is not possible.

The Aero Variant is the top version at Saab, and the vehicles are recognizable by the dynamically shaped front mask and the visible tailpipes at the rear. While the designation Aero always stood for the strongest engine variant with earlier model series, it is more than equipment level to be seen with the last 9-5 generation. Eros are usually very well equipped and have the sports suspension in series. The 6-Zylinder variants have the HiperStrut suspension and always have four-wheel drive and 6-gear automatic.

While only the 6 cylinders on the German market had the HiperStrut chassis, in other European countries the suspension could also be combined with 4 cylinder engines.

With few exceptions, Aeros always have the highly recommended sports seats and the color display in the speedometer as standard. Not every aero is always fully equipped, even if the vehicles are often advertised in advertisements. Because here too, features such as navigation and Bluetooth were on the surcharge list. Saab was petty at 9-5 with all the nice amenities.

Each variant has its charm, and it depends solely on personal taste, whether one decides on a Linear, Vector or Aero.

Saab 9 5 NG Bio Power
Saab 9 5 NG Bio Power

Engines: diesel, ethanol or gasoline. 4 or 6 cylinders.

1.6T Turbo4:

The smallest machine and relatively seldom represented. Still a good engine with very good smoothness. It's always hard to imagine that this little engine can really set the big 9-5 NG in motion. But he can! He is not a powerhouse, and the Saab does not become an athlete.

But for calmer natures he is sufficient, the Saab becomes a glider. The reward is moderate consumption in the mix. With a little performance cure, not by Hirsch Performance, the car runs really well. The engine is considered quite insensitive and is therefore recommended. The 1.6 T is only available with manual transmission.

2.0T Turbo4 / 2.0T BioPower

This engine is in our opinion the buy recommendation for the 9-5 NG and represents the Saab philosophy of the supercharged 4 cylinder. Both as a BioPower and as a normal Turbo4 makes the machine really fun and provides moderate consumption. The running culture is great, the engine sounds like Saab, if you listen carefully. No wonder, he was also developed in Trollhättan.

With E85, the 9-5 is more economical in the BioPower version than in the previous version. Nevertheless, one should expect 20% more consumption, which pays off at the current prices.

The absolute Funfaktor develops, if one grants the machine a deer achievement increase. Then the proverbial "Wolf in sheep's clothing" unfolds. Coupled with the Hirsch exhaust system, this combination can even make the Turbo X competition in terms of sound. The engine is quite maintenance-free and has not yet attracted attention. To drive really well with both automatic and manual transmission. Automatic is the recommendation.

2.8 T V6 XWD

The V6 is a nice rounding off to the top. The engine runs great and the power delivery is great. However, the 6-cylinder is significantly more thirsty than the in-line four-cylinder, and the owner can expect an average consumption of 12,5 liters. The V6 is only available as XWD all-wheel drive and is always coupled to the 6-speed automatic transmission.

With the 6-cylinder you can enjoy the advantages of the HiperStrut chassis. This chassis makes a clear difference to the normal chassis, but is reserved for the 2.8T in German model variants.

With the 6 cylinder, there is the ugly word of timing chain elongation. This then requires an engine revision, which can cost some 1.000 euros. Or a new engine, because the drive units are currently cheap. Most of the damage occurs in vehicles that have been driven very sporty and have the deer performance package with 330 PS. It is therefore important to buy the Saab from the dealer of trust, who can estimate the history of the vehicle and the condition.


The long-haul variant. The 9-5 NG engine with the best consumptions and ranges. The vehicle for clever computers that do not want to give up the comfort of a large sedan. In fact, with the TID, it's possible to average the big Saab 9-5 with less than 6 liters, which makes it easy to get over one tank full of 1.000KM. The engine is running well, but could have a little more power. Here, the deer performance is recommended, and then leaves the TID, best in conjunction with the 6-speed automatic, no more wishes open.


The TTiD in the 9-5 is significantly more powerful than the TiD. However, the TTiD needs a good liter of diesel more than the normal TiD, and so the 1.000KM are feasible with a tank filling, but not as playful to achieve as with the TID. Unfortunately, the TTID is only available with manual transmission. Therefore, a clear recommendation for TID, plus automatic, plus Hirsch performance kit.

Automatic or manual?

There is actually no question about it, and personal taste should decide. Because the 6-speed automatic is so perfectly adapted to the 9-5 and its character that you can save yourself the thought. Actually ! Manual transmission is only an option for those who refuse to be completely automatic, because apart from the slight reduction in consumption, there is nothing that speaks for it.

The second part deals, among other things, with the following topics:

- Drive Sense - Spare parts supply - Accessories - Purchase abroad - arming - Model year 2012 - maintenance.

12 thoughts on "Purchase advice Saab 9-5 NG. Part 1"

  • Again a great report Tom.
    Thank you.
    The article has greatly increased the appetite for a 9-5 II

  • if you are looking for a more agile car, then choose the 4-cylinder. in february 2011 i was able to test all 9-5 xwd models in tyrol on narrow, winding roads. the 6 cylinder has a much heavier front end and likes to slide over the axle in curves. the weaker engine makes up the 4-cyl with much more liveliness - amazing how the 5-meter giant could be moved like a go-kart.
    the missing tailgate stopped me from buying it and ended up with the 9-3x station wagon ... and haven't regretted it for a day 😉

  • Class report!
    All 9-5 should probably find new SAABians / SAABines !!! Even the rear entry is perfectly described ... so a smile comes out! Respect!

  • Yes, a great car

  • I won't give mine !! ... but in Leipzig in the SZ there are 2 for sale!
    Unfortunately, the 9k's big tailgate does not exist, the boot is very very deep! The rear entry is no problem. Because automatic and four-wheel in diesel have ruled against each other, it was the v6aero. Preferably, he is allowed to do the long highway tours and the 9-7x the highway and construction sites.
    There are a few annoyances but probably at the austerity during the Fahrzegplanung lay. The seat heating on the driver's side is happy to break, something rattles something we have not yet localized and the rust protection of non-visible parts should be in the eye.
    The Clarion radio is really great, which works great with the phone and other external devices and storage!

    Clear tip: BUY !!

  • At you a sales talent has been lost. Why do not you write for one or the other car newspaper? Since you could also buy again. The 9-5 NG is simply a dream car. But unfortunately also very expensive. Nevertheless, I would prefer the V6. Hope in May is one or the other 9-5 NG here. Would be nice to see one again.

  • Great report, I am very excited for the report “Buying abroad”….

  • Goal achieved! ... A real fox that can also be brought to the people at the beginning of sunny spring.

  • With the engine assessment 2.0 T with Hirsch performance upgrade, exhaust and automatic as the most successful, I can only agree. Only the high consumption, with me at approx. 11,9 liters predominantly city traffic is the Hasenfuß at the engines / transmission combination.
    Looking forward to the second part. Great report. Thank you

  • Hello Tom, that's a recommendation that makes you want more.
    So it is difficult not to have a look at …… whether a 9-5 NG is offered somewhere. But I'm also completely satisfied with my 9-5 Combi Aero - also from the Muckelbauer;
    ... it tingles a little ...

  • Man Tom, that really whets your appetite for more ... but I'm so happy with Muckelbauer's 9-3 station wagon. I recently drove 1300 km on a Friday (Westphalia, Franconia, Upper Palatinate, Upper Bavaria and back) and wasn't broken at home late at night ... in the SAAB you can travel safely and relaxed

Comments are closed.