Old fighter

Changing from the Saab 9-5 NG to its predecessor is more than just switching from one generation to the previous one. Saab has simply given the model generation in between, as would have been common in the manufacturer's cycle. So culture shock?

SAAB 9-5 OG Aero
SAAB 9-5 OG Aero

Maybe at first meters. For the Saab 9-5 OG is much more delicate than its successor and much more a child of the 90er years than one would expect. But what, one finds out quickly, can be beneficial. Because in this vehicle generation, it can travel relaxed. No electronic cinema warns of acute or future dangers. You travel in peace, self-responsible and relaxed. Happy about large windows, a light-flooded interior and a good all-round view.

Does the old Saab 9-5 have long-term qualities? Life as a workshop replacement car is tough. The 232.000-9 Aero of the Bamberg Saab Center has 5 kilometers on the clock. Every kilometer counts twice, wrote a commenter on the blog. He might be right because these types of vehicles are neither carefully warmed up nor loved. Dents, dents, stone chips that would quickly be repaired in a private car are the patina of this vehicle. Seriously, the Saab is a commercial vehicle. It bears the scars of its automotive life with dignity, it is not really beautiful and rust is also an issue. But that doesn't matter today. It is primarily about how he drives at an advanced mileage, everything else is secondary.

Enough said, it's time to drive the Saab. I take a seat in the 9-5 Aero. The driver's seat, which can be heated and ventilated, was probably firmer, but is still comfortable. The steering wheel is worn out, the navigation screen has lost its radiance, but what do I care? Otherwise, the interior is surprisingly unexperienced; one could assume much less mileage. Under the hood, the 2.3 liter 4 cylinder works as a full turbo with 250 hp. I like the old generation of Saab engines, they have character. The smaller 2 liter is the gentleman, smoother running, but also less emphatic in the start. Its big relative with 2.3 liters, as we find it in the Aero, is more robust, firmer to start with, with a very pleasant background noise. The 5-speed gearshift is bony and sufficiently precise, even with almost a quarter of a million kilometers on the meter.

I am leaving Bamberg, the motorway leads me to Schweinfurt. Yes, only 5 courses, I think. You have to get used to it, but it fits somewhere. You move onto the freeway in the fourth, shift into the fifth ... and stick to it. Because the sovereign, long-stroke engine does everything in the upper stage. The draft is wonderful, the turbo starts noticeably and drives the old fighter forward. It is surprisingly quiet for only 5 gears, even if it does not reach the level of modern cars.

Hmm, the many kilometers. I feel it in the driver's seat, there were not always lightweights on the way. But you do not notice it on the body. It is firm and rattle free, you could say valent, still. The Saab 9-5 likes the highway, it is at home on long journeys, like its predecessors. He runs better with every kilometer driven, breathes freely, is fun. Although he may only be a workshop replacement car, he was well maintained. The technology is first cream, the engine has credible his 250 moose. The good old Saab Turbo is then used with its qualities when one of the many construction sites on the A3 ends.

It works like this: old Saab with patina in the right lane. Comfortable at low speed, fifth gear. New, shiny trolley from Germany's largest car company in the fast lane. End of the construction site, the concrete industry employee in his box steps on the gas. Presumably he stirs vigorously in the transmission, while in the Saab you can ignore the shift lever. The 9-5 Aero needs a second to think about it before the turbo has called its elk to work. Then they deliver boost pressure…. In the meantime, our Saab has lost half a meter or more. Then he pushes ahead confidently, still in gear 5. The old Swede threads his way into the fast lane in front of the concrete salesman. For the modern downsizing miracle with its chic daytime running lights is game over.

Okay, that's not fair. The Saab will probably bring one or two hundredweight less weight than the popular field cars. And displacement is irreplaceable! 2.3 liters distributed on long-stroke 4 cylinders, forced-breathing with a turbo, is a promise even today. Downsizing can be frustrating if you have to drive something like that.

In the following days I am on the road a lot with the Saab 9-5 OG. It's nice to drive as always and has its strong points. The operation is playful, the instruments are clear and easy to read. Some things are difficult to improve. Its compact dimensions by current standards make visiting parking garages and narrow city centers not a stressful scenario. The fact that at the end of the week the average consumption is 9.6 liters is okay for a 250 PS station wagon. It could have been less if I hadn't always given in to the turbo and its temptations.

Sure, the Saab 9-5 OG is an old car and not a Trollhättan bag. But with durable mechanics and, if one takes care accordingly, with a body without problems. I know vehicles, not from Saab, that show significantly more signs of aging with less mileage.

The Saab 9-5 OG is a car for long-term relationship boxes. The aero version is a lot of fun. I trust the engine and transmission to have a lot more mileage. The possibility of being able to use an honest workshop replacement car for the test also mercilessly shows the possible weak points. Rust deposits where the wheel arches are prone to stone chips, on the tailgate, on the fuel filler cap. Not that a wrong impression is created ... I don't think the 9-5 is a vehicle that is prone to rust. But the Fichtelgebirge region is an uncomfortable place in winter. A nasty road salt split mixture maltreats the paintwork, an endurance test from real life.

For readers who drive a Saab 9-5 OG or who want to buy one, the recommendation is to pay attention to the rust protection. Technology and mechanics, on the other hand, are good for many kilometers if properly maintained.

31 thoughts on "Old fighter"

  • Saab 9-5: was for me, who has been driving in a Saab 900 (1985) since childhood and then drove a Saab 1303-9 (3 / 2002) after a VW 1 for many years, a little emotional habituation. But then you sit in it, because the little, old Saab could not more, you immediately feel at home again.

    And so, for two years now, we've had a 9-5 (2007) in our heart like the 9-3, the children were having a hard time saying goodbye, so are we, and we're happy
    - to travel and glide from Berlin
    - meanwhile also on the design of the chrome glasses
    - on the Saab itself
    - to refuel at 99 cents thanks to biopower
    - about little electronic gadgets
    -….

    and on a quiet Saturday night somewhere in Western Pomerania after refueling another 9-5 chrome sports suit from Saxony to greet.

    A real Saab after a little look ... that may stay with us for a long time.

    PS: Both Saab 9-5 OG posts these days were worth reading

  • 9 - 5 built in 98

    drive a SAAB 9-5 Bj. 2008 46 th. Km. with lots of additional equipment. We don't want to trade, our Sunday - SAAB is cherished and cared for by the SAAB service. Not sold, but inherited.

  • The 9-5 from year of birth? has an oil sensor, was changed on the crankcase ventilation and on the oil strainer and now runs completely problem-free with maintenance intervals of 30 km according to the interval display with 000 km. Oil turbidity between the change intervals is almost invisible, so far no oil consumption. The engine is also tight. Drive quickly, but rarely at the absolute limit. The change could have occurred to SAAB 250 years earlier.

  • The 9-5 is one of the most underrated cars on the planet. Ideal long-distance vehicle and daylidriver for me. But, unfortunately, the engines are vulnerable, especially in countries with no speed limit. Regular, short oil change intervals, checking the oil pan for sludge deposits and the oil strainer for gluing with oil coal are therefore a must and the 3,0V6 diesel is best avoided.

  • Correction ... a life without SAAB is possible, but pointless 🙂

  • Condolences, a life without SAAB is impossible. A Volvo is a car, a SAAB part of the family. Keep your fingers crossed that there will soon be another SAAB

  • A great report, a great car.
    Unfortunately my 9-5 (BJ 2001, 270TKM, 2nd engine) didn't make it anymore. Coming from vacation, he had a gearbox failure four weeks ago and we ended up on a Bavarian autobahn. We decided without further ado to hand over our Saab. The insurance company calls this “economic total loss”. My eldest son (6 years old) cried for an hour without lying. And even the younger (4 years old) still says today, when we drive in the V70, “I want my Saab back”.
    In all honesty, I didn't expect so much emotion. There is something missing in the family. And a new Saab is needed, that's for sure. If only I had listened to my son on the Saab dealer tour in Salzburg and had already accessed it then ...
    https://saabblog.net/2011/11/06/saab-handlertour-osterreich-saab-salzburg-teil-ii/

  • 😀 I know ... These looks ... Why these faces? Hahah priceless!

    Also 9000 2.3 driver

  • Goosebumps .. A great report. A month ago I bought a 9-5 ng in Kiel and still have my 9-5 og 2.3 T which will be sold soon ... It's kind of difficult for me to say goodbye because the design of the 9-5 station wagon is just so great and timeless is…. I can only recommend the vehicle to everyone because it's just great! 😉

    Topic concrete representative: written cool

    I love and will always love this car .. I had the pleasure of 60.000 km with the "fat"

    Saabige greetings from Frankfurt

  • Definitely. 150.000 is nothing, some are looking at the 400.000 and are in good spirits

  • Almost retracted, I would say.

  • So please, Tom - he had to sell a lot of concrete for the company car. And in an industry full of concrete heads, this is really tough business. So don't step on him too much 😉

    My 9-5 is still half a generation back, and as far as the sovereignty is concerned, I can only agree. The term “king of the country road” was probably coined for drivers of this model, that's the feeling. However, I miss sixth gear every now and then, because with my (175 hp) the engine only really starts to pick up again from 2000 rpm (approx. 90 km / h). It's pretty sluggish underneath.

    With mine, I'm now targeting the 150.000 km mark - measured in SAAB time, so to speak, the age of majority 😉

  • except possibly Subaru, S Class or Jaguar ... anyway!

  • Very nice report Tom.
    Exactly this Saab is to blame why I became Saabfan.
    I will never forget how I drove a black 90 OG from Europcar to Berlin in the 9.5s and did not get the key out 10 minutes before the start of the consultation. Only a call to Europcar brought the release - reverse gear!

    Beautiful evening.

  • Hello Tom, very nice report, I have my second 9-5 OG Aero also from Muckelbauer, now 187000 km, but from 2009 and it runs and runs, 9,6 liters I rarely manage, but I am often here in short u. medium-long routes in the Thuringian Oberland uphill u. Downhill on the way. Don't want to trade !!! The 260 TurboPS, in particular, are worth their weight in gold if, like me, you always drive by appointment. The only thing that bothers me is the large navigation system, which I would prefer to exchange for a radio-CD combination, but is difficult to get for year of construction 2009 (so original)

    With such reports like to continue, thanks !!!

  • mine is a MY 04 Aero so like the station wagon, also wood but different

  • With 330 PS the package is at the limit, see Buyer's guide, Those looking for longevity are better off with more civilian versions. 260 PS in the 2 liter are also not a little bit, but more robust.
    As for Muckelbauer's Saab 9-5 OG Aero: 232.000 kilometer, still first engine, first timing chain, first turbocharger. Replaced on 180.000 ignition cir- cuit and oil lines. That was it.

  • I'm also currently on the road with a replacement car because my 9-5 NG is in the workshop. But I was able to fall back on the in-house fleet and grab my wife's 9-3 SC. This is because my 9-5 will see Hirsch's workshop from the inside for a longer time. After the steering wheel lock (approx. € 800) was replaced at the beginning of the year, the oil pump and filter on the rear axle of the XWD were added two weeks ago (approx. € 2). And to top it off this week, the timing chain! Estimated costs from € 1! Obviously, the 500-5 NG cannot be said to have the same longevity as its predecessor.
    I am no longer really keen to find out how much a turbo, the automatic machine or the navigation system on the 9-5 NG will have to part with. And this at just 70 km!
    2 Saabs I still have at home and at least the convertible I will certainly keep, otherwise after 8 Saabs now short and medium term unfortunately end.

    So if you are looking for a neat 9-5 Turbo 6 XWD from 11/2010 with 70 km, please contact me. Hirsch Performance with 000 hp, carbon leather center console, all services done. Engine revised (in work at Hirsch), new oil pump for the rear axle, etc.

    claudius@dichtl.ch

  • I would never judge you. Drive yourself quickly if the situation allows.

  • I am not either, even if some people claim that 😉 I drive quickly, but if the route is clear, then the Saab can fly ...

  • Mine now has 185000 on the clock, Bj 2002 12 / 2001 with 2.0L, and has been running Maptun-E85 for two years now, even with booze.

    In the last 10 years he was in my custody and after two-three teething problems (ignition box, petrol pump, oil strainer, rear axle bearing) always held out bravely and brought us in our everyday life, as well as on the way to the sea always well.

    The seats are still in better shape after all these years than some seats on a 9 3 were after two three years.
    I'm still really excited about the seats and always happy when I'm allowed to drive in the Saab. There is a huge difference between, for example, VW and our seats in the 9-5. The Saxon says “uhhhh dream”. 😉

    Greetings Andreas

    Ps The 9-5 has to last a few more years, there's no reason to switch.

  • These are still cars that were built for longevity and not to schnick schnack. If you can still show the exhaust of a modern downsizing make the better. Did not know that you are such a heater.

  • Ahhh ... very nice car !!! 😉
    I found the “second” version of the old 9-5 SC to be the most beautiful (better than the “more angular” first and also much better than the following so-called chrome glasses)

    Hmm ... and although I'm not really a carbon fan at all, I think the carbon in the interior is almost a little better than my “wood”…. ( http://www.tourwrist.com/panos/65191 )

  • Yes, that would be perfect, because we can always use support

  • With so much Saab Spirit, it's surprising that Muckelbauer is not on the side as Saabblog supporters. But you have to set priorities. I would also rather have a Saab as a workshop replacement car.

  • That's just Saab Spirit at Muckelbauer. In Bamberg it was at times already in the consideration to reserve a 9-5 NG for the customers

  • It's nice if you even get a Saab as a workshop replacement car. In most cases, as with me, it is likely that it is a demonstration car from the other brand of the dealership, of which there are still new cars. In my case it was a Japanese (so nothing for Ove)

  • How often have customers from Ingolstadt and Sindelfingen bit their teeth on my 9000 ...
    Nice article!

  • If he does not like the Fichtelgebirge region, would he still be interested in wine francs? Here it is mild and every drop wholesome.

  • Very nice written and moves me more and more to exchange the 9-3

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