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?
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.