Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc review

The Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc Limousine rolls off the Saab Service Frankfurt site. Before that, he gave a small, unscheduled visit to the workshop. A servomotor of the automatic climate control had said goodbye. Nothing big ... fixed quickly and competently. And no drama with a car that has been on the body for 15 years.

Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc at Saab Service Frankfurt
Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc at Saab Service Frankfurt

However, our test vehicle is not a normal Saab from previous ownership, because he got a new heart, meaning engine. But the story from the beginning. The 9-5 sedan has little mileage with just over 100.000 kilometers and is a typical retiree car. Well-kept, with minor traces of wear, a nice car with a comprehensible story. In the Arc equipment, which is quite rare.

The Arc version differs from the Vector limousines in light precious wood inlays, real leather also in the door panels and special 16 ″ rims. The solid variant was gladly bought by seated men who could have chosen a Jaguar ... if it hadn't been so noticeable. Young dynamics, however, preferred the Vector or Aero level. I personally like the Arc package, the light wood makes the interior appealing Scandinavian.

At 104.000 km the 9-5 had an engine failure, but that should not be the end of its story. Orio, supplier of original Saab spare parts, is offering an engine campaign to keep our vehicles on the road. Saab engines with a discount of up to over 50% and a 3-year guarantee make it worth considering reviving vehicles with a good body with “heart transplants”. Something like that is what you get in Kiel have thought of where the 9-5 got a new engine, an overhauled chassis and enhanced rust protection.

A good friend fell in love with the sedan, and 3's warranty on the machine was an unbeatable argument. The price was just as consistent, and so the Saab came from the north to Hesse. The interesting question: how does a 15 year-old 9-5 drive with a new machine?

The answer: Totally relaxed.

The 2.3t engine with its 185 HP and 280 Nm is a pleasant source of power. When starting, it growls, just like the fat 4-cylinder engines like to do. That makes him likable. The limousine already has plenty of steam at 1.800 tours. The 5-stage automatic is well coordinated, shifts smoothly and harmonizes with the comfort motorization. On the highway, the speedometer is 180 kilometers per hour faster than you think - the Saab is really fast on the road.

The chassis fits this. It is designed to be gently cushioning; the Arc is not an athlete, the sedan becomes a classy and comfortable glider. 600 kilometers in one go - pure pleasure. We have already tried it, long haul is a domain of the Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc. The classic fittings with the turbo display are wonderful, the interior is elegant and the workmanship is flawless. Nothing rattles, the audio system has a good sound, the slot for playing cassettes alone reminds you that 2001 was a damn long time ago.

Consumption is also okay. The Swedes gave an average of 10,00 liters. This is true with a tested 10,2 liters and the machine not yet run in. Of course it is more economical if you like. Motorway driving at recommended speed, relaxed gliding over the country road, the big Saab rewards with values ​​that are significantly lower. The manufacturer noted 7,2 liters as the consumption value when driving overland, which should be close to reality.

Unfortunately, the 9-5 is not a hatchback, but it was a big hit of the Swedes. Especially the facelift version of 2001 looks still modern, while the previous vehicles with the traditional grill are already drifting towards classic cars. Nevertheless, 15 years are just 15 years and the Saab an old car. You can tell from the good all-round view and the large windows. You can tell by the built-in materials that are honest and dignified but not premium. He drives relaxed relaxed, very analog, if necessary, you can be traveling quickly. Then the turbo makes steam, it is about 200 on the clock, the Trollhättan sedan remains acoustically restrained.

And? Does it make sense to transplant a new engine into an old car? As a Saab fan, I am of course for it with my heart. And it's one of those rare occasions where the heart and mind go hand in hand. Yes, it makes sense to keep old vehicles alive. You conserve resources, do something for the environment, act responsibly.

That mind and the pursuit of individuality are compatible makes the operation even more appealing. More solid, economical, with more sense of understatement and style than in an 2001 Saab 9 5 2.3t Arc sedan, you can barely be on the move.

19 thoughts on "Saab 9-5 2.3t Arc review"

  • Nice report about the Saab
    I drive 2 months myself 2004 9 5 2,3t Arc with 196tkm and am totally satisfied.
    Before that, I had the 3.0L V6 Griffin from 2001. It was nice too, only the 2,3t is just more sparkling and more economical
    I hope that it stays with me for a long time… .Forever Love 🙂

  • Yes, even from my side, thanks.
    Reports about the Saab 9-5 always interest me. However, I prefer the station wagon. The equipment of the “Arc” is really very dignified. I can use the description of the limousine you have prepared for my model exactly. The (first) engine runs silky smooth despite its past 275tkm, the music system has a great sound and although my 9-5 has actually done a lot, I can confirm that nothing rattles in the interior. The interior still looks high quality. Just great!
    Your light walnut wood is acceptable, better at least than the later introduced burl. I prefer the carbon fairing. The engine with 185PS is also installed in my plane and sufficient in terms of performance. The exterior paint shown in the pictures looks like steel gray, I would have wished you the smoke gray version. The latter is indeed timelessly beautiful.
    Finally: The 9-5 is an exceptional talent! Family car, workhorse and comfortable travel companion in one. Too bad that his line has come to an end.
    If possible: What have the wishbones, including bushings plus installation cost?

    • The price of the chassis revision is unknown. The vehicle was purchased for a fixed price.

  • It's these nice reports that make this blog special - and the Paul project is just sensational! Thanks Tom!

  • Were "only" worn suspension parts replaced with the Arc or was the aero sports suspension installed?

    • It stayed with the standard chassis. Bushings and wishbones have been renewed, which is really hip after 15 years.

  • My 95 SC Aero also has a new engine and now 250 ′ on the clock. Nevertheless, the car still drives perfectly. The transmission shifts smoothly and the car really starts in sport mode. The seats and interior still look very good. The car is more than reliable and completely trouble-free.

    Colleagues who have newer Audi, BMW and Mercedes are surprised how quiet and great the car is and how to sit on the ventilated seats.

    Too bad that often one does not see the potential and the good cars become less and less.
    So, in my opinion, it's always worthwhile

  • My 9-5 Brabus also had a heart transplant. I do not regret it. Throwing is just not possible, would be too much.

  • What I do not understand about the engine program: why is the regular selling price of the B235R lower than with B235 and B205?

    • Presumably there are more B235R in stock? Just a clue

  • Monday, lunch break, SAAB.

    The blog is really reliable! And this time the article is also nice analog.

    He also discusses sustainability in the outgoing Carbonicum * and the beginning of Prätron ** (the age of the extensive use of fossil fuels or the timid start of e-mobility).

    I can well imagine that receipt will become a broad trend. The desire for brand-new combustion engines is now gone. Two years ago I was really hot for it ...
    Until there is something new and really different, I prefer to spend my money on spare parts and service.

    • There is already a kind of “counter-movement”. We have been observing this for a long time on the blog and in the emails we receive. These are either very young people who consciously focus on sustainability and drive older Saabs. Or the 60+ generation who want to drive a Saab again and can afford to show good taste and style.

  • Beautiful Arc, good decision to transplant a new heart!

  • Uii…. an arc ..... very nice. 🙂

    I also enjoyed my former 9-5 2.3t Arc!
    ( https://saabblog.net/2012/03/20/saab-fotoshooting-saab-9-5-2-3t-arc-sportkombi-2002/ )

    I could have done without the root wood, but it was included in the package and was at least nice and “matt”!
    But the leather seats (with us with ventilation) were really awesome.
    And the rest of the interior also looked coherent and correspondingly “valuable”.

    The 185 PS were of course (compared to other “livelier” Saabs) not that “hit”.
    But of course you got to your destination nimble and relaxed and there was always enough for the “little country road sprint in between”.
    Well, and with a little deer cure, the “living room” also looked a bit livelier (and on country roads and autobahns I was able to move it under 9l with it)!

    • The engine is complete. Only the turbocharger, ignition cassette and throttle valve are “missing”.

        • Not according to my information. Details can be more reliably answered by the Saab Affiliate of your trust than I am; the blog does not have access to the Orio Information System.

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