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.
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.