Tested ... Saab 9-5 Aero

How long have I not driven chrome glasses? It's been a few years and I think it was 2012 when we sold our 9-5. Now I'm standing there in the yard of Saab Service Frankfurt, a 9-5 Aero station wagon is parked in front of me - as chrome glasses the last evolutionary stage of the old 9-5, and very tasty in the 260 PS Aero expansion stage.

Saab 9-5 Aero from Saab Frankfurt
Saab 9-5 Aero from Saab Frankfurt

Only 80.000 kilometers on the counter, manual transmission, the few kilometers to Bavaria will be fun. Werkstattersatzauto then scolds the Gerard Ratzmann. I like that. How is it, after many years again in the old 9-5 drive? The Paul project is about to be completed, the chrome glasses are the much more modern counterpart.

Whereby modern is not modern. The navigation system is so pixelated that it could become a hit again as a vintage device. And the 5-speed gearshift ... let's not talk about it. Key in, reverse gear out, handbrake released and off you go towards the motorway. The streets around the former Saab Germany branch are comparable to streets in Zwickau, Cottbus or other places around 1989. Except that nothing changes in Frankfurt, but in the other cities.

The 9-5 Aero is tightly sprung, but he masters the Rüttelstrecke sovereign. He does not rattle, which is not the case with all chrome goggles. Past the Tesla base it goes towards the highway. A Tesla S comes promptly, but I do not want to trade today. On the feeder accelerates the Saab on Tempo 100, emphatically, sovereign, with the sound carpet of the great 2.3 liter engine. That's not the most brilliant electric car in the world, and suddenly you're back in the year 2006, when the chrome goggles appeared on the market.

The motorway in the direction of Hanau is three lanes and almost empty. The Aero growls and accelerates into the left lane, yes that flies and is fun. The difference between the 9-5 NG and the old Saab is enormous. Everything is much more direct, more original - and I'm straining the word analog again. The interior has an aluminum look, as is the sports steering wheel. You really have to think it's good, it was always too sterile for me. Today it doesn't matter, the Saab is the way it is, and it's a lot of fun to drive an old friend.

We fly on to Bavaria, confidently and quickly. The aero relaxes. Gear number 5 is suitable for all driving situations on this day. If a transporter blocks the lane and then releases it, the Saab draws enough power from the depths of the engine to accelerate without changing gear. Cubic capacity plus turbo generate steam, no comparison with today's miniature engines.

The journey is only short, appointments call and the Saab Service Frankfurt driver will pick up the 9-5 Aero from my office later. Top-class service, as it can also be provided by brands without a manufacturer, but with a lot of passion and customer orientation in the background. Do I like them, good old chrome glasses? During production times, I was always annoyed by lack of love and GM's mania for savings. Today is the past.

What remains is a car with character, with an engine that is a real combustion and not a castrato. Out of time, sure. To be honest, it was 10 years ago. But also for this reason a vehicle where it is difficult to judge otherwise. So: thumbs up for the Saab 9-5 Aero!

9 thoughts on "Tested ... Saab 9-5 Aero"

  • blank

    I was able to experience the good old chrome glasses once (as 2.0 t) as part of a test drive ... 😉

    What can I say: Not only the design of an absolute no-go, of the materials used (keyword: hard plastic under all cannon) quite apart.
    But the hammer is that Saab has allowed here on the one hand to reduce the engine oil volume to a ridiculous four liters and on the other hand to increase the change interval from already MUCH too long 20.000 km to no end 30.000 km.
    Therefore, unfortunately many very checkbook-maintained specimens are likely to be on the verge of safe engine damage.

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      I only use 5W-50 for the 9-5 Aero (old), it only takes these four liters ...
      Since then I haven't used any more oil (or the same amount of gasoline runs on as I use oil ...).
      The oil change is maximum after 15.000 km.

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      When I was born in 2007, I drove the chrome glasses as an Aero SC machine as a company car up to 314 km without any mechanical problem. The oil change intervals were just under 000 km according to the display and were always done in the same garage. The oil consumption was almost zero. I never had to refill between changes. The car has regularly pulled a caravan in all directions in Europe and over mountains. It has now been sold and continues to run. My friend always said that he thought the car could easily drive 30 km. I really appreciated the fact that the risk with the oil sludge was finally resolved with this model, and that was one of the criteria for the purchase. With the predecessor, I still had 000 intervals.

      If you don't drive short distances all the time, I don't believe in engine damage, my experience is more that this expansion stage was the most sophisticated engine. The consumption was between 7.1 - 9 L.

      The hard plastic of the dashboard was actually more than next to a vehicle in this price range, as well as the already outdated and overpriced Navi for which there were no more updates from 2010.

  • blank

    I find it hilarious how different cars can be seen and appreciated.
    I have repeatedly read on the blog about the 9-5I with attributes such as “Vintage” or “the old Saab”.
    As the owner of a 9-5 Griffin Kombi MY 2000, who sees this car as a “newfangled” outlier in his Saab collection, it always brings a smile to my face 😉.


    • blank

      It's even funnier that you can share both assessments ...

      Compared to my oldtimer, my SAAB (MY 08) is very modern. And yet “back then” when I bought the chrome glasses SC I had the feeling of buying a new car as well as a face-lifted classic, a piece of history and a legend - a BABYTIMER, so to speak.

      Baby timers are only available at SAAB! ! !

      • blank

        Baby timer is a nice word, maybe I'll lend it for an article

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      It's that charming difference if you've previously driven a “current” car. Then the pixelated navigation system mutates into a vintage part, and the direct comparison between 9-5 (old) and 9-5 (last generation) is pretty blatant.

  • blank

    Yes tom Nice to hear that assessment. I already have exactly this aero over 200 KM on the clock. Which, however, does not detract from your writing. For a few weeks now I've been riding a 000 Aero. Honestly …. it feels a little saabier. But it doesn't matter. They are both fantastic vehicles and I don't want to give either one up.

    • blank

      ... and I can continue to experience that every day! ...

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