Saab 9-5 combi 1999 test drive

A lot about the car is also a mental cinema. Highly paid marketing people have invented terms like “premium” or “impression” to get the cinema going. If we get into the vehicle of a premium provider, then we have the desired expectations. If we start a car that was sold at the dealer's yard months ago at the scrap price, then ... yes, I think my readers and I, we understand each other.

Stopover. Villa Marburg in Heigenbrücken
Stopover. Villa Marburg in Heigenbrücken

The expectations for the first test drive with our Projektsaab were correspondingly low. To zero, to be precise. The cinema in my head surprised me all the more. Saab starts, Saab drives. He steers, he brakes, like cars usually do. The cinema reports after a few kilometers. Drives like a new car, it says. But it isn't, answer the eyes. But it is, says the head cinema. Hmm If you were to close your eyes, which is by the way not a good idea when you are behind the wheel, then you could really get the idea with the new car.

Brakes, steers and springs like new. Everything is new too! New brakes, new chassis, new springs. Then 18 ″ tires in size 225/40. Ok guys! Anyone who knows their Saab 9-5 of the first series as a comfortable, somewhat indifferent means of transport for seniors should have the chassis and all of its sockets revised by now at the latest. The 9-5 was well defined from the factory, with the larger tires it rolls over the track like a modern car. In 1999 16 ″ was extravagant, today we are talking about much, much more. The 18 ″ Inca are the maximum for the Saab and not only harmonize with the 9-5 station wagon. The station wagon drives through life as an adult, without appearing too tight or in any way inharmonious.

And the 9-5 also surprises in other ways on its first exit through the Spessart. The first few kilometers there is a lack of revving; He has a hard time on nasty, long slopes in the low mountain range. 150 soft turbo PS don't turn the station wagon into an athlete. But with every kilometer driven, the engine turns more freely; If you keep the speed above 2.000 tours, then things move quickly.

The 9-5 station wagon rolled 1999 off the line, the exact date we will determine in the Saab COC archive yet. He could be a very early station wagon and yet comes up with qualities. The bodywork is still solid, the workmanship is good, and not all products of the competition are still so trustworthy after a good 17 years.

The outside temperature is 25 degrees, the interior is kept at a comfortable 22 degrees by the automatic air conditioning. It does this inconspicuously, draft-free, without intervention by the driver. The radio has good reception, even in the regions of the Spessart where modern and expensive systems have problems. With the cassette and CD options, the unit is a modern anachronism but goes well with a car that has been on the road for nearly 2 decades. The SID has its pixel disease, at some point a new one has to be added. But otherwise?

Everything calm, everything relaxed. Driving a Saab 9-5 is like going on a trip with a good old friend you haven't seen in years. The 5-speed gearbox is sufficiently precise, sometimes a bit bony and hooked, but just a real Saab gearbox - like the engine with its Trionic, which, as a 2 liter, belongs to the very sophisticated machine.

The technique works in Kiel you have done your homework. The interior needs care, the leather paint, the carpeting needs cleaning. The seals require attention, only a replacement on the driver's door and tailgate helps. Little things that I will gradually work through. Has the investment been worth it so far? Over the next few days we will talk about costs and what has been done. They are a special chapter that requires a close look.

The Saab has already won in another discipline. He stands out on the Spessart tour. Passers-by turn their heads, convertible drivers see what's going on. Yes, the 9-5 station wagon from the first series has become rare. And when one is on the road, it is often as a consumption car. Unkempt, matt paint. You won't otherwise see it in glossy black and with 18 ″ Inca rims. 100 points for our veteran at a kilo price! The story goes on. Since Paul has been with us, there have been visitors ... from Saab friends who think Paul is good. And from people who have absolutely nothing to do with Saab and who just happen to be our guests. At the latest when you ask if you can sit in the black Saab, at the latest then we know that we have won with the project Saab.

10 thoughts on "Saab 9-5 combi 1999 test drive"

  • blank

    Paul looks great with these rims.

    Well, with a well-groomed SAAB from the 90s, you can still appear everywhere today and are getting increasingly positive feedback and interest. The first 9-5 limos will be youngtimers next year - you really can't tell by looking at them (in contrast to some competing products).

    The chassis is one of the most important points. Grade new bushings bring back incredible driving feeling and the car feels young.

    The topic of performance I actually see relaxed. I do not have to participate in a company car race with a 20 year old car. It's silly to see those stressed guys who have to show that maybe the Superb is one Km faster than the Passat with the same engine and the A4 both pushes.
    You enjoy the ride in the SAAB and do not have to prove anything

    • blank

      The performance issue is similar. An 9-5I, even as Aero, no longer pulls the butter off the bread today. It is still fun and enough.

      • blank

        So I have no problems with my - Aero MY 2005. If I want, most other cars can only be seen in the rearview mirror

    • blank

      Company car race?

      Very nice (and apt) word. I actually (consciously) read for the first time.

      And nope, you don't have to participate. Just think of the legendary speedometer of the 9000, which even in the AERO 200+ was simply 200+ ...

      And yet, that an 900 was allowed to drive with 160 PS, an 9000 with even more and a Paul years later (despite turbo) with 150 PS came on the market, only makes sense from the point of view of the time responsible for SAAB GM-ler.

      Since there was now a relatively limp V6 on the corporate shelf, to which the SAAB entry-level engines had to maintain a certain distance in the future.

      In my opinion, a Hirsch upgrade for the 2,0 is not a tuning at all, just dethrottling. A cut GM shackle. I think many of the SAAB employees at the time would see it the same way ...

      And as with the turbos before, the 9-5 is much more interesting than the maximum speed. Yes, the latter also increases unleashed (by 10%), but the increase in torque (whopping 33%) is what completely transforms the car into a true SAAB-T, making sense of the already built-in turbo.

      Choked, the 2,0er drives almost like a naturally aspirated engine (and indeed has similar data).

      • blank

        In the 9000 Aero, the tachometer scale went up to 240km / h. Even in the early 9000 turbos already the speedometer was scaled to over 200km / h.

        I cannot understand your point of view with the wrong entry-level engine for the 9-5. You compare the top engines of the previous models with the entry-level engine of the 9-5 - that doesn't fit.
        With the exception of the very last model years, the naturally aspirated engines with between 9000-126 hp were the entry-level engines for the 131. The same was also true for the 900 in the end, the years before 110 hp, and initially even less - but this is not to be equated with 'little'.
        The top engine of the 9-5, in order to compare it with the 160 hp of the 900 and the "even more" of the 9000, was above the top engine of the predecessor - so here too a comprehensible, "smooth" development.

        I think that the 9-5 is absolutely sufficiently motorized even with the entry-level engine. Even within the time it was released, it should be looked at - what were the smallest engines in the competitor models?
        In my impression, the 9-5 entry-level engines do not follow any “GM decisions”, but rather the SAAB career.

  • blank

    Deliciously written!

    Two things are especially wonderful:

    1. The introduction, with its allusions to the relationship of mind and feeling to marketing.

    2. All information about the chassis, ...

    ... because there is much more to it than meets the eye at first glance.
    In fact, one must first of the wheel and tire dimensions refrain.

    They are just the icing on the cake, with which an old car can be adapted to the zeitgeist of automobiles - ever firmer and more sporty vehicles, which increasingly rarely have to go anywhere on an unpaved road.

    The far greater difference between old and new, however, is actually wearing out. It's amazing how this difference can melt when a vehicle is well maintained. Not just the tires, and not just the brake pads, but all parts of a chassis are wearing parts. All ! All ! ! ALL ! ! !

    It remains the engine. 150 Ps and 240 Nm are in fact outdated for a car of this size. Well, maybe that, but certainly not spearheads or at least upper midfield.

    What about 210 hp and 320 Nm? That also goes better with 18 ″.

    Just stalk and so many Ingolstadt will rub his eyes powerful.
    Especially when the Ingolstadt driver first deliberately turns left and then right again, while Paul's driver looks forward to his rearview mirror and how easy it is to accelerate out of a motorway construction site.

    And now for many turbo years.

    • blank

      That's right with the engine. The 9-5 estate is quite heavy, the 150 PS have trouble. I think we have to do something in the coming months

  • blank

    What a great car and how beautiful you look again.
    Have fun with it.

  • blank

    There are memories of our 9-5 awake! Your job is extremely important, who else deals with old SÄÄBen? The note with the guide is very good, after all, there are already a few years and many 1000 kilometers mileage on the plate.

Comments are closed.