From time to time I see comments and articles on topics like "Saab 9-5 before / after the facelift," General Motors politics, or general "nostalgic thoughts" - "everything was better in the old days". As so often in life, a balanced approach is worthwhile.
Why is the topic interesting? Like me in mine first blog article wrote, the 9-5 station wagon is probably the Saab that offers the most car for the money today (if you want a large station wagon; otherwise the 9-3 is certainly a good choice). In addition, there is a large selection of used vehicles, at least in Sweden - this should also have a positive impact on the availability of spare parts. Almost every car will “give up” at some point - then you either have to invest more than the market value to keep it ready to drive (if that is still possible) or you push it off and buy something - maybe a 9-5?
Back to the balanced view and the question of which 9-5 should you buy - a model from before or after the 2006 facelift? The innovations and changes brought by this facelift (such as the improved chassis) are surely known to most readers. On the subject here just a brief reference to an interesting article from the Swedish car magazine "Teknikens Värld", where, among other things, differences in the suspension tuning between gasoline (Aero) and diesel are described (http://teknikensvarld.se/provkorning-av-saab-9-5-aero-122976/). In this blog entry I just want to bring a few comments and general thoughts that might be important in your purchase decision.
The advantage of a more modern saab
Age is of course important when buying a used car. Even if you find a “pre-2006” specimen with low mileage and in good condition - material ages and that's why I prefer to drive a car built in 2009 than one built in 1999 (apart from the fact that my wife bought such an old one Cars would not have agreed anyway - most people do not live alone and not every partner is interested in cars). There are also other aspects that can influence the purchase decision. Some of these can be dismissed as details - but also things that Saab has gradually left out (see blog article recently “All the nice little things") Are often just details.
- The engine: You read more often about the throttle problems with the 1.9 TiD. However, I also heard that FIAT improved the quality at the end of the construction period (which should certainly apply to the Griffin models). The same applies to the "Oil Sludge" problem with the petrol engines - it occurred in early models (under certain conditions), apparently not afterwards. Apparently the rule “the newer the engine, the better” applies - at least our 9-5 TiD has not had any problems so far (if the workshop bills of the previous owner are complete).
- The diesel selection: If you want to buy a 9-5 with a diesel engine, then the 1.9 TiD is obviously the best choice. The 3.0 V6 TiD is generally discouraged, and the 2.2 TiD is obviously too weak and has poor emissions. From my own experience I can confirm that the 9-5 drives fantastic with the 1.9 diesel and automatic - in the Alps, on the motorway and also in the city. The latter should be avoided, since the consumption will then be too high - even if the urban-rural difference is not as extreme as with the petrol engines, where the factory setting with automatic is over 15 l / 100 km.
- The headlights: I do not want to drive a car without xenon lights (which is already outdated in the age of LED and laser light). Most 9 5s from 2006 are included, but many (or most) instances of 2006 do not.
- Controls in the center console: I like the radio / ACC panel from 2006 better because of the clear layout and the fact that there is no cassette deck left. These two aspects certainly have to do with each other - the fewer buttons and slots, the more elegant the design can be (the new Volvos no longer even have a CD player). But as always, you never stop learning - there were also older models without a cassette, as this Orio spare part shows (http://webshop.saabparts.com/9-5-gen1/audio-kommunikation-95/radio-cd-95). Added to this is the sensible AUX feature, which was only available ex works from 2006. Older models can obviously be retrofitted “unofficially” - but I prefer to avoid such retrofits because I want the car to be in its original condition. The GPS navigation has also been updated, although I would prefer a vehicle without GPS. The navigation system was already out of date, and I want the CD changer in the front and not in the luggage compartment.
- The design: Some of the comments on my last article suggest that the “chrome glasses” (or should we say “the Cartier look”?) Don't look that bad after all. Unique and unmistakable - yes. Nice? I think so now. It's worth taking a look at the entire headlight unit in peace (see photo) - isn't that a design masterpiece? Here you can compare the appearance of the headlights themselves: http://webshop.saabparts.com/9-5-gen1/belysning/stralkastare95
- GM savings organs: Nobody apparently denies that GM has forced Saab to save. But was it really that dramatic? What percentage of production and purchasing costs were saved? Certainly not much by leaving out details such as a few small lights or the tank release from the driver's seat. Real wood in the dashboard? I don't want to have wood decor in the car, not real and also not imitation. Does the plastic look high quality? No, not always, but it doesn't get noticed either. In terms of leather quality, I can already imagine savings of a few hundred euros - I would prefer a car with a fabric cover anyway, but the generally better equipped Vector / Aero models usually have leather. It's thinner than before the facelift, OK - that means gentle treatment and regular care are even more important than in previous model years or in earlier Saab models.
Perhaps these thoughts are interesting for some - I look forward to comments. I hope to see many of you at the “Saab Car Museum Festival” from June 9th to 11.6th. 2017 in Trollhättan!