They are super reliable. They do have issues, and like all modern cars, issues usually cost you in expensive electronic but largely plastic parts, but, way nicer than the 9-3. There are a lot of active 9-5 owners here too.
If you think it is too modern, I'd consider a '98 or other late 9000. T5 is a little simpler, they have many of the benefits of the 9-5s, but may be slightly more reliable.