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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alternative subject: why I will NOT buy the 2011 9-5

As you may know, a few days ago I was fortunate enough to rent a 2011 9-5 2.0 4-banger (Biopower) from National Cars. I drove the car for 4 days and did about 2500 miles in city, highway and scenic roads (Natchez Trace Parkway). I have literally spent so much time with that car that I thought it was mine. Over these 2500 miles, I felt happy, sad, overwhelmed, scared and - damn - I even cried a little. And although, owning a 2010 (or 2011) 9-5 was a goal for the next year, I'm afraid I have to give Saab a piece of my mind.

And to be fair, here's the sticker of the car I had:



The things I liked:

  • Damn thing looks a-w-e-s-o-m-e !! Heads keep turning towards me and they're all like "WTF is this?". I'll never forget the poor guy (customer) at the National Booth and that look in his face when he saw driving it away. And every time a "fancy" car would pass me or stop next to me I was going "raspberry" all the time :twisted:
  • Handling: This thing stays on the road like it's a freaking train! Driving in the Northern Natchez Trace Parkway, I was able to stay on the road doing 90 mph in close turns and I couldn't even hear the tires squeaking!
  • Even for a 2.0 4 banger, the car is flying! Specially when playing the "Swedish Roulette" you can feel the turbo kicking in like there's no freaking tomorrow. I can easily say it's feels faster than my 3.0
  • The brakes: I have never felt more safe and secure in a car than in this one. The pedal is extremely responsive and accurate. Even when I tried to, I wasn't able to "force" the ABS and trust me, I did try...
  • Although the mid-beam is average, the high beam turns a SC dark night into a bright day.
  • The signal switch has that awesome option to just press once and it lights for 3 times for passing or lane change. Love it! I'm not sure if it was in the pre-2010 models though. It's not in the '02 for sure.
  • The windows switches are all automatic. And not only from the drivers' console but in every door handle. It was about freaking time!
  • There is an iPod USB port. That was a nice touch. Of course this will probably change with the IQon... Also a normal jack-in for AUX.
  • The armrest is very stable and comfortable, with a dual (hidden) compartment. No coin holder though
  • A fantastic and very clever small pouch right in-front of the seats for papers! Very clever!
  • About the mirrors. There was something with that "corner" design that made me thinking, and when I sat on the seat I finally got it! That extra little corner on the upper side of the mirror eliminates quite a few blind spots. But still, I couldn't completely trust it. I always had to turn my head and check.
  • The idea of having lower cabin lights was very nice. Keeps it warm and helps you find stuff when it's needed without switching the main cabin lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
And now the things I hated:
  • Missing a switch for rear fog light (Europe requirement)
  • The main console material is vulnerable to finger smudge marks.
  • Cup holders should have a light
  • Cruise control does not hold the speed when you're driving downhill
  • When the Night panel is sel ected, the lights from the speedometer, are going through the panel and light the rpm meter.
  • The wipers do not go that additional wipe after you have used the sprinkles (standard in all Renaults and Peugeots)
  • The side compartment (door) is very small
  • The windows switches are GM-alike (not in the center console)
  • Only 1(!!) 12V socket
  • The rear passengers armrest is somehow... poor
  • Still the passenger's seat has no memory option
  • No light beam adjustment option (Europe requirement)
  • No sunglasses holder
  • Single sun visor (WHAT THE HELL?!? - that was one of the reasons I loved Saab)
  • The far-right buttons are too far away (locks)
  • The smallest button in the whole car is the one for the hazard lights and it's very hard to find and use in case of an emergency
  • The cruise control on-off switch is... like a lights switch in Europe. I'd expect something better.
Generally:
I'm very disappointed! Unfortunately, the GM influence is huge in this car and I can't wait until I see the first 100% Saab in 2012 whatever that may be. It felt like GM was cutting from Saabs to give to Chevy and whatever other piece of crap they're making.

Although in general it is a great car, these small details are the ones that will keep my $50k in the bank for another year.

I'm sorry Saab. But I expect from you to try harder.
 

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Nice write-up, but all I can say is Picky, Pickey, Pickey...

IN your positives are all the improtant things you need to look at when you buy a car, the dissappointments are minor and subjective, although I too like some of the littel things that Saab has done in the past, I really have never ever used the second visor, even tho some passengers have...

Reminds me of car comercials that sell a car based on thier audio and electronics its a car dammit, how does it DRIVE??!

but well said, thanks for your impressions...
 

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Often things are missing from another car because one manufacturer does not want to pay a hefty royalty to another company for rights.

One case was with intermittent wipers of variable speed. One of my Euro cars did not have them and it was Saab or Volvo who would not pay a royalty to lowly Chrysler. We had both at the time. It always struck me as strange, being out in something like my Dodge work car and having these great wipers that were on a rheostat and getting in the high priced iron and there were primitive selections.

Seat pouches? Hardly novel, my 96 Toyota T-100 and 1998 Volvo both had pouches in front.

You forgot to use the word "quirky" ??? :D:)
 

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I don't think the passengers deserve a memory seat option:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, of course I'm picky. This is not a $2k acura or toyota I'm willing to buy. If I'm to spent almost my entire savings I want to make sure that the car is close to perfect. And don't say there's not such thing as a perfect car. We just can't buy it. :)

As for how the car drives, I guess I should have given some more details. The only thing is that... I don't know how to write about it. I mean, sure it's fast. But the fastest car I ever driven (before Saabs) was an RX8 and it's been like 6 years since then. I don't remember. :( (comes with aging...)

So, yes... it drives great. Stops when you want it, accelerates how you want it, turns where you want it. I don't know what else to write about driving, because that's all I want from a car when it comes to driving. If I was still living close to Germany, it'd be a whole different thing. But here, where in order to driver (legally) over 70, I have to go to Texas (the 85 speed limit interstate), I only care about how practical the interior of the car is. I'm spending more time in my car driving than I do on my bed sleeping. True story...
 

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Wife and I get into arguments over seat position on the passenger side of all the cars. They definitely DO need memory, or they can pay for a good divorce attorney.*
 

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I don't think the passengers deserve a memory seat option:D
lol. too many randoms in and out of the car yeah? :rolleyes:

Good review, I agree you are a little picky with the negatives but I also agree that if you are going to spend 40-50k on a car, it better be the way YOU want it. Plain and simple.
 

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I see some of your points about the cons, although my parents 2010 aero doesnt have the light leakage in night panel mode, I also dont find the hazard switch to be an issue as it's probably one of the least used aspects of the car. Rear fogs would be nice, but the us models dont even have the rear fogs. One thing i do find annoying is the reverse lights. Its led which sweet, but there's only one, yet there is spot for a second so it looks like it's out.... Drives me nuts lol. Thing about it is, you won't get a car that large new for 40 grand anywhere else. Also the window switches are quite gm, as is the steering wheel switchgear and buttons
 

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Wife and I get into arguments over seat position on the passenger side of all the cars. They definitely DO need memory, or they can pay for a good divorce attorney.*
Thats a good thing, means you can't find anything important to argue over. The sign of a truly healthy marriage... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What car would earn your 50 grand?
In 2002 it'd be the 9-5 ARC. For me at that time it was the perfect car. That's why I bought one now (I couldn't afford it back then).
 

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I've enjoyed your reviews of the car. I wish I had a 9-5 to drive for a couple weeks to see if the investment is worth it.

With that said, I feel the 2011 9-5 offers way more content and value for 50K today than the 2002 9-5 did for a similar as-new price, in 2002. Never mind what you can get thousands off the sticker of even a new 2011 9-5.

If I had 50 grand to blow on a new car, I would save 15K and buy the 9-3X, which I did. :)
 

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Wife and I get into arguments over seat position on the passenger side of all the cars. They definitely DO need memory, or they can pay for a good divorce attorney.*
agreed theres always arguments between my family members when they get into my car
 

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Nice review. I'll let you know what I think in two weeks, I'm trying to secure a 9-5 for my next trip to STL.

Although it may seem like he's being picky, you need to remember the other cars available at the new 9-5s price point. There are a lot of little extras that are considered a standard at $50k. Cruise doesn't hold it's speed when going downhill? Unacceptable IMHO.
 

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That car costs 40k for starters, not 50k, yeah the cruise could be better but compare it to the 535xi and others comparatively equipped and its thousands less. I had a 528 base model loaner with nothing but the premium pack and a couple of things and it was over 50. It was nowhere near as fast as the 9-5 and didn't have near the tech. Yeah it was better in some ways, but priced to reflect it. Also the Saab has noticeably more room then all of the others in its segment. Gotta look at the whole package.
 

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Sorry. I am referring to the Aero spec which starts at $49,565. The comparable BMW 535i xDrive starts at $52,400. Both have AWD and similar hp/tq and mpg numbers so they're usually the best models to compare.

But yeah you're right, the base model 9-5 being reviewed here starts at a hair under $40k.
 
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