Saab 9-5 Reviews and Owner Comments

Saab 9-5 owners review and rate their Saab 9-5.

Saab 9-5 (13 Reviews)
Let me start by saying that just before I picked up this car, many of my concerned friends warned me to stay away from such a potential "problem." I heard all about someone they knew who owned one that (fill in the problem/s here)and cost them (fill in amount here) Thank GOD I didn't listen to them! This car has been nothing short of a fun, solid and most importantly,a reliable car for me!

The engine is like nothing I've ever experienced before in a four cylinder and that's definitely because of the turbo. This car has more than enough "get up and go" to appeal to those with the highest of expectations. I'm a 37 year old male with 3 children, so racing is the furthest thing from my mind now. But with that said, it's extremely rare where I will find myself next to a car with more torque. Anything short of the high end BMW's (that cost 8 to 10 times what my car did) have absolutely nothing on this car!

The sound of the engine and turbo during acceleration is something that makes driving something that I actually look forward to. The car is a bit on the heavy side, but still handles well for it's size. It's roomy, comfortable, classy and there is definitely something to be said for the cabin design. The Swedes were definitely onto something when they built these things, which begs my questions as to why they stopped.

Here are my negatives.... With Saab no longer being in production, finding parts can be a bit troublesome and even expensive. I had to replace my shifter cable, but thankfully I found an aftermarket piece on e bay that was compatible. It ended up saving me a lot of money. (I believe the shift cable would have cost me around $300 not installed) I later came to find out that this was common with this type of car. The people on Saab forums are more than helpful with most common issues. You just have to be willing to put the time into it.

In the end I will say that these engines, as long as you update the oil pickup system ($90 conversion to prevent sludge) are as solid as any you will find. I've seen some with 260k miles on them that still run like a clock! It's like anything else... If you've never owned one yourself then definitely DON'T knock it! It's the closest thing to a BMW or Mercedes that you'll ever own for FAR less than $10k

I now have a hobby of looking at and purchasing them whenever I see a gem for a good price. Of course there are always bad ones in any bunch. You just have to be careful of which ones you buy. Here's a hint... If it ticks, smokes or has a bunch of leaks... Leave it alone. But that's any car, not just Saab. I just have to sit back and laugh whenever someone comments or says something stupid about my car. "So, you drive a Saab.. I hear those things are nothing but problems?" "Sure they are!" Then I throw them the keys! I love these things! As long as you're up to changing the oil and maintaining them when they're due. It's my belief that you can't really buy a more solid machine.
Love the car but man its so expensive to maintain especially now that saab do not make cars. parts are harder and harder to find which mean they are expensive. Engine is solid but leaks so much oil around the gaskets like valve cover, timing cover, oil seals, turbo gaskets. Primarily due to bad crankcase breathing system which was updated but did very little help. Still leaks. Transmission is good and engine is good i have over 230k miles on this and its still the stock engine and trans. Big repairs include timing cover gasket leak repair which includes replacement of head gasket. brake booster leaks, turbo charger, replaced alternator twice.

SID display goes blank and flickers a common problem. Antitheft module alarms on its own at times if you live in a rust belt like illinois. these items corrode faster with salt on the road.

but other than that i still love it and enjoy driving it. I spun out on the highway going 70mph during winter with my whole family in it and everyone walked away no one was hurt. even my saab wasnt hurt, well couple bruises on the bumpers but thats it.
All in all a great car! The car seems to "consume" light bulbs, however. Replacing a few of the same ones every 18-24 months. There were a few "engine recall" or modifications for ignition (DIC) and the oil sump (rerouting some oil lines) that need to be accomplished for oil sludge issues.
our 2003 saab 9-5 has a rear left tire which is flat as a result of running over a nail. the logical thing to do would be of course, to temporarily put on the spare. however, the wheel in question, will not come off the car. the lugs nuts/bolts came off no problem, but the tire is stuck on. we have made many attempts to remove the tire and have been so far unsuccessful. how do you get the darn wheel off?? we are being hunted and in need of immediate service.
I have a 2003 Saab 9-5 ARC 3.0L Turbo. I absolutely love it! It is extremely quick and pulls hard through the entire power range. I have only had two problems with it. I had to replace 2 batteries and had one problem with starting which turned out to be a faulty crank shaft sensor. I really like the different modes you can run it in (Sport and economy). In sport it is super quick and the peddle is very responsive. When in economy mode the peddle is spongie but you get pretty good gas mileage (21 mpg highway). I love the interior and the styling of a Saab and after 105K miles it still runs great. I almost hate to trade it in but the new 9-5's are unbelievable and I will need to get one. Over 300 horsepower for the 6 cylinder turbo.
I have owned my 2003 Saab Linear Turbo since 2005 and really have no complaints. A few years back it would hesitate when it got warm out when I gunned it, but they replaced some sensor under warranty from Maunifacturer and has been great ever since. Never have had any issues with to drive with the turbo!! Display works great and has a super cool cup holder that folds out or away with one simple touch!
Bought 1999 Saab 9-5SE used in 2000. Car was great for the first 3 years or so and then really started having various engine and electrical problems. Only had a little over 60,000 miles on it when I finally said enough is enough as the car had quit starting on a regular basis and I just spent $2,000 on repairs about 6 months earlier. Fun to drive but hard on the pocketbook.
Owned the car for 9 months so far. Its a Saab 9-5 Linear, therefore its not exactly fast, but it does get the job done well. This is especially true considering I was only 19 when I acquired the vehicle. So far its been a real blast to own, only have two problems (one of which was definately my fault). Thecar has been efficient stylish and fun overall, the suspension handles well with not too much body roll, the interior has all the fun gadgets and nice sound system and the drivetrain and brakes have really been pretty well matched to the vehicles engine. Now I give the engine a rating of only 3 stars because I do indeed have the linear meaning its not the quickest ride out there; mind you its still faster than alot of other rides. But I sort of wished I could have acquired an "Aero" model of this car. But either way the ride has truly been something that has made me into a true SAAB fanatic. Born from jets, and Move your Mind.
Sweet ride but LOTS of electrical problems--ignition coiled burned up and dashboard went bad. It also takes a long time to heat up (but the heated seats are "cool.")
Great car, awesome on gas, sport feel when you want / need it. Fuel savings when driver modestly. A few small electrical mysteries, that have come and gone by them selves. Plenty of 3rd party replacement parts available. This is my 3rd Saab, and loving it.
The 95 has a lot of problems ... I have 160,000 miles on this car but had to have a new engine put in at about 140k miles due to a malfunction with one of the idiot lights that didn't come on when the oil wasn't circulating properly due to another safety feature malfunctioning. I've had to replace the throttle body housing 3 times and have replaced the turbo twice these repairs were all out of warranty maybe it's just this one car but... I have always owned Volvo's but was talked into buying this car in 2001 and it's cost me... Pretty sure I wouldn't buy another one..
2001 Saab 9-5 Aero

I've just purchased this car, knowing it had some maintenance issues. At this point, they are more expensive than I'd anticipated (mainly due to getting ripped off by a shop I believe.) Still, with the repairs and initial cost of the vehicle, I'm under blue book.

This car is a blast to drive. I'm coming from a 1999 Saab 9-3 SE. This has the larger 2.3T engine that the Viggen has. This car has all the power you'll ever need while cruising along. Need to pass someone immediately, it's there. Need to change lanes between cars that are moving faster, no problem. The suspension is tight and holds well in the curves, but not so tight that the ride is terribly rough (for me anyway, I do like to feel the road while driving though.)

The interior quality of this car is much nicer than my 1999 9-3. It has many of the same issues that other Saabs of this era have. SID pixels going out for example(easy fixes for this, although they theoretically are temporary.)

So far I've had to replace a water pump at 114,000 miles ($1000 job for me, it really shouldn't be that high.) Also, the DIC is giving me error codes. I've got a replacement, but going through the records, I see it was replaced less than 25,000 miles ago. So this may not be the problem, or may take more research.

Overall, if you enjoy Saabs, I think you'll probably really like this car. If you're used to driving a Honda or something very generic, you may have a hard time putting up with the maintenance and issues. I for one, really enjoy the experience this car offers when it is on the road; that overcomes any bad experience with the brand or vehicle maintenance-wise.
This was a comfortable car with a fairly peppy engine. I'm glad I leased the car as I was able to walk away without having to deal with the challenges this car faced after 3 years.