Premium midsize car; Built in Sweden
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $18,000 – $23,500*


2010 Saab 9-5 Front


2010 Saab 9-5 Rear


2010 Saab 9-5


2010 Saab 9-5 Interior

Pros:
  • Control layout
  • Quietness
Cons:
  • Ride/handling

In terms of ride comfort, driving dynamics, cabin appointments, and overall refinement, the 9-5 comes up short compared to the competition. Even without taking Saab’s demise into account, there are several more compelling sedans on the market.

Overview

Saab’s flagship sedan was redesigned for 2010, sharing some elements of its basic design with the 2011 Buick Regal. Although Saab was owned by General Motors during the 9-5’s development, GM no longer owned Saab by the time the 9-5 went on sale; the company was owned by Spyker Cars N.V., a Dutch builder of exotic cars. A 4-door sedan was the only body style offered.

The 9-5 came in a single Aero trim level with standard all-wheel drive. Its sole powertrain teamed a 300-horsepower 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Available safety features included ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. A sport suspension was standard. Among the available features were a head-up instrument display, bi-xenon headlights, tri-zone climate control, and a navigation system with hard drive for storing digital-music files.

Yearly Updates

2011 9-5
The 2011 Saab 9-5 lineup expanded to include new trim levels and a new engine. The returning 9-5 Aero was joined by the new Turbo4 Base, Turbo4 Premium, and Turbo6 trim levels. Turbo4 versions had front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 220-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of running on gasoline and/or E85 ethanol-blended fuel. Turbo6 shared the Aero’s all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 300-horsepower 2.8-liter V6 engine.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

The 2010 9-5 came only with a 300-horsepower 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo joined it for 2011, available with either a 6-speed manual or the automatic, but only in front-drive form.

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 220
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
20/33
18/28
22.4

Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/171
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 295
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/27

Road Test

A 2011 Turbo4 was the only 9-5 model made available for Consumer Guide evaluation. The 2.0-liter engine is very smooth with good throttle response and a satisfying amount of power for most any situation. The automatic transmission is generally smooth, but it displays an occasional reluctance to downshift. Test Turbo4 Premium averaged 22.4 mpg. Saab recommends 90-octane gas, and the 4-cylinder engine is also capable of running on E85 ethanol.

The 9-5’s ride/handling combination falls short of the standards set for premium-midsize cars. The suspension is clunky and unrefined over even moderate bumps in the city. Its highway ride is fine; firm but never harsh. The 9-5 is decently nimble for its size, and the brakes are good, but it’s far from sporty. Any bumps encountered in a corner produce an unpleasant reverberation through the steering wheel.

The engine is a bit vocal during acceleration, but it settles down nicely on the highway. We did notice some wind noise from around the front roof pillar, but it’s not at all intrusive. All in all, 9-5 has a serene cabin.

Unlike many luxury cars, the 9-5, at least without the optional navigation system, has a simple, straightforward control layout. There aren’t too many buttons, nor is there an “all-in-one” control scheme that uses a joystick or similar device. Some of the audio buttons are on the small side, but everything is clearly marked. The gauges are large and easy to read. Interior materials are nice, but hardly spectacular. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, but the woodgrain trim looks fake and plasticky. One test car suffered from some misaligned interior panels, but nothing squeaked or rattled.

The front seats are comfortable, and there’s plenty of headroom and legroom. The center console intrudes a bit on the driver’s knee space, but it’s not a significant problem. The upright shape of the front windshield helps forward visibility, but the view directly aft is compromised by a short window. In back, the housing of the panoramic sunroof cuts into headroom for tall passengers. Space and comfort are otherwise quite good with great legroom.

The 9-5’s trunk is quite large, and though the sickle-type trunk hinges are covered, they steal a bit of space. When folded, the rear seat backsrest quite a bit higher than the trunk floor, which complicates loading bulky items. Interior storage consists of an average-size glovebox, center console, and door pockets.

Ratings

Model Tested: Turbo4 Premium

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 56

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.7 197.2 70.5 57.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.2 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.0 36.8 42.2 38.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.