2010 Saab 9-5 at 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

9-5

  • Competes with: Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S80
  • Looks like: The 9-3’s wealthier – and more rotund – uncle
  • Drivetrain: 300-hp, turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 and likely a less powerful turbocharged base engine; front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2010

Saab finally got around to redesigning its flagship sedan, which now sports a number of cues that highlight Saab’s oft-marketed “Born from Jets” tagline.

The new 9-5 looks more like Saab’s Aero X concept shown in 2006 than anything else in the Swedish automaker’s lineup. Black A-pillars give the sense of continuous glass between the windshield and side windows; it looked cool on the Aero X, but we’re not sure it translates well to a production sedan.

It’s a compelling look, at least up front. We’ll have to wait to see the car in person, but photos of the rear don’t have us springing out of our cubicles. (Not like that email about the box of doughnuts over by Legal, anyway.) The tail sports wide tailpipes that are flush with the bumper. A few cars -- from the Mazda6 to the Buick LaCrosse, with which the 9-5 reportedly shares its platform – are trying that out. Elsewhere, the trunk drops over the tail in an orderly, if unexciting, fashion; a metallic bar joins the two.

The cabin sports plenty of Saab cues, with waffle-iron-shaped air-conditioning vents and a broad cowl spanning the center controls and gauges. Push-button start will be available, though, in the spirit of all things Saab, the button goes in front of the center console. Other available features for the Euro-spec car include an adaptive suspension, tri-zone climate control, a head-up display – Saab calls it “Pilot HUD” – and Saab’s XWD all-wheel-drive system. Most of these features will probably make it stateside.

The Swedish automaker cites all-turbo diesel and gasoline engines, ranging from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a 2.8-liter V-6. The latter should be good for 300 hp, and given the car’s market position, it could be the main choice for U.S. shoppers.

Expect the car to hit dealerships sometime late next year.

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Comments 

segfault

Exterior styling looks weird, and not in a good way.

Mike

I suspect this car to be around the current price of 40ish. For that amount of money, this car doesn't stand out and there are better and more sophisticated alternatives from Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Infinti. Saab is so irrelevent in today's market, I don't know why it is being kept around.
Here it is, another lackluster product with generic ho-hum styling that is surely to be overpriced and under-whelming, thinking it has what it takes to compete with far more competent vehicles in this class. Saab has no product identity at all and is hopelessly flailing like a washed up fish waiting to be dried up by the sun to die.

e

I disagree. The 9-5 is priced well below a BMW 5-series or Mercedes E-class (or Audi A6, right around the price of a S60/S80 Volvo). 9-3=3series/Cclass 9-5=5series/Eclass. Size vs size, apples vs apples.

sarahsmile90

I think Saab is conforming a bit too much...what happen to those funky body styles that Saab was always know for?

SG

It looks like a Next Gen. Hyundai Azera.

Anon

Looks like a Cadillac DTS. Almost identical in the mid-section where the doors are.

Rob

I was thinking Hyundai Azera myself.

Hybrit

Those Jets need to be put on birth control.

LP

I as well agree on the Hyundai Azera look-alike. But the car is much better than its previous 9-5 interior and exterior. Since Saab was sold off to Koenigsegg, a Swedish supercar company of a workforce of less than 100, they're trying to turn things around with Saab. So let us see what happens...

Rick

I hope this car is a success. I have a 2000 95 with 120k miles and it's as tight and rides as good as when it had 20 miles. The Areo X design was a hit and they should keep going in that direction for new models.

My mind is open and I'll wait till I can test dirve one. Maybe with new owners, we won't have to wait so long for new models to come out. Good by GM!

Elkmtnman

I want one in the 300HP, Aero Trim, Sportwagon with Cross wheel Drive and 6 spd manual. Bet that will be well into the $50K range, huh?

J

I think it is truly beautiful. Far sexier than the more expensive German competition. Smarter, cleaner and unique. Agree that first impression is mixed, but that uncertainty has gone away more or less completely now since watching it many times, in various colours, etc. Cant wait to see it irl.

The King's Egg

Born from Jets? Well, I think that's a right stupid claim. Saab cars and Saab jets have been separate since the early 90's. But they still have one thing in common: Nobody is buying their products.

In 18 months we can write the obituary.

chemosaaby

Anyone who says this looks like a Hyundai Azera is as ignorant about Hyundais as they are about Saabs. If anything - it looks like a Sonata.

The new 9-5 looks very disappointing. As a Saab nut (my husband and I have owned 4 Saabs in the past 25 years) I was hoping that Koenisegg would bring Saab back to life. My '98 900S hatchback with 158,000 miles on it is still my favorite. I bought it to haul my larger paintings and it's held as many as 15 paintings and amazing amounts of baggage in its roomy trunk with the back seat down. The new 9-5 looks much smaller that my old 900S. I won't be buying another Saab anytime soon.

Tom K

I must disagree with the majority of you... I think this car is far more sexy than the the German vehicles that will be at least $10k more expensive, have less HP, and cost 3 times as much $$ to maintain... My 2004 9-3 has 90k on it now, and STILL drives like a brand new car... and the turbo is extremely fun. Can't wait to test drive this car, and talk my wife into letting me have one!

UK Diesel driver

@e

This is based on a GM Opel Insignia platform. That is a car which is the size of a C-class. The next 9-3 was going to be based loosely on the new Opel Astra but not sure if that is still allowed...

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