So it's very safe, very comfortable, very fun to drive, pretty quick and all around enjoyable car to drive. However, it was designed poorly and is unreliable and puts a permanent pipeline from your wallet to the mechanic.
This car when running is great. But it breaks at the drop of a hat and it is a thousand here and a thousand there. Luckily I can wrench on it myself and save some money. Expect to replace and engine and expect GM to flip you off unless you live in Europe. They honor the warranty there.
Drives well. When it runs
Don't run the exhaust next to the oil pan. It sludges the oil.
We've had our 95 for 5 years now and love it to bits, the whole family loves it. It is a great alternative to a Toyota Camry (or similar) as it is much nicer, has more style and 'feels' much better than the standard Japanese plastic box. It isn't at the same level as a BMW 5 or Audi A6 but neither is the price so what you get is a lovely solid car that does everything reasonably well at a great price. People moan about how it doesn't have the performance of a BMW 5 etc but it doesn't have the price either so! If you want a solid well performing comfortable car look no further. Mine has been reliable but like all cars you can find owners who disagree.
Solid feel of the vehicle, mine is 10 yrs old, has 66,000 miles (110,000 km) and still feels like new. Everyone & I mean everyone who hops in it comments on how nice it feels.
I went with the 2.3 ltr which is ample for me - stay away from the American GM V6, lots of problems. Having said that parts are good to come by due to the GM connection.
Engine has been torn apart 3 times for misc oil leaks, turbo has been replaced, muffler replaced. Misc sensor and electrical systems failures. We are on a first name basis with our mechanic. We spend at least $1000-$1500 per year on maintenance. Much more than any other vehicle we've owned. Every part is amazingly proprietary and expensive. $300 plastic turn signal lights... $900 mufflers... etc. It was just crazy. The best thing that ever happened to us was that car getting nearly totally in an accident (and of course that no one was hurt) so that we can take the insurance money and run.
The car does have a lot of fancy features. Cup holder, sun roof, nice audio, heated seat. Lock up you checkbook should any of them fail.
In my opinion DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!!! I have never spent so much time with a mechanic. A visit to the shop for any repair is at least $700 and the car has a very low resale value. Perhaps this is related to GM taking SAAB over? We are done with SAAB for sure!
Bought my 4- cyl turbo se special edition with BBS wheels brand new. Fun to drive, a great value for the money if you buy used. My 9-5 has 125,000 miles on it and I plan on going to 200k. Change oil with synthetic or semi- synthetic and only have had minor problems with electrical system. The panel goes bonkers sometimes but overall would buy again. Need to buy the Aero next time or Saab should make other models sportier with lowered suspension. Out handles many a surprised BMW, Audi and M-B drivers. Shock value is high.
Better seats ( sportier) non - Aero Make all 9-5's Aero models