2003 Saab 9-5 Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Saab 9-5

Saab 9-5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Saab 9-5

  • A likable sedan (and wagon) in numerous ways, but it lags behind the competition when it comes to providing class-leading luxury or performance. The wagon version, however, with its seductive style and superior functionality comes across much better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Best-in-class crash scores, long list of standard features, plush highway ride, supportive seats, large trunk.

  • Cons

    Turbo lag at low speeds, suspension too soft for aggressive driving, interior materials could use improvement.

  • What's New for 2003

    After last year's extensive round of improvements, the 9-5 received only minor upgrades for 2003. All five-speed automatic-equipped…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (140 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Better than the best!

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Aero 4dr Sport Wagon (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

This is one of the best cars out there! I have the automatic transmission, and this car flys down the road!! it is very fast and has excellent handling. On the exterior, there is a very sleek and modern design (Black) that looks fantastic! The interior even though its old looks well done and seems to wear very little. let me talk a little about comfort, THIS CAR IS COMFY! The front seats are very high quality and are very supportive and hug you in. (drove non stop from my town to a town near by, which is a 100 mile round trip, 4 times in a row!) the seats have held up very well! Also, the cargo room is very impressive! (moved into a 2 bedroom with this car only.) So obviously I luv this car!

Good for a passionate car

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Arc 3.0t 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 5A)

After driving 3 Saabs, a 2005, 2006 9.3 Turbo, and a 2003 9.5 Aero It is clear that Saabs are cars to be pampered and taken well care of. If you are looking for a reliable car with as little maintenance as possible this is not the car for you. Your better of with a Toyota. You will get what you give with Saab and the car is good for someone who enjoys taking care of cars as a passion and DOES NOT mind putting in an extra dollar to keep their jem running at top quality. For about $4500 the 2003 Areo is about the best sports car you can get for the price and after regular maintenance you can expect quick acceleration, good gas mileage, and an all over all smooth, stylish, and luxurious ride.

Great ride!

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear 2.3t 4dr Sport Wagon (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I bought my Linear with 81,000 miles in '09. It's had some problems, but not outside what you'd expect with a car approaching 100K miles. Yes, repairs can be expensive, but I've done much of them myself, and parts can be found on eBay and junk yards for cheap. This car has a very smooth ride, is very quiet, the stereo is very good, the climate system is great and the controls are well laid out. The dash cupholder is useless, but I just put aftermarket ones on the doors. The acceleration is great, and I installed a high pressure turbo from an Aero, so now it really hauls! While not cheap to maintain, 9-5s can be found used for far less than competitive cars, and they look better too.

Excellent car

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear 2.3t 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Bought this car from Valley Honda, Naperville a year back for 6500 + 2 year extended warranty... Amazing car, drive, performance, value for money from car. Saab cars are luxury which is affordable when you buy is used... An year has passed and car has only taken minor issues (I maintain it regularly)

Engine failure

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Bought this car used with about 45K on the clock. Had for 3.5 years and put about 70K miles on it. Always ran synthetic oil, maintained the car very well, and the engine has failed at just 116K miles. Very disappointed, as I really enjoyed this car, and it was my second Aero, and now have a worthless car. I don't think I'll ever buy another one. also, very frustrating is the digital display always goes out on these things.

Electronic nightmare

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Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear 2.3t 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I purchased this car used and for the first few years it was fine. The last year or two have been a nightmare. Electronic issues and 'Check Engine" lights are a monthly occurrence. For instance the dashboard info display was rebuilt, the ignition switch has to be replaced and the trunk harness which controls the trunk lock and the tail lights was replaced. There is no manual key entry for the trunk. Recently the DI cassette in the engine was replaced ($550) to address the most recent 'Check Engine' light.

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 Saab 9-5 Review

What's New for 2003

After last year's extensive round of improvements, the 9-5 received only minor upgrades for 2003. All five-speed automatic-equipped models now have the Sentronic manual-shift feature with steering wheel-mounted controls. Ventilated sport seats are now optional on the Aero, while electronic stability control is now standard on all models.

Talk About The 2003 9-5