2003 Saab 9-5 Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Saab 9-5

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Great ride!

by on
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.




Huge disappointment

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

Bought the car with 44,000 miles on it, thinking SAAB was a quality brand and would last for years. Unfortunately, I had not heard that repairs on a SAAB are extremely expensive. The car was initially fun, lots of bells and whistles. After 2 months, things started going wrong. The computer that controlled the temperature panel went out. The module controlling the high beams failed. The plastic panel under the driver's seat broke. Power locks did not work correctly. Other small items broke or stopped working. The final straw was at 96,000 miles when the throttle assembly went out. After a repair cost of over $1000, I traded in the car. I will not buy another SAAB.




Not worth the money

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

For a car that costs as much as this did, I expected much higher quality. The engineers did a poor job of ergonomic design, parts break (and when they do, it's *very* expensive to fix), and there are known bugs which Saab doesn't seem to care about fixing. (Repairs on my car in 100,000 miles: fuel pump, brakes (twice!), rear-hatch-closed sensor, engine-temp gauge...) My pet peeve is if you set the interior temperature, I expect the car to maintain that temp. Instead, it'll either be too hot or too cold.




Fun and comfortable, rock steady

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

I have driven this car for over 60,000 miles now, and still love it. I am a Saab fan from way back, but this one is the best. I did have some minor throttle part problem that was a back- ordered part, but was covered under warranty. Even then, the vehicle was drivable on "limp" mode, so it has never stranded me. I did not like the original tires, but replaced them with Turanzas at 40,000 miles and am very pleased with the added quiet and drive.




Entry-level luxury, real sport &

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

I upgraded from a Chevy Cavalier, so I am very happy with this vehicle. Imperfections are legitimate trade-offs. It feels large for the engine size. From a stop, the transmission and turbo feel confused unless you throttle very gently or heavily. Acceleration improves at high speeds (passing), and overall high-speed performance is excellent. This is a great highway car, but less nimble in dense traffic and tight spots. Otherwise handles well and feels safe, especially with stability control. The seats are very comfortable, and the controls are nice. Storage areas are inefficient. Underappreciated feature: towing capacity. Excellent value. Refined, safe, comfortable, practical, and economical




Beats suv hands down

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

Having come from Arizona to Michigan, I've been driving SUVs for winter roads since I got here 10 years ago. I decided it was time for a change and researched the market. The Saab wagon was the best looking, most fun to drive, safest and still offered enough interior room to displace the SUV. To my surprise, it also went through the winter weather with ease. I wasn't surprised when I learned the Aspen police all drive Saabs.



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

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific