2003 Saab 9-5 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Saab 9-5 Sedan

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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 250 hp @ 5300 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

  Average Consumer Rating (49 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


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.




Tow after tow after tow

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

I had purchased this vehicle not even 2 weeks and it died on me. I had bought it with about 57K miles, and two weeks later on the way to a mini vacation it leaves me stranded in the middle of the freeway. I took it back to the selling dealer and also their Saab dealer and they slapped the machine on it and "Nothing is wrong with it, it drives like a champ." Again it had just died as i was accelerating through town, and then my speed gauge gradually goes down once again! On my way back from work on the freeway it died again! DO NOT BUY THIS MODEL. By the way i failed to mention i had to waste my money towing this vehicle every single time it died on me. STAY AWAY!




Big surprise, small price

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

I bought this used in August of 06 since I had a "price point" in mind as children were in college and cost was important. The terrible depreciation is the used car buyer's gain and I bought three years from new for about 45% of list. The car turned out to be a big surprise after 4 years and about 40K miles I have driven. Few mechanical problems, although they were either covered by the remaining factory warranty or the extended one I bought. I am very impressed with the highway cruising ability but it is not my prior 911 or 540 (nor did I expect it to be). It is generally an all around good car with lots of room and decent driving fun. Go find one with low mileage!




My feeling are hurt

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

I once loved this car. I traded my 1999 9-5 Linear with 110k mi for this AERO. The Linear was much better. The only leg up this car has is the acceleration and body cladding. In one year, I have replaced the engine, replaced the head gasket for the replacement engine, fuel pump, injectors, turbo, DI cassette, SID display, tabs that keep the windows from rattling, an electrical junction box, and I paid for emission hose updates (not covered by warranty), and yesterday a pully broke leaving me stranded. The car has only 71k miles, and I've owned it for only a year. This is my 3rd and worst SAAB. This car was built for the service bay and not the road. My love affair with SAABs is over.




No resale value

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

DO NOT buy this car on the used market. Bought mine CPO in 2006 for $19k. Owned it for 2.5 years, still owe $11k on this. Heard from dealer that they are going for $4k at auction. So I'm in the hole $7k. Car is not worth it. Yeah it's quick, gets good gas mileage, and is fun to drive, but that's about it. Reliability is crap. Eats through tires and is in the shop at least 2 times a year. Go with a BMW, you'll be much happier.




Best in class.

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

Used to own a 1994 VW Passat VR6, and didn't want anything slower. Narrowed my search to A4 or Passat with the same 1.8T engine, BMW E39 or 46, C Classe and Mazda RX-8. Didn't even consider Saab at that time. But after sitting in different cars at used car lot, felt in love with 2000 Arc model and went straight home to do some research. Found a black 2003 Aero and bought it the same day. It's 440 pounds heavier than my old car but the acceleration is just stunning! The only major problem with this car is $3000 I had to pay on my 90k servicing :( Nevertheless I would buy it again if I had the chance and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a compromise between sport and luxury.



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