2009 Saab 9-5 Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 Automatic
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Saab 9-5

  • The 2009 Saab 9-5 sedan and wagon will still please those who have an affinity for classic Saab styling. But in terms of performance, luxury and overall refinement, the 9-5 is outclassed by newer competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Substantial standard features list, exceptionally supportive front seats, simple controls.

  • Cons

    Aging design inside and out, turbocharged four-cylinder lacks refinement, ride can be harsh, no all-wheel drive offered, low-grade interior materials, no rear-seat curtain airbags.

  • What's New for 2009

    There are no significant changes to the Saab 9-5 for 2009.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Was nice until saab went

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

40k MSRP new, its lost $27k trade in value in 4 years. Thanks for going bankrupt SAAB, now our car is near worthless and we're upside down on the loan! There are no replacement parts, there are no authorized service dealerships in the USA anymore, and there's nobody who is willing to buy this car off us at a reasonable price (because it's unreasonable to want a car that you won't be able to fix when something breaks). It drove fine, has quite a few features but it's become an antique in just 4 years. All the new cars out now have nice touchscreens and bluetooth and backup cameras.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

An outstanding swede

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

I have had 17 Saabs of all variants since 1966. The Aero is the fastest safest and the most attractive of all. It has all the useful gadgets with out too much trendy clutter. audio is outstanding. The 235x17 tires, P6, are a bit noisy is a compromise for great performance. I am happy to get the final version of the 9000-95 evolution.I have had 2 of each. The orig. 86 9000T, a 91 9000T, a 01 95t Arc and now the 98 Aero. The 2.3 turbo remains a great motor, better than most 50% above its size. The Aero joins my 07 93, 74 Sonnett,73 96 v-4 and 68 96 v-4 in the driveway.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Hopefully the secret will live

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

I purchased my Saab after needing a sedan to mate with my Suburban that achieves a more corporate style, without going over the top. I have had my eye on the 9-5 for years. This is the best SECRET car buy out there. Like other reviewers, I was able to get mine at a great price and although it lacks some refinement, this is a great car. Highway driving I get 30mpg and in the curves it is a fun car to drive. My wife drives a Volvo XC70, which we love for its utility and space with two children and a dog, but the Saab has it beat! The Suburban is a living room on wheels with 4WD; great for trips and the outdoors. The Saab is just plain FUN and I get compliments all the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Excellent car, great time to

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

I am extremely pleased with my new 2008 Saab 9-5. With all of the rebates that GM is currently offering on new 2008's and a little negotiation, I was able to snag mine for under $24k, which is a STEAL for a car like this. After driving this car for a month, I couldn't be happier. The 260hp turbo engine makes highway driving a blast, and the car handles very nicely in town. I can understand the harsh reviews given a $40k msrp and the quality of interior materials for a car in this price range, but for $24k I think you'd be hard-pressed to find fault.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

9-5, nice

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

The 9-5 is a roomy sedan, with a comfortable ride. A lot of the features of a much more expensive car. Silver snow metallic paint in conjunction with wheels looks sharp. Nice car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saab 9-5

This is a great car I got one with 5 spd manual and it is a blast to drive. Aero package is awesome while twisting and turning at speeds. Turbo is great, turbo lug almost non-existent. It is the best value for a station wagon under 40K.

Full 2009 Saab 9-5 Review

What's New for 2009

There are no significant changes to the Saab 9-5 for 2009.


In a time when many manufacturers are doing everything they can to keep a competitive edge in the midsize luxury sedan segment, it's almost impossible to believe that the 2009 Saab 9-5 is still, for the most part, the same car that debuted 10 years ago. Although driving dynamics have improved and the styling has been tweaked over the course of this decade-old generation, the Saab 9-5 remains one of the oldest cars on the market.

Saab offers the 9-5 as both a sedan and a wagon, something not all automakers do these days. The 9-5 also boasts a comfortable interior and comes standard with an impressive number of features. But these attributes are dwarfed by the car's list of negatives, which include a lackluster powertrain and a notable lack of refinement and new technology features.

In this tough segment, the Saab 9-5 is up against sedans like the Acura TL, the Infiniti G35 and the Lexus ES 350, as well as wagons and small crossovers such as the Acura RDX and Volkswagen Passat. With lots of standard features, the 2009 Saab 9-5 provides compelling value, but so do its competitors. Even the 9-5's less expensive sibling, the 9-3, is a better choice. There's just no getting around the fact that the 2009 Saab 9-5 is well past its sell-by date; keep in mind, though, that a complete redesign is expected next year.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Saab 9-5 is available as a wagon (called the SportCombi) or a midsize sedan. Each is available in two trim levels: the 2.3T base model and the sportier, more powerful Aero version. The 2.3T features standard 17-inch wheels; a sunroof; leather upholstery; eight-way front sport seats; a tilt/telescoping steering wheel; heated front and rear seats; dual-zone automatic climate control; a cooled glovebox; rain-sensing windshield wipers; and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The largely similar Aero adds a sport-tuned suspension, different 17-inch wheels, special interior trim and two-tone leather seats.

Major options include the Visibility Package, which adds xenon headlights, rear parking assist and outside mirrors that are power-folding and auto-dimming. Stand-alone options include cooled front seats and a touchscreen navigation system. The standard in-dash CD changer is unavailable with the navigation system -- buyers must choose whether to keep the satellite radio or instead opt for a trunk-mounted CD changer at no cost.

Powertrains and Performance

All 9-5 sedans and SportCombi wagons have front-wheel drive and are powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 that makes 260 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard and a five-speed manual is optional. And although many cars in this class offer six-speed versions of both types of transmission, the Saab's EPA fuel economy is still respectable; the automatic 2.3T model gets 17 mpg city/26 mpg city and 20 mpg combined.


Standard safety equipment on the 2009 Saab 9-5 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, active head restraints and front-seat side airbags that provide head and torso protection. Side curtain airbags that protect rear occupants are not available. The OnStar communications system is standard.

In government crash tests, the 9-5 earned a perfect five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal impacts. In the side-impact test, the 9-5 received five stars for front passenger protection and four stars for rear protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 9-5 the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset crash testing and a second-best "Acceptable" for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 9-5's overall design hasn't changed much since the car was first introduced, although the original dash layout has since been replaced with a less quirky, more ergonomically friendly GM treatment. The quality of the interior features leaves something to be desired, however.

Otherwise, the 9-5 is a comfortable place to spend time, with ample passenger room and exceptionally comfortable seats -- especially when equipped with the ventilation feature. For those who need extra cargo capacity, the SportCombi wagon is a good alternative to an SUV, as it supplies 37 cubic feet of luggage capacity with the rear seats in use and 73 cubes with them folded. That's more space than some luxury compact SUVs, such as the Acura RDX.

Driving Impressions

Once the turbo kicks in, the 2.3-liter delivers plenty of power for this class, although it's not particularly refined. Unlike most sport sedans and wagons, the 2009 Saab 9-5 performs best with the automatic transmission, as its shorter gearing is better suited to the turbo engine's unusual power band. And although the 9-5's relatively low curb weight gives it a nimble feel around corners, the 9-5 still suffers from torque steer under hard acceleration. Overall, this Saab just can't quite match the sharpness of some of its younger, peppier rivals.

Talk About The 2009 9-5

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs