Saab's new 9-5 Wagon marks the company's latest move in producing world-class cars that will appeal to a broader market, not just Saab loyalists. Following in the footsteps of the all-new 9-5 Sedan, the 9-5 Wagon offers an impressive blend of styling, performance, luxury and functionality. It also offers something you might not normally associate with Saabs: value.
Base price of the 9-5 Wagon, which comes with a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine and five-speed manual transmission, is $32,425 (including destination charge). For that amount of money you get a multitude of standard luxury and utility items that no other station wagon can currently match. These include a Harmon/Kardon audio system with radio/CD/cassette player, a refrigerated glove box, a power sunroof, a power front-passenger seat, the Cargo Tracks load-securing system, fog lights, and a rigid cargo shelf to conceal precious cargo and/or allow cargo to be stacked for increased storage capacity. The base Volvo V70 Wagon (which has a less powerful engine) is priced slightly lower than the base Saab Wagon, but includes none of the above items. Other competitors, like the Volvo V70 GLT, Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-Series Wagon, cost more than the Saab in base form and get even pricier when similarly equipped.
Saab also worked to maximize performance for the new 9-5 Wagon, and it shows in the standard engine's 170 horsepower, 207 foot-pounds of torque. These figures beat the base Volvo V70's 162 horsepower and 162 foot-pounds of torque, and even match the 207 foot-pounds of torque found in the pricier, six-cylinder A6 Avant. Step up to the larger 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine and the Saab's numbers climb to 200 horsepower and 229 foot-pounds of torque, enough to match or beat all but the most powerful (and expensive) sport wagons like BMW's 540i ($54,050) and Mercedes E320W ($47,795). Base price of the six-cylinder Saab 9-5 Wagon is $37,475 with destination charge. The Volvo V70 T5 Wagon does have slightly more horsepower and a lower price ($35,085), but it doesn't include a leather interior, power sunroof or automatic transmission; all are standard on the 9-5 Wagon V6.
Of course, all the numbers make for great party debates but don't mean a thing if the 9-5 Wagon can't deliver in the real world. It's here that Saab's engineers invested the bulk of their energy in terms of safety, performance and utility. For instance, the 9-5 Wagon's use of non-intrusive door panels with energy-absorbing material met U.S. side-impact standards even before Saab installed the in-seat side airbags. A total of 40 different crash tests were performed on the 9-5 Wagon by Saab's safety division, far more than the 11 required by law. The anti-whiplash Saab Active Head Restraint system, pendulum B-pillar side-impact structure and the aircraft-inspired Cargo Tracks load-securing system are three more safety features unique to Saab.
The Cargo Tracks system is a particularly useful feature that makes locking down large items in the cargo area a snap. Two long, metal tracks recessed into the floor work with cables and hooks (located in a small storage compartment in the cargo area) to keep large items from shifting and potentially invading the front passenger area during an accident. When not in use, the tracks can be covered with two rubber strips similar to the ones seen running along the aisles in commercial aircraft. All Saab 9-5 Wagons come with the Cargo Tracks system as standard equipment.
The 9-5 Wagon's numerous safety features are particularly reassuring when rolling along the pavement. With 229 foot-pounds of torque coming on at a mere 2,500 rpm, it's easy to get the wagon rolling quickly with the slightest hint of turbo lag when starting from a dead stop. Once underway, the Saab has amazing torque for passing maneuvers and general mischief. When left in "Sport" mode, the automatic in the 3.0-liter model will hold each gear longer and downshift with little prompting. This mode works particularly well while sluicing canyons, where the Wagon's substantial braking power and competent suspension combine for rapid transit in truly non-grocery-getting fashion. Saab's engineers told us that the 9-5 Wagon was equipped with slightly stiffer bushings than the 9-5 Sedan for increased load-carrying capacity and reduced lean. We say the suspension tweaks worked, resulting in a wagon that feels even more planted during handling maneuvers than the recent 9-5 Sedan we tested.
In addition to the standard list of features included with every 9-5 Wagon, Saab is unleashing an entire line of accessories that include rear spoilers, bike racks, cargo-area dividers and dog harnesses that work with the Cargo Tracks system. This means that buyers can mount their Gary Fisher bikes on the roof, load their equipment and favorite four-legged friend in the back, and hit the road looking as sporty, but more active, than the couple in the SLK. They can even purchase a Saab wristwatch to make sure everyone knows where their loyalties rest.
You can expect to see a barrage of advertising over the next few months making claims about what the current offering of Saab cars is and, more importantly, what it is not. It's really Saab vs. the World and, with the 9-5 Wagon as an indicator, we think the company ought to do well.
1999 Saab 9-5 Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1999 Saab 9-5 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1999 9-5 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1999 Saab 9-5 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1999 9-5 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1999 9-5.
Review Sold my 9000 Aero with 155K miles and bought a 1999 9-5 2.3T wagon with 120K. Absolutely love it as my commuter car. All options still work and is still nice and quiet. I have however had lot of vacuum problems. Replaced the turbo bypass valve, vacuum hoses, and fixed brake booster lines(Did all the work myself with the help of a friend so very inexpensive). Other than that nothing beats this car on performance and gas mileage. I get a couple mpg's better than my 9000 Aero. My family is full of Saabs and thats for a reason. Fantastic cars if you keep up on maintenance. Hoping to get a newer 9-3 after this 9-5.
Edmunds Value Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
Available Saab 9-5 1999 Submodel Types: Sedan, Wagon
Available Trims: Base, Arc 2.3T, 2.3t, Aero, Linear 2.3T, SE V6t, Turbo4, SE