Used 1999 Saab 9-5 Consumer Reviews
In three years, this car has been 99% trouble-free. The only problem has been with the electronic displays, which apparently was a common problem with the 1999. These have since been made more reliable, and the dealer has immediately replaced the ones that have caused trouble. The gas mileage with the manual 5-speed and turbo 4 cyl. has amazed me. On trips from Ohio to Colorado and New Mexico, including city and mountain driving, I've gotten 31-32 mpg.
Thought I did enough research before purchasing, I was wrong. The car is wonderful when everything is working properly. Which was about 2 weeks! Have done more repairs than I can list here. Parts are often hard to come by and expensive! Unfortunately, Saab quit employing Aircraft engineers decades ago. I'm an aircraft mechanic and I have no doubt their early models held up best because of their aviation background. I'm convinced their partnership with GM was their ultimate downfall. If you already bought a 9-5, Four words: CHANGE THE OIL OFTEN! Change the ATF or manual GB oil often as well! Do maintenance yourself if possible. Mechanics hear "SAAB" and they see $$$$
So it's very safe, very comfortable, very fun to drive, pretty quick and all around enjoyable car to drive. However, it was designed poorly and is unreliable and puts a permanent pipeline from your wallet to the mechanic.
Listen to the warnings before purchasing this car! This car is not worth the headaches you will more then likely endure. I purchased this car with 85K miles in March of 2011. I was carpooling with a group of peers so I drove the car for ONE full week during that first month. On day 34, my engine seized. I replaced that engine. Since then, I have also replaced numerous belts, sensors, pumps. Every 3-4 weeks this car was in the shop and needed a new overpriced part that was impossible to find. Engine failure is a common problem with this year as I have learned the hard way. The engine I purchased to replace the original one seized on us recently as well. Please save your $$ and think twice!!
We've had our 95 for 5 years now and love it to bits, the whole family loves it. It is a great alternative to a Toyota Camry (or similar) as it is much nicer, has more style and 'feels' much better than the standard Japanese plastic box. It isn't at the same level as a BMW 5 or Audi A6 but neither is the price so what you get is a lovely solid car that does everything reasonably well at a great price. People moan about how it doesn't have the performance of a BMW 5 etc but it doesn't have the price either so! If you want a solid well performing comfortable car look no further. Mine has been reliable but like all cars you can find owners who disagree.