In the process of researching my new vehicle purchase, I couldn't help but warn potential owners of a Saab 9-5 about the incredible frequency of costly repairs. 1st turbo replacement at 48000 miles, second turbo just blew again at 95000 miles, despite proper unspooling procedures and impeccable maintenance. A myriad of electronic failures that, come to find out, are outrageously common. Including an ABS module replacement for $3000. The display has been pixelated since around 45000 miles. I sent an e-mail of concern to Saab regarding potential recalls to consider and, of course, I received the courtesy reply. In short, I'll never own another Saab! It's awesome when it's running. Too bad it's rare!
The cockpit ergonomics, ride quality, seats, and amenities are terrific. Acceleration is more than adequate and at times fun. Cornering is a little soft but braking is solid with no obvious fade. The build quality is what you'd find in a more expensive auto, such as a Mercedes or BMW.
Better reliability patterns. Unfortunately, the Saab 9-5's pros aren't near sufficient enough to forget about its cons. If it weren't for the unforgiving number of mechanical and electrical breakdowns, this car could've possibly been my favorite ownership as of yet. Sadly, not the case!
I want to correct other users comments. All Saab 9-5s have heated mirrors, they are integrated into the rear window defrost (front defrost works instantly, no waiting for engine to warm). XM radio is offered as a dealer aftermarket accessory that replaces a console cubby hole below the automatic climate control.
You can see from the prolific text that despite its issues, I love this car.
Delete On-star. Useless feature that causes as many problems as is solves.
Reliability is less than stellar. I love my Saab. For the price it is far superior than any other car. Ride is excellent, lots of power, great ergonomics/comfort. I bought a used car w/49K miles, however the turbo blew at 53K (covered under warranty + free towing), the paint is VERY fragile (has gouges in hood from the tow, and keeps getting scratches in parking garage from other drivers resting briefcases on the trunk, top). I am now taking maintenance VERY seriously (there are several other common problems). However, for the safety, performance, and style there is no equal.
The drivetrain warranty has been recently extended to 80,000/unlimited miles under approved Saab maintenance (despite this web site's saying otherwise, see saabnet.com) in order to address engine issues. The turbo is amazing. While this car is not 0-60 fast, it has extra power at any speed.
Reliability, reliaiblity, reliability. Electronic displays commonly lose pixels and engine problems. However, this car is all but theft proof (a big comfort since my Subaru Outback was stolen). Also, I'm not a fan of GM's ownership of Saab (esp. since GM mechanics don't service them).