Used 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon Consumer Reviews
great car-practical and fun to drive-terrific cargo space-on star and phone very helpful.
Bad wheel bearing, bad ignition module, bad ignition module 2, recalled ignition modules, poor / insufficient brakes, heater erratic, unreasonably expensive repairs, failing guide pulleys to timing belt, possible symptoms of failing turbo. Positively EATS tires with its weight.
Excellent highway car with smooth ride and passing power. Manual is slow off the line around town. You are behind everyone else leaving the light as the turbo spools up, but a lot of power once you are rolling. Very comfortable seating and quiet at speed. Good room. Super build quality - zero problems in 2 years.
After 138,000 miles with nothing but routine maintenance the turbo just blew. we replaced it and suddenly we have gone from great mileage (41 mpg on the highway) to 45.5 mpg! i love driving this car, i love the manual transmission, the way it handles in snow and wet and the comfy seats. i love the cargo space and the split seats and the heated seats. we drive pets and us to Maine and back every summer and need not to get stuck on the road.- i am thinking we need a new car but don't want to turn this sweet thing in.
I should have looked further into that price (why does a car with this many nice features and such good driving cost so little) before buying... The cost for the timing belt, which must be replaced every 80k, is over $1k at the repair shop. If allowed to go to failure, it will destroy the entire V6 engine... Don't buy one of these with a V6 engine. I spend, on average, about $2.5k each year just replacing things that break so I can keep my car on the road. I'm saving to replace it, but I keep draining my savings to fix it so I can get to work again. I bought mine used. I've had this particular car now for almost 6 years & 100k miles (bought at 95k miles, now at 195k miles). Here are the things I've had to replace on my car during that time: Radiator, Both Radiator Hoses (separate repairs for all 3, one radiator hose failure left me stranded on the side of the road without coolant.) Ignition coils and spark plugs (that almost left me stranded, I knew they were failing but I had to wait a week for the parts to come in) Idler pulley (This one was replaced twice, did the first time during the timing belt change at 120k miles, the second one almost stranded me as I saw it bouncing down the road while I was driving to my repair shop). Water pump (also done during the timing belt, glad I got a 2-for-1 on that one - total cost was $1200 for that repair bill). Alternator (over $1k for that one, and it took time to come into the 'Saab' specialist shop) Turbo (That was $2k on its own, ouch!) Front and rear shocks/strut dampers. Power steering hoses and reservoir. Speakers (2 had the foam to fail, I found a speaker repair shop that got them back to working for less than $100 total). Air Conditioner Controller Motors under the dash, x2. (The first one failed so it was blowing cold during the Winter. The second one failed so it was stuck blowing the defogger onto the windshield during the summer). I did this repair myself. It took a while. I shudder to think what the repair shop would have charged for this one. I've also had the headlight wipers fail (I removed them) and the sunroof leaks into the vehicle if I'm parked facing down-slope when it rains. Luckily, my office has a parking garage so I don't deal with that too often. Also, I cut my finger on the wood veneer peeling off of the dash. The wood they used was just too thin and the glue fails over time. I'm gradually peeling it off of my dash, it doesn't look good... Normal Maintenance Items: Tires (Tires only last ~50k miles, that's the longest I could get out of a set of Michelins. Thank goodness they're only $500 a set) Brakes (Pads & Rotors once, Pads the 2nd time. This car eats those too). Oil Pan and Valve Cover gaskets. I still have to get the stains out of my garage. Fluids (This thing requires Euro spec synthetic motor oil because of the turbo, it's not cheap - about $80 for the shop to do this oil change). Headlight bulbs only last about 4 months, that's with the long-life version. The 'Silverstar' bulbs only last 4-6 weeks in this car. These are $20 per pair (for the long-life version). About 'Onstar' - The onstar system they put in my car is completely obsolete. It will not connect to anything now. I removed the Onstar from my car. 2018 Update - New in the 2 years since my last review: Replaced the shifter linkage connection bushing at the transmission. There's a nylon bushing between the end of the shifter cable and the shift linkage on the transmission. That apparently fails with age and when it does, you're stuck in whatever gear you were in when it broke. Fortunately, the part was $5 at Advance or Auto Zone and I was in my driveway when it failed. If your shifter thinks it needs to be pulled from D to 3 to get the dash display to move from N to D, then it's about to die - you should drive to somewhere flat that you can park and fix this. Fuel Pump & rear gate lifters. Replaced Key Controller Module - When this failed (because water was getting into the sunroof and it collected around this module that sits at the low point of the car below the driver seat), the key no longer did anything EXCEPT unlock the drivers door. Turning the key in the ignition would turn on accessory power, but nothing else would happen because this module tells the computer if the key is valid, not the key pattern in the lock cylinder. The speakers in the rear doors no longer work so I've got a functional rear subwoofer, but no other sound except for the dashboard speakers. The battery died - that should have been expected. It was old (first time replacing that in 6 years, which is about average for a good battery). The turbo that I replaced is now smoking heavily again on startup (as long as there's oil above the fill line on the dipstick, which is another question, but I think the turbo is the source of the leak). Also need to replace the Alternator again. I'm not going to do the turbo or the alternator this time. It's time to cut my losses.