2011 Saab 9-5 Aero, an AutoWeek Drivers Log Car Review

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2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero. Photo by David Arnouts.

By: Wes Raynal on 7/15/2011

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EDITOR WES RAYNAL: This 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero is a nice car, but is Saab on anybody's radar anymore? It might indeed be a fewer luxurious option to the Audi A6/BMW 5-series/Mercedes-Benz E-class cliché, although I speculate how a lot of BMW, Audi and/or Mercedes owners still understand Saab is motionless in business. Or care.

We'll see how it theater out in the marketplace as Saab hangs on by its fingernails, but the car drives healthy and I deduction it be hypothetical to as,because it's person's name approximately 14 existence as,because the old 9-5 came out. The car is roomy and tight, the turbocharged six-cylinder has additional supposed sufficient authority and the ride is smooth. The gearbox is smooth, too, consequences by,by means of the paddles or not. The seats are in the center of the the majority excellent in the business, in my opinion, and the dash has the historic Saabness to it.

The query is--under new ownership determination Saab be clever to get sufficient management eager on the showrooms for a examination drive? If it can contain strength healthy be impressed by means of petroleum car. I'm charitable forward to annoying the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder.

INTERACTIVE ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: This has a turbocharged V6!? I consideration for certain it was a four-cylinder. The 300-hp component doesn't appear to go,shift the big sedan as rapidly as one counting believe it should. When I was heavy previous nighttime I was thinking so as to petroleum four-cylinder is attractive good, but I can't consider it doesn't contain a six, since the car is bigger. Surprise, surprise.

The exterior is attractive sharp. The futuristic front end attention good, as fake the rear. The xenon present so as to go,shift approximately wonderful are attractive cool, too. The merely weird fraction concerning the exterior is the cut of the window. It tapers as of front to rear charitable the profile a strange look.

The center of the Saab is healthy complete and comfortable, by means of a small game terrified in for high-quality measure. The seats are enclosed by means of perforated leather. There is high-quality inferior rear support, high-quality bolsters and it has so as to additional part so as to slides up beneath by means of knees. It all construct for a at ease heavy position.

The Harmon-Kardon stereo scheme booms and the iPod input worked great. It earth a great deal of the center bits are as of the General Motors lesser bin, but it's all laid out well.

The obsession concerning Saab for me is so as to it strength not be the the majority excellent car in its class, but it has a number of nature so as to the majority brands don't.

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Victor Muller is pawning his bullion fillings to stay Saab leaving on a each day basis, yet the corporation has the gall to ask close to $50,000 for a sports education sedan by means of now sufficient performance, a neutral intended in order center, no navigation and no back-up camera? I was in fact type of indignant for the primary few on foot I exhausted by means of our 9-5, although so as to might be due in fraction to the information so as to I'm a former Saab 9-5 owner, and the knowledge was, ahem, fewer supposed satisfying.

But as the drive continued, the car casement to demonstrate me its a variety of dispersal and I softened in the direction of the new sedan. First, the interior: Saab seats are, by means of no trouble down, the the majority excellent in the business. And I exposed the be small of of a multicolor, multifunction nav/XM/etc. show smack dab in the center of the dash in fact lady me to center still additional supposed customary on the street in front and the sense of the wheel in my hands.

And the thick, flat-bottomed Aero wheel become paler good. It's linked to a well-tuned steering scheme so as to brings the Saab approximately corners by means of nice progression; I establish it neither too rapid nor too slow, and the XWD scheme seemed to complement the steering sense on together sweepers and rapid turns. In fact, I inappropriately to overcook it a bit on one backroad absent and the be small of of play approximately disappointed me.

As for the engine, it become paler similar to a Saab turbocharged six-cylinder. That's the merely way I can explain it; not overly potent but if you watch the boost gauge (and thank you Saab for counting one, an oversight on a lot of manufacturer's new turbo cars) and drive by means of an eye in the direction of on-boost engine load vs. rpm, the 9-5 is earlier supposed it feels. All in all it reminds me a lot of the 9-X I drove a few existence back. Saab aficionados determination be at house here.

I too fell for the seem of the car. It's got an approximately French fuselage styling to it so as to reminds me of the Citroen SM. It's not attractive but it's uniquely stylish, and it ability Saab plan cues now sufficient to stay it in the family with no appearing dated.

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Will it be sufficient to stay the corporation afloat? Not likely. But if petroleum is the previous new Saab I still contain the chance to drive, my memories of the marque determination be sweeter supposed contain had been.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: Putting sideways consequences Saab is pertinent in the marketplace, I discover the 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero fairly unique, handsomely styled, Swedish in drive nature and now Saabish sufficient to win my kudos. The car is extremely refined in ride and powertrain, by means of the XWD captivating mind of any torque guide evils of the history and laying the authority downward by means of quiet strength. I'm certain the XWD saps a number of of the authority as of the turbo V6, or at smallest amount construct it sense a small fewer powerful, but the car scoots to pace in a hurry on one occasion the engine overcomes the first turbo lag.

The XWD too theater a fraction in keeping petroleum chassis sharp from side to side the corners--it large exact and predictable and simple to drive hard. The steering earth overboosted but I believe that's a on purpose Saab trait approved in excess of as of history cars. Not saying that's high-quality or bad--but it fake get the job done. The chassis earth well-isolated and so,consequently soft but it doesn't appear to suffer as of any revolve or dive.

I discover the car's styling is good-looking in a typical sense. I suspect it determination motionless seem high-quality on one occasion the previous payment is made. Inside, the car is functional and rapidly now the correct Saab-style appointments and extras, genuine as the Saab-centric center-mounted ignition button and obligatory turbo boost gauge, the spotless middle stack, the enormous sunroof enclosed by a linen sunshade, the well-bolstered leather seats, and flat-bottomed thick leather-wrapped steering wheel. I motionless miss the artistic Transformer similar to pop-out cupholders, but I can forgo so as to stuff for petroleum overall improved car.

The merely annoyance in my notes is the creaking sound in the inferior driver's seat on our examination car, seemingly pending as of anywhere the seat artificial cladding meets the leather. That'd drive me batty in no time.

MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: A $50,000 bottom cost for petroleum Saab diversity to me as a great deal as self-penetrating my cranium by means of a pitchfork, as present are now too a lot of additional lavishness cars, sports education cars, presentation cars--just too a lot of cars, period--that you might drive house in for so as to transaction price.

But you be acquainted with what? If it is possible--and sure, that's a big "if"--to put the cost sideways for a moment, I was content to use a pair existence at the back petroleum flat-bottomed wheel (a nice touch, by the way).

I might contrast petroleum car to the finally retired former 9-5, but so as to Swede's extended existence construct genuine an labor out irrelevant; in car terms, the old 9-5 was a centenarian. This model--perhaps remarkably, maybe depressingly, transfer on by means of stance concerning the earth of Saab--manages to pace eager on the there as,at the same time as retaining a number of quirky rudiments well-known to the marque's loyalists.

A confession I contain no problem making: I do not mind for the 9-5's exterior lines, ,specially as of the C-pillar back. It one way or another manages to simultaneously yell "Saab" and "Saturn," and maybe still "'80s-era Jaguar XJS." There fake approach eager on view to be a number of airplane influence, as usual, but the wrap up moderator jointly in a disjointed, inelegant style I desire its as extended as had discarded or at smallest amount reworked considerably previous to production.

Yet petroleum is a nice car to drive. The engine is smooth; its presentation fake not overwhelm you, but unlike a number of of my generation I surely by no means believed it was a four-cylinder. The ,whole powertrain is smooth and quiet, and the car responds nicely to intended inputs. "Flowing" is the the majority excellent utterance I can summon to explain how the heavy knowledge become paler to me. The ride is comfortable, the handling not watered downward to benign individuality and fairly surefooted, and I establish the steering gave me sufficient sense and feedback to direct the Saab the distance end to end of smoothly and rapidly by means of small effort. There's surely a European character evident, despite the General Motors-backed growth history.

I liked the interior, construct as additional noted rapidly a nice, at ease seating position. I did not miss the nav or backup camera monitor one bit, and I smiled at a number of of the carryover quirks, genuine as the dashboard air vents and matte-finished middle stack. If petroleum was not a Saab, I'd contain probably become paler similar to the middle stack was straight as of an unfinished preproduction prototype, but it now attention and large natural in petroleum car. The rest of the center is good-looking and ,court case a relaxing driving/riding environment. Enough so, in fact, so as to I frequently forgot all concerning the 9-5's outward appearance and just now enjoyed the ride.

And after that I remembered the price…

EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: This is the the majority excellent Saab I've driven. GM did a high-quality job in rising petroleum car for the new owners. The rather funky exterior plan is rather wonderful downward considering Saab designs of the past, and its attention in fact grew on me. The center was comfortable, very quiet and functional. I liked the thick, flat-bottom steering wheel and I actually liked the functionality and layout of the middle stack and the all the controls. The turbo six is fine in petroleum application, though I was a bit astonished by means of the quantity of lag present. Most turbo cars nowadays contain one way or another managed to greatly reduce, or eliminate, turbo lag. And it was nice to sense no horrendous torque guide so as to Saabs of old now recognized for.

The query of Saab existing is motionless in doubt, but in the 9-5 Aero, the corporation has a solid car on construct to sell to hopefully stay the clientele coming. Obviously one car, still a solid, $50,000 car, lined sustain an ,whole company. It determination require additional solid, rather fewer luxurious crop to survive. But if Saab fake fail, it won't be since its one major new manufactured goods was a dog.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero

Base Price: $50,390

As-Tested Price: $51,385

Drivetrain: 2.8-liter turbocharged V6; AWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 300 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,156 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 20/18.3 mpg

Options: Harmon-Kardon audio scheme counting 11 speakers, 5.1 surround sound ($995)

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