Last post on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM
You are in the Saab 9-5
What is this discussion about?
Saab 9-5, Sedan
#1491 of 2237 Q for Saab owners - buy a 2001 9-5 Aero? (fun vs. reliable)
Jul 24, 2003 (7:18 am)
A little bit of background (for context), then a question for anyone who cares to listen.
A few years back, I owned an Audi 200 quattro. It was by any measure a very enjoyable car to drive, but frequent, high maintenance and repair costs eventually lead me to sell it, in favor of a more "practical" Honda Prelude. I knew that someday I wanted to own a well made sporty sedan again.
The Honda is "okay" to drive, but it's not exactly inspiring. However, it has served me better than I could have ever imagined.. I purchased it with about 45k miles, and in 5 years of daily driving and occasional abuse, it's never once broken down. Literally -nothing- has failed on the car until very recently, when I needed to replace the master cylinder. Other than that it's run like a charm every single day.
But the time has come to replace the venerable Honda. I need more room for cargo, and although I imagine the Prelude could continue to serve me well, I'm not sure that I want to be driving a car with its best years behind it.
In researching what's available, it seems to me that the 2001 9-5 Aero fits the bill almost perfectly. It's got plenty of space, power, good mileage, etc. etc. and is reasonably priced (in the 25k range). And as it turns out there's a low mileage specimen at a dealership not far from me.
So I'm looking for some advice from recent owners/ex-owners, enthusiasts, and/or pundits. Is the '01 9-5 going to be the ideal car? Or is it going to be another Audi-like experience, where in one loves the car but hates having to deal with an endless stream of repairs? By way of comparison, Honda Accords don't excite me in the least as a car enthusiast, but I know if I buy one the chances are good that I won't know the service manager on a first-name basis.
This is sort of the classic "fun versus reliable/practical" issue, but I'm wondering if/hoping that the 9-5 Aero might be both.
Any thoughts, feedback would be greatly appreciated!
#1492 of 2237 petquality
Jul 24, 2003 (1:36 pm)
if you read my post and the above post you will get an idea of what you are in for.
so far my 2000 aero which is rated by consumers report as very reliable has had 3 or 4 computers replaced ,an electric fan,an oil leak,and disc brakes.
60,000 miles .so far.
a much fun to drive car and good range...about 525 miles or more i get 600 on long trips at about 80 mph.
if you want reliability stick to honda.
if you want reliability and fun check out infinity g35.
also most saab owners are kind of fanatics.........see posts above.....because the cars used to be unique and charming.......currently they are german opels with a saab name..........if you ever drive an ipel in europe you will understand.
if you want fun fun go saab but you will pay........
if you want the reliability of honda,lexus and infinity....stick to those.
Jul 24, 2003 (2:31 pm)
One thing (of many) to keep in mind is the 9-5 is much more practical than most of the cars it competes with. The interior is huge with plenty of room front and rear. If you carry people frequently or want/need a roomy car, the 9-5 is terrific.
The 9-5 has a huge trunk and offers flip & fold rear seats which turns it into a fantastic hauler. I know for a fact the G35 doesn't offer this and its trunk is tiny by comparison.
So the 9-5 is equal parts fun and practical. Just depends on what's more important to you.
And while I've never driven an Opel or Vauxhall, I am somewhat familiar with their product lines. I can't think of a single model from those companies that have any tangible similarities to the 9-5. Yeah, there's some parts sharing and some platform sharing but that's a million miles from making Opels and Vauxhalls the same as Saabs.
#1494 of 2237 Quality Improves after 2001
Jul 25, 2003 (8:11 am)
Consumer Reports noted that the quality of the 2001 and later models is much improved over the earlier models. Believe it or not I think GM money has helped with this. We have a 2003(7800 miles) with no problems at all. The only wish I had for the car is a little stiffer springs.
#1495 of 2237 RE: ffb
Jul 26, 2003 (7:45 am)
Too bad you don't have a dealer like mine. Sounds like yours is clueless. If mine wanted to charge me the cost of a scheduled repair without doing all the work.. explaining it didn't need it.. but we're charging you for it anyway.. I'd be completely done with him! That's insane!
I hope you find better service soon. Good luck.
#1496 of 2237 drew---dealers
Aug 02, 2003 (1:00 pm)
of course i will never go back to that dealer in vermont.except to get the new wheel he owes me.
i have an excellent dealer in connecticut. he is expensive but i do trust him because i know him for a long time.
and,also have an excellent mechanic here in florida who has a very large operation and works only on saabs'.
dealers do not get it .and ,i do not mean saab only but almost all of them. their prices are 3 to 4 times higher than anyone else out there ( i do undeerstand their overhead ,etc....) but,and at times they fake the work. i think that they rely mostly on warranty work.
most of the people i know ,once the warranty expires they go on to local mechanics,usually after their first non-warranty work to a dealer.
last month my vette broke a tiny piece of plastic in the clutcch pedal. a $1.25 part.-----the clutch became very hard and difficult to engage.
i called my mechanic in fla. and he told me what was wrong,namely the clutch pedal went out of alignement when this plastic piece broke off.
i removed the panel that covers this area and took it to my local dealer in conn.--i told him exactly what was wrong with the car.and went home.................
he called me 2 hours later and told me that i needed a new clutch assembly at $800. and a new clutch pressure plate at $1400.----(not including the clutch ).....
i told him to do nothing and came to pick up the car.
i then explained to him that this was a case of gross incompetence or fraud........no other way around it..........
i then went to the parts dept, and ordered the plastic piece and a week later i had the same mechanic replace it........the car now works fine.
but i got hit with a $125. diagnostic charge and a $ 190 charge for 2o minutes of work the next week.
i can fight it and win ,but ...rather forget it and go on....
so, it is difficult when you keep cars to over 250,000 miles like i do.......mostly because it is hard to find honest people out there to work on it.
#1497 of 2237 clutch
Aug 02, 2003 (6:21 pm)
They may not be dishonest.. It could be that they are just stupid.
In either case.. they should be out of the business.
#1498 of 2237 Abnormal Tire Wear
Aug 05, 2003 (11:22 am)
My friend at work has a 2000 Saab 9-5 Wagon that had the "bike" package and came with 225/45/17 tires. The originals were Michelins and they wore out in 15K miles. He had them replaced with a set of Kumhos and had an alignment done. They lasted another 15K miles. He bought a third set of tires and had another alignment done. This time he asked to see the alignment results. They said that the front had been out of alignment and they fixed it, and that the back was just a little out of alignment and there wasn't anything they could do about it. Is this type of tire wear (15K for a set) normal for a wagon that is driven in a non-sporting manner around town only??? I drive a M3 with the same size tires on the front, and I'm getting longer life out of the same Kumho tires and I drive extremely fast and hard and even do a little autocross racing. It just doesn't make any sense. Can anyone help??
#1499 of 2237 RE: Tire wear
Aug 05, 2003 (3:05 pm)
Two things to find out: Does he have an Aero Version and how often is he rotating?
The Performance tires used on the Aero are low profiles that do not last nearly as long as traditional tires do. 15K might be normal if he's not keeping pressures and rotations up.
With either 9-5 version, he should be rotating every 5,000 miles. Ignore what Saab says about 10K or not at all with the newest versions. Thats insane! IMO I followed the 10K recommendation with my first 9-5 and my tire wear was not as good as it should have been. BUT... I got closer to 25K before one tire became unacceptable for wet roads.
Our 2002 9-5 Wagon now has 15K on it and no sign of significant wear. I rotate every 5K now.
Aside from his rotation interval, he needs to make sure he keeps his tire pressure in check. That will kill these tires very fast and MUST be checked when the tires are cold or sitting idle for at least 3 hours.
#1500 of 2237 not all that unusual
Aug 05, 2003 (7:00 pm)
I've heard plenty of stories from 9-5 owners of rapid tire wear on 17's. Heck, the 16's on my SE wore out at 28K.
Gotta run higher than normal tire pressures, rotate often, and pay close attention to them. Even still, they're gonna wear faster than a RWD car.