2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4 6-speed manual

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It’s been some time now since the drama that led to Saab’s demise transpired, leaving intellectuals everywhere scratching their heads when it comes time to purchase another new car. The cars from Trollhättan were always favored by those who enjoyed taking the road less traveled; leading the company itself to launch a media campaign in the mid-1990s entitled “Find Your Own Road.” While the marque has been revived under the brand National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the lineup merely consists of a rehash of the old 9-3 sedan. Before the original Saab took its last breath, we were gifted one pretty midsized luxury sedan in the form of the 9-5.

This car was barely one year old by the time Saab was on life support, with only a few examples of the even prettier estate version produced. Nevertheless, a few thousand made their way to our shores, some even equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox. With a parts network still in place and an active enthusiast scene, you can have one of the last big Saabs to roam these roads for the price of a new Honda Civic.

Click for details: 2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4 on eBay

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Year: 2011
Model: 9-5 Turbo4
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 56,162 mi
Price: $16,988 Buy It Now

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Turbo4 Premium trim. CARFAX 1-Owner. Heated Leather Seats, Auxiliary Audio Input, Satellite Radio, Remote Engine Start, Telematics, Turbo Charged, Alloy Wheels, Overhead Airbag, Premium Sound System, Panoramic Roof. READ MORE!

KEY FEATURES INCLUDE
Leather Seats, Panoramic Roof, Heated Front Seat(s), Turbocharged, Premium Sound System, Satellite Radio, Auxiliary Audio Input, Telematics, Aluminum Wheels, Remote Engine Start, Multi-Zone A/C MP3 Player, Keyless Entry, Child Safety Locks, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Rear Parking Aid.

EXPERTS REPORT
“Saab is reinvented with the impressive 9-5. It might not have the panache or engineering polish of its German competition, but it’s cheaper, fun to drive and has a style all its own.” -Edmunds.com.

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Every time I see one of these second generation 9-5s on the road, it captivates me. They might not be the fastest or best driving cars in their class, but they have a unique look to them that sets them apart from the maddening crowd. The simple fact you could spec one here in the US with a manual gearbox also makes it that much more special amongst luxury sedans of today. The status of Saab being a sort of orphan marque has taken its toll on resale values of the 9-5, but for the Saab faithful and bargain hunters who may be a bit brave and known a good mechanic, you can drive happy knowing that you’re celebrating the very last of a brand that would go about things to the beat of a different drum.

-Paul

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9 Comments

  1. Casting net rather far and wide to capture links to German DNA.

  2. Definitely the best looking of the Opel-designed Epsilon platform. The side profile is striking in person. These cars really do stand out in an age where BMW, Audi and Mercedes all seem to be morphing into each other.

  3. Agreed. Very interesting. Stands out from the crowd. But I would rather have an Audi S car. 😉

  4. It’s actually find your way BACK onto the road, because you just torque-steered right off the shoulder.

    But anyway I would prefer a 9000!

  5. @Brad – if you ever get the chance, drive a Viggen w/ the Abbott Racing “rescue kit.” The Viggen had the most abrupt torque steer of any FWD car I’ve ever driven, and I’d still totally buy one (even without said kit) – it is a very fun car and I don’t hit full boost WOT a lot while just driving around.

    I haven’t driven a car, Saab or otherwise, since that had such serious torque steer. I think Fwd suspension geometry and transaxles have improved a lot in last 15 years.

  6. Carter, agreed the profile is indeed really different and stands out from the crowd when seen in person. I love the way the roofline kind of cascades back and down.

  7. Apparently this chevy malibu, I mean saab, goes to 60 in 8 seconds. Not very impressive. And I wonder how it sounds and feels in so doing?

  8. @Brad – you’re cracking me up with your Saab disgust! Lol…this one was the smaller engine, 220hp I think, but there was also a 300hp turbo 6.

    Most, but not all, of the 4s that Saab used (turbos included) in the (mid?) 2000s were the GM Ecotec, which is considered a very well designed, easy to modify 4 banger…FWIW.

    At least GM owned a chunk of Saab, thus making a lot of the sharing and planning good sense (especially when that planning came out of Europe and not Detroit, just saying…). But GM owns nothing of BMW and I could make you a pretty long list of all the GM parts in my E46 and it would surprise you. Like the entire made in France transmission for starters (GM supplied a massive amount of GM 5 speed slush box trannies for at least a decade).

    Just saying that the lines are so blurred these days on many vehicles. A Holden, Opel, and Chevrolet could all share 90% of their guts and 50% of their interior and be 100% designed and assembled outside North America.

    Fors of Europe is a shockingly different company than Ford of the US. Same with Opel/Vauxhaul vs GM. Even VAG withholds Seat & Skoda from us, though they are cheap & great cars, they probably fear we’ll see them as too “Chevy.”

    Just to share other viewpoints on your statement which I know was both witty/sarcastic but also some semblance of truth as well! 😉

  9. Long time Saab fan here, and have a 2003 9-5 Aero wagon, a mint 9000 Aero (manual, Stage 1 tune, 270hp) and one of the last classic 900 Turbo convertibles. I was waiting for the new 9-5 SportCombi to replace my wagon. The 2 liter in this car isn’t the fastest, but has excellent mid range acceleration for such a heavy car. The Turbo 6 and Aero had a 300hp 2.8 liter V6, but was even heavier due to AWD. A very comfortable car with a HUGE back seat….but the non-Aero models got some of the worst fake wood I’ve ever seen, and the dash felt and looked cheap. Non nav cars like this one get that 2000 esque green radio screen which is so out of date. The car felt like it was rushed to market without being completed properly, odd since the older 9-5 dated to 1998!

    That being said, you get Saab seats, which are insanely comfortable, big trunk and a car that you’ll walk away from unscathed in a wreck. The Saab Parts business is pretty healthy (haven’t had any issues with my cars….trim and random parts may need a junkyard visit, windshields are scarce)…just make sure you have someone willing to service it! This 9-5 is an orphan for sure…which is both cool and somewhat scary.

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