Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 Saab 9-5 Aero

The car:
2010 Saab 9-5 Aero
2.8L V6 Turbo
300 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm
4465 lb
No sunroof (WTF?!?!?!)
Fully loaded (with gadgets)
Fully loaded (with four people)

Honestly... I was rather unimpressed with the speed. We drove to the dealership in a (stock) '95 9000 Aero, and it was at least as fast as the new 9-5 Aero. The 9000 actually felt faster, but that could easily have had to do with the suspension set up.

Also, the 9-5 was an auto.

Which brings me to my next point... horribly slow transmission. Very slow to shift. The paddle shifts are very slow to react (hit the redline many times because of it). Throttle response I felt was... ok. There is definitely turbo lag in this car. Definitely.

Now, aside from those points, it's a downright incredible car! And don't get me wrong, she still hauls @$$ down the road. Soon as I got on the highway, I floored it (in sport mode of course). The car turned on the power, gently set us back in our seats, and we accelerated. And then we kept accelerating. And kept accelerating. At 105 we were still accelerating at the same pace, and I decided to let off the gas a bit... being dead in the middle of Indianapolis. It may not hurtle you like a rocket ship to 100mph, but that sure doesn't mean it has any problems AT ALL getting you there. It's just.... a a gentleman's ride to 100 or a 150 mph.

It was also dead silent in the car at 105 mph. Dead silent. Both because all my passengers weren't saying a word, and because the road, the car, and the other cars on the highway... may as well have been non-existent. Vibrations at 105 mph? Ha! Not there. If I wasn't in the far-left lane, watching the median fly past me (and the brilliantly lit HUD), I'd have had absolutely no idea how fast I was going. A gentleman's ride to triple digits.

The handling... well I honestly don't know really. I was either in downtown Indy, or on a busy highway in Indy.... hard to tell. My friend Andrew (some of you met him at the Save Saab Convoy) went to Aero academy and therefore felt a little more confident throwing her through the super tight, downtown intersections than I did. It sure did hold on. I was thrown quite rapidly in the edge of my (back) seat. The steering was very precise and I always felt like I had a firm grip on the road. Good feedback from the tires all the way to my fingertips.

I found the back seats great by the way. I'm six feet tall exactly, and my head had about an inch to spare. Maybe two... not sure. Plenty of leg room - lots of it!

Now, from a 19 year old's perspective, I think the interior looked fantastic! I didn't see anything I would have considered to be cheap parts. Granted... I've never been on the inside of a BMW M5 or whatever the Audi version is that they're competing against.

Oh yea... it had cup holders! Soooo awesome!

The seats were extremely comfortable. Heated seats worked well and on that 62 degree day, I was warmed up very quickly by the seat while my passengers kept their cool (as they requested). However, I still have yet to find any seats that I like more than a 9000 Aero. I've never been in a seat more comfortable than 9000 Aeros. Even the back seats in those things are more comfortable than most cars' front seats.

And like eevveerryyybody else says, YES the car is way better looking in person than in the photos. Not to say photos make it look bad.... they just don't do it full justice. It is a beautiful car - and SO SAAB.

Pictures available here:

------ Update: This is my reply to someone's comment in a forum ------

I was far more interested in the car, and never really played with the stereo... at all. I just left it the way the dealer set it. The touch screen didn't seem to obvious/intuitive though. I think it would do them a lot of good to put Android OS in there. THAT would be awesome. Put an OS on there that thousands of users are already familiar with.

Personally, I think the styling of everything is great. The only part I didn't like was all the buttons for the radio/temp control/center console. I'm sure, if you read the manual, it's pretty simple. But at a quick glance.... that's a LOT of buttons. It's the kind of thing where, you loan it to a friend or child or wife or something and, if they've never seen the car before, they're going to have REAL trouble adjusting the temperature or A/C while driving.

Scandinavian minimalism? Eh.. on the outside, absolutely. Inside? No. But then again, the 9-5 isn't supposed to be minimalistic on the inside. I do believe it could use some simplification on the inside, but I think the outside styling is GORGEOUS and SO SAAB!

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