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The SeriousSAAB Buyer's guide: Buying a SAAB 9-5

Part 2: Choosing a 9-5

Deciding which model to choose is anything but easy. With 2 body styles, 3 distinct generations and a variety of petrol or diesel engines and at least six trim levels, there should be a 9-5 for every taste and every pocket. What is very clear, though, is that SAAB 9-5s offer far greater value for money than obvious rival products from BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz on the used car market.

Second generation 9-5s are excellent value for money

At the time of writing (August 2010), many readers will be hankering after the all new 9-5 but at present, the last of the old shape high specification run out model 9-5s look a very good bet. Some dealers still have stocks of the old model - most will be pre-registered cars with delivery mileages but a handful of unregsitered cars are available too. The Special Edition models, which are the equivalent high value, top specification equivalent of the Anniversary edition 9000 look especially good.

Given that the new 9-5 is only available in saloon form at present and that an estate (wagon) will not be released until next year Special Edition estates look a good option.

Ultimately, the choice of 9-5 depends on your budget. SAAB Approved Used cars are invariably the pick of the crop and subject to very thorough vetting procedure but a perusal of used SAAB 9-5s available at http://www.saab.co.uk/gb/en/start#/buy-own/saab-approved/search-used-cars/ in the UK revealed a quanity of candidate vehicles, including some interesting options at my nearest dealership (Western SAAB, Newcastle). Overall, using the SAAB UK used car search engine was a stress free experience and although only 10 minutes was allocated to the task, the author couldn't resist playing with the site for more than 40 minutes!

Not all of us have the luxury of a generous budget, having the exigencies of mortgage payments, family holidays school proms (WHO started this expensive nonsense?) and that new kitchen to cope with. If the sights have to be set lower than £10,000, a good place to look would be with independent SAAB specialists, who are likely to offer cars just too old or with too many miles to be eligible as SAAB Approved Used Cars. A quick trawl through the 'usual suspects' revealed that there was no shortage of cars in the £5-8,000 bracket. At this price point, it should be more than feasible to acquire a very presentable, high specification machine that would have cost its original owner more than 3 times the used car asking price.

At under 25% of the original price new, cars costing under £5,000 probably represent the best value - and the biggest risk. The golden rule here, is to find the car in the best possible condition, rather than the youngest and since the 9-5 does not really suffer from body rust (except when repairs have not been carried out properly), it makes much sense to buy one that has been subject to a strict maintenance regime.

4.1 Checking the bodywork & underframe

On the 9-5, rust should not be a concern and checking is simple. Avoid anything with really tatty bodywork: stone chips are a sign of honest work but rust spells neglect and possible poor quality body repair work after an accident. One common problem with most modern cars is that the nose (bonnet and colour coded front bumper) seem especially vulnerable to damage by flying stones.

Certainly, modern, water based paints are less durable than finishes of old but some of the blame must be placed firmly at the door of the designers, who will rely upon CAD techniques and wind tunnels to achieve a 'slippery' shape with a low drag coefficient. The 9-5 is no exception, with many cars requiring remedial bodyshop attention around 100,000 miles or sooner. Extremities of the car should be checked for damage and this includes not only mirror cases and lenses but also the low slung bumper spoilers on Aero, Airflow and Vector models because these are especially prone to damage from high kerbs. Bear in mind that a mirror case is around £40 + VAT (and will need painting to suit) whereas a heated mirror lens is an unfunny £80.13 + VAT. Cars needing a new front bumper spoiler incur a heavier repair cost, since the spoiler has a retail cost of £165 + VAT and will need painting to match.

Check bodywork carefully: replacing  items like mirrors, foglamps, 'shark's fin' aerials and even fuel filler flap doors all mounts up.

Some cars are fitted with shark's fin roof aerials and these can deteriorate badly. Incidentally, the 9-5 picks up radio signals via elements in the rear window (saloon) and rear quarter fixed windows (estate), so the roof aerial comes into play for mobile telephones. There are two types of aerial: a non-functional 'dummy' and a live aerial with wiring. Neither is cheap to replace (even the dummy aerial costs £45!) and fitting will involve disturbing the interior roof lining.

Lights and lamp clusters should be checked for cracks but the front fog lamps need special attention, as they are frequently shattered by flying road stones. Although the unit cost for a replacement is £90 or so each plus tax, a kit including both is available for around £100 plus VAT.

Still on the subject of lighting, bear in mind that the cost of replacing a Xenon bulb is a scary £140 but thankfully, most cars (except Aeros) don't have these fitted. First generation cars were fitted with headlamps with glass lenses that were prone to damage not only from stones but grime... so long as the headlamp wipers had been working. Headlamp wipers are often seen not in the parked position and many do not work at all. Second generation cars have headlamps with plastic lenses and washer jets, which have proved a better solution in service.

Always walk around a potential purchase several times. What you are looking for is evidence of mismatched paintwork and evidence of overspray inside door shuts. Of course, many cars will have suffered 'trolley rash' at supermarket car parks while others will have been scratched by everything from untamed undergrowth to fence posts. Don't be unduly concerned if the fuel flap door is rusty - this is quite common and not an indicator that the rest of the car is in poor order. Do check that the door gaps down the shut lines are consistent - in particular beware estate cars with tight gaps at the rear leading edge of the door, as these may have suffered a rear end shunt. The correct way to repair rear end damage often involves fitting a new boot floor but this is a costly operation, not least because a new floor is over £500. Probe deeper and check the boot floor beneath the load deck - if you find more ripples than in a strawberry whip, walk away!

4.2 Checking the Interior

The SAAB 9-5 interior is a safe and comfortable place to be

Being made from quality materials, a 9-5 cabin generally withstands even high mileage use quite well. Even so, front carpets can wear through near the heel board and the sun visor on the driver's side can become weak, flopping down to cause great annoyance. Another common problem is that careless occupants sometimes damage the felt trim covering the driver's A post (windscreen pillar) with cigarette burns.

Sit behind the steering wheel and check all the electrics work (especially heated seats, if fitted). Make sure that the windscreen is in good order, checking for chips and cracks - a replacement is not cheap! The SAAB Information Display units are notorious for losing pixels from their digital displays but specialists exist who can recondition them at moderate cost.

This is an irritation because a defective or unreadable display deprives the driver of important information. Officially, the fix involves a new unit but there are a number of shops offering reconditioned units that have been fitted with new ribbon cables and bulbs, backed up with lifetime guarantees from around £40.

It is always worth checking that the heating and ventilation works properly but be advised that climate control won't work if the windows are open or on very cold days. What you should be checking for is that the split control for the passenger/driver heating works correctly, as the control shaft inside the main unit can snap. The official repair for this malady (unable to change the current heat setting) is to remove the entire unit, which is a huge job entailing dashboard removal but a repair kit is available (from Scantech distributors & their agents) for around £85 and this avoids the need for major dismantling.

nteriors are heard wearing but look out for worn heel boards (driver's carpet) and damage from cigarette burns.

Heater blower motors can fail and one SAAB technician known to the author believes that restricted airflow through blocked pollen filters, which sometimes don't get changed when cars fall out of the dealer servicing program are the culprit. More basic ventilation needs are, of course, met by the simple expedient of lowering windows but on some cars, the central switch block can fail (£180 or so) and on other cars, it is not unknown for drop glasses to detach themselves from the runner. This latter problem is due to a worn green plastic roller - thankfully only £2.24 +VAT to replace but an irritation, nonetheless.

If you are looking at a secondhand estate car, bear in mind that many will have led active lives transporting everything from antiques to dogs. In general, checking the roof lining for tears and rips will give the game away if very large objects have been carried, as will a perusal of the plastic bumper guard. Be advised that a missing folding boot shelf is very expensive to replace - used examples are keenly sought after and thus command high prices.

4.3 Checking the 4 cylinder petrol engines

Running gear is robust and the author states quite unequivocally that SAAB 9-5 engines and transmissions give reliable service over vast distances... so long as the maintenance regime has been thorough. Neglecting oil changes and running excessive intervals between services serves up high bills and for this reason it is vital that buyers of used cars check the service histories and invoices in particular.

 B205 & 235 engines need regular oil changes. Neglect causes premature wear and costly repair bills.

Experience has shown that the service interval of 10,000 miles is 'optimistic' for cars with 4 cylinder (2 and 2.3 litre) petrol engines. Unfortunately, some owners and operators have assumed that there is some latitude and far too many cars have been seen where oil changes have been as infrequent as 15 or 20,000 miles. The painful reality is that for that mileage, at least two but probably three oil changes have been missed!

Worse still, some garages have used semi-synthetic engine oil because their experiences with the 9000 led them to believe that this was OK, yet although the 9-5 engine LOOKS more or less the same as a 9000 it has major differences that mean it MUST be run on fully synthetic oil. Elsewhere on the site (read more) there is a full detailed explanation but for those in a hurry know this: the next two paragraphs contain information that could save a 9-5 owner thousands of pounds and untold grief!

The low friction design of the engine which has different pistons from the 9000 makes the use of FULLY synthetic oil MANDATORY in 4 cylinder PETROL engined 9-5s! Semi-synthetic oil degrades, creating carbonised deposits (often referred to as sludge) that block the strainer, leading to oil starvation and subsequent damage to the crankshaft, the turbocharger, pistons and possibly the engine block itself. A low friction design with short skirt pistons puts a strain on the breather system and less than well-informed technicians often fail to appreciate the critical importance of maintaining the breather system and its pipes in A1 condition.

Cars which might have been run just once on semi-synthetic oil should have the sumps dropped and the strainers cleaned/replaced WITHOUT DELAY. The BOTTOM LINE is that most 9-5 engine failures are entirely preventable, with most being due to usage of semi-synthetic oil and or excessive mileage between oil changes.

During production, the design of the breather system was altered on three occasions, underscoring the importance of this sometimes neglected part of an engine. If the system fails, oil can be lost in large quantities from split pipes so act quickly should you smell oil fumes inside the car. There is a fix kit (part number 55561200 at around £33 +VAT) from dealers to address unmodified cars but another hose (part number 55560463 at £22 approx) is invariably needed. A completely redesigned cylinder block introduced during the course of 2003 has had positive effects but oil changes at regular intervals (ideally every 6,000 miles or 6 months are recommended).

Breather systems aside, be advised that oil leaks around the cam box gasket on 9-5s are fairly common. Replacement gaskets are inexpensive and easy to fit but experience has shown that it is a false economy to buy anything less than genuine SAAB gaskets. 

Black Death: don't risk your engine. Use only fully synthetic oil and change it regularly - at least once a year or 6,000 miles, whichever is sooner.

The Garrett GT17 turbo is smaller than the units used on the old 9000 in the interests of eliminating turbo lag. The turbo leads a hard life and can suffer if oil changes have been patchy and it is not unknown for these units to glow cherry red after spirited driving. Warning signs of impending failure include high oil consumption and wisps of blue smoke visible upon start up. Some specialists have formed the opinion that a 9-5 turbo charger failure means a new engine because the problem has probably occurred due to use of the wrong oil or excessive oil change intervals and that the crankshaft or its bearing shells will have suffered damage already. The author agrees with this so far as there is a likelihood of damage but is firmly of the opinion that if the sump is dropped and the strainer cleaned (the official SAAB Workshop Information System recommends this) or replaced the risk is diminished. The risk virtually disappears if the bearing shells are inspected and renewed but renewing main bearing shells when the engine is in situ is very tricky and best left to a specialist. Even skilled fitters have baulked at the prospect of this job and the author and his brother have often ended up changing the two tricky front and rear bearings in professional workshops because technicians there stated the job was 'impossible'.

Just bear in mind that used engines in good order are very hard to source. Our advice is don't buy an engine without hearing it running and don't fit it without removing the sump, cleaning the strainer and replacing the breather system.

4.4 Checking the 3.0 V6 petrol engine

The turbo charged petrol 3 litre V6 was not a volume seller and was eventually phased out. Even so, it was a capable and refined unit that made light work of hauling caravans. The basic engine is pure Vauxhall/Opel but this helps when servicing, as garages used to V6 Omegas or Vectras will be familiar with the unit.

The V6 is capable of achieving huge mileages so long as timing belt changes have been carried out. Check for signs of oil in the coolant which point to a leaky oil cooler.

As a rule, the units are long-lived but can suffer from noisy hydraulic lifters if oil changes have not been carried out regularly. Timing belts and tensioners need to be changed at 36,000 mile /60,000km intervals or every 4 years to avoid expensive and unnecessary damage to valve gear and piston crowns, if the belt snaps.

Another important check is oil quality on the V6 - beware signs of oil in the water, for the oil cooler (sits in between the cylinder banks) can leak oil into the coolant. Renewing the cooler is a job that will cost in the region of £275. (depending upon geographic location).

Be very suspicious if the car you are looking at has the 'check engine' lamp illuminated. There is a known issue within the electronic control unit that can make the engine run richer than it should, affecting not only fuel consumption but also exhaust emissions to the extent that the car will fail the UK VOSA annual (MOT) test. The author has seen several cars where the DTC retrieved suggested that one of the oxygen sensors was faulty but in fact, the ecu was faulty and the sensor had been providing accurate information. Replacement control units are available - expect to pay £450 or so for the unit but you will still need the services of a SAAB dealer or independent specialist with a Tech 2 to configure it properly for you in the car.

Checking the 2.2 TiD diesel engine

The 2.2TiD 9-5 engine is for the most part reliable but do check that it starts well from stone cold.One Vauxhall specialist known to the author refers to this unit as 'old faithful' because although the engine design isn't especially exciting, it is durable and many engines in taxis have cleared 300,000 miles without incident. They can sound a bit clattery and agricultural at start-up but noise soon settles down and is never an issue inside the cabin.

One check worth performing - ensure your candidate vehicle is stone cold before starting it. Higher mileage examples can suffer from fuel drain back into the tank and leaky injector seals which means that starting can become tricky. This latter problem requires camshaft removal and on average, will cost 'the man in the street' around £450 to cure.

Overall, the 2.2 TiD is a good choice if you are looking for a workhorse, especially in estate form and the Linear should be easiest to source. It is also the most affordable version but don't forget that 2.2 TiD Vectors with automatic transmission, heated seats and Xenon head lights were also available.

4.5 Checking the 1.9 TiD diesel engine

Timing belt should be changed with the coolant pump at 48,000 mile intervals but problems with EGR valves are not unknown.

Although purists snort at the idea of buying in engine designs, the motor industry has a long history of some very successful if unlikely alliances. Rover turned to Buick in the 1960's when they realised that time was up for the venerable overhead inlet, side exhaust 6 cylinder, whereas AC's choice of Ford power for the AC Cobra resulted in one of the most famous creations of all time.

A more adventurous choice than the 2.2 TiD, the 1.9 is actually of FIAT origin. With 30 bhp more than the old engine, performance is brisker and although the author has no direct experience with this engine (yet!) reports from specialists are favourable. As the mileages increase, performance can sometimes diminish and apparently, the first port of call should be the Exhaust Gas Reticulation (EGR) valve. Cleaning or replacement may be necessary.

Owners and potential owners should be aware that it is good practice to renew the water pump with the timing belt early (48,000 miles) because a number of premature pump failures have occurred that have resulted in serious engine damage.

4.6 Checking the 3.0 TiD diesel engine

The 3.0 diesel SAAB used is in factan Isuzu 6DE1 engine - choose with great care!

The all alloy 3.0 Isuzu V6 diesel 6DE1 unit delivers strong performance, even from comparatively low engine revs and achieves this with impressive fuel economy. As mentioned earlier, an automatic transmission was never offered by SAAB, even though the Renault Vel Satis and Vauxhall Vectras fitted with the same engine were offered with that option.

Several cars with this engine have been part of the author's fleet over the last few years. Experiences have been mixed - when the engine is running properly, the cars are world class but this is a complex unit and incorrect maintenance can punish owners with savage bills.

The V6 TiD demands an intensive regime of regular maintenance. On the 6DE1 engine (tagged D308L by SAAB), cylinder liners can be a problem but it was discovered that in nearly all cases, the root cause of the failures was engine oil level dropping too low between services. The fix was ludicrously simple - increase the oil level and change the dipstick! Of course, over filling any diesel engine is courting disaster because diesel is heavy oil and the engine can run on the contents of the sump IF it is overfilled. If this happens, the engine will rev out of control even if the key is turned off because the fuel supply from the sump is bypassing the key. The only way to stop an engine in this nightmare scenario is to stall it in gear. The moral of this cautionary tale is to check the oil when the car is on level ground and ONLY when it is cold.

Beware a heavy vibration through the clutch pedal - a classic symptom of dual mass flywheel failure

Cylinder head gasket failures on the 3.0 TiD are more common and renewal is a hugely expensive job because a considerable number of components have to be removed. A SAAB gasket set is quite reasonably priced but the bolts need renewing and are not cheap but the cost of materials pales into insignificance compared to the time involved to carry out the repair.

It is vital to check there is NO vibration through the clutch pedal, as the dual mass flywheel can fail, causing the engine to run out of balance. This occurs due to the high compression and the V configuration- and the main bearings can spin in their housings, rendering the cylinder block scrap. Most important of all, if a clutch needs changing, the flywheel should be renewed as well, even if there are no signs of anything being amiss.

SAAB's experience with the V6 TiD was not troublefree, with a steep learning curve for dealers - and some owners. Ironically, just after the bulk of the problems were sorted out (engines from 2004 were stronger) the V6 TiD was dropped from the SAAB range! Don't be too put off by this - the engine continues in production to this day, even though it is no longer part of the SAAB line up. With the benefit of hindsight, the author believes that insufficient R&D was carried out before releasing the engine to SAAB and early problems that arose marred the engine's reputation.

My advice when considering a V6 TiD is buy with extreme care. Some faults that can arise are excruciatingly expensive to fix: replacing either diesel pump or turbo charger will cost over £2400 +VAT. A good warranty is essential, as with any complex machine but these are available to the public - use a search engine to find something suitable. Before buying, check the service history and especially the modifications plate on the front near-side inner wing - there should be a healthy number of what looks like figure eights scribed in the boxes. These show that the maintenance will have covered software updates to the management system and other essential modifications (like the dipstick).

4.7 Checking manual transmission

Manual gearboxes sometimes prove troublesome – beware of difficulty in selecting reverse gear and general noise (all years).  Sometimes this can be down to soft mountings but will most probably point to a gearbox rebuild. Specialists reckon that cars used a lot for stop-start work are more susceptible than those that are used for long distances, purely because they will have been taken in and out of reverse gear more. Cars with tired clutches are not cheap to fix because either the engine or the subframe has to be removed and the clutch slave cylinder is (inside the gearbox) should always be renewed at the same time.

One check that even the non-technically minded can make is a visual check to ensure that the top of the gearbox is not covered with oil around the gear selector shaft. This oil seal can leak profusely and because the gearbox holds relatively little lubricant, damage can occur if the seal is not replaced promptly.

4.8 Checking automatic transmission

Automatic gearboxes come in three flavours: 4-speed (first gen cars), 5 speed (second gen cars) and finally 5 speed with paddle shift (latest models).

ALL seem reliable but as a result, few owners bother to change the transmission fluid and this is unwise! Changing the fluid every 75,000 miles definitely extends the life of the transmission. Four speed boxes use red Dexron 3 BUT be advised later 5 speed units use a synthetic oil designated ATF 3309. Ensure that the transmission does not thump into gear on the road because some transmissions have been refilled with Dexron 3 by mistake, which will cause this characteristic - resulting in expensive damage. Conversely, cars that only seem to thump into gear from rest in D or R will almost certainly need nothing more than the alloy torque arm on the front lower gearbox mounting changing (this costs about £60 and fitting is an easy job).

5.0 Driving a 9-5: all models and variants

Anyone who hasn't driven a 9-5 before and especially owners migrating from 9000s, should feel instantly 'at home' in the cabin. Everything is laid out carefully and the seats are supremely comfortable, with a good range of adjustment to suit drivers of all builds. There is a commanding view of the road, although, in keeping with many modern cars, it can be difficult to judge exactly where the extremities of the car are and even easier to misjudge the width. On latest cars, there are folding mirrors and some cars have SPA (SAAB Park Assist) which is a boon when reversing. On other cars, the author tends to fold mirrors back before going into single garages and always creeps into parking spaces where it might be difficult to judge how far forward it is safe to go.

The cabin is well insulated against road noise but as noted previously, the model is susceptible to tyre noise. According to the foreman at our local tyre depot, cheaper tyres tend to have less R&D time devoted to noise levels and consequently the block patterns on the treads can prove noisy in use.

5.1 Check out your purchase

The 9-5 is one of the safest cars on the road but design concentrates on protecting the passengers. Many cars have been involved in minor skirmishes (OK) but some will have sustained major damage. For this reason it is almost essential to use a company like Experian or HPI or your motoring organisation (such as AA or RAC) to check that the vehicle is not listed on the VCAR (vehicle condition alert register) after a serious accident, or is listed as lost, stolen, the property of a hire company or subject to unpaid finance.

5.2 Performance

Although the 2 litre cars with 150bhp are quite hefty (2060-2110Kg), they should be capable of 130 mph+ and 0­60 in around 9 seconds. Cars equipped with the 2.3 litre light pressure turbo engine are at least 10 mph faster with the 0-60 sprint being achieved around a second faster. Readers should note that the 2.3 up to 2001 developed 170 bhp but second generation Linear, Arc and Vector 2.3 models had an extra 15 bhp. Just to confuse the issue further, SAAB offered a version of the 2.3 Vector Sport that delivered 220 bhp for a short while! Equally rare are 2.0 engined cars equipped with the SAAB performance kit which was introduced to appease owners of 9000s who were used to more power. Such cars have a revised electronic control unit, different spark plugs and injectors and in the owners pack there should be a certificate to confirm. The author has owned just one 2.0 SE 9-5 equipped with the SAAB tuning kit. This increases the power output from 150 to 192 bhp. Urban use returned poor fuel consumption but the car really came into its own on the open road!

The V6 petrol is quicker still but the 0-60 time is half a second slower. The 2.3 Aero HOT is good for at least 150 mph and can reach 60 in around 6.5 seconds in manual form. Do bear in mind that if the Aero is not run on premium grade fuel, performance will suffer as the engine management system will retard the ignition timing!

5.3 Colours available

SAAB colours seldom change and a number of colours are common to the NG 900, 9000 and 9-5 ranges. Colours on SAAB products generally exhibit restrained good taste, so don't expect to find a 9-5 in dayglow orange any time soon.

Choice of colour is subjective but the author's opinion is that first generation cars look best in silver, sun green or silver green while merlot red is particularly suited to second generation cars. In truth, few colours look poor on a 9-5 but bear in mind that solid black and dark blue always require more cleaning and polishing to look their very best.

Type SAAB name Generic colour Code
Solid Black Black 170
  Cirrus white White 153
  Laser red Red 278
Metallic Cayenne Copper 256
  Cosmic Electric blue 264
  Green silver Light green 261
  Hazelnut Mushroom 286
  Merlot Ruby red 284
  Midnight mica Navy blue 257
  Morello red Cherry red 276
  Nocturne blue Dark blue 290
  Scarabe green British racing green 230
  Silver Silver 268
  Steel grey Mid grey 279

 

SAAB interior trim colours are rocky black or sand beige, although the third generation cars could be specified with two tone leather colour schemes.

5.4 Typical optional equipment (factory fitted)

Alloys – various styles in 16 or 17”
Electric folding mirrors (from 2002)
Heated seats
Heated & ventilated memory seats (to 2001)
Rain sensing wipers
Business pack - with DVD satellite navigation (later cars)
SAAB Park Assist (SPA)
SSR (Sliding glass sunroof)
Various audio options: including AS2, AS3, cd auto changer, Harmon-Kardan speakers etc

5.5 Parts prices

Some parts are quite pricey and the high cost of units like engines and gearboxes means that good used parts command high prices. Used autoboxes can be had for £300-450 depending on model year, whilst engines can fetch up to £850 for late cars.  It pays to shop around! Timing chain replacement should be avoided at all cost, as the job at a dealer can cost up to £1500 because very often, the cylinder head needs to be removed.

Oil: use good quality FULLY synthetic 0-30 or 5-30 ONLY and change at 6,000 mile intervals or at least once a year, even if your annual mileage is 2,000 miles or less!

The table below shows typical prices (correct at going to press) for various 9-5 parts that we have actually purchased in the past. Prices shown are based on the Euro SAAB Parts Direct (the author's preferred supplier of genuine SAAB components) web site. Although pattern parts are available, the author much prefers to use genuine parts wherever possible because experience has shown that although certain components -like brake pads and water pumps- are considerably more expensive they really DO last longer. Sometimes, however, be advised that certain components supplied by Scantech (Sweden) and labeled as such are actually OE parts! Elring, for instance, appear to be OE suppliers to SAAB when it comes to head gaskets and head bolts.

Part Part number SAAB £ retail* ESPD £* Notes
Brake disc (308mm) 9184405 91.00 62.79 Aero & 3.0 TiD
Brake pad set front 93192749 69.76 36.10 Aero & TiD
Breather fix kit 59561200 32.72 28.22 4 cyl petrol <2004 M.Y
Cylinder head gasket set 5956164 136.89 110.20 3.0 TiD V6 (0.70 thick)
Damper (rear) 5239066 203.71 117.13 2.3 estate
Indicator lamp (o/s/front) 12761342 68.11 58.74 2001-2006 models
Oil filter 9117321 7.55 4.78 2.2 TiD
Tailgate gas spring 12768264 51.56 44.47 9-5 estate
Timing chain kit 93184480 155.32 98.24 B205 & 235 4 cyl engine
Water pump 931866829 112.15 70.93 B205 & 235 4 cyl engine

*Please note that all prices exclude carriage and VAT. Prices may be subject to change after the time of writing.

5.6 Insurance

Body panels are quite expensive, and pattern parts are not available. Coupled with the performance, drivers under 25 may encounter steep premiums when trying to insure 9-5s. As with all vehicles, it pays to shop around but for the majority of drivers over 35 years old, premiums should be moderate.

5.7 Will it fit my garage? Will it tow a caravan? Can I fit a roof rack?

Before purchasing a car, it is worthwhile knowing whether it will fit within the family garage. The figures below are for second generation cars (first generation cars and latest third generation will be slightly different) 

  • Length: saloon 4820 mm or 15ft 10"
  • Width: saloon 2032 mm or 6ft 10" (with mirrors in the normal position)
  • Height: saloon 1447mm or 4ft 9" (the estate with roof rails stands 51mm or about 2" higher)

Luggage capacity is impressive, even with the rear seats up but in the case of the estate, without lowering the rear seats there is plenty of space available:

Luggage capacity data for the SAAB 9-5

ALL 9-5 models should be able to tow a medium size caravan with ease. Our archive shows that the maximum trailer load can be up to 1800 kg. As stated earlier in the article, there is a comprehensive range of SAAB accessories to adapt cars so that canoes, kayaks, skis, bicycles etc can be carried and for trailers/boars and caravans to be towed.

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