1 May 2006
SAAB first introduced its mid-sized 9-5 luxury car in 1997.
For 2006, the Swedish sedan and wagon underwent significant chassis, suspension and body changes to keep it fresh.
The front sub-frame was extended and strengthened, the MacPherson strut front suspension revised for better insulation from road shocks, a thicker anti-roll bar was fitted while the front shock absorbers were revised.
Visually the styling changes were done in-house at Saab’s brand centre in Sweden and the grille and headlights borrow heavily from the 9X concept car.
The look is harmonious, forward looking and gives a glimpse of where Saab design is headed over the next few years.
At the rear, the bumper and boot have been reprofiled for a smoother look and the car’s profile. The rear track has increased 6mm to enhance the car’s sportier stance.
The newcomer boasts a 40 per cent more rigid front assembly than the previous model – it has a five-star Euro NCAP rating - and the engineering emphasis has focused on better road-holding, steering precision and sportier dynamics.
Inside the door and seat trims are new, while the dashboard has been revised to be more functional and easier to use.
Five variants are available – three sedans and two wagons – all powered by turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engines in low, mid-pressure and high-output turbo (HOT) tunes.
The five-speed manual 136kW/280Nm Linear sedan is the entry point, with the 162kW/310Nm Vector sedan and 191kW/350Nm Aero sedan coming next, while the Linear SportEstate and Aero SportEstate round out the range.
A five-speed Aisin auto is standard on all models, while a manual Aero is available on special order.
Standard equipment on the Linear runs to climate control, ESP, ABS, traction control, four airbags, 16-inch alloys, heated front seats, leather upholstery, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and power windows/mirrors.