1 Nov 2001
For the 9-5’s first big facelift Saab claimed over 1265 design and engineering changes, with a new grille, headlights, bumpers and taillights.
Steering and handling responses were improved.
There was also new technology like stability control and bi-xenon headlights, which were available on higher-end models.
Also, a five-speed automatic displaced the old four-speed unit, increased safety came via smarter airbags and better seatbelts and the Aero’s 2.3-litre engine now pumped out 184kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
The V6 vanished and the base 2.0, S and SE were replaced by the 110kW/240Nm 2.0 Linear and 136kW/280Nm 2.3 Linear, Arc and Vector respectively.
In late ’02 a trim and equipment reshuffle (the Arc and Vector wagons vanished) also saw a Tiptronic-style shift engineered into the five-speed auto gearbox.
In early ’03 the 9-5 Limited Edition SportEstate was based on the Linear 2.3 and loaded with extras.
By early ’04 the 9-5 range was further reduced with the deletion of the Vector.