Saab introduces the 1999 Saab 9-5. A new, signature luxury sedan with all the bells and whistles inside and out designed to complete with the likes of BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz. Available as a sedan or station wagon, all models utilize a turbocharged engine. With new technology and engineering, the 9-5 definitely deserves a look.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 turbocharged
Transition: four-speed manual, four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Saab 9-5 2.3-T, Saab 9-5 V-6-T, Saab 9-5 SE V-6-T
The 9-5 starts all new for 1999.
The 1999 Saab 9-5 brings a sporty design to typical sedans and wagons through rounded curves and trim accents. Special factory paint developed specifically for the 9-5 enhances the model. The length of the car runs 189.2 inches with a height of 57 inches and a width of 70.5. Fog lights and a power moonroof come standard on all models, as do alloy wheels.
Some very nice amenities improve the design as standard features, including a multi-memory input for the driver’s seat which allows automatic adjustment between users. The tilt and telescopic steering wheel has leather trim as does the shift knob. Ventilated front seats fill a roomy cabin. Headroom for front passengers totals 38.7 inches with 37.6 inches for the back seats.
Performance & Handling
Saab aims for the luxury market with this line knowing that performance marks a key factor. Each turbocharged engine, depending on the model, competes with more established luxury names. The top model V-6 is pressurized through the front bank of cylinders with one turbo and features a driver-selectable four-speed automatic. Even the lower-end version provides 170 horsepower at 5500 rpm. The torque totals 207 lb-ft at 1800 rpm. Anti-lock brakes come standard on the 1999 Saab 9-5.
Some owners report repeated engine issues involving expensive repairs and hard to find parts. The driver-select automatic transmission has led to braking issues in some models.
Saab enjoys a strong reputation for safety and the 1999 Saab 9-5 makes no exception. It marks one of the earliest vehicles to implement side-impact collision testing in its development stage. This brings changes such as reinforced doors and side panels, including a low alloy strengthened steel at head and chest levels in the frame design. It also offers specific head and torso airbags for both front passengers. In this regard it again reaches ahead of its time. The 9-5 offers airbags for both front passengers. A child safety seat rigging comes built into the back seat for easier installation.
A unique addition to the line, a lighting option for the dash console, dims each gauge with the exception of the speedometer. This aims to reduce the distraction and clutter of information overload, keeping it simple for the driver. It automatically triggers itself for certain alerts such low fuel or engine trouble.
EPA Fuel Economy
Saab 9-5 2.3-T: 19/28 mpg city/highway
Saab 9-5 V-6-T: 20/28 mpg city/highway
Saab 9-5 SE V-6-T: 20/27 mpg city/highway
- Impressive safety record
- Bumper to bumper luxury
You Won't Like
- Parts availability
- High sticker price
Swedish elegance with a kick.
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