With six models total, there are a lot of great luxury choices in the 2003 Saab 9-5 lineup.
The interior comforts and styling are impressive. The dashboard has a cockpit look to it and all models can seat at least four adults comfortably. They sport an impressive array of safety features including adaptive airbags, ISOFIX child seat mountings and the OnStar system.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.3-liter turbo, 2.3-liter HO Turbo. 3.0-liter v6 turbo
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Saab 9-5 Linear, Saab 9-5 Arc, Saab 9-5 Aero Sedan, Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon
The 9-5 was completely revamped in 2002 so there are very few changes for 2003. All five-speed automatic models have a Sentronic manual shift feature with steering wheel mounted controls. Electronic stability control is also standard on all models.
The exterior has the Saab design lines buyers have come to know. The wagon may seem like a throwback to the early SUV era, but the curved Saab lines and sleek styling make it look anything but boxy.
The cabin layout is ergonomically friendly and overall the car is very comfortable. One addition for 2003 is ventilated sport seats that add to the comfort. The cockpit modeled dash hearkens back to Saab’s roots as an airline company. Features of the cockpit including overhead-fasten seatbelt, and indicators and map lights right out of a jet. Driver and passenger comfort is on par with the major luxury cars, some of which are priced much higher. Features include dual-zone automatic climate control, door instep illumination and a 240-watt Harman Kardon-tuned audio system. The back seat legroom makes it perfectly comfortable for adults.
Performance & Handling
The 9-5 comes in six styles total with three different engines. The Linear sedan and wagon have a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, turbo engine. The Arcs have a three-liter, V6 turbo and the Aero models have a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, high output (HO), turbo engine. All are very powerful, placing the 9-5 squarely in the “sporty? luxury camp.
The electronic stability program or ESP and electronic brake distribution work with the anti-lock brakes and traction control to provide impressive handling for a car of this class; even the wagons. The aero sedan, the most performance oriented of the six models, can reach 60 in less than 7 seconds and a quarter mile in less than 16. It has an almost flat torque band and excellent passing power.
The 9-5 has four-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution. The Aero can stop from 60 mph in as little as 118 feet. It also sports adaptive airbags that inflate differently in proportion to the severity of the crash, ISOFIX child seat mountings, and the OnStar communication system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Saab 9-5: 19/28 mpg city/highway
- The safety features
- Luxury at a cheap price
- Sleek lines
- Impressive handling and power for a luxury car
You Won't Like
- Lag in the turbo occasionally
- Some of the interior materials could be better quality
Above average performance in a luxury sedan or wagon.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A6
- BMW 3- or 5-Series