Already at the first meters, the 9-5 Aero Kombi showed that it is a turbo powered vehicle. Saab obviously didn't attempt denying the charger under the car's bonnet and so the turbo lag is clearly noticeable. But it's no problem. Fitted with a manual gearbox, and at an appropriated rev level, the car always accelerates as a real sports car. Furthermore, Saab is noted as a manufacturer of turbo charged vehicles which is why it nearly would be equal to a disappointment if it doesn't feel as one just because Saab was emulating the German's urge for perfection that sometimes makes cars impressive, but lets them seem less spectacular very often. Finally it's the turbo character that legitimises the Aero to exist besides the by far more powerful German evos.

Saab 9-5 Aero drive-away sequence

At accelerating on the Autobahn, the Swede impressively demonstrated that there is a respectable powerful engine mounted behind the radiator grill. Thanks to its high torque typical for turbo engines, it manages accelerating of the 1.75 ton car with ease. And, the Saab also underlined it acoustically. The engine isn't quiet but sounds pleasantly pithy and effortless at all rev ranges. So it came that only the speedometer needle proved reaching top speed of 245kmh. Neither wind nor any other noises were annoying passengers, even not at a pace that gave a very dynamic appearance to the actually static road markings. How unspectacular and effortless the 9-5 Aero SportWagon reaches its top speed was very amazing.

Really not to our taste was the Saab's directional instability when braking hard at speeds over 180kmh. What ever might be cause of this dangerous deficiency, it was no result of a defective wheel alignment because it breaked out to the left as well as to the right. O.k, this problem may rarely occur on public roads, except on German Autobahns, but isn't an acceptable one though. Nevertheless, the 9-5's decelerates considerably good, apart from the mentioned fault.

The nominal power of only 250hp may appear, in view of the rates of the Saab's Teutonic rivals, too less at first sight but, the way it's generated brings so much fun that it subjectively seems to be able to outshine a midsize car of over 50hp more, which is a decisive fact to us. Who doesn't focus upon pure measuring results, who manages to abstain from being always the fastest one on the overtaking lane but prefers a practical car that brings much joy instead, won't be wrong in taking the sporty Swedish estate car. Its relatively reasonable price enables saving money that could be spent on affording some fun of any other kind or, those 50 extra ponies the Swiss tuner Hirsch offers as an optional extra for the Aero, including original Saab warranty.

Related article: 9-5 by Hirsch exhibited on the AMI 2002

< contents