Fleet News

Saab 9-5 2.0t SE auto - 12,635 miles

Review

##Saab95LTB.jpg--right##FIRSTLY, let's get the annoying things out of the way which have rubbed me up the wrong way while driving our long-term Saab 9-5 2.0t SE auto saloon.

Putting the ignition barrel next to the handbrake in between the front seats is a daft idea. No matter how many times I got into the car, I always aimed the key at the steering wheel binnacle and fished around for the key slot before realising my mistake and then cursing Saab's interior design team.

Secondly, whenever you start the engine the computer decides to chime incessantly until you put your seatbelt on. Two very annoying things but they haven't managed to blight the Saab's reputation here.

In fact, the only time the Saab caused us any concern was when it picked up a puncture while sitting in our car park. That episode cost us more than £230 after the mobile fitting van man had done his work. In isolation, £230 for a one-off hit may not be worth worrying about too much, but for one tyre that is a pretty steep amount. Other than that outlay, the Saab needed a service during its time with us, costing a very reasonable £111.

On a day-to-day basis, the Saab has been an enjoyable companion and has been put through its paces on the regular home to office commute as well as taking our deputy editor John Maslen on his holidays in Wales.

John praised the car for its comfort, speed and space and I can't argue with what he said. But I will take-up one point he made about the automatic gearbox being one of the best units he had come across. I find the changes jerky and it does tend to spoil the driving experience.

If I were choosing a 9-5 I would go for a manual gearbox version which would help make the most of the light-pressure turbo's power delivery.

Luckily those good folk at Saab have decided we need a change from our automatic saloon and are swapping it for one of the facelifted estate models in Arc guise with the same engine.

We look forward to trying this engine with a manual gearbox - not only should performance be better but fuel economy and emissions should also see an improvement.

During its time with us, the 9-5 has returned average fuel economy of 26.8mpg, which is just a sliver under Saab's claimed figure of 27.0mpg.

The Saab has also held together very well, with no creaks or rattles reported. I mention this only because some of the controls and facia materials feel somewhat plasticky and brittle. But, like the rest of the car, they have stood up well to a demanding life on the fleet.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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