In Depth – 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero XWD – rpmGo.com

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero XWD

Saab was on the verge of bankruptcy when Spyker gave them a hand when they pulled $74 from their own pockets and bought the Swedish manufacturer. In addition to these millions, Spyker now owns $326 million in shares at the new Saab Spyker Automobiles company. According to the CEO of Saab Spyker, Victor Muller, the company will get back the original investment in 2012, when the worldwide sales will reach 85,000 units. In 2008, Saab sold just 18,000 cars in the United States, but on the good side, the worldwide sales went up to 95,000 cars. They managed to get this important figure with outdated models and/or badge-engineered cars. Before the 2011 model, the Saab 9-5 lasted 13 years without any changes, which is double as most of the cars today.

This new model is considered by many the first car from Saab that does not look like the models manufactured back in the 90s. The aggressively tapered greenhouse and the blacked-out pillars make it a car worthy of the name Saab. The car will be available with two trim levels. The base model will come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged power unit that will be capable of outputting 220 hp and can be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox or to a more relaxing automatic transmission. The driver can get the 9-5 Aero with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The other engine is a powerful V6 2.8-liter that is capable of producing 300 hp and a 295 lb-ft. The engine comes linked exclusively with the 6-speed automatic gearbox and the proprietary XWD all-wheel drive system.

Inside you will find a bundle of cool touches that reduce the feeling of black plastic that is predominant in most of the cars that are available today. The start button of the 9-5 Aero XWD is placed in the traditional ignition-switch place on the center console. The needles have a very stylish neon-slime green color pattern and the shifting-matrix air vents have a very special design. In the middle of the speedometer you will find a generous high resolution display that will show you the audio info, navigation and other vehicle information. For extra money, there is an option to add a head-up display so that you will keep your eyes on the road all of the time.

All of the Aero cars from Saab (optional on the soon to be released 2.0T) come with the proprietary DriveSense chassis controller that offers three positions: comfort, intelligent and sport. The default option is intelligent. For those of you that choose the sport mode, the steering of the car will get heavier and the throttle plus the shift mapping will become considerably more aggressive. In addition, the shocks will firm up. The intelligent mode is quite similar with the comfort one, but it resembles a little bit to the sport’s steering that becomes harder when cornering.

The car comes standard with the lane-departure warning system which is programmed not to start beeping if it detects steering input. This is a great improvement in comparison with other cars that have the same system which start beeping every time a driver makes a lane change without signaling. As far as the comfort offered by the 9-5 Aero is concerned, nothing to complain, on the contrary, the car’s exquisite bolstering of the front seats is a real delight. In comparison to more reputable cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the 5-Series from BMW, the Saab offers more space for the back seats.

When looking for the first time at the dashboard you will think that the buttons were placed randomly, but by giving it a closer more attentive look you will notice that the placement of these buttons is very intuitive. The vast majority of the tasks can be controlled with the help of the 8” display, which can be navigated by twirling a knob below it or by touching the screen gently. The structure of the menu is very logical and easy to follow, but at the same time you will have a bundle of options to tweak, if you want to of course.

2011 Saab 9-5 Aero XWD

With the V6 2.8-liter turbocharged engine, the 9-5 Aero needs 6.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h, which is not that bad, but taking into consideration the fact that the car has 300 hp and it costs about $50,000, it could be quicker. This same engine powers the Cadillac SRX and it is the same V6 power unit that Saab has been using for a good amount of time. In the Caddy, the engine is quite awful taking into consideration that the SRX is 400 pounds heavier than the 9-5. The 9-5 Aero XWD equipped with an automatic transmission has paddle shifters that are installed on the back of the steering wheel, and in manual mode, it will not upshift until the driver tells it to.

The 2011 Saab 9-5 Aero XWD was created on the General Motors Epsilon II platform and it shares a great deal of its architecture with the Buick Regal and LaCrosse as well as other cars from GM. The car is equipped with GM’s “HiPer Strut” suspension that was launched earlier this year and with a modified MacPherson strut that people over at General Motors say that it better maintains the negative camber under hard cornering and at the same time, it reduces the torque steer. The 2.0T models will come with the standard conventional struts. The back of the car features a multilink arrangement.

The most affordable 2.0T model is approximately $40,000, but a fully featured Aero configuration will cost you $10,000 more. At this price range, you could get the BMW 335i and if you need the extra back space the 9-5 has to offer, you might also take into consideration the Audi A6 3.0T. However, we are sure that the car will have its own niche, for people that still believe that Saab is not dead and it can produce high quality cars.

Source: CarAndDriver.com

Post tags: Tags: 9-5 aero, Saab