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9-3 or 9-5?

2005 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ChattySaaby
Ok, so I have been looking at getting a SAAB 9-3 Aero (second gen), but I have seen the 9-5, but I don't know much about them. Could you please tell me the differences between the second gen 9-5 Aero and 9-3 Aero? Stuff like MPG, power, handling, safety, reliability, everything I need to know. And on another note, which year of the second gen 9-5s and 9-3s are the most reliable? Because I would imagine that there would be some kind of revisions every year. Thanks.
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Depends who you ask. ;)

I'll give you my opinion. Everyone here will have a different perspective.

9-5 is the superior highway cruiser. Comfortable seats, even with the base ones. Good power. 2.3 I4 is actually a Saab engine. Feels better made than the 9-3. Dang good passing power in the 30-70 MPH range. Quite reliable after 2004 (when they fixed the PCV system and reduced the sludge problem). Predictable quirks once you get to know the car.

9-3 probably has the edge in off-the-line speed and handling, simply because it's smaller. Uses GM engines (both the 2.0 I4 and the 2.8 V6 are GM-sourced motors). You can get a 9-3 with AWD; it's not an option on the 1st gen 9-5. I've heard mixed reviews about the 9-3's reliability, but that's 3rd-hand info.

Overall, I think the 9-5 is a better car. But I appreciate the room (I'm tall and have kids), mileage, and interior space. It really comes down to your individual preferences.

Good luck, whatever you choose!
 

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For my $0.02 the B235R is better than the GM 2.0, but the V6 is a great engine. The latter cramps up the engine bay on the 9-3 a lot, though. Parts support will be better for the 9-3 and I imagine it would be cheaper to maintain, if not necessarily more reliable. The 9-5 has a bigger back seat and trunk and feels better ergonomically from the driver's seat, in my opinion. It's a nicer seat, too... I think the 9-5's interior has a substantial edge although some may disagree. The biggest difference is the chassis but you have to judge that for yourself, the 9-5 feels more secure and stiff but also heavier. I haven't driven either car with good aftermarket suspension though, so if that's your intent I can't say which would handle or ride better. The 9-3 may actually have the edge in safety IIRC. The 9-3 is unquestionably better on gas with the 2.0 but worse I think with the V6.
Transmissions are a big edge, you can get an extra gear with either a stick or auto in the 9-3. Both are stronger transmissions I believe than the 9-5's options (maybe not the auto, I'm not sure).
 

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I'll give you my opinion. Everyone here will have a different perspective.

9-5 is the superior highway cruiser. Comfortable seats, even with the base ones. Good power. 2.3 I4 is actually a Saab engine. Feels better made than the 9-3. Dang good passing power in the 30-70 MPH range. Quite reliable after 2004 (when they fixed the PCV system and reduced the sludge problem). Predictable quirks once you get to know the car.

9-3 probably has the edge in off-the-line speed and handling, simply because it's smaller. Uses GM engines (both the 2.0 I4 and the 2.8 V6 are GM-sourced motors). You can get a 9-3 with AWD; it's not an option on the 1st gen 9-5. I've heard mixed reviews about the 9-3's reliability, but that's 3rd-hand info.

Overall, I think the 9-5 is a better car. But I appreciate the room (I'm tall and have kids), mileage, and interior space. It really comes down to your individual preferences.

Good luck, whatever you choose!
Agree.
 

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Do you guys know any 0-60 and 60-120 times? And I thought I heard something about the 9-5 only being Auto. And would it be cheaper and easier to get parts for the 9-5 because of the GM motor?
I see you meant 9-3 here. You can definitely get a 9-3 with a manual. Road in an '08 the other day with the 2.8 and a 6-speed manual. Don't know the acceleration times. Parts are still considered Saab parts (even if the motors are GM-sourced), so there's probably not much cost savings over the 9-5.
 

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I really like both the 9-3 and 9-5. In a perfect world I would own a 2010 9-3 Convertible...but the spacious and backseat in my 2008 9-5 2.3t is a must-have for me. I do love all 9-3's and wouldn't have an issue owning the sedan either.

Was just up in the Boston area and saw many 9-3's on the road. New England is Saab Country. I really love my 9-5. The definite downside for me is the stop & go city gas mileage. Not good at all. But on the highway it gets me 30-32 mpg all day long.

Totally agree that the 9-3 is more fun to drive. That said, my 9-5 handles well and is a much more comfortable car to drive. One thing that really impresses me is that the first generation 9-5 still looks fresh. I have the update post 06-09 model, which has polarized some because of its Dame Edna front end. I really love the front end myself, but mine is Snow Silver Metallic, which neutralizes the chrome bezels.

Here is a great Top Gear tribute to Saab...and a testament to its incredible build-quality and safety. Go to 1:10 and see the 8-foot crane drop.

http://www.topgear.com/videos/jeremy-clarkson/tribute-saab-part-22-series-18-episode-5

I just turned 70,000 miles and hope to have my 9-5 for another 10 years. I did ask my Saab-only mechanic which is easier to work on and he said that the 9-5 had a bigger engine compartment, making it a bit easier to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Aagg, my typos were messing people up lol.I did mean the 9-5 when I was asking about if you can get it manual. And I'm and in high school, and only have to drive 5-6 mile to and 5-6 miles back, with a little more if I have to go to the store or something. If I get a SAAB with not too many miles, see what has been done to the car, and take good care of it with regular oil changes and letting the turbos cool down, or spool down, whatever the correct terminology is, before turning the car off, will it be reliable enough for what I will be using the car for?
 

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I really like both the 9-3 and 9-5. In a perfect world I would own a 2010 9-3 Convertible...but the spacious and backseat in my 2008 9-5 2.3t is a must-have for me. I do love all 9-3's and wouldn't have an issue owning the sedan either.

Was just up in the Boston area and saw many 9-3's on the road. New England is Saab Country. I really love my 9-5. The definite downside for me is the stop & go city gas mileage. Not good at all. But on the highway it gets me 30-32 mpg all day long.

Totally agree that the 9-3 is more fun to drive. That said, my 9-5 handles well and is a much more comfortable car to drive. One thing that really impresses me is that the first generation 9-5 still looks fresh. I have the update post 06-09 model, which has polarized some because of its Dame Edna front end. I really love the front end myself, but mine is Snow Silver Metallic, which neutralizes the chrome bezels.

Here is a great Top Gear tribute to Saab...and a testament to its incredible build-quality and safety. Go to 1:10 and see the 8-foot crane drop.

http://www.topgear.com/videos/jeremy-clarkson/tribute-saab-part-22-series-18-episode-5

I just turned 70,000 miles and hope to have my 9-5 for another 10 years. I did ask my Saab-only mechanic which is easier to work on and he said that the 9-5 had a bigger engine compartment, making it a bit easier to work on.
Interestingly my 9-5 gas mileage improved with a performance tune. Maybe that's what you need to do... ;)
 
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