Saab 9-5 Estate
Saab 9-5

Aero is the top of the range model and is only available with the 2.3t Turbo, petrol engine. In this version the seats are completely covered in leather with contrasting inserts and the instrument panel has a dark grey metallic finish while the steering wheel gains chrome trims. For this model the chassis is lowered by 10mm but the alloy wheel size remains the same at 17-inches.

There’s a choice of three sound systems; Popular, Premium and Prestige ranging in sound quality, output and the number of speakers. They all have MP3 compatibility and an auxiliary socket for an MP3 player. The optional DVD Satellite-Navigation comes with a 6.5-inch touch screen and also includes a 6-CD autochanger in the boot. It is available with the top two audio systems.

With all the extra electronics available nowadays, the Dynamic Workload Manager is a sensible safety system. It is a bit like having a Personal Assistant, who doesn’t allow any interruptions when you’re busy. The DWM delays dashboard warnings and incoming calls when the driver is otherwise occupied in braking heavily or indicating before a manoeuvre. Another nice touch is that the driver can dim or switch off the instrument panel at night (Night Panel). The only thing that remains illuminated is the speedo but if anything else requires your attention, it will light up.

There is ample room for five occupants and the rear seats fold flat to increase the boot capacity, which in the estate is a minimum of 416-litres and increases to 1,490-litres with two cargo tracks set into the boot floor for tethering goods.

Standard features for all variants include; dual-zone air conditioning, electrically-operated and heated door mirrors, the Saab information display in the instrument binnacle, heat absorbent glass and a rake- and reach-adjustable steering wheel. Standard safety systems are listed as ESP, ABS with EBD, TCS- traction control, four airbags for the front occupants who also benefit from Saab Active Head Restraints or SAHR and all the seats have an anti-submarining function.

I can put my hand up and say that I was expecting the 9-5 to be a little dull but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that it isn’t. Don’t let the slightly reserved look fool you as it did me, this car likes to move and is a joy to drive. It is willing, able and can be a lot of fun on country lanes and switch-back roads. Motorway journeys, on the other hand are accomplished with ease and aplomb.

In buying the Saab 9-5 BioPower Estate, you get all this along with the warm feeling that comes with the flexibility of fuel choice and doing your bit for the planet. Well, you would if you could get some E85.

Published : 20/04/07 Author : Melanie Carter

Saab 9-5 News

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