About eight years ago, Swedish automaker Saab began manufacturing its second-generation 9-5 model, which was way overdue and a direct rival to the Volvo S80, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class.
Unfortunately, the car never got a chance to really get off the line properly, as production ended with only 11,280 units in the clear, due to Saab’s financial issues which dragged on for a while and its eventual insolvency.
But where does that leave the actual product? Well, according to Doug DeMuro, the 9-5 is a pretty good car, with no shortage of noteworthy quirks and features.
For example, did you know that by pressing its ‘Night Panel’ button, you won’t be just shutting off the backlight on various gauges and displays, but also their functionality? For example, once you press it, the fuel gauge needle drops to empty. Another interesting quirk is the alternative digital speedometer, which is made to look like something you’d find in the cockpit of a plane.
As for how it drives, this 2.0T BioPower (E85) version is surprisingly quick, thanks to its 220 PS (217 HP) and 350 Nm (260 lb-ft) of torque. As for handling, DeMuro felt that it was fine, while adding that it drove like you’d expect and that it’s sportier than regular mid-size sedans, despite the slightly vague steering feel. Which is no surprise, as it was based on GM’s all-new Epsilon platform that also underpinned the first-gen Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and, with a few updates, Cadillac’s XT4 crossover.
In the end, while the 9-5 is still a decent enough car even by today’s standards, the average consumer, presuming that he/she still remembers it exists, will just skip it now that the company is dead.