Combining classic Saab design with modern cues and high technology, the all-new 9-5 saloon might prove a worthy alternative to premium rivals from the likes of BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes.
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Great return to form for Saab
The new Saab 9-5’s exterior look is influenced in part by the company’s heritage – the overall shape is reminiscent of an early 900, especially around the rear pillars.
But, inspired by Saab’s recent Aero X supercar concept, it also manages to look thoroughly modern. To our eyes, the 9-5 marks a really good return to form for the Swedish brand.
Saab turbo power
Under the bonnet, the new 9-5 is powered by an all-turbocharged range of petrol and diesel engines.
Initially this will be limited to 217bhp 2.0-litre and 296hp 2.8-litre V6 petrols, plus a 157bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel. CO2 emissions are as low as 139g/km for the diesel, while performance from the 2.8-litre V6 equates to 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds.
The V6 engine comes as standard with an automatic gearbox and Saab’s sophisticated XWD four-wheel drive system.
XWD is also optional on the 2.0-litre petrol. This engine will be available as a biofuel variant later, while shortly after launch a 177bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol will join the line-up as the entry-level motor.
Saab has always played heavily on its aircraft-building origins.
This typically manifests itself in excellent cabin ergonomics. We have no reason to suspect the new 9-5 is going to break with this tradition. In fact, the wraparound dashboard layout is even more cockpit like than before. We aren’t entirely keen on there being so many buttons, however.
But taking the aircraft theme even further, the new Saab features an optional Head-Up Display (HUD). This projects important information, such as vehicle speed, onto the windscreen, helping the driver keep their eyes on the road. HUDs are also used by BMW and Peugeot, among others.
Traditionalists are kept happy too, as the 9-5 also comes with an ‘altimeter’ style rolling speed display as standard.
Meanwhile, Saab says passenger space is considerably improved over the old 9-5, with the new car now offering ‘best in class’ rear legroom.
The new 9-5 is apparently the most technically advanced car Saab has ever produced.
Among the car’s high-tech new features is an adaptive chassis system called Saab DriveSense. This continuously monitors the road surface and your driving style to deliver the best compromise between comfort and control.
A powerful Harman Kardon 5.1 surround sound stereo system incorporates touchscreen satellite navigation and hard drive storage at the top of the range. Back seat occupants can have their own audio controls, and a DVD player with screens that fold out from the front seat backs.
The new Saab 9-5 makes its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. There is no information regarding pricing, trim levels or availability at this stage.
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