Saab 9-5 (2010 – 2011) Review

Saab 9-5 (2010 – 2011) At A Glance


+Distinctive design. Comfortable cabin. Impressive rear passenger room and large boot. Fuel efficient 2.0 TiD engine. Well equipped as standard.

-Firm ride. Notchy manual gearbox. Interior doesn't feel as upmarket as it should given the price. Liquidation likely to seriously affect parts supply.

Insurance Groups are between 24–38
On average it achieves 89% of the official MPG figure

The 9-5 was the most important car the Swedish firm had ever built. Saab had a tough time in recent years. With no new product coming through the Scandanavian manufacturer, under ownership of General Motors, has had to make do with its existing cars while other firms have launched all-new models. The future looked bleak when GM wanted to sell the brand and for a while it seemed like the end for Saab.

However, in 2010 Saab was bought by Dutch high-performance sports car manufacturer, Spyker Cars, securing a hopefully brighter future for the firm. And this is why the 9-5 is such a key car. The old Saab 9-5 soldiered on for 13 years but by the end naturally felt very dated. This new model has much to prove if Saab is to retain its image as a manufacturer of high-quality cars.

The looks are certainly a great start. This is every inch a Saab with its distinctive grille, while the coupe-like shape hides a long body and gives it a very sleek appearance. The rear is just as good with its modern light clusters and sculpted boot. It's not strikingly different from other current saloon car designs, but the smooth shape is in-keeping with traditional Saab styling.

Inside there's a fresh new cabin with some neat touches, while rear passenger space is mightily impressive - as is the boot. Unfortunately some of the quality isn't quite up to the standards you'd expect on a premium saloon, but it feels pretty solid overall. It's also well equipped as standard and there are a host of high-tech options available, including a clever head-up display similar to the one BMW offers.

The engine range isn't huge but includes a decent 2.0 TiD diesel with low CO2 emissions of 139g/km and economy of more than 50mpg, plus there are some rapid turbocharged petrols including a great 2.0T with 220bhp. On the move the Saab is composed with keen steering and very tidy handling so despite a firm ride, it's enjoyable to drive. If this is the future for Saab, it looks very promising indeed. But eventually the end came.

Real MPG average for a Saab 9-5 (2010 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–50 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

How can I get the most for my Saab 9-5?

"I own a 20011 Saab 9-5 Aero, which has only 14,000 miles on the clock, making it one of the lowest mileage Saabs in the UK. Is there an optimum time/mileage to sell the vehicle?"
Not many of these made so it will become increasingly rare. The question is whether or not it is desirable enough to become 'classic' and rise in value despite the difficulty there will be over obtaining parts unique to the model. I don't see this happening just yet.
Answered by Honest John

Car written off in accident - can I demand a full repair instead?

"My 2008 Saab 9-5 Aero estate is probably going to be deemed a write-off after a road accident. The driver of the other car has admitted responsibility, but my insurer has said my car will probably be 'uneconomic to repair'. Consequently I'll get a pittance of a payout. Am I within my rights to demand that my car is repaired, whatever the cost? "
Unfortunately no, you are only entitles to be put back in the position you were in before the damage was done and this has been interpreted by the courts as 'market value' for your car. If you are not offered market value you can fight for that. More case law at the end of this FAQ:
Answered by Honest John

Buying a used Saab

"I am considering buying a Saab 9-5, but it has come to light that it has had five previous owners. My main concern is the car is barely six years old and when I come to sell it, other buyers may be reluctant and I may find it difficult to sell. The car has otherwise impeccable history. Should I buy it? "
You have indicated that this is the final series of Saab 9-5 which, of course, is an extremely rare car because it was only built for a year before SAAB went bust and for that reason will eventually gain classic status. The many changes of owner were probably due to the uncertainty about the future of SAAB. But if you can find a reasonably local and keen Saab specialist it could be worth a punt, even though body parts are likely to become difficult to obtain. If it's merely a late registered old model 9-5 then, unless it's cheap, I wouldn't bother and if it's a diesel leave it well alone.
Answered by Honest John

Are company car drivers taxed unfairly?

"I am very concerned about the amount of car tax that company car drivers are having to pay. I have read this tax is to encourage companies to buy cheaper and more fuel-efficient cars but it's not the company who pays this tax, it's the user. I pay tax at 40 per cent and I've got a SAAB 9-5 with 174g/km CO2 emissions. The point is that on my salary I would not usually buy this type of car and certainly not a new one every 3-4 years."
That is a bad choice of car both from your point of view and from the point of view of the company. I have a company and although I was testing enough cars to be mobile most of the time, I thought it better for the company to buy me a 'spare' car, so I got a FIAT 500 1.2 Lounge. Because it's under 121g/km, at the time, the company was able to claim 100 per cent capital allowance in the first year (the limit is now 100g/km). I pay tax on a BIK of £960 a year (10 per cent of purchase cost) and the extra NIC paid by the company is £134 a year. You could have a Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 100PS on 100 per cent capital allowance (the hurdle for that has now changed to 101g/km) and then your BIK would be on about £1600 a year. See:
Answered by Honest John
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