Whether punters will chance their hundred grand on a Saab is an interesting question. Photo Gallery
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Saab 9-5 Aero.
Saab's hopes of a phoenix-like rise from the ashes rest squarely on two cars - the 9-5 Vector four cylinder in diesel and petrol and V6 petrol Aero. Both are built on a GM platform and use GM underpinnings.
The Aero is a $94,900 competitor for the likes of BMW 5-Series, E-Class Benz and Audi A6. Whether punters will chance their hundred grand on a Saab is an interesting question.
It's an impressive car to look at particularly around the three quarter rear section and from straight on. The interior is awash with electronics and plenty of luxury kit including lashings of leather and woodgrain fascia and an impressive audio system. It's a good place to be especially with multiple adjustments for the driver who can set up the car within a range of parameters for ride, response and feel. These can be set to default or will reset to normal settings after every startup.
The engine is a sweet sounding Holden 2.8-litre, petrol, twin cam V6 with a twin-scroll turbo fitted. It sees life in various cars including Alfa Romeo and in larger capacity (without turbo) in Commodore. Outputs are 221kW/400Nm through a six speed automatic transmission and then all wheel drive that seems to work... sometimes.
We had couple of "moments" when the front wheels started spinning with the rears stationary reversing up a slippery drive. What's the point? Due to its abundant equipment, the Aero is a weighty beast tipping the scales at close to 2.0 tonnes but the way it goes and handles belie this.
Fuel economy hovers around the 11.5-litres/100km mark.
It has a large boot and generous rear seat legroom with passenger DVDs. The drive experience is positive with the big Saab delivering on most fronts. And it appears to be built to a high standard, in Sweden.
It's just that lingering doubt that needs to be overcome, something that took Audi more than a decade after it came and went in Australia a couple of times.
SAAB 9-5 AERO
Warranty: 3 years/100,000kms
Engine: 221kW/400Nm turbo-charged V6 petrol
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Economy: fuel 11.3l/100km; CO2 262g/km