IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Auto Express and Autocar sneak preview the Saab 9-5 SportCombi

Yesterday WhatCar could tell us that they had done a sneak preview of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, and they thought that Saab was on the right track.

Today first we have Auto Express which writes about their sneak preview.
Here's some excerpts of what they say:
The first thing to strike you about the newcomer is how compact it looks. The well-proportioned Saab 9-5 SportWagon appears much smaller on the road than the figures suggest. Only when you get close, or see it parked alongside another car, do its mammoth dimensions become obvious
Despite its fashionable looks, the SportWagon is still a practical choice. Bootspace measures in at 527-litre with the 60/40 split folding rear seats in place, but drop them flat and this extends to 1,600 litres. It’s not the biggest in its class, but its low loading height and conveniently shaped load area won’t disappoint. All SportWagons also feature the firm’s clever load restraining system. It features a moveable divider, which slots into a U-shaped track on the bootfloor to secure smaller items.

On twisty and bumpy backroads it also displays decent composure and body roll is well controlled in corners. However, while comfort is improved over the first Saab 9-5 saloons to hit the UK, it still struggles to take the edge off the kind of small imperfections and ridges that are a constant feature of UK roads. The good news for prospective buyers is that Saab’s development engineers know this, and the final suspension settings should bring about further improvements…
Read the whole mini test at Auto Express.

And then we have Autocar,which has also tested a pre-production Saab 9-5 SportCombi. Excerpts from the test:

The cars we drove were made from early production tooling, so a lot of the moulds weren’t yet grained. Materials were good enough, though, to make you realise that the 9-5 wagon will get a capacious (527 litre) and well-finished luggage area, with a deep under-floor storage well. There's ample room in the back seats, too, though you'd expect nothing less of a car over 5m long.

To drive? The Wagon is promising. An entry point 'comfort' chassis setting is in its early tuning stages, which has the potential to be satisfyingly engaging if a jiggly secondary ride can be sorted.

A passively-damped Sports chassis is more or less finished, and it proves pretty good. It controls body movements very well and is pleasingly agile, though it too could use its low speed ride being smoothed; it's harsh below around 40mph.

Should I buy one?
Maybe. We predict there’ll still be a couple of rough edges, especially if you’re looking for a diesel drivetrain that has the same finesse as a BMW or a Mercedes.
But the changes to the chassis have the potential to turn the 9-5 from an also-ran into a competitive – and interesting - car in this sector
Read the whole test at Autocar.