2001 9-5 New Car Test Drive
Saab is on a roll. Sales have been booming in recent years, as a popular chord with all the models seems to have been struck. The turbocharged 9-5 Aero, introduced last fall, is an expression of Saab's confidence. It's the fastest and hottest Saab ever built, and it's good. With the Aero, Saab is making a credible statement that it can play with the big boys-and it is also selling cars.
Prices for the 2001 Saab 9-5 models: 2.3t ($33,995); SE V6t ($38,650); Aero ($40,175); Wagon 2.3t ($34,695); Wagon SE V6t ($39,350); Aero Wagon ($40,875).
The Aero boasts the high-output turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 230 horsepower, a five-speed gearbox, 17-inch wheels and suspension enhancements.
The SE features the light-pressure turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 making 200 horsepower, and uses 16-inch wheels.
The base 9-5 2.3t offers a 185-horsepower light-pressure turbocharged four-cylinder engine displacing the same 2.3 liters as the Aero. (Power is up from 170 horsepower last year.)
The SE and 2.3t offer an optional Premium Package ($1995) that includes leather interior, a driver's power seat, and a 240-watt, nine-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system; those features are standard on the Aero. Safety is a Saab hallmark and dual front and side airbags come standard on all models.