2011 Saab 98-5 Aero Sedan:Elegant, classy and desirable

3 Aug 2011 | 2,417 views | No Comment
      By Don Hammonds Nothing like being distracted when you're cutting hedges. My glorious distraction was the sight of a slinky black sedan as it pulled in front of my house--the all-new 2011 9-5 Aero Sedan. All of us know that Saab is on perilous financial ground, but the new 9-5 Aero mounts a mighty argument for this company's survival--and its prosperity.   The new 9-5 is easily one of the most beautiful designs we've seen this new car season, with its clean, understated elegant lines.  Needless to say, we got plenty of compliments as we drove this one. But it's behind the wheel that the new 9-5 delives a bravura performance.  Utterly flat cornering, composed behavior around curves, and a perfectly balanced steering systems are only a few of the joys on display here.  There's roominess, elegant features like entertainment screens installed on the backs of both front seats, tasteful applications of chrome everywhere, and a pretty straightforward dash and instrment cluster to boot. And the wonderful thing about all this is that this car is designed as a true Saab. You'll see all kinds of things that will remind you that is the case, from the grid-like air outlets on the dash to the console mounted ignition switch and gthe acggressive, aircraft-like front end. As you probably know, Saab was once oowned by General Motors, and the 9-5 includes parts from GM cars in its design and makeup.  The platform for instance, originates from Opel, and you'll find this one under such cars as the Buick Regal---not at all a bad proposition. Meanwhile, the Cadillac SRX shares engines with the 2011 Saab 9-5  Still, the new 9-5 is completely unique in its design and presentation, and we assure you that you won't be thinking this car is anbything but a Saab when you get behind the wheel. Speaking of getting behind the wheel, the 9-5 feels pretty darn light and responsive.  It's clearly eager to get underway when you take off  from a standstill. This model year, Saab has introduced a 220 horsepower Turbo4 base model (18/28 miles per gallon) which is prided just under $39,000, in case the 2.8lliter, high output, 300 horsepower six cylinder engine that powered our test car proves too rich for your automotive diet. And you won't even notice the difference between the two cars when you see them. Alonbg with our Aero test model, and the Turbo 4, the 9-5 also is available in Turbo4 Premium,and  Turbo6 XWD versions as well.  Standard equipment on the Turbo4 includes 17-inch wheels, foglamps, automatic wipers, keyless ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. Snagging the Turbo4 Premium adds 18-inch wheels, headlight washers, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, keyless ignition/entry and remote ignition. The Turbo6 XWD adds the same equipment, plus a V6 and all-wheel drive.  Both models can be equipped with a pair of options packages. The Technology package includes a lane-departure warning system, advanced parking assist, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps and a head-up display. The Rear Passenger package adds tri-zone automatic climate control, rear seat audio controls, and a DVD entertainment system with two front-headrest-mounted screens. A navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen and 10GB of digital music storage is also optional. The 9-5 Aero gets the Technology package standard, plus slightly different front and rear fascia designs, different 18-inch wheels, upgraded rear brakes, sport-tuned adjustable suspension, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, adjustable drive settings, paddle shifters, a sport steering wheel, sport seats and alloy pedals. The navigation system and Rear Passenger package are optional. The Aero feels pretty speedy, and we found out just how speedy whenwe saw that other auto writers claimed a zerpop tp asoixty  figure of 6.4 seconds and mileage is rated at 17/27.  Annual fuel costs estimates for the Aero model are $2,250, based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3 a gallon. We only had one concern about the 9-5, and it's one we suspect will go away with time.  We repeatedly reached  to the positions we are accustomed tousing to get the car started instead of going f0r the console- mounted ignition.

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