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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Five
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Five
Feb. 24, 2003
Detroit Auto Show
Detroit Auto Show Photo Gallery
Daytona 24 Hour
Chevy Tahoe
Saab 9-5
Contest Winners
Coming Next Issue
Bentley Arnage R
Cayenne School
Daytona 500
Bose Headphones

Road Test: 2003 Saab 9-5, continued.
The Aero also comes with a deeper chin spoiler, side skirts, the aforementioned sport seats, a sport steering wheel, and the requisite suspension upgrades which transforms the cruiser into a bruiser. Since the pricing for the Aero and Arc are very close to one another you can choose your favorite 9-5 flavor to suit your personality and driving style.

The Linear model is several thousand dollars less and makes for an affordable entre into the 9-5 world. All of the above are available in stylish wagon models for those who need their unique capabilities. A 9-5 Aero wagon is a very cool kid hauler and would definitely blow the doors off of any plodding SUV on the way to soccer practice. Might as well haul around the little ones in turbocharged style, right?

As much as we liked the Saab 9-5 we struggled to determine where this car fits into the marketplace. Its pricing puts it on a level with the Acura 3.2TL, Audi A4 and A6, BMW 3 series and 5 series, Infiniti G35 and I35, Jaguar S-Type, Lexus IS300 and ES300, Lincoln LS, Mercedes Benz C-class, VW Passat W8, Volvo S60 and S80 and many other cars in the $35,000 to $45,000 price range. That's an incredible amount of competition and there are many fantastic cars on this short list.

So where does the 9-5 fit in? Well, it's one of the few brands on the market that has a distinct personality and character. Whether you find that appealing or not is completely up to you. Safety is a strong selling point, and it's one of the safest cars not only in its class but in the world. Euro NCAP gave it a 5 star rating and considers it as one of the safest cars they've ever tested. IIHS gave it its highest rating, "good". This focus on safety has been a hallmark of the company since it started building cars in 1949 and continues today with their Real Life Safety philosophy, which focuses more on real world crash survivability than just lab-based testing.

Saab quality has made a quantum leap forward as evidenced by the award for Best Mid-Luxury Car in the 2001 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.

If you're in the market for a uniquely styled, safe, fun to drive car with a distinct personality, then the Saab 9-5 may just be the ideal fit. Unlike that odd family uncle, Saab seems to be improving as it matures, and may even lose its title of "quirky". Whether it's GM's influence or the result of persistent maturity, the 9-5 defines its own presence by fitting neatly into a loan niche within the import luxury crowd and is definitely worth a serious look.

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