What is it?

The range-topping 'TTiD' diesel version of Saab's 9-5 saloon, complete with a brand new twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine that will also end up powering the Vauxhall Insignia.

And it's a car with plenty of weight on its shoulders. The various ranks of the UK motoring press have, as one, voiced the same criticisms of Saab's lesser 2.0-litre TiD '160' 9-5: there's no shortage of consensus that it's a car short on performance and refinement, and doesn't ride or handle well enough on UK roads.

To its credit, Saab has responded to these criticisms. This month it has beefed up standard 'Vector SE' specification on the 9-5 to include full leather seats and 18in wheels. More importantly, it has reappraised the chassis settings of the standard, passively damped 2.0-litre TiD 9-5 towards a more comfortable set-up with lower spring- and damper rates, softer anti-roll bars and more wheel travel.

And at the same time, Saab has launched this 187bhp, twin-turbocharged 'TTiD' 9-5. Not only does it get better performance than the 158bhp TiD, but it's offered with optional 'XWD' four-wheel drive. Which means that even the front-drivers get Saab's more sophisticated 'Linked H-arm' rear suspension.

What's it like?

This new engine is much more responsive than Saab's regular, single-turbo 2.0-litre diesel. Performance below 2500rpm is much less lethargic than it was in our road test car, and engine refinement below 3000rpm is better too. The 9-5 hardly feels fast, even in this guise, due to those tall gear ratios – but at least this one's quieter and easier to drive at normal crank speeds.

Our test car came in 'Aero' specification, on Sport suspension and 19in alloys: a verdict on the 9-5's new comfier standard chassis set-up will therefore have to wait.

However, with Saab's 'DriveSense' continuously active dampers and variable steering assistance systems onboard (neither of which our original road test car had fitted), this test car certainly rode and steered better than we expected. In 'Comfort' mode, its chassis soaked up urban bumps and troughs quite well. It also had better high-speed body control, and subjected occupants to less head toss, than our road test car.

Should I buy one?

This new version of the 9-5 proves that, if you dress it with the right options and go for the latest diesel engine, you can make this Saab meet most class standards. Spongy, lifeless steering and a determinedly unexciting chassis mean it'll never be a driver's car, but it's certainly spacious and attractive and – with this engine, at least - quite well-mannered.

Pricing levels almost at eye level with BMW's 525d and Mercedes' E250 CDi make this 9-5 a tough car to recommend, but it certainly shows that, after an inauspicious early showing, Saab's biggest saloon is now developing in the right direction.

Matt Saunders

Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

Price: £32,165; Top speed: 143mph; 0-62mph: 8.5sec; Economy: 47.1mpg; Co2: 159g/km; Kerb weight: 1750kg (tbc); Engine type: 4cyls in line, 1956cc, twin turbodiesel; Power: 187bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
21

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:

What is it?

The range-topping 'TTiD' diesel version of Saab's 9-5 saloon, complete with a brand new twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine that will also end up powering the Vauxhall Insignia.

And it's a car with plenty of weight on its shoulders. The various ranks of the UK motoring press have, as one, voiced the same criticisms of Saab's lesser 2.0-litre TiD '160' 9-5: there's no shortage of concensus that it's a car short on performance and refinement, and doesn't ride...Read the full article

In the real world I bet this is a fine car. Comfy seats, great styling, huge boot and a wonderful luxobarge. If you're not after Nurburgring handling this'll be a great buy second hand in about a year. The cabin is cavernous. I hope the sales start soon, I still haven't seen any on the road and my local dealer hadn't shifted any last time I popped in and had a look.

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

Matt, 'Brand new engine' you have written. Yes 2.0 and 1.9 as found in the 93 TTiD but is it brand new as you say so what are its origins?

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

Mr£4worth wrote:
In the real world I bet this is a fine car. Comfy seats, great styling, huge boot and a wonderful luxobarge. If you're not after Nurburgring handling this'll be a great buy second hand in about a year. The cabin is cavernous. I hope the sales start soon, I still haven't seen any on the road and my local dealer hadn't shifted any last time I popped in and had a look.
Almost the same price as a BMW 525d.. Mercedes E250 cdi as well? I think I will have the german to be honest. They are both luxobarges, why not get a 520d Touring or the Merc/Audi equivalent they meet all the requiremens and I dare say better the Saab on performance, economy, interior design, quality and you get the better drive thrown in! All by looks of it for a lot cheaper! These days you get many things standard in the BMW, like leather upholstery and an 8 speed auto gearbox depending on where you buy in the range! There is not chance this will be stealing from any BMW/Merc/Audi sales anytime soon because lets face it, the alternative is still the alternative and at this rate it will always be the poorly priced Vauxhall 9-5!!!

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

"...less head toss" - that's a new one, Autocar!

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

..... as opposed to what you can expect in a well-specced Merc?!?!

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

I would guess these general revisions to both spec and suspension (although not the engine) is a "quick fix" solution and SAAB are working on something a little more substantial further down the line.

Out of curiosity though, all of the negative reports so far have been UK based, what have reviews in other countries said?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

ej03 wrote:
These days you get many things standard in the BMW
ej03 wrote:
8 speed auto gearbox depending on where you buy in the range!
hhhmmm yes, you do get a 'free' auto box on the 535d, but that's over £40k...hardly a fair comparison is it???!!!

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

The problem with the Saab is as always a willingness for non Saabists to buy the car. If it is priced to the same level as its German rivals then it is going to have problems. It is also too heavy as well.

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

thebaldgit wrote:
The problem with the Saab is as always a willingness for non Saabists to buy the car. If it is priced to the same level as its German rivals then it is going to have problems. It is also too heavy as well.
i agree, i love the IDEA of buying and owning a SAAB, but in reality it would have to have a list price of at least £3k less than BMW - more in line with the sort of prices that alfa, honda and the like charge...

Re: Saab 9-5 2.0 TTiD Aero

3 years 40 weeks ago

il sole wrote:
it would have to have a list price of at least £3k less than BMW - more in line with the sort of prices that alfa, honda and the like charge...

Sorry,but could we exclude Alfa from "...and the like"? She is different! And I wouldn't compare everything with BMW especially with the current 5,witch I think is pretty ugly!

Please register or login to post a comment.
  • First Drive

    Senova 2.0T Luxury first drive review

    This revived Saab 9-5 is an attractive looking car with good equipment levels, sadly let down by a poor drivetrain and internal plastics
  • First Drive

    Saab 9-5 SportWagon

    Pre-production drive of early Saab 9-5 estate shows it's a car with real promise

Driven this week

  • Jeep Cherokee

    Jeep Cherokee

    Car review
    30 September 2014 2:37pm

    Can Italian tech put this once-rugged off-roader ahead of the pack?

  • BMW i8

    BMW i8

    Car review
    30 September 2014 10:47am

    Can BMW's baby hypercar blow the lid off performance convention?

  • Cadillac ATS coupe first drive review

    Cadillac ATS coupe first drive review

    First drive
    26 September 2014

    Cadillac aims to take on the best of Germany with its new ATS coupé, but despite being a satisfying car to drive it's likely to be a rare sight on UK roads

  • Volvo V40 T5 R-Design Lux Nav first drive review

    Volvo V40 T5 R-Design Lux Nav first drive review

    First drive
    26 September 2014

    Volvo's fastest V40 hatch is comfortable and fast, but it's left lacking thanks to a bland equipment list, questionable refinement and a high price

  • Mini Cooper D five-door UK first drive review

    Mini Cooper D five-door UK first drive review

    First drive
    25 September 2014

    Fun, practical and economical – and the addition of two extra doors means families can now enjoy the Mini hatchback too