What is it?
This is Saab’s new mid-range flagship, the 9-5 2.0T, which carries the company flame for light-pressure turbo engines, a technology the Swedes can proudly claim to have first championed in the 1970s.
We’re already familiar with this soft-turbo 2.0T — the engine features in the Vauxhall Insignia where it shares the same 217bhp and 258lb ft of output. Justifiably it could be tagged a Saab engine, since development was in Sweden under GM’s old global engineering organisation.
What's it like?
Like the best light-pressure turbos, it mimics the easy-driving characteristic of a diesel while offering better refinement and performance. The price, though, is paid at the pumps; on test we averaged 25mpg in the 2.0T and 40mpg-plus in the diesel.
That was in a manual-equipped car, which is the obvious choice of transmission since it enlivens the hefty 9-5 by exploiting the 2.0T’s strong mid-range torque. In contrast the optional £1475 six-speed auto tranny does the opposite, sapping power and blunting mid-range performance to an alarming degree.
We’d also say the firmer Aero spec sports chassis/19in wheel combo suits the 2.0T manual best. The Aero is nuggety, but easier to live with than the standard chassis, which suffers the fidgety ride of early Vauxhall Insignias.