2009 Saab 9-5 Review

The 2009 Saab 9-5 is decent performer with a comfortable interior, but it is generally outclassed by newer competitors that offer greater refinement, better handling and more luxurious interiors.

Pros & Cons

  • Decent handling
  • Comfortable interior
  • Spacious trunk
  • Lacks refinement of newer rivals
  • Below-average safety score




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Saab 9-5 Overview

When it was new, reviewers said the 2009 Saab 9-5 was a fairly pleasing car to drive with comfortable seats, ample power and taut handling. However, many also said the 9-5 was showing its age, as it was largely the same as it was 10 years prior. As a result, the 9-5 lacked the modern edge of newer rivals. But if an older design doesn’t bother you, the 9-5 isn’t necessarily a bad car. It is available in sedan and wagon (SportCombi) body styles. 

Powering the 9-5 is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower. Power is routed through the front wheels, and it is available with either a manual or automatic transmission. Most critics said the 9-5 drives fairly well, with decent power and fairly good handling, though it lacks the on-road refinement of many competitors. Those looking for athletic handling should seek out versions with the Aero trim, which features a sport-tuned suspension. With an automatic transmission, the 9-5 achieves 17/27 mpg city/highway, which is just under the class average. The sedan can carry 15.9 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk, which is fairly good for the class. The SportCombi can carry 36.8 cubic feet behind its rear seats, or 73 cubic feet with the rear row folded.

Although they said it wasn’t as high-quality as many newer rivals, critics generally reviewed the 9-5’s cabin positively. They liked its various Swedish design details and said the seats offered plenty of comfort and space. Standard equipment includes a power sunroof, leather seats, dual-zone climate control and a nine-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary input jack. Major optional features when it was new include navigation, ventilated front seats and parking sensors.

See the full 2009 Saab 9-5 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Within the same price range, critics said the 2009 Volvo S60 has competent handling and a comfortable interior. Like the 2009 9-5, the 2009 S60 lacks the refinement and sophistication of many newer rivals, but as long as you’re not looking for sport sedan performance, the S60 is a capable car. The Volvo also offers strong safety ratings and available all-wheel drive.

While more expensive, the 2009 Audi A4 has nimble handling, potent engines and a classy, high-quality interior. The A4 is also available with all-wheel drive, making it a good choice for those living in winter-weather regions.

Compare the 9-5 to the S60 and A4 »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

9-5 Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Hyundai Genesis 2009 2009 Hyundai Genesis

#1 in 2009 Luxury Midsize Cars

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2009 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

#2 in 2009 Luxury Midsize Cars

Acura TL 2009 2009 Acura TL

#3 in 2009 Luxury Midsize Cars

Lexus ES 2009 2009 Lexus ES

#3 in 2009 Luxury Midsize Cars

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.