2003 SAAB 9-5 LINEAR 2.3T

Used Car - 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear 2.3t in Billings, Mt

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    About This 2003 Saab 9-5 Linear 2.3t
    Vehicle Location:
    Billings, Mt
    Linear 2.3t
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    Fuel Economy Estimates
    City MPG
    Fuel Efficient Vehicle 30+ MPG
    Highway MPG
    Combined MPG: 26 - Efficient 30+ MPG
    Estimated Monthly Fuel Cost: $85.58*
    *Based on $1.78 per gallon and 15k miles per year.
    Actual costs may vary.
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    Seller's Description and Comments:

    Located at Soelter Auto Sales Inc in Billings, Mt.  Call Soelter Auto Sales Inc today at 406-245-1671 for more information about this vehicle.
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    Additional Photos of this Saab 9-5

    2003 Saab 9-5 Review

    This car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
    2003 Saab 9-5
    Fast, stable and comfortable.


    The Saab 9-5 line of sedans and wagons are comfortable, convenient and enjoyable to drive around town and on the open road. Precise steering and excellent high-speed stability make the 9-5 a great companion for covering distances in a hurry. The seats are supportive and the interior is well designed. Clever ergonomic solutions, like seats with fans, an aircraft-style map light, and Saab's Night Panel remind you this is a Scandinavian car.


    The roomy rear seat makes the 9-5 comfortable for four adults. 9-5 SportWagons come with a roomy cargo area with a perfectly flat floor, making them eminently useful for moving furniture or for taking Fido along.


    With its high-output turbocharged engine, the Aero model puts a lot of power under the pedal for quick throttle response at highway speeds. The Saab 9-5 Aero is an absolute delight for working through fast traffic. The luxurious 9-5 Arc is no slouch either, offering brisk acceleration performance.


    The Saab 9-5 benefited from suspension, steering and styling changes last year that sharpen its handling and its looks. For 2003, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is now standard on all models, a real benefit.




    Saab 9-5 (pronounced 'nine-five') is available in three trim levels, or 'Forms.' The 9-5 Linear, Arc, and Aero each offer a distinct personality. Essentially, they match interior styles and engine performance to suit the different personalities and priorities of their owners. Each is available as a four-door sedan or as a SportWagon.


    Linear models are luxurious cars powered by Saab's 185-horsepower 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Linear sedan ($33,995) and wagon ($34,695) come with an impressive level of standard equipment, including leather upholstery with leather door-panel inserts, a walnut-trimmed instrument panel, power front seats with electric heat, power sliding sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, cabin air filter, power windows, power central locking, steering-wheel audio controls, AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with seven speakers, front and rear fog lights, ABS, and traction control. For 2003, Linear also comes with Electronic Stability Control (ESP), a great active safety feature.


    Arc is designed to emphasize a sports-luxury touring role and is powered by a 200-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. Arc sedan ($33,650) and wagon ($39,350) comes standard with the new Sentronic five-speed automatic transmission, which can be manually shifted using buttons on the steering wheel. Standard features include ventilated leather seats with electric heat plus their own internal three-speed fan to circulate cooling air in the summer. Gotta have 'em. Rear seats are heated as well and are much appreciated by rear-seat passengers. A nine-speaker Harmon/Kardon stereo helps pass the hours on those long trips you'll want to take.


    Aero models offer the ultimate in performance with a 2.3-liter High-Output Turbo (HOT) four-cylinder engine rated 250 horsepower. Yes, you read that right: The Aero's four-cylinder engine is hotter than the Arc's V6. Aero wagon and sedan come with a sports suspension and 17-inch wheels, and are distinguished by unique exterior styling cues, special bolstered leather sport seats and metallic-finish dash trim. Aero models cost the same as the Arc models, but the power-ventilated leather seats are optional ($995).


    The Sentronic automatic transmission is optional on Linear and Aero ($1300).




    Saab revised the styling of the 9-5 last year to give it a sportier look. That look remains unchanged for 2003.


    Up front, smooth bumpers, an integrated grille, and clear-lens headlamps emphasize performance. Those clear headlight lenses show off the optional bi-xenon projector headlamps, which give the 9-5 a high-tech, night-fighter look. Glance in the rear-view mirror, and that 9-5 behind you presents a focused look that says, 'Get out of the way!'


    Tail lamps have clear lenses on the sedans. On the wagons, a rear decor panel visually unites the tail lamps for a tighter, more solid appearance. Aero models sport an Aero badge. Badges on the trunk lids identify the engines on the Linear (2.3t) and Arc (3.0t) models.


    Exclusive wheels differentiate Linear, Arc, and Aero. Linear rides on 16-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels, while Arc runs five-spoke 16-inch alloys. Sporty 17-inch alloy wheels with ten spokes come on the Aero model, with low-profile 225/45WR-17 all-season radials, a tip-off that this is a high-performance car.


    Overall, the Saab 9-5 has a sculpted, Scandinavian appearance. Its aerodynamic lines are tautly drawn. Yet it's also practical in that Scandinavian way. The traditional Saab clamshell hood remains. Outside door handles are the easy-to-grasp kind that let you slip your hand through, and they lever upward for convenient opening.




    The Saab 9-5 is a roomy, comfortable car with supportive leather seats. Interior materials are high quality.


    The seats in the Aero wagon offer sufficient side bolstering for hard cornering, yet sliding into and out of them was easy. There were plenty of adjustments, yet it wasn't critical to adjust them just so in order to get comfortable.


    The Arc we drove also had a nice leather interior, with perforated center inserts on the seats. The Arc's seats are particularly nice when it's very hot or very cold outside. We loved the Arc's seat fans. Two fans are located in each of the front seats, one in the seatback and one in the seat bottom, that draw air in through perforations in the leather. Almost to show them off, the fans are noisy, so there's no question when they're on and you can vary the noise by switching among three speeds. But they do a good job of keeping things aired out down under on those sultry days. When it's cold, the seat heaters can be turned on, and feature adjustable temperature settings, useful as the car warms up. Seat heaters in the rear are appreciated by rear-seat passengers who generally have to wait longer for the car to warm up than front-seat passengers.


    Brushed aluminum panels on the Aero's dash give it a sporty look. The Aero has a nice leather-wrapped four-spoke wheel with the rim the correct diameter. It's pocked for better grip, between 2 and 4 o'clock on the right side and 8 and 10 on the left.


    Arc features an attractive center dash, though the burled walnut wood trim looked like plastic. The black upper dash helps reduce glare and nicely set off the light-colored interior in our Arc. The doors are trimmed very well.


    The instrument panel is curved at the top in the same shape as the steering wheel, affording an unobstructed view of the speedometer, tachometer, fuel, temperature and turbo boost gauges. It's fun to watch the boost gauge, as the power responds more to boost than to revs.


    Big buttons for the sound and climate systems are located in a large rectangle in the center console and are easy to understand. The audio controls for the Harmon/Kardon stereo are great. Redundant audio controls on the steering wheel reduce distraction from the road. The radio is wired hot so it can be turned on without the key, useful when parked. Vents are attractive and designed well for aiming.


    The leather-stitched shifter knob on automatic models has a good feel and is easy and pleasant to operate. The gearshift knob for the manual transmission is also leather-stitched and pear-shaped and likewise has a good feel. Manual models have a light on the dash indicating when it's time to upshift to conserve fuel, a feature we could live without.


    Saab comes up with unorthodox, but effective solutions to interior needs. In the 9-5, these solutions are clever and very successful. A cup holder pops out of the dash from a vertical slot the size of a CD and pivots around to hold cans of soda or that grande cappuccino. A fixed cup holder in the center console is a bit less convenient, especially if there's already lots of stuff in there.


    The far end of the right side-view mirror bends outward, which provides a wider view of the right lanes. It requires familiarization to determine the location of an approaching car at a quick glance. We found it didn't work well in the rain. When moving from the left lane to the right lane, it could sometimes make an approaching car look like it was changing lanes and moving toward us.


    Interior lighting is excellent, including one map light in a rotating directional ball, like the reading lights in airliners. The placement of the gauges, the cup holder, radio switches and the map light indicate real thought went into the Saab 9-5 interior. Instrument lights can be switched off by pressing the Night Panel button for improved nighttime visibility.


    Split visors allow shielding the sun when it's in the corner of the windshield or when changing directions fre.


    Driving Impression
    The Saab 9-5 is a wonderful car for working through freeway traffic. It's as stable as a rock at elevated velocities and feels supremely confident in sweeping turns, taking high-speed turns like it's on rails.


    Handling and steering response are terrific. It's fun to accelerate at the apex of a turn and feel the car pull you around the rest of the way, as the chassis and suspension hug the road. Saab extensively reworked the chassis and suspension of all three models last year for sharper handling and steering response. As a result, the 9-5 offers a great degree of control and driver confidence while still providing excellent feedback.


    Some of the changes were particularly beneficial for the Arc model with its heavier V6 engine. There's less suspension pitching or other movements in the rear. The ride is firmer, but we found the Arc handles bumps well, damping and softening big bumps. We found the Arc offered good grip in corners, though, there is some traditional Saab body lean. Steering was slow, but precise.


    For its part, the Aero feels firm over quick, light bumps. The chassis jounces up and down a noticeable amount. It's not sharp, nor uncomfortable, but if you peek out the corners of your eyes to the edges of the windshield, you can see the bouncing. The steering remains very steady through this, although less so when the power is on. Torque steer, that tugging sensation on the steering wheel when accelerating hard in a powerful front-wheel-drive car, is minimal in the 9-5, even in the 250-horsepower Aero, but it does exist. We noticed a slight amount of road vibration coming through the steering wheel of the Aero at low speeds, but this allows the driver to better read changing road surfaces. The Michelin Pilot tires on our 9-5 Aero were superb, quiet, yet responsive for handling and threshold braking.


    The 9-5 is very quiet on the freeway. We noticed only the slightest hiss of wind noise, which went away when we closed the interior panel under the sunroof.


    The Aero offers quick, responsive performance with its 250-horsepower turbocharged engine. It can generate impressive acceleration from a standing start. But the Aero's engine is best appreciated on the open highway. Squeeze down on the throttle while cruising at 70 mph, and you are instantly past that string of cars clunking along. It's easy to modulate the throttle, to get just as much thrust as you need. Squeeze gently on the gas and more power sends the car smoothly ahead. Push down harder and this is one quick ride.


    The Arc offers up plenty of power from its V6 engine and the five-speed automatic is smooth and responsive. The Arc's V6 isn't as smooth as, say, an Audi engine, however.


    We found the five-speed automatic transmission very responsive, downshifting smoothly to the appropriate gear without wasting time. Five gears (instead of four) keep the engine revving in the ideal power band for better response. For 2003, the Sentronic manual-shifting feature comes standard with all automatics. In the Normal mode, the transmission works like a normal automatic transmission. Choosing the manual model allows the driver to change gears by pressing a pair of buttons on the steering wheel. There's also a Sport mode that works like an automatic with sportier shift mapping. We found it made the shifting abrupt and less willing, however, at least on the V6-powered Arc. There's also a Winter mode for stable traction off line in icy conditions. We prefer the Normal mode, letting the responsive five-speed automatic do its thing.


    Manual transmissions shift smoothly, especially when shifting between third and fourth gears. The clutch is hydraulically actuated and feels spring. Heel-and-toe downshifting is enjoyable. Saabs with manual transmissions have to be shifted into reverse before you can pull the key out.


    The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is standard on all 9-5 models for 2003. It helps drivers maintain control by selectively applying t.


    The Saab 9-5 doesn't look like other cars. The 9-5 is fast and luxurious. It feels very stable on the highway and has a comfortable, well-designed interior. SportWagon models add a flat, spacious cargo bay.


    The Saab 9-5 Aero is a great car: stylish, comfortable, luxurious, fast, a joy to drive. If you like the feel of a turbocharged engine, the 9-5 Aero is a real winner.


    Aero and Arc models seem best paired with the optional automatic transmission. Smooth and responsive, the five-speed automatic works well with the Saab turbocharged engines. It also eliminates some of the legendary Saab quirkiness. Loyal Saab owners, however, may prefer the five-speed manual.




    Model Lineup
    Linear 2.3t ($33,995); Arc 3.0t ($38,650); Aero ($38,650); Linear 2.3t SportWagon ($34,695); Arc 3.0t SportWagon ($39,350); Aero SportWagon ($39,350).


    Assembled In
    Trollhattan, Sweden.


    Options As Tested
    metallic paint ($475).


    Model Tested
    Saab 9-5 Arc SportWagon ($39,350).

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    Seller Information


    2 Broadwater Avenue
    Billings, Mt. 59101

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    Phone:   406-245-1671
    Contact: Sales Manager

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    Contact This Seller

    Soelter Auto Sales Inc

    Contact: Sales Manager

    2 Broadwater Avenue
    Billings, Mt. 59101

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