The flagship series from Saab consists of a mid-size sedan and Sport Wagon with elegant appointments aboard and performance gear applied to the top edition. All 9-5 vehicles earned new styling in 2002 with a smooth front bumper and integrated front grille, plus clear headlamps and pop-up headlamp washers.
For the interior, 9-5 also introduced three themes, each with unique features. On 2003 editions, all 9-5 models gain standard features, such as the ESP stability control system. Further, a new Sentronic manual shifter mode applies to every 9-5 equipped with the automatic five-speed. Sentronic adds control tabs mounted on the steering wheel for thumb and finger shifting.
Base Linear edition wears a walnut-trimmed instrument panel with standard soft leather upholstery, heated front seats and ten-spoke 16-inch wheels. The Arc theme also has walnut wrapping the instrument panel but gets standard perforated leather with ventilated front seats and heaters in front and back plus five-spoke 16-inch BBS wheels. Saab 9-5 Aero sports a metal look surrounding the instrument panel and shows bolstered sport seats, standard front and rear heated seats and ten-spoke 17-inch BBS wheels.
For power, the engine in the Aero -- a high-output turbo-charged 2.3-liter four-pack -- pushes 250 hp and comes with either a manual five-speed or the automatic Sentronic five-speed. Linear has a 2.3-liter turbo four that achieves 185 hp with manual shifter standard or the automatic optional. 9-5 Arc gets the Saab 3.0-liter turbo V6, rated at 200 hp and mated strictly to the automatic.
In the Sport Wagon the cargo bay has been engineered to transport cargo exclusively. Aircraft-quality aluminum load tracks in the floor carry notches to catch and lock tie-down hooks so you may anchor tie straps to hold cargo in place and prevent dangerous load shifts when the vehicle moves around.