By on April 23, 2010

US-market details about the long-awaited 2010 Saab 9-5 are starting to emerge, and they’re painting a bit of a frightening picture for the struggling entry-luxe brand. In order to capitalize on the desperation of Saab fans who nearly saw their beloved brand give up the ghost several times in the last year, Saab is releasing the 2010 9-5 in Aero spec only until the 2011 model year begins. Did we mention that, including destination charges, the 300 hp AWD flagship model will get you only ten bucks change for your $50k check?

A 2.0 turbocharged base 9-5 will retail for “under $40k” according to Saab, but it won’t be available until the 2011s arrive. For comparison, the previous (2009) 9-5 Aero (with a 260hp turbocharged four and FWD) started at a scant $41,425 (before incentives), and a 2010 BMW 535i with a 300hp turbo-six starts for less than two grand more than the new 9-5 Aero, at $51,250. Oh, and short of checking every option and accessory box on a top-trim Buick LaCrosse, there’s no Epsilon II-platformed car on the US market that even comes close to the 9-5 Aero’s price tag (at least until the Cadillac XTS arrives). Given how big of a step up in price the 2010 9-5 represents for the brand, and considering that Saab’s Q1 2010 sales fell under 1,000 units, this new model will be a tough pill to swallow for all but the most die-hard, desperate Saab fans.

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55 Comments on “Want A New Saab 9-5 For Under $40k? Get Ready To Wait...”

  • avatar

    Have they released complete specs and pricing information on the car? I’d like to get it into TrueDelta’s database, to see how it compares to competitors when features are adjusted for.

    Our exclusive car price comparison tool:

  • avatar

    So, $49,950 vs.

    A6 – 45,200 to 59,150
    GS 350 – 45,000 to 53,750
    Infinity M – 45,800 to 54,650
    5-series – 45,950 to 60,600

    Seems like a good deal for a loaded 9-5.

    • 0 avatar

      Saab’s marque is a tier down from the Lexus/Infiniti and Audi/BMW camp.

      More like:
      S80 – $39,200 – $50,950
      CC – $27,760 – $40,420
      MKZ – $34,225 – $36,115
      MKS – $41,270 – $48,160
      LaCrosse – $26,245 – $33,015
      Avalon – $32,245 – $35,485
      Maxima – $30,690 – $33,410
      Genesis – $33,000 – $39,500

      All but the bottom three offer AWD.

    • 0 avatar

      If I had 50 large to spend on a car these days, I’m not thinking Saab. And I used to want a 900 Turbo so bad about 25 years ago, too.

    • 0 avatar

      segfault, it is competing with the Audi A6, there is no dought about it, apart from Saab saying so it is also in the same class as these cars. It is bigger, simular build quality, also european and specs are all in all simular. It is also just as safe.

  • avatar

    “the most die-hard, desperate Saab fans.”

    Honestly, does Saab have any other type of fans?

  • avatar

    I see no issue with this pricing.

    they’re not going to be selling 2010 MY cars for _that_ long as most of their competitors will have 2011 MY vehicles out shortly, if not already. it also makes it easier for them to build a single spec initially, then take more time to sort what they want to offer in lower versions.

  • avatar

    It looks great

  • avatar

    This car is DOA.

  • avatar

    I’m confused… How does Saab’s new owner come to the conclusion that pricing the 9-5 right with class leaders is the right move? Saab has lost its uniqueness, quirkiness and fun a long time ago. Exactly what are you getting for this premium price?? I don’t see the value.

    If anything, this should be priced along the lines of Acura’s TL, which is it’s most natural competitor…. at 36k. Add the tech package and you’re looking at 43k for the Acura.

    This aspirational pricing is soooo GM. Oh, the irony.

    • 0 avatar

      Just curious – why would you assume it competes against the TL vs. the A6/GS/M/5 series?

    • 0 avatar

      Because the quality of the car and Saab’s traditionally are more in line with the TL than anything else. Saab and this car and everything they’ve sold before is a joke compared to a German luxury sedan.

      Now if you want one that’s fine and dandy. I’m curious to see how many Saab internet cheerleaders put their money where their fingers are and actually buy this car.

    • 0 avatar

      Saab and Acura are the only FWD near lux cars (although stripped Audis come close). They’re also just GM platform cars, and have lost much of their uniqueness and prestige, much like Acura.

    • 0 avatar


      Im a Honda / Acura FIEND, and I dont believe a TL is worth 43g.

      Not when the TSX has the same engine (I believe) the same frame and starts at about 10g cheaper.

      Then again…
      Thinking of these cars..
      50g is a lot to spend on cars that don’t excite me.
      Then again.. I dotn think those that have this dough.. really care at all. — Thats why leases are so big.

      Pretty sad when a Maxima (the venerable Sport Sedan) is up against an Avalon, MKZ, MKS, Lacrosse, A6 etc etc etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually this is the only website who thinks the pricing is bad. Most say it is as good as its german rivals and it is priced under them to. Actually your own article shows that is is priced right.

  • avatar

    considering 50k is well into bmw territory, i don’t think the new saab is going to be a big hit. i’ve driven many 9-5 and 9-5 aeros but never thought they should be priced at much more than 30k.

  • avatar

    I don’t really see the problem with this pricing either… If that is the top of the line 9-5, I’d say they would be hard-pressed to do better on pricing. And lets not forget the Jaguar XF **starts** at $52,000.

  • avatar

    Saab and this car and everything they’ve sold before is a joke compared to a German luxury sedan.

    9-3 vs A4
    9-5 vs A6

    I wouldn’t call them a joke in comparison.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess that’s because you’ve probably never driven all of the cars you note. The current 9-5 isn’t even competitive with the C5 version of the A6. Just because the manufacturer says it’s so, doesn’t mean that it is. Is the Caddy DTS really competitive with the Lexus LS? One need only look at Saab vs Audi vs BMW sales numbers to see which the customers prefer. Where Saab is now, and to have any hope of coming back, they need to have excellent quality at a lower price. And 50k, to me, is the base price, not all in, so I’d guess this new 9-5 will go well above it.

    • 0 avatar

      And 50k, to me, is the base price, not all in, so I’d guess this new 9-5 will go well above it.

      50k is for the highest trim level.

  • avatar

    Having driven them both I would definitely call what Saab sells a joke for the money. You get among the best interior design and trim of any manufacturer in Audi, as well as excellent driving dynamics and engineering. I’m not sure what if anything you get for your money with a Saab, other than having something Swedish.

    The new 9-5 is more in-line with the new Taurus SHO more than anything else. And the Ford looks nicer inside and out with much better performance and a lower sticker price. Not to mention if you sold the 9-5 in 2010 you’d probably get 20k for it. Even the SHO would fetch more.

  • avatar

    in regards to the camry xle… even in light of the toyota debacle if the saab were a better car, then yes it should be priced accordingly. i can testify from first hand knowledge, the saab will contend with the german cars in the “who wants to spend the gdp of a small country on repairs?” category.

  • avatar

    Indeed, the MSRP on Saabs have always been out of line. I love my 2004 9-5 Arc wagon dearly but I would never, ever, ever have paid the MSRP or anything close. Why should I when I bought mine as a CPO with 40k on the clock for $12k. It now has 113k miles and those have been trouble free. I have only owned Saabs (I’ve tried to shop for other cars but it comes back to those seats and the overall feel of the car) and consider myself a Saab fan but not enough to go against my financial interests. It is just a car after all. If Saab was/is going belly up I am hoping Alfa make a come back. That’s the kind of car person I am. What can I say?

    • 0 avatar

      I would never, ever, ever have paid the MSRP or anything close.

      No one has paid close to MSRP on a SAAB in 10 years. Your 9-5 probably went 5k below invoice with invectives plus 0% financing when it was new. That’s my only concern with the pricing. Rather than go with the GM model of pricing the car high and offering huge rebates they should just set the MSRP at the amount at which they can reasonably expect to sell the car.

  • avatar

    I’m a SAAB fan, but pricing the new 9-5 at $50K will result in them sitting unsold on dealer lots.

    Like others have mentioned, MSRP has been a joke for SAABs for at least 10 years. Everyone has learned to wait for the $10K in incentives to be offered.

  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    They should cut to the chase and announce the (subvented) lease deal already.

  • avatar

    as a die hard saab fan having owned 2 aeros at a time with my favorite being the 2000 9.5 aero ( something about the aero went downhill after the 2001 model year )with 130,000 miles on it i knew i admit i knew about the coming price increase .
    during the gm tenure the saab prices were inflated to allow for major discounts …no more

    so what is a saab die hard to do ??

    well i test drove many cars and my favorite of all is the infinity m37 ( also own and fx35 circa 2004 ), and then i passed by a jaguar dealership that also has nissan ,and the new maxima attracted my attention,
    i test drove it and bought it on the spot .

    not a saab ,but at $40. with all the bells and whistles plus ,and the cvt tranny and great lines ,decent handling ,and very quiet,i may now be known as a maxima die hard ….
    actually as good as the infinity m37 is ,at $56.0 , the maxima beats it becasue is not really that far away in handling,etc from the m37 ,given the usa’s roads and speeds
    operational word here is usa speed limits ,and usa road conditions .

    further for saab die hard fans ,may i suggest that you wait for the new buick regal which is in fact the opel insignia which is in fact the new 9.5,but at possibly 20g’s less

  • avatar

    I got to climb around one of these at the NY auto show and came away thinking to myself that it was nice, especially if they could hold it closer to the outgoing model’s MSRP, which generally went out the door for $8k less.

    Giving them a grain of salt that it was a prototype – this was Not $50k nice. It is not competitively sized on the indside (its small) and this price will do nothing to help get SAAB back off the ground.

  • avatar

    This pricing is gonna go over like a fart in church, especially if Spyker can’t keep up with the absolutely monumental incentives GM used to dump on Saabs. We’re talking $5-10k under MSRP, free financing, free maintenance, free donuts, stuff like that.

    I’ve seen this car in person (but obviously haven’t driven it) and agree with it being up against the TL/LaCrosse/M35 much more so than a 5er or an A6.

    I can’t even comprehend spending Audi money on a Saab.

  • avatar

    Saab is making a classic mistake here in not understanding how the $50K market works. At least half is automatically carved out by the 5 series and E class. Most of the other half is divided between the A6, GS, M, and the “buy American” folks propping up the STS and the MKS.

    At the bottom fighting for table scraps with the Volvo S80 and the Acura RL will be the new 9-5. You’d have to be clinically insane to look at spending $50K on a new M37 or F10 5 series and think “Rather have the Saab. I want the badge to impress nobody, I want a plastic fantastic interior, and I want resale value worse than a used condom.”

    If Saab could price this to compete with the Genesis, they’d have a shot. At $50K, it will go down in flames.

    • 0 avatar
      The Guvna

      Bang on, Dave. At something roughly approximating the MSRP of the outgoing 9-5 (which, of course, was then subject to thousands worth of incentives), it *almost* makes a case for itself…it is a handsome devil. Frankly, in light of their recent status as a dead man walking, I’d have been tempted to price it in the high 30s to be on the safe side—they had a reputation for selling warmed-over Opels-slash-Vauxhalls *before* they more or less went tits up, and the previous 9-5, as noted, listed at nearly ten grand less and sold for a damned sight less than that, even.

      Only the most foolish and myopic of Saab apologists would pay anything approaching fifty thousand dollars for this car, attractive though it may be. And as their recent woes have demonstrated, it seems there aren’t nearly enough professors, architects and interior designers for Saab to count on anymore. They either need a car that’s appreciably more special to sell at that price point, or a decidedly more realistic shift down market, pricing wise, with the warmed-over day-olds they currently have, swanky new sheet metal notwithstanding. “Why would someone with fifty thousand dollars buy a Saab instead of a Bee-Em, an Audi, a Merc, a Jag XF, or a Lexus GS?”, should have been the question they asked themselves before pricing this car. If the car itself doesn’t present an obvious answer, a struggling brand that is a shorthair away from death probably should have spent a little more time thinking this through.

      Incidentally, I nearly choked when I read “Rather have the Saab. I want the badge to impress nobody, I want a plastic fantastic interior, and I want resale value worse than a used condom.” Bravo, sir. Bravo.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      @Davekaybsc There should be a “commentator post of the day award”, and you would have run away with it. Thanks!

  • avatar

    I lol’d at the resale value remark. I think maybe Saab is pricing this high because:

    They think people who buy 9-5’s and 9-3’s don’t buy it for value or comfort, but quirkiness and individuality, and if Saabs are really expensive, only a certain amount of people can/will buy it, increasing the appeal!

  • avatar

    The Aero is the very top of the line. I’d imagine the Arc model would be selling in the high 30s which is reasonable – in my opinion. Competitively optioned it should undercut the A6/M/GS/5 by 10k at least.

  • avatar

    Any idea whether this can be imported into Canada?

  • avatar

    Did Saab dump you guys’ sisters or something? I mean… Damn!

    As far as the interior goes, I fondled the new 9-5 interior and those of several ‘real’ (read: German) luxobarges at the NY auto show, and didn’t notice any glaring problems. I guess if you spend a lot of time licking your b-pillars there might be an issue…

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe I am not the only one to notice that the interior quality of BMWs is not what it used to be. I didn’t get a lot of seat time in the 5s at the auto show, but spent plenty in the 3s (wife wants one) and was disappointed at what I saw. That “pimply,” kind of rubbery dash cover material didn’t look/feel any better than what covered the instruments in the new Buick that was at the show. A few others noticed the quality slide as well. Overall the attention to detail with fit/finish/material selection was not up to the standard of past BMWs. I could forgive that if it meant meeting a price point without compromising the mechanicals (A Corvette comes to mind here) but at the price of Optioned BMWs that’s not the case.

  • avatar

    Since no Saab has ever sold for anywhere near $50k exactly who is the intended market? Certainly not the small group of Saab diehards. With all of the problems they’ve had the last thing they needed to do was introduce a new $50k car. I agree that this will go down in flames.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Why anyone would buy the 9-5 over the other available $50k new cars is beyond me. $50k gets you a car with no serious brand heritage, a checkered past, a shaky future, a crappy dealer network and zero bragging rights.

    Heck, I would buy an Acura RL before I would touch any Saab, and the RL is at best, er, under appreciated!

  • avatar

    I’d get a new 9-5 in a heartbeat over an S80, ES, LaCrosse, TL, Maxima, Taurus SHO (well, the extra 60hp would make me pause there…), etc.

    But $50,000? I’d prefer a 335i or 335d for that price, granted that their target markets aren’t necessarily identical – the Saab dwarfs the BMW.

  • avatar

    And the GM Brand “touch of Death” continues…..

    • 0 avatar

      Oh no, now it’s Mr. Anto.. i mean: Victor Muller pulling the strings at Saab.

      By the way, if you have a few spare dollars laying around the house, Spyker is for sale at any reasonable offer.

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    Well, Saab can’t afford to lose money on their sales – their prices have to cover their costs, which are high and payable in Euros. If it turns out that they have to price themselves out of the U.S. market, too bad, but still better than losing money on each sale.

    Their fate will be determined outside the U.S. anyhow.

  • avatar

    Let’s bring some common sense to this discussion instead of just yelling “What the f…, 50K for a f… Saab? My understanding is the 50K will be for a fully loaded 95 with V6 turbo and AWD. It will likely be discounted by at least 2-3K possibly a lot more depending on sales. Today fully loaded 335ix approaches 50K and is rarely discounted. So in real world the fully loaded 95 will go for the same or less money than 335i. Now many (most) people will still feel that 335i is a better value but the Saab no longer seems to be out of its league.

  • avatar
    The Guvna

    Err…I don’t anyone thus far has been doing anything resembling “yelling”, as such, but thank you for your faintly patronizing two cent contribution nonetheless (FYI: Prefacing your comment with the implication that you alone have cornered the market on wisdom is seldom a good idea at the best of times; doing so in advance of a lame non-existent justification makes it that much worse) Anyway…

    “Now many (most) people will still feel that 335i is a better value but the Saab no longer seems to be out of its league.”

    Yes, I’m afraid Saab still does seem woefully out of its league. The car to which you have compared the 9-5 Aero, the 335ix, is from a manufacturer that

    A) Has established a significant amount of cache (or “brand value”, in corporate parlance. “Badge”, to you and I), warranted or not. Largely warranted, I would suggest.

    B) Has been among the segment leaders for the best part of three decades now, with a corresponding market share and correspondingly high residual values.

    C) Hasn’t been attempting to sell warmed over GM chassis at ludicrous mark-ups for better than a decade


    D) Will, in all probability, provide buyers with the comfort and security of actually, you know, existing in five years time.

    Oh, and

    E) Didn’t just come back from the brink of oblivion altogether less than six months ago.

    At which point does “common sense” enter the equation, again? Do please let me know. Whether the 9-5 is a fine car or not has yet to be determined. Signs are promising, and it’s certainly a looker, but if you are going to take on the $50K executive saloon car establishment, you had damned well better be bringing more to the party than a badge from the Where-Are-They-Now file, a decidedly “confused” corporate identity with an iffy prognosis, the underpinnings of an Opel-cum-Vauxhall, and specification that is merely adequately competitive. You had better be bringing your A game to that particular party. It isn’t enough to merely match the establishment. You have to beat them, in any number of significant areas. Hell, *one* area would be a promising start. As you noted, you can get a 335ix for that money…what’s the point in having a Saab, then? What’s the killer app for the Saab?

    If you’re trying to bring this brand back from the dead (and they are), do you really, honestly, believe that being merely adequate is enough? If so…well, hey. More power to you, I guess. I was racking my brain trying to think of who in their right minds would pay BMW money for a Saab, and well, I suppose we’ve found *one* potential sale, at least. Cheer up, Spyker…your troubles are over!

  • avatar

    Call me a maverick, but perhaps it might be instructive know…drive the thing before proclaiming it is/isn’t worth $50K. Maybe it’ll be a worldbeater, who knows. If you’re really looking for brand cachet (are people still trying to impress their neighbors these days? sheesh), look elsewhere, otherwise let’s see how this fatty drives before the B&B seals its fate.

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