Saab has updated its 9-5 lineup for 2006. Offered in sedan and SportCombi wagon form, modifications include new sheet metal, chassis and powertrain enhancements, and revised instrumentation. All trim levels are powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generates 260 horsepower — 10 hp more than the most powerful 2005 9-5.
In their latest form, the 9-5 sedan and SportCombi remain easily recognizable as Saab models. This year's freshening includes a new hood, fascias, projector headlights, taillamps, front fenders and trunk lid/tailgate. Color-keyed side moldings and door handles are installed. Rear track width has increased, and the suspension gets retuned springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Standard wheels measure 17 inches in diameter.
The 9-5 can seat up to five people. Upright chairlike seating permits a comfortable posture, and leather-upholstered seats are standard. The steering wheel and main dials are new. A new audio system includes MP3-play capability, XM Satellite Radio and an in-dash six-CD changer. Dual-zone automatic air conditioning and front and rear heated seats are standard.
Saab's Dynamic Workload Manager feature can briefly suppress dashboard warning messages when appropriate, while the Night Panel function can shut off primary instrumentation — aside from the speedometer — at night. Both systems are intended to reduce driver distraction. The optional Visibility Package includes xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, rain-sensing wipers and rear parking assistance.
Under the Hood
The front-wheel-drive 9-5's turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder generates 260 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard and a five-speed-automatic transmission that permits manual gear selection via steering-wheel controls is optional.
All-disc antilock brakes, traction control, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags for the front seats and active front head restraints are standard.
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