February 28, 2019
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2011 Saab 9-5 Vector Review

2011 Saab 9-5 Vector Review

2011 Saab 9-5 Vector road test and review.

A couple of months ago I reviewed the top of the range 9-5 - the Aero which was powered the Australian built 2.8 litre turbo charged V6.

This vehicle is essentially the lower spec model powered instead by a two litre turbo four cylinder.

There is a third engine in the range; there is also a two litre turbo diesel which I am yet to try out.

It was most interesting to drive essentially the same car but with a very different engine.

Is the two litre four up to the challenge of pulling around the big, heavy Saab? Well yes and no.

Strangely, but not unexpectedly given it’s a Saab, this is where things are a bit upside down. Around town the turbo four feels sluggish and unresponsive, that is until you put your foot down and the response is quite impressive.

On the highway you would never believe that you only had two litres and four cylinders at your disposal, it honestly feels almost as good as the big V6 at speeds above 100 on the freeway.

The more I look at this car the more I like it.

The Saab 9-5 Vector is something different and let me tell you it’s a car that gets plenty of attention.

Attractive from every angle in my opinion and you see the quality in the exterior fittings such as the headlights and mirrors, check it out for yourself I reckon you will like it too.

The interior is a very pleasant place to be the only differences I could spot between the top of the range Aero and the entry level Vector was the absence of the glass moon roof and rear DVD screens.

Both of these features can be added to the Vector.

I can’t fault the interior, quality leather seats – which felt less sporty than the Aero’s, a great sound system, terrific Sat-Nav and infotainment controls the list goes on and on.

One thing that I did prefer on the Aero was the steering wheel; on the premium model the wheel is a little thicker and softer.

As I mentioned in the Aero review I felt the suspension is just a little too firm. The firm suspension means great cornering and road holding but even in the comfort setting I felt it could be a little softer for bumpy city roads. Perhaps the vehicles low profile tyres contribute to the firm ride?

I’m yet to drive the turbo diesel version but comparing the four cylinder turbo with the turbo V6 I would probably opt for four cylinder version.

The turbo four delivers 162Kw and 350Nm which is quite amazing givens its small capacity, and there is a big enough difference in fuel consumption to strengthen the argument to choose this engine.

The stated urban consumption for the V6 is a very thirsty 17.1 litres per kilometre. The four-cylinder uses 14 litres per 100 in the city. Interestingly I did much better than that; I averaged just 9 litres per 100 on the freeway and 11.5 in the city.

That’s a pretty big difference and with the turbo four having plenty of get up and go I think the smaller engine is the way to go.

The Saab 9-5 Vector emits 217 grams of Co2 per kilometre giving it a green vehicle guide rating of 6 out of ten; its air pollution rating is 7.5 out of ten.

The vehicle comes standard with dual stage driver and front passenger airbags, Saab active head restraint, curtain airbags front and rear, side airbags front and rear, electronic stability control, ABS, traction control, emergency brake assist, electronic brae force distribution, and cornering brake control.

Summing it up; If you find yourself looking for a premium brand but find your average Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW a little run of the mill then check out the Saab.

Being a Saab you have to understand that it is a little different, some would say it’s even a little quirky, it’s an individual.

The 9-5 catches plenty of attention, but be warned it is addictive.


Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 118kW and 350Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000kms

Origin: Sweden

Price: From $75,990

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About Joel Helmes 3765 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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