1998-2010 (wagon) 
|Transmission(s)||5-speed automatic5-speed manual4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,703 mm (106.4 in)|
|Length||1997-2000 Sedan: 4,805 mm (189.2 in)
1997-2000 Wagon: 4,808 mm (189.3 in)
2001-05 Sedan: 4,825 mm (190.0 in)
2001-05 Wagon: 4,830 mm (190.2 in)
2006-present Sedan: 4,836 mm (190.4 in)
2006-present Wagon: 4,841 mm (190.6 in)
|Width||1997-2000 Sedan: 1,793 mm (70.6 in)
Wagon & 2001-09 Sedan: 1,790 mm (70.5 in)
|Height||1997-2005 Sedan & 2001-05 Wagon: 1,448 mm (57.0 in)
1997-2000 Wagon: 1,496 mm (58.9 in)
2006-09 Sedan: 1,453 mm (57.2 in)
2006-present Wagon: 1,465 mm (57.7 in)
The first-generation 9-5 was powered by Saab's B205 and B235 straight-4 engines, and in Europe by Alfa Romeo's 1.9 JTD 16V diesel straight-4. A version of the GM 54° V6 powered by a unique asymmetrical low-pressure turbocharger was available from 1999 to 2003. This engine was available only with an automatic transmission, and cars with this engine installed are distinguishable by their twin tailpipes. It was only available on Arc, SE, and Griffin models. In 2004, the V6 engine was replaced by a high pressure turbo straight-4 engine producing 220 hp (160 kW). By 2008 this engine was producing 260 hp (190 kW) even in the non-Aero model (US model).
The B235-based 9-5 models have suffered an abnormally high rate of engine failures due to engine oil sludge. This primarily affected the 1999-2003 models. Saab refined the engine's positive crankcase ventilation system (PCV) for the 2004 and later model years, virtually eliminating the problem. Additionally, SAAB created update kits to retrofit to the 1999-2003 cars since they cannot be easily modified to accept the 2004 and later system. Mounting complaints by 9-5 owners forced GM to offer an 8 year warranty on the engine in 4 cylinder models, provided the owner can produce proof that they followed the manufacturer's oil change intervals. Saab now also recommends the use of fully synthetic oil as a preventative measure.
The 9-5 was available with an Aisin AW 4-speed automatic transmission from 1997-2001. A new Aisin AW unit replaced the dated 4-speed automatic with a 5-speed automatic. A 5-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard to the base models and the Aero.
In 2005, an updated version of the 2.0 L turbocharged I4 was introduced in the European market together with the 2006 9-5. The engine is sold as 2.0T BioPower, and it is optimized to run on E85 producing 132 kW (180 hp) at 5500 rpm. There is also a 2.3T BioPower version sold from 2007.
There is a Saab 9-5 E100 Concept, based on the turbo 2.0.
The 9-5 continued Saab's long-running tradition of offering class leading safety features and pioneered the availability of ventilated seats with Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR), that moved up and forward to prevent whiplash when the car is struck from the rear. This feature won technology and safety awards, in Australia, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The Saab 9-5 also has been one of the first cars to have extensive side-crash protection. In the front seats are torso and head airbags on even the oldest of 9-5s, making it unique in that few other late 1990s vehicles provide the same feature. Even more important is the side structure, which includes a passenger cage and crumple zones. The design has been proven by the IIHS to protect occupants in side crashes, even without the addition of side airbags to the rear seats.
Another Saab feature is the "Night Panel", which permits dousing of the instrument panel lighting, except for essential information, for less distraction when night driving.
The performance-oriented 9-5 Aero was first released in 2000 with a 230 hp 2.3T B235R engine. This flagship model had a long list of standard features, a sport tuned suspension, and body side moldings. In 2002 a 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) 2.3 turbo engine was made standard. The high-powered version of the 9-5 in the current form produces 260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp) and 350 N·m (260 lb·ft) of torque (370 N·m (270 lb·ft) with its 20-second overboost function accessible on the manual transmission equipped version). Hirsch Performance, MapTun Performance, and Nordic Uhr and BSR AB, all tuners specializing in Saab models, can increase this to a maximum of approximately 450 hp (340 kW) ECE (220 kW).
Currently, the 260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp) B235R is the standard engine in the 9-5 in both the 2.3T and Aero trims. In addition, almost all standard features on the Aero are now standard on the 2.3T, the exceptions being sport-tuned chassis, two-tone leather upholstery, "anniversary" wheels and brushed aluminum interior trim, all of which are standard on Aero and not available on the 2.3T.
Additionally, companies like MapTun Performance have developed aftermarket BioPower conversion kits for the 9-5 Aero and other Saab models. Larger injectors and remapped software in the Engine Control Unit (ECU) allows impressive power levels from 285 hp, 330 lb/ft in the Aero model on E85 ethanol.
|Model||Years||Engine||Engine type||Displ.||Max. power||Max. torque||0-100 km/h|
|1.9TiD||2006–2009||Fiat JTD||straight-4, diesel||1910 cc||150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) @ 4000 rpm||320 N·m (240 lb·ft) @ 2000 rpm||10,1 (10,7) s|
|2.2TiD||2002–2006||Opel Ecotec X22DTH||straight-4, diesel||2171 cc||120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @ 4000 rpm||280 N·m (210 lb·ft) @ 1500 rpm||11,0 s|
|3.0 V6TiD||2001–2006||Isuzu DMAX||V6, diesel||2958 cc||176 PS (129 kW; 174 hp) @ 4000 rpm||350 N·m (260 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||8,9 s|
|2.0t||1998–2009||B205E||straight-4, petrol||1985 cc||150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) @ 5500 rpm||240 N·m (180 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||9,8 (10,2) s|
|2.0t BioPower||2005–2009||B205E||straight-4, E85||1985 cc||180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) @ 5500 rpm||280 N·m (210 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||8,5 (9,0) s|
|2.3t BioPower||2006–2009||B235L||straight-4, E85||2290 cc||210 PS (154 kW; 207 hp) @ 5500 rpm||310 N·m (230 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||7,9 (8,5) s|
|2.3t||1998–2001||B235E||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) @ 5500 rpm||280 N·m (210 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||8,7 (9,3) s|
|2.3t||2001–2009||B235E||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) @ 5500 rpm||280 N·m (210 lb·ft) @ 1800 rpm||7,9 (8,5) s|
|2.3T||2004–2005||B235L||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp) @ 5500 rpm||310 N·m (230 lb·ft) @ 2500 rpm||7,9 (8,5) s|
|3.0t V6||1998–2003||L81||V6, petrol||2962 cc||200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) @ 5000 rpm||310 N·m (230 lb·ft) @ 2500 rpm||8,3 (auto) s|
|Aero||1999–2001||B235R||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) @ 5500 rpm||350 N·m (260 lb·ft) @ 1900 rpm||6,9 (7,3) s|
|Aero||2002–2005||B235R||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) @ 5300 rpm||370 N·m (270 lb·ft) @ 1900 rpm||6,9 (7,3) s|
|Aero||2006–2009||B235R||straight-4, petrol||2290 cc||260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp) @ 5300 rpm||350 N·m (260 lb·ft) @ 1900 rpm||6,9 (7,3) s|