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2007 Saab 9-5

by Martha Hindes

2007 Saab 9-5
2007 Saab 9-5 Interior

When Saab freshened its 9-5 upscale sedan for 2006, it missed the brand's 60th birthday by a year. So for 2007, there's an Anniversary Special Edition to commemorate 60 years of Saab. Highlights of the special package are a cool finish in Ice Blue Metallic, 17-inch wheels, and anniversary interior trim.

The front-drive, five seater 9-5 comes in two models, a sedan and a wagon dubbed the SportCombi. For 2007, both are available with two special packages. The Aero replaces the Sport package and includes sport chassis, sport seats, special badging, and metallic interior trim. A Visibility package adds Xenon headlamps, rear parking assist and rain-sensing wipers. All models get standard heated front and rear seats. Inside, steering wheel mounted audio controls and easy read gauges keep eyes on the road. Among options are a dash mounted nav system paired with an in-trunk CD changer for audio.

Powering all 9-5 versions is a 2.3-liter, turbo-boosted inline four engine that kicks out 260 horsepower and 258 lb. ft. of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, with an optional five-speed Sentronic automatic. Power steering has been recalibrated to increase steering effort for improved driving precision.

Standard interior amenities include leather and dual-zone climate control that filters cabin air. There are also heated, power exterior mirrors and a cooled, lockable glove compartment.

Cage construction anchors safety features on the 9-5, that includes GM's OnStar communications/safety system. The 9-5 can use regular fuel and returns estimated EPA numbers of 20 city/30 highway for manual and 19/29 for automatic.

As in Saabs of yore, the ignition switch remains at center console, perhaps in tribute to jet aircraft that remain part of its early corporate heritage.

And although a part of General Motors, Saab with Swedish roots is built in Sweden and takes aim at other distinguished Europeans, including BMW's 5 Series, Audi's A6 and Volvo's S80, at a definite price advantage. (Base is in the $38,000 range.) And Saab has an earth-friendly talent: it's one of the autos that's been running on flexible fuel in Europe.