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Great car; engine failed; google "Saab Sludge Issue" and educate yourself! by Lifelong car guy, builder of many engines. on 03/21/2010. Trim: 2003 Saab 9-5 Aero, Owned 2 years.
Pros: The car looks great, and you don't see one on every corner. Fun to drive and very comfortable. Great handling and brakes.
Cons: Engine reliability. Mine was fine till I moved into town, then it croaked (2 rods knocking) after 1 month. Apparently the shortened trips allowed the "Saab sludge issue" to rear it's ugly head, even with synthetic oil. The dealer was unhelpful when they couldn't find the previous owner's oil record (even though that same dealer told me when I bought it that it was under warranty!), so I question the value of any warranty claims. Research "Saab Sludge Issue" before buying a Saab. The "big turbo / little engine" combination gives the car a very sluggish feel around town, unless you engage the "sport" option (by pushing a button on the shifter) for each drive.
Overall review: The Aero is beautiful, attention-getting, and fun to drive. The interior is comfortable and easy on the eye. The sound system is incredible, and the ride is quiet (though not "soft", due to the sport suspension and low-profile tires). The "sport" setting on the 5 speed auto adds a lot of needed zip to the low end around town. This is one of the nicest cars I've ever owned or driven, and I'd be wildly happy with it, if the engine hadn't failed. I used full synthetic oil during my 30,000 mile ownership, but have no record of the previous owner's habits. I expect a car like this to live more than 118,000 miles.
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