The first generation of the Saab 9-5 was released as a sedan and as a station wagon in 1997. The executive car replaced the 1998 Saab 900. This generation was last Saab line to be powered by the Saab H engine. The 1999-2003 models received a lot of complaints on engine failures due to oil residue.
However, the car company’s focus on safety was not lost on the 9-5. The 9-5 had airbags and active headrests to protect the passengers during crashes and other vehicular accidents.
The second generation was introduced in 2008 as a sedan and a station wagon. The engines powering these cars differed per region, using either the General Motors Ecotec or a V6. Despite garnering praises from auto critics and winning awards, the financial health of the car company affected the production of the Saab 9-5. In 2011, the automobile company declared bankruptcy. The National Electric Vehicle Sweden bought the car company in 2012. Because of this, the prototypes of the wagon version of the 9-5 was cancelled, although plans of production is set to restart once the company is financially stable.
The 9-5 was also used as police cars in several countries, including USA, UK, and Poland.