Who would have thought that one of my customers would be deciding between a 2011 Volvo S60 and a 2011 SAAB 9-5? In my mind, they are totally different vehicles. One is a small, zippy sedan with enough room to comfortably seat four people. The other is a larger flagship sedan that probably seats five people comfortably. So, what would make you choose between the two? As I look at them, a better comparison would be the S80 and 9-5 or the 9-3 and S60. However, the S60 is a bigger car than the 9-3. And now that the S60 has the T6 and AWD, the comparison is not that much of a stretch.
|Volvo S60 T6 AWD||SAAB 9-5 Aero XWD|
|Engine||3.0L Turbo I6||2.8L Turbo V6|
|Horsepower||300 hp @ 6500 rpm||300 hp @ 5500 rpm|
|Torque||325 lb ft @ 2100 rpm||295 lb ft @ 2000 rpm|
|Performance (0-60 mph)||6.5 sec||6.6 sec|
|Fuel Economy (mpg)||18 City / 26 Hwy||17 City / 27 Hwy|
|Weight||3,812 lbs||4,365 lbs|
|Length||182.2 in||197.2 in|
|Wheelbase||109.3 in||111.7 in|
|Width||73.4 in||83.2 in|
|Height||58.4 in||57.8 in|
The first thing you notice is the similarity in engine specs. Both have a turbo-charged six-cylinder engine that puts out a respectable 300 hp. There is a difference in torque in the Volvo’s favor, but it only gives a .1 second lead to 60 mph. For all I know the two cars perform almost identically. However, when it comes to the size of the cars, there is quite a difference. The Volvo S60 is 15″ shorter in length and 10″ in width. There’s no getting around that. If you are looking for a smaller car to zip in and out of tight spots, the Volvo would probably be the better buy.
The price is another important consideration. And this is where the comparison breaks down. At an MSRP of $49,565, the 2011 SAAB 9-5 Aero XWD is almost $12,000 more than the 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD (MSRP $37,700). The SAAB has several standard options that the Volvo does not, but for another $12k you could add just about anything you wanted. Unless you can find some serious discounts on the SAAB, the value for the money leans pretty steadily toward the Volvo.
2 thoughts on “Comparison: Volvo S60 vs. SAAB 9-5”
Talk about stacking the deck, Andy…..
The Saab is a much larger car, giving much more room and comfort for its occupants. Addressing that fact by just referring to parking overlooks a multitude of factors in the 9-5’s favour. If people want to zip in and out of car spots (which to my knowledge, has not been a deciding factor for American car purchases since, well, forever) then you’d be recommending a Smart, wouldn’t you?
People buy bigger cars because they want a bigger car for a reason. The 9-5 is a bigger car and hence, sells in a difference range.
What you’ve got here are two cars with similar engine outputs and different pricetags. It’s a comparison that pops up merely because the 60 is bigger than the 9-3. That is all.
Yes, it is an odd comparison. If I were looking for a sedan to seat five people, I would choose the 9-5 over the S60. But if I were looking for a smaller sedan, I would choose the S60 over the 9-3. That, I think, is related to what you said in the previous comment.
“It’s a comparison that pops up merely because the 60 is bigger than the 9-3. That is all.
I wrote the article with my customer in mind. Because they chose to compare the S60 to the 9-5, it really comes down to what you like better — a bigger or a smaller car. Both cars are comfortable. Both cars are powerful. Both cars are steady in slippery weather. Both have high safety ratings from the IIHS.org. So, if everything else is equal and you like the look and feel of each, it comes down to size. That’s all.
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