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 THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE EUROPEAN NEW CAR ASSESSMENT PROGRAMME

Saab 9-5

Rating
Score
ADULT OCCUPANT
****
31
Front: 13
Side: 16
Pole: 2
PEDESTRIAN
**
12
Pre 2002 rating


 
Adult occupant protection
Head: Good, Neck: Good, Chest: Adequate, Upper leg right: Marginal, Upper leg left: Adequate, Lower leg right: Adequate, Lower leg left: Good, Right foot: Good, Left foot: Good
Frontal impact driver
Head: Good, Neck: Good, Chest: Adequate, Upper leg right: Good, Upper leg left: Good, Lower leg right: Adequate, Lower leg left: Adequate
Frontal impact passenger
Head: Good, Chest: Good, Abdomen: Good, Pelvis: Good
Side impact driver

Child restraints
18 month old ChildNo information available
3 year old ChildNo information available
Pedestrian protection
No image car front available

Safety equipment
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Front seatbelt load limiters
Driver frontal airbag
Front passenger frontal airbag
Side body airbags
Side head airbags
Driver knee airbag
Car details
Hand of driveLHD
Tested modelSaab 9-5 2.0
Body type4 door saloon
Year of publication1998
Kerb weight1485

Comments
Of the cars here, the Saab 9-5 provided the best protection for the driver and passenger in the frontal impact. It also gained full marks for its performance in the side-impact test, meaning that the car easily passes new legislation taking effect from October. The Saab-brand child restraints used for the tests were rear facing, but in the side impact recorded unusually high chest accelerations, indicating a risk of injury was present. The 9-5's pedestrian protection rated as average, but there was a high risk of serious injury to their lower limbs. The Saab 9-5 was found to the best-performing car in its group when it was first tested in 1998, and scored four stars for driver and passenger protection in frontal and side impact. Saab commissioned a pole test to prove that the head-protecting airbag that has been fitted as standard safety equipment on the 9-5 since its introduction during August 1997, will pass the requirements demanded. This it has done, proving that the car remains the safest that Euro NCAP has yet tested. The head-protecting device is a seat-mounted thorax airbag that has an upper chamber purpose-designed to improve protection for the driver's and front passenger's heads.

Front impact
The passenger compartment remained stable, although there were small signs of movement around the door frame. The driver's airbag provided a stable contact but was not fully deployed when his head struck it. A well-designed knee bolster provided good load spreading over the knees. However, it was insufficient to protect the driver's upper legs from high loads should his knees hit unforgiving areas around the steering column.

Side impact
An effective head and thorax side airbag deployed to protect the driver from serious injury – his head was cushioned by the airbag, which protects against hitting objects outside the car. As yet, Euro NCAP cannot test for this, so unfortunately it does not add to the score. Padding around the upper seatbelt anchorage provided further protection. The seat side wing, supported by the airbag, protected the driver's chest. A lower section of the door trim helped protect his pelvis.

Child occupant
The Saab-recommended rear-facing restraints used for testing proved compatible with the car belts. But while they worked well in the frontal impact, they did not restrain the dummies' heads in the side impact. What's more, the pictogram warning of the dangers of fitting a child restraint in the airbagged front passenger seat is not easily understood. Labelling on the child seats themselves was confusing, too. It warned against fitting in the front passenger seat, but also showed how to fit it there. Finally, the route the adult seat belt should follow to fit the restraint facing forward was incorrectly marked.

Pedestrian
The Saab's bonnet offered more good than poor protection, but the best the car's bumper and bonnet leading edge offered was weak protection in one place.

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