Financial uncertainty has left Saab with a lot of ground to cover if it is to get back onto the radar of executive motorists.
Thankfully, its latest model – the 9-5 – is a sign of good things to come.
It has the perception of quality that is vital in this market segment. Inside and out, it looks and feels well-built, good quality and durable.
Modern, distinctive bodystyling makes it stand out in a car park of BMWs and Audis, and existing Saab customers will be reassured by the wraparound dashboard and console.
It’s a traditional feature brought up to date, but still appears somewhat slab-like.
Saab calls it the cockpit, and in reference to its aviation heritage includes an altimeter-like speedometer.
Like an executive jet, the 9-5 provides a very comfortable ride and its spacious cabin ensures that four occupants can travel totally unruffled.
In this price bracket there is little to compete on legroom, save for a Skoda Superb.
It feels like a car built to waft executives from one side of the country to the other.
And waft it will, because this car is more capable of steady progress than sporting prowess.
Dynamically, the Saab is no match for a BMW 5 Series for driver enjoyment. It is some £2,300 cheaper though.
This derivative is the lesser-tuned of two 2.0-litre diesel offerings in the range. Its 158bhp is adequate, rather than plentiful, for powering a car of this size and weight.
The 0-62mph sprint takes almost 10 seconds and makes the engine work extremely hard. However, of possibly greater importance to corporate users is its 53.2mpg official combined economy and
tax-friendly 139g/km CO2.
Saab is tempting business customers currently with a £299/month contract hire deal, while private customers can choose between a £339/month personal contract hire or PCP or 0% APR hire purchase offer.
The 9-5 is no market leader, but it is a great looking car that will appeal to Saab fans and should pick up conquest business from executives keen to distance themselves from colleagues in German brand rivals.