I had a test drive of a 9-5 2.3 HOT Aero manuel estate yesterday. This was a standard spec 118,000 mile 250bhp variant.
It's very different to the 330i. The e46 has a very smooth torque curve with no steps whereas when in the Saab the turbo kicks in with a big surge. It's more refined too. I shot up to 90 remarkably easily and it was reminiscent of the drive back from picking up the 530 when I accidentally did 110 on the M4 before deciding to use the cruise control.
The 330i is more of a hooligan and more "evo" and the 9-5 is more grown up.
I always liked the sport seats in the E39/E46 but the Saab seats are leagues ahead!
Yeah, I'm sold on it.
Sadly, the car I drove needed quite a bit doing to it and they weren't interested in PXing the 330i so the search continues.