Family rivalry – Saab 9-5 vs Mercedes E-Class

Carlos R lives in Spain and he’s recently purchased a Saab 9-5 2.0T. He wrote me an email to tell me about a recent family gathering and share some thoughts on his investment…..

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Hi Swade,

I’m the lucky owner of a new Saab 9-5 2.0T Vector Aut. with Drive Sense, which I’ve been enjoying for the last 3 months.

I am 37 years old, an industrial engineer, working for a company that carries out big projects in the oil, energy and environmental industries, and at the same time I’m doing my doctoral dissertation on strategic management.

I love cars and driving. Since I was 17 years old I’ve been always reading regarding cars in magazines, internet, etc.

The last two cars I drove before buying my own cars 11 years ago, were my father’s cars: a Mercedes E-class 2.3 E (W124) and an Audi A6 2.4. I drove a lot of kilometers in these cars, so I know these brands very well.

I had been always a Mercedes fan until I discovered Saab 6 years ago. My first car was a Mazda MX-5 10th anniversary, which was a lot of fun to drive. One day I brought my Mazda to a repair shop for maintenance, and whilst the work was being done I took a walk and went to a Saab dealer, where I saw a Saab cabrio. I felt in love instantaneously and I thought I wanted this 4 seat cabrio to be my next car.

After having my MX-5 for five years I changed for a new Saab 9-3 cabrio 1.8t. Ever since that moment I have been a Saab fan…………… 🙂

I had my Saab cabrio five years, when I changed for my new Saab 9-5 2.0T Vector Aut. with Drive Sense, a really wonderful car.

I live in Madrid and last weekend I went to the coast to meet my parents. My uncle had bought a new MB E-class 250 CDI Avantgarde Aut. and I called him in order to take a look and test it.

First, I took a look of his car and drove it several kilometers. Then, when we came back to my parent’s house I took my Saab 9-5 and I parked it beside the Mercedes. My first impressions were:

– The test was too short in order to have a conclusion regarding the handling. But I would say both cars are very good in this matter, with the advantage of the “multiple personality” of my Saab thanks to the Drive Sense.

– The MB looked like an old car in comparison with the Saab. The exterior design of the Saab is much more modern, clean, fluent and fresh.

– In the interior, the design of the Saab also seemed much more modern than MB, and the interior finishing was not worse in the Saab than MB. Perhaps, and according to what has already been said several times on this website, the central console and the glove compartment of the Saab could be improved a little.

– The Saab had more interior space than the MB.

– The chassis size (sections of steel structure frame) of the Saab is much bigger than the MB. At this respect, the Mercedes seemed a toy in comparison with the Saab. The Saab is like a tank……………I LOVE it………….It gives a big safety sensation. If the steel used in the chassis of the Saab has the same rigidity as the MB, it’s obvious which car is safer in a strong accident. Now I really understand that Saabs are built by Trolls in Trollhattan and this, the safety, is one of the most important reasons why I buy and I will buy Saabs in the future.

Both my parents and my uncle and aunt (from their faces) liked the Saab more than Mercedes. In fact, my uncle and aunt were really impressed with my Saab. Perhaps they were thinking why did we buy the Mercedes…………………perhaps because 98% of the people don’t know about Saab.

The size of the car, 5.01 m long, although sometimes said to be very big for Europe, is PERFECT for me, for a big sedan with really good space, confort and safety. The additional 13 cm of length in comparison to the Mercedes gives a sensation of more car, and the smooth exterior design hides the actual size very well. It seems a smaller car.

Sometimes I hear strong criticism about Saab, even on this website. Perhaps we have to ask ourselves if we are too demanding and critical with Saab and not with the other competitor brands.

With this experience, my impression is that Saab is going the right way and we have to be very proud of our Saabs and the Trolls are making them in Trollhatam.

Jron
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Interesting report!

“Perhaps we have to ask ourselves if we are too demanding and critical with Saab and not with the other competitor brands.”

I’ve wondered this as well, especially when comparing the pricing strategy. I haven’t seen this car in the metal yet, but I’d hoped its size would appear smaller due to its styling, just as in the earlier 9-5’s– I’ve been surprised several times to see that mine are longer or wider than other big cars I’ve parked next to.

Henrik B.
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Sometimes I hear strong criticism about Saab, even on this website. Perhaps we have to ask ourselves if we are too demanding and critical with Saab and not with the other competitor brands.

Soo true! And often from people who hasn’t even driven the car!

Cheers!

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago

From this ti that!

This is no news but a small reminder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPpt7uElv_g&feature=fvsr

Great picture dont you think!

Tompa
Guest
Tompa
5 years 7 months ago

I only have 2 thumbs, but if I had more, I´d point them upwards aswell! Great story

Cheers/Tom

Peter Gilbert
Guest
Peter Gilbert
5 years 7 months ago

A heat warming article. To make a better car we have to look at the competition and learn from their mistakes. I was at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday, which I will be writing about, as soon as I have finished here. I saw some stupid engineering mistakes form some Marques.

But for all our Worldwide friends who missed the Super Bowl Ads last Sunday, here is an Audi one going after Mercedes, in a funny, critical way!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3snyXTNmFm8

No 9
Guest
No 9
5 years 7 months ago

Straight from the horses mouth!

Boon
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

So nice to hear a story like this. Glad he likes his saab so much. Makes me want one more now lol

Tim in Denver
Guest
Tim in Denver
5 years 7 months ago

Nicely said, Carlos! Thank you for writing it up for us.

Sandy
Guest
Sandy
5 years 7 months ago
Great story, very telling. As I advocate for Saab with family, friends and colleagues, I am still surprised to hear; 1. Are they still alive? Haven’t seen any ads/commercials lately… 2. Ok, Saab’s ok, but I’ve always driven german (choose any BAM), more established, more status, cannot be “wrong”… 3. Then any or some of the following misconceptions (hopefully) – maintenance/spares are to expensive (NOT true), dealer/sales rep is poor (maybe), dont want to drive half a day to dealer, poor second hand value=high tco…. I understand Saab is not for everyone, but no car is perfect, and in a… Read more »
Doctor Donk
Guest
Doctor Donk
5 years 7 months ago

There are 3 kind of demands:
Some people want cheap car
Some people want an exclusive car for free
Some people want an exclusive car and ready to pay for it

The only last demand is suitable for Saab

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

The E-class is just butt ugly Outside and inside whereas the new 9-5 flows. Good design stands up to the sands of time. The 9-5 will look great in six years time (my 9-3SS looks great and its an 04) whereas cars designed for fashions sake look ridiculously out of date in six years. The interior design of the MB reminds me of a 70s American car.

Great write up, Carlos. Saab Up!!!

Neil
Guest
Neil
5 years 7 months ago

@Zippy +1

Thanks, Carlos!

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

+1

Bravada
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
This is a great story, many thanks for caring to put it down in such a great manner. I’ve had a brainwave at that very moment – Saab should start a global competition among their customers to share their stories and experiences about buying new Saabs and put the best online, preferably in video format. Something like Mercedes did, but more focused on the joy of owning and driving a Saab, not the unpleasant emotions of crashing into another car or tree. I have more thoughts about that in what is an unusual occurence of me thinking faster than typing,… Read more »
signs
Guest
signs
5 years 7 months ago

Bravada, I like your idea! I’ve also noticed that Saab stories are often very good stories – about both people, the cars and where they are going in this world. Good stuff!

signs
Guest
signs
5 years 7 months ago

I forgot to mention – how they are moving in this world. Which reminded me of the Chinese proverb: A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving – and much like Olav’s signature in his comments here.

Danni
Guest
Danni
5 years 7 months ago

I was in London recently visiting my brother for moral support whilst he is typing away at his doctoral dissertation on biochemical engineering and saw lots of Saabs (earlier iterations) but not the new 9-5. But I saw lots of Opel Insignias and if the new 9-5 is close to the same length and width as the Insignia, who is calling this car large? I am unfazed as to what the fuss is about?

gunteman
Guest
gunteman
5 years 7 months ago

The Saab is 20 cm longer, but not disturbingly large at all.

GML
Guest
GML
5 years 7 months ago

Thank you for posting this. As someone who is 6’7″, I can appreciate having to “try on” a car. People can really take interior space and flexibility for granted. I plan on doing the same exercise at the New York International Auto Show. Hopefully the 9-4x will be open and I’ll be allowed to sit inside.

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