What Makes A Saab Driver Become A Saab Driver?

As I drove to work this morning, I was thinking of the cars around me and thinking “what drives someone to buy this or that?” and it brought my mind back to Saab. Is it the little features or is it something all together different? I was stuck behind a newer Mustang at one point and what caught my eye was the rear turn signal lights and how they flash across three lights. To me this was a pretty cool look that was different from the regular flash of a turn signal and reminded me of the old Night Rider “Kit” car. Not enough to drive me to buy a Mustang, but clearly something that someone put some thought in to. Yesterday on SaabsUnited there was discussion about the 9-5 Aero steering wheel and some like it and some do not, but this is a feature that once you use it, you can tell right away that it is not just a “quirky” Saab thing and in my opinion should be used for all cars as it really makes driving more pleasurable.

This brings me to my point or rather my question to you, the Saab public, the people who have put their money out and purchased a Saab. I don’t care if your car is brand new or 10 years old or even older, what I want to know is what brought you to the Saab brand and has turned you into a Saab driver? I always hear of quirky this and that and to be honest, I don’t really like quirkiness being the explanation for what a Saab is because I don’t think it does justice to what a Saab is. Saab is a drivers car and I think it would be great to hear from Saab owners as to what made Saab the car for you.

Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

– Integrity and spirited engineering
– Design with meaningful lines through the whole body and details which support the wholeness
– Understatement
– Trustworthiness
– Intelligent and untraditional solutions to major and smaller problems
– The courage to think and act (in the developing off cars) for good and sensible reasons, instead off commercial “fanciness”/trendyness
– Care about the environment combined with driving-pleasure
– Admiration for a small brand with a very innovative heritage

RS
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The list proves it. There’s nothing quirky about Saab. Only smarter/better solutions. Especially driving pleasure, safety (very difficult to crash) and reliability are the things that hook you. Some years ago practicality had a significant role 😉

Lets take the ‘turbo thrill’. Fun, sure but that’s what you needed 30 years ago for safe over takings on roads with poor visibility and still do. The torque power has literally saved my life on a few occasions.

Piet-Hein S.
Member
4 years 10 months ago

i just got one…

PJPHughes
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I made the move to Saab (from a Volvo 850 turbo wagon) in 1999 at a Viggen test drive event in Boston. It was the unique shape, the amazing seats, the smell, the turbo, and the way it really stood out from the crowd. That, and the 3rd gear acceleration had me hooked. I also had a friend in college who had a a 5 speed ’86 900s 3 dr hatch, with SPG kit and wheels. I always thought her car was so cool. Since my 2000 Viggen, I had Saabs in the driveway ever since (along with Alfa, Jag,… Read more »
Perian
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I drive a Saab because I don’t want to be seen in a BMW or Mercedes – I don’t like the stigma.

There is something about the manual transmission – turbo engine combination in the vehicles that simply makes driving a joy.

Long Live Saab

Dieter Hendel
Member
4 years 10 months ago
It was the same for me, one has to choose carefully when selecting a car in your own business , not to give the wrong image to your customers, and a BMW or Merc are just screaming ‘ i am overcharging’, and ‘ I am a fat cat’ Also, I bought my Saab when it was 2 years old , and the price was about half thast of a bmw or merc. They do huge mileages 300000 or more, can sit 4 in comfort, huge boot for all business eventuallities, great seats, for when you have to travel long distance,… Read more »
Dieter Hendel
Member
4 years 10 months ago
..and just something else, I had 3 major accidents in a Saab, a classic 900 got T-boned other car a wreck, I needed two new doors, no injuries, even could open the crashed in door to get out. 3 minor scrapes, in traffic jams, I had a sratch on the bumper, the other cars needed major surgery. A 30 strong herd of 2 year old bullocks crossed my car and the bonnet when I was stationry, just needed a light and a new bonnet(Hood). Again as I was parked up, A 38t lorry reversed squarly into the front of my… Read more »
SAABBob
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Safety was the number one reason for purchasing my first of four SAABs, a new 900 in 1986. Plus, the fact that it was unlike any other vehicle on the road at that time. GM softened that distinctiveness over the years but I believe it will return.

BTW Jason, I’m guessing you’re a young man. Otherwise you’d likely remember the Mercury Cougar from the late 60s when it was a “sister” car of the Mustang. One of the features highlighted in Cougar advertising was that it had sequential turn signals at the rear. What goes around…

duckhead99
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Actually, it debuted in the ’64 T-bird and spread to Ford’s other premium products through the late ’60s……The mechanical device in the trunk that made it happen was quite the piece of work!

David
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Hi Jason, SAABob is right. I did own a cougar in the early seventies,the trick with the sequential tail lights was to put on the 4 way flasher and the turn signal left or right and both sides would flash sequentially. I started as a tech at a SAAB dealer in 1988 and I had an older BMW at the time, but after a few road tests I decided to buy a 1984 900 8V turbo. Enjoyed that for many years. Last August I got my 5th SAAB a MY 08 9.5 AERO. What a drive. I am thinking of… Read more »
saabdog
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Growing up in a very small town in rural Mississippi, I got my first real look at a Saab as a fifteen year-old while on a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in 1979. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, there sat the most wicked & bitchin’ black Saab 99 with Inca wheels and a rear spoiler. I knew from that moment on that a Saab was the car for me. I ran over over to it and drank in the lines and gazed at the fighter plane instrument panel, while imagining myself driving this most… Read more »
duckhead99
Member
4 years 10 months ago
As a fledgeling mechanic in the early ’70s, I worked on all the U.S. domestic stuff and was into British sports cars. My girlfriend needed a car and I tried to get her into an MG. Her mom said “no way”, so she bought her brother’s ’69 96. Working on that car was a revelation (where are all the SHIMS?) and driving it was a blast! The elegance and functionality of it’s design were so impressive that I was hooked! The first 99’s I drove just sucked me in deeper until here I am, almost 40 years and COUNTLESS SAABs… Read more »
Henric Tungström
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Good one, I bought my first Saab, a new 2005 9-5 2,0t biopower (company car)because of the sporty look, the space, the performance and tax benefits. I then grew to appreciate the seats and the interior ergonomics and the fact that it worked almost faultlessly during my 3 years. (except windshield wiper sensor). But it was rather low on equipment and power so I never fell in love with it. Then I got a 2009 9-5 2,3t BP Vector S and it had everything for me, the turbo-power I was looking for, the best seats I´ve known and a really… Read more »
900 classic cab
Guest
4 years 10 months ago
I love to drive (most cars), but SAABs truly are very special. The main reasons for me are safety, performance and design. The fact that there aren’t many around here is also a plus 🙂 But what really made me get into SAABs in the first place was their aeronautical tradition. I know that there’s been many years since there are 2 distinct companies named SAAB, still, I wouldn’t like to see the reference to jet fighters to completely disappear. In fact, I would like to see a stronger bond and I know many people won’t agree with me, but… Read more »
J.L.G.
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Wow this could be a long answer. The first purchase was a used 1970 “96 V-4” That I used for a work car. I was curious about Saabs and wanted to find out more. I rebuilt the upper part of the engine and CV joints myself. The handling was better than I thought it would be. The aerodynamics were impressive I could roll the windows down on a long downhill section of road engage the freewheeling devise and the car was silent no air turbulence in the cabin also in heavy wind the car would cut threw and not be… Read more »
dickerin
Member
4 years 10 months ago
As a Volvo driver, I got interested in Saab again when I heard all of the media attention surrounding the company last year. My main goal was to get a sportier car with a manual transmission. I started reading about them and liked most of what I heard about them. I had a ride in one a few years ago where I got a demonstration of their blistering acceleration. Their uniqueness was also naturally appealing to me. When I saw the improvements in reliability in recent years and the discounts that were being offered, I called up a dealer and… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago
There are so many ways to get struck I used to drive US cars in Denmark, had a ’64 Mustang and later on a Ranchero, With a little experimentation on rebuilding a orange Lada with a Lancia 2L engine, a little Morris Minor Hot rodding, and even the odd 3.0 L Capri thrown in for fun At one time I ran into a 99T, who had the audacity to outrun my Mustang..pretty embarresing. The owner offered me a ride, and the way it drove and kicked in the Turbo sold it to me. I never had my own Saab after… Read more »
ryanonsrc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
As I would expect from most Saab fans: There are multiple things that make Saab stand-out from the pack Given that there are such a large number of factors (some big, some small), it is tempting for us to come up with a few rather vague reasons that collectively tie all of the factors together. So here I am going to list a number of concrete factors and note how they typically map onto the more vague classifications. The feel of the gas pedal and its harmony with the transmission. Even in the Saabs equipped with Automatic Transmission gearboxes, the… Read more »
Dmain
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I’ve got to bite on the cup holders comment. The cup holders in the OG 9-3 totally blew. If your beverage wasn’t seal airtight, it slopped right in to the stereo and dash.

The NG 9-3 dash cup holder is was better, though I hear many auto reviewers bad moth them as flimsy or goofy. It actually is very sturdy and works perfectly, and then disappears nicely into the dash. ….

Rasek
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I drive Saab since 1998. Before I have had 3 Lancia’s: 1 Delta Integrale, 2 Lancia’s Thema. After 12 years I had enough of the never ending mechanical problems of Lancia (still love the models) and I wanted to buy a Audi A4 or 80 whatever. But I felt like a stranger when I went to the local dealer: what an arrogancy! This was not my cup of tea. Then I had my first contact with Saab. It was like Lancia: a small marque, good personal contact and understanding with the local dealer, politeness and good manners,this is what I… Read more »
Viper
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Lancia’s are great cars. Well the old ones like the Delta Integrale. The best rally car of all time and also the most successful. But like all Italian cars, they are unreliable. I am Italian and I never have owned an Italian car and never will. Great cars but unreliable. So that is why Saab is better. Saabs are as great as an Italian make, but one better that (touch wood), they are more reliable. In the almost 10 years I have had my Saab 900 Coupe, I hadn’t had any problems with it until 7 years later and the… Read more »
Crashdad
Member
4 years 10 months ago
It’s a tough question to answer. I have owned BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, and they are all fine cars. But there is just something — something Saab-ish — about Saab. It’s the way the car looks from the driver’s seat. The feel of the wheel, that high dash, those controls that are always characterized in the motor press as “quirky” but that most Saab drivers would describe as “sensible.” There’s the punch of the turbo. The fact that one is NOT in a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo or other member-of-the-herd car. There are other cars out there that are faster,… Read more »
Ride
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Here comes a long one: Well, my Saab story begun when I was like 1 year old. My father brought a FerrariRed Saab 99 from Finland aga that was in my mind the cooles car in the world because yeah, it was red (like a ferrari :D) and it looked kind of different. Back then, obviously I didn´t realized so much of the things but still it looked very cool. Nevertheless, my father gave it to my aunt, when I was like 5-6 years old ja bought himself a couple of Toyotas for some period of time. But still the… Read more »
E
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I’m heading into a meeting now, so this will be brief:

1. Wrap around cockpit feel
2. Safety
3. Turbo-charged engines
4. Don’t see a million of them on the road

Those are my top 4 …

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The grin made me by the first. Safety made me buy the rest.

Zizou
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Besides all the dirving fun, the safety, the Hirsch etc.: Everytime I sit in a Saab, I have a certain homelike feeling… I don’ know why but it was there in our old 900 and 9-3, I have it in my current 9-3 and I had it from the first second when I was testdriving the new 9-5…
Never experienced a similar feeling when driving other cars..

alex
Member
4 years 10 months ago

For me it was the reputation for safety, the build quality and my wife and I liked the style (ng900 5dr)

saabyurk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

In brief: In the mid 60’s, the fantastic rally victories, especially the winter rallies, Erik Carlsson, front wheel drive, and the unique look got me interested. But since then, it’s been the unique sporty Saab driving characteristic wrapped in a strong safety cage that has kept me hooked. The integrity of the company, always doing what is responsible regarding safety, performance and efficiency is something unique in the industry.

sconnie
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I was first attracted to the Saab brand because of the people that drove them. They were liberal, cerebral beings who liked the outdoors and all of life’s activities (biking, hiking, soccer, etc). When I saw the rounded style and the reverse hockey stick elements of design in the 2011 9-5, I knew I had to have one. The green lights warming the interior, the Night Panel and the heads up display all said understated elegance and useful, unique features. The striking look of the light bar across the back of the car. The uniqueness that says I thought about… Read more »
Quixcube
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I am hopelessly drawn to things that nobody else I know seems to like. I also like to think I can recognize it when someone has found a better way to do something even if it isn’t immediately apparent to everyone else. Turbos were the main reason I noticed Saab. The idea made sense to me. Less important now, I suppose, than before since turbos are everywhere now. Now if Saab would release a mainstream electrified turbo… an electric motor with its instant torque mated to the turbo itself to reduce initial lag, well that would get my heart racing… Read more »
Joseph
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I’ve been lucky enough to own 5 Saabs from the ages of 18-20 (currently have 2). 1988 900 Turbo ‘vert(current), 1991 900 Turbo coupe, 1993 900 S, 2005 9-3 Linear, 2007 9-3 Aero (tuned, current). I don’t like to sugarcoat the cars. I don’t find the quality to be particularly great but I enjoy driving something unique. It’s cool to be known as the “Saab guy” around town and knowing that I’ve got a few people in them feels good. The value of buying one used is what drew me in initially, the classics came after I was bitten by… Read more »
Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Many things…….I’m nuts about aviation-the aviation connection…my Father worked for Saab-Scania for 35 years-we had many Saabs-all of them infact…the boost of the turbo… the fun…yet with economy.
The solid build quality equal to the german kit but cheaper. Managing to look sporty yet being as big as an estate car (900,og9-3 and 900CSE) and of course its nice to know your safe.

spacy
Guest
4 years 10 months ago

.
SAAB’S Cars……

Simple Really..!!

alwaysSaab
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Power complements with control and safety. It is a joy to drive and is the only car where the driver can easily “blend” into it as one.

Larry Marzocco
Member
4 years 10 months ago
The direct factors that caused me to purchase my 2003 9-3 are as follows: I narrowed down my search of vehicles based on the Value and Standard options such as Heated Seats, Leather, Sunroof, Turbo, Fuel Economy, SAFETY!!! Once i actually got inside one, my mind was set. The car just makes sense. It is very well designed. It drives great. It is unique. I loved the vents and the cup holders. The dash is attractive. After i drove one, I stopped looking at other makes and concentrated on finding my very own 9-3. The benefits that I didn’t realize… Read more »
Viper
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I’ve had my Saab 900 Anniversary Coupe for almost 10 years now. The moment I saw it, I wanted it. It looked awesome, the Monza red colour was very nice and upon driving it, it showed that it was no ordinary car when it came to performance. For the size of the car it has awesome handling. You can take corners at high speed with little or no body role. Previous to this I has a Nissan Skyline RB31. This car was longer but slightly less wider than than the Saab. Although not bad, the Saab is streets ahead of… Read more »
Seán
Member
4 years 10 months ago
My grandparents would only own either Volkswagens, Renaults or Saabs, so I was bound to choose one of these brands. My parents owned a Saab. I’ve owned 2 Saab’s, why did I choose the Saab? 1- I have a family connection to them 2-They are a classy European car 3- In the current times of environmental concern, Saab has played a leading role in the search for more ecologically sustainable fuels. 4- Saab cars are unique and unsuspecting. Where I live there aren’t many Saab’s around, so it is somewhat exclusive, also many people regard Saab’s as grandpa cars, so… Read more »
tcastaldi
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Love the topic, I’ll bite on this one… Long story short, my previous car was a 2006 Chrysler 300C, yes it had a Hemi. 🙂 Great car, fun to roast just about any car at a stoplight. A guy in a Toyota Tercel ran a red light and totalled my dream car. The gas mileage sucked and RWD was scary in the winter with that much power, so I wanted something that was a little more practical. I went to a dealer in town to drive a couple Cadillac CTS models. I was amazed by how boring the drive was… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Well-balanced, as you write, is a very good word to describe Saab-cars, I think! This word, in some sense, also includes another important Saab-value: The care for the daily user counts more then short-lasting, commercial appeal to some car-customers “fancy dreams”.

kanundrum
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The initial starts towards being different, being safe, and having the love to drive.

What keeps them coming back for more is:

A Smile, every single time you get in your car, every single moment your driving your car, and sadness every single moment your not. This is merely a result of what a Saab Driver who drives a saab gets.

Simple as that.

bender
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I love Saab because they are unostentatious. They are quality cars. They perform extremely well while being extremely practical. I love how every little part I buy says SAAB on it. To me, that means quality. They are special, unique, and RARE. I got into them because I always knew “Saab” but their rarity and not seeing much of them brought on lots of curiosity for me. And then, I just fell in love. It’s weird. Just like that. It only got better and better with time. Not a DAY goes by that I don’t think about my Saab. It… Read more »
Daniel B
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Easy.

I wrote a piece about why I always will drive Saabs back in January.
http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2011/01/one-mans-view-why-i-will-always-drive-saabs.html
I still feel the same. Always will.

Can
Member
4 years 10 months ago
My parents have always had Saabs and I inherited a love for the cars I grew-up in. My first car was the same age as I was when I started driving, 17. They bought me the 900 because they are built like tanks and I would be safe. To me, one of the most important things that a Saab is is how well they are built–from the materials (the leather seats of the 9000’s) and technology that go in them to the hundreds of thousands of miles they can be driven. I do not think that there is a better… Read more »
Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago

• Relatively less than other luxury cars, more value
• All the junk I can fit in the trunk.
• Swedishness/Authentically European
• Safe, secure, understated

Osama Dajani
Member
4 years 10 months ago
My favorite SAAB was old SAAB 900 Classic Turbo. What attracted I was the exterior and interior design of the car. From outside, the design of the car was unique and stylish. The body of the car was quite solid. It was equipped with self repair front and rear bumper. My car was hit a couple of times from the rear side, but, all those minor accidents were all absorbed by the rear bumper, and the car went on running for almost 20 year without repairing the bumper. From inside, the design of the front wind shield, the location of… Read more »
Jordy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

All the points above are very true, but i fell in love with my SAAB for its looks, inside and out, love at first sight !!.
its a 1998 95 SE. and what a love affair its been.

I have 3 Saab’s at home now, my first Saab above, a 2005 95 ARC and a 2004 93 Aero.

Redgarden
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Great seats, headroom and legroom. That was the original reasons, the rest just grows on you 🙂

ahlis
Member
4 years 10 months ago
In the new 95 the dash can read “driver has control”, this sounds a bit cool but it is nothing new. I have owned numerous Saabs both with and without Turbo charges engines, from a 1975 Saab 96 ( first car ) and almost every model after that except the 99, 90 and 9-5. Every single one gives you the “in control feeling” and this is a natural feeling to a Saab owner. When it comes to equipment common drivers rarely take enough time to learn and realize what an amazing piece of machinery they drive, take the Saab Information… Read more »
xlx
Member
4 years 10 months ago

the short answer : while admiring swedish cars and driving 10 years Volvo I needed a car. I decided to buy a “fun car” and was looking for the convertible. If a convertible than Saab. I’ve seen many of them on the streets and loved them. So a Saab landed in my garage, after a “fight” in my mind with C70. Since that while sitting inside other Saabs, I’d like to stick with the brand.

-> unique character, safety, good engines, feeling to drive “something different”, community. I just feel very good inside.

the longer answere is here : One Day

liftarn
Member
4 years 10 months ago

While I could rationalise over it the obvious answer would probably be “Just dumb luck”. If it would have been less rusty I would probably have bought that BMW 318i instead of the Saab 900i as my first car.

The attachment to the brand is another thing. I could perhaps be traced to the 1972 (I think) sea green Saab 99 my parents bought as new and used until 1986.

katar1na
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I´m from Sweden so in my world there are swedish cars and not swedish cars. In Sweden we somehow feel that swedish quality is safe. Safety is important to us, probably because of the cold and icy winter that makes driving difficult if you drive something made only for a sunny beach.. So: Volvo or SAAB? 1. Volvo is… Safety. Stability. And incredibly boring. It has the feeling of a tractor. It surely will take you from A to B and you can bring your wife, three kids and two-three Snkt Bernards (big dogs) along as well as your grandma… Read more »
zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

While the Germans build great cars their “Tutonic efficiency” leaves me a little cold. Saab illicits some emotional feeling in me that is very hard to explain but I think Troels Denmark explained it very, very well! 🙂

Saab Up!!

PatrikH
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I can tell my reasons for driving SAAB. First it has a beautiful design, it is individual. It is a very safe car, it has good handling (I have upgraded suspension and shock absorbers), good acceleration and relatively low fuel consumption. The most important thing is about identity, I identify myself as a SAAB driver, someone who has the qualitities of the car company SAAB, never gives up, fight on even if odds are bad and individual.

Wayner
Member
4 years 10 months ago

My main reason…My SAAB(1972 95 wagon) gave it’s life to save mine, and that was back in the late 70’s and I’ve been a loyal SAAB driver since then and can’t even imagine driving any other type of car! RIP Ol’ Blue!

Tomas TL1000R
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Cos it´s Swedish and a underdog to Volvo and it´s always turbo. It´s also fun to drive and not expensive to get alot more power. I like the fact that less is more, Saab don´t have the biggest engine but you get the power. It says something about me to drive this brand, that´s the same with my bike. You don´t see alot of Suzuki TL1000R out there and that´s the point and the sound of a V-twin(think Ducati and you know what I mean). The fact that Saab have tough times only increase my love to the brand. Saab… Read more »
aus715
Member
4 years 10 months ago
We bought two. Both 9-5s. First a Linear Sport Estate about 5 years ago, and then a few years later an 02 Aero sedan. The Estate is THE most practical thing on asphalt, looks younger than it really is and GOES. I have managed to get two beds in the back, a full sized sofa bed and still get over 40mpg. Love it to bits. But the Aero is a different animal and needs a different attitude when driving it. Tighter, more fidgety, faster, jumpy and just more ‘wound up’. Two cars that look the same could not be more… Read more »
Bruce C
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I first found out about SAAB driving my brother’s old 93s and 96s around the dirt roads of northern Wisconsin in the mid-1960s — amazing how fast you could corner with front-wheel drive (to my knowledge, the Olds Toronado was the only other fwd car on the market then and it was prohibitively large and expensive). My wife and I bought a new SAAB 99 as our first car when we got married in 1970. It was the combination of things that made us love it, and almost everything was better, and completely different, compared to American cars of the… Read more »
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