test the Saab 9-5 – find hope

You’ve got to love the Irish. They have a way with words.

Any road test with the words “by golly” is one that I want to read. Unlike so many other articles you might come across, you know that someone using that phrase is not trying to be a road testing rock star.

Our author draws parallels between the resurrection of Saab and the resurrection needed in the Irish economy:

This car had a strange effect on me. Let me tell you why. Last year, the chances of me reviewing it were remote. Saab was in its death throes. The obituaries were written. It was effectively on the scrapheap.

Yet by dint of perseverance and God knows what else, somehow it was salvaged. It now has a future. It now has plans…..

…..I am so numb with the gloom of economy and society at this stage I am beginning to wonder if we are anaesthetising ourselves with the bleakness. Sure, an economy is not like a carmaker but there are parallels. And we have to believe we can do a Saab.

He eventually gets to driving the 2.0 TiD as well. It’s not 100% wine and roses, but it is a very good and honest assessment of the car, without the flowery catchphrases you get used to in the motoring press sometimes.He even goes so far as to recognise when his criticisms might constitute nitpicking. Amazing!

There’s praise for the engine, the cabin, the seats and the solid build quality and cruising comfort. On the flip, there’s some downside on the gearbox and dashboard. As mentioned, it’s a very honest assessment.

I’ll let you get to that yourselves. Click here to read the full review over at The Independent.

For a final word, though:

I wish we had the equivalent for dealing with the whiplash of budget cuts. We don’t. But we might take some heart from the Saab experience. We can bounce back. No doubt at all about that. And what a great symbol it would be if we could get the ministers out of their big state cars and into a few Saabs. It might stand as a daily reminder of what can be achieved.

Saab Caravan test drive event in Norway

Olav’s road test of a Saab 9-5 1.6T was part of a long test drive event – a Saab Caravan – being held by Saab Norway.

The event is about half way to being done, but the good news if you’re in Norway is that there are still plenty of dates where you can join in the fun.


Saab Caravan Norway Dates

Check out the Saab Caravan page at Saab Norway for full details and make sure you get some seat time in Saab’s new 9-5.

And kudos to Saab Norway for a great initiative.

Saab Caravan Norway

SaabHuy meeting this Sunday – program

Any of you who are in proximity to Huy, in Belgium, and haven’t made your mind up to go along to the big gathering there this weekend, here’s a brief look at the program.


Schedule for the Meeting on sunday 31/10:

9-11 – Arrival of the cars (on the Grand Place and surrounding streets) and set up of the parts fair

(on the Place Verte)

9-14H Meeting and Parts fair

14-14H30 Official end of the meeting with announcement of the most beautiful car of the day.

Starting 14h30 we would like to invite you to join us for a drive through the region.

departure of the cars…


As I said, it’s brief.

Don’t let brevity fool you, though, this is going to be a great gathering with Saabs coming from plenty of surrounding countries to join in.

The Brits are on their way as we speak and they’ll be joined by a bunch of French Saabs in convoy.

So if you’re even remotely close, get along and enjoy the day. Etienne and Golfhunter would love to see you there!

Nate gets his Saab Turbo-X dream

The headline says it all.

I think it might be high time for some Turbo X appreciation, too. It’s a model that copped a small amount of criticism from some quarters at first, but it’s position in Saab’s history as the first XWD vehicle and quite a special car is pretty well assured now. Hindsight’s a beautiful thing. Best we keep that in mind.

This is Nate’s story, complete with obligatory Saab hug. There’s some good stuff about dealer relationships in here, too. Kudos to Iowa City for doing what they do.


I took possession of my Turbo X SportCombi on Tuesday, October 19th, and I could not be happier. I have longed for this car ever since we saw the spy pics of the prototypes that were bashed as looking like Pontiac Sunfires! I am blessed to own my dream car.

My original plan was to purchase one with a manual gearbox. I ended up purchasing the automatic gearbox. My wife and I plan to own this car for some time, so I thought the automatic would be the safer bet. A lifetime of high impact athletics has left me with bad knees and I would hate to have to trade my Turbo X because of my gimpiness! Trust me; it was a battle royal between Macho Nate and Responsible Nate. I even had a manual lined up for purchase at an out-of-state-dealer.

I purchased the Turbo X from my local dealer at Iowa City SAAB. It was purchased sight unseen. I have a lot of trust with my local dealer. If they say the car is clean, then that is good enough for me. They backed that up with a CPO warranty, too. I think that there is a great lesson for any SAAB dealer. Develop trust with your customers and they will buy cars from you. My wife and I have now purchased three cars from this great dealership and I am sure that there will be more in the future.

A side note: This car was traded in for a NG 9-5. I am happy to take one for the team!

The car is GREAT! I have never driven an AWD car before. I have never known what the expression “drives like it is on rails” was meant to describe. I do now! This car is just stuck to the ground. My friends that have driven it have all commented on the firmness of the car and how much control the driver has over it. And this is with the automatic gearbox. They would be even more impressed if they only knew of all the compromises that SAAB to deal with and engineer around.

The exhaust note is great. I actually think that the car is very quiet and the exhaust is subdued in the cabin. I know that this is something that others have complained about. I am very familiar with the interior since it is a lot like my wife’s car. If I have one criticism it is the door handles. I have read other commenters complain about the Cadillac door handles in the past. I often wondered what the big deal was. Now I know. They are clucky when compared to traditional SAAB door handles.

Our financial plan dictates that my wife and I hold onto our cars for some time. Given that, it is quite fitting that we both have black sportcombis. We call them “his” and “hers”! She has a black 2007 9-3 SportCombi 2.0 Anniversary Edition. They make quite a pair in the driveway. Although I will own this for some time I plan to spruce it up once a year with some type of Hirsch goodie. Initially it will likely be the interior. But once Hirsch gets the 300 HP engine tune here in the US I will be all over it. Genuine SAAB also has a 2-point sub frame brace that I am aiming for and of course, a SAAB roof rack for my kayak ☺

2010: An amazing year for Saab ….. and it ain’t over yet

RE-Posted as a response to the Spyker Cars Q3 report from yesterday. Those in the media and elsewhere who look merely at the bottom line without looking at what’s behind it are doing Saab a disservice.

This one’s for the skeptics, the non-believers, the ones who said that Saab could never make it past 2009 and the ones who say they’re not doing enough now.

Saab were at death’s door at the end of 2009. GM were trying to sell the company but it felt like precious little real progress was being made. One deal fell through. GM gave Saab a month to live and a liquidator was actually sitting in the CEO’s chair in Trollhattan, making plans to break up the company. A company rarely gets any closer to being dead without actually dying and all this happened after Saab went through the biggest corporate reconstruction in Swedish history.

The road ahead won’t be easy, but it’s worth taking a moment to look back and observe everything that Saab’s been through – and achieved – so far in 2010.


They made their first Trollhattan-built convertible in early January.

An agreement was reached to sell Saab to Spyker Cars NV on January 27. Don’t let that short sentence dissuade you from the gravity of that occasion.

They produced the final of the old series Saab 9-5 in February, gearing the plant up for the new series to come. The Saab plant in Trollhattan would now build the full 9-3 range – sedan, SportCombi, Convertible as well as the new Saab 9-5, with the new 9-5 wagon still to come.

Read more2010: An amazing year for Saab ….. and it ain’t over yet

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