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.

69 thoughts on “What Makes A Saab Driver Become A Saab Driver?”

  1. – 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

    • 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.

  2. 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, BMW….but heavily weighted towards Saab). In Los Angeles, Saabs are relatively popular, but they still stand out over the thousands of BMW/MB’s that people love here…at least they stand out to me! My 900 turbo convertible gets many compliments these days as it clearly stands out as a uniquely beautiful design…not to mention that amazing exhaust burble!

  3. 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

    • 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, and when you are in a hurry you floor the pedal , it makes short shrift of overtaking. so very fast when it reall matters. The turbo does not cost a fraction of the 3.5litre equivalent in fuel, but is faster when you need it to be. It just adapts to all situations so well,…when cruising to Germany (650miles), fully laden , and then some,…I got 49,8 miles to the gallon, 6 weeks ago, and the same journey even heavier laden, I travelled at over 140mph on the autobahn, it felt so smooth as if it was 75mph.
      There is no way a 2.8 litre mercedes automatic would do that, and my 9000 is a 1997 vintage.
      Heated seats, perfect temperature draught free automatic climate control, that keeps all windows clear, a heater that warms the car in 3 minutes, and roadholding with the manual gearbox, that brings a smile to your face. We drove last Christmas, in a huge snow storm, up a 2000 ft mountain, to a restaurant 30 miles away, no snow chains, about a foot and a half of snow on the road, and we never once wavered in the Saab, all a doddle, minus 27 degrees, and I had to turn the heater down.The lights are also great, inside halogen lamps for reading, lots of touches that make it very, very accomplished. In fact the only othe rcar that drives so well and accomplished in my view was the 1997 mercedes S class 4.2 litre. But that is for a totally different kind of customer.
      I am now on Saab number 9, test drove the new one and it has a Saab feel, so we see how Saabs production will come along….

      • ..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 car, threw the car back 10 foot, but I needed a garage to tell me there was a little damage to the radiator here and there, nothing visual.

  4. 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…

    • I am quite young I guess at 38 next week, but I do remember those cars, not that I was around when they came out. My Grandfather is a car guy and owned a dealership when I was little and we attended many a classic car show and the Cougar was quite collectible. I actually really liked the old Cougar’s because they stood out in a crowd and could really go. I had forgotten about the turn signals on them as I really don’t see many around town anymore, but yet it seems that a lot of what once was now is again.

    • 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!

  5. 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 a Hirsch upgrade.
    On a side note our salesman Mark did a double delivery on Tuesday this week, two 9.3s at the same time. WOW
    Only 5 more to sell, hopefully more in the future.
    Dave Thomas
    SAAB Laval.

  6. 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 exotic machine. I was totally and utterly smitten. Seeing that car was like hearing The Beatles for the first time. I now drive a 2000 Saab 9-5 and still appreciate the design, engineering and soul that is a Saab. This great car company MUST survive!

  7. 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 later, still unable to imagine driving anything else! As a former SAAB employee and independant shop owner I’m lucky to be able to say that I’ve probably driven them all, and every time I try something else I KNOW why I’m here!

  8. 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 good chassie. I then got a 2001 9-3 aero for my wife (hrhmm) and was blown away by the power of that thing, on paper it looked like it would have the same perfomance as my 9-5.

    So the essence of Saab to me: Turbopower, pratical, driver ergonomics and the best seats around.

  9. 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 this is one of the most distinguished characteristics of SAABs against the competition.

  10. 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 pushed into other lanes when other cars were moving all over the placeI was hooked. Now on my 4th Saab 88 900-S 97-900ES coupe and now Turbo X sport combi. So it’s Handling, safety performance and like my self not quite conforming to everything else around me.

  11. 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 bought a 2010 9-3 over the phone. Ironically, I got an automatic transmission, but otherwise the car is everything I wanted. I love it.

  12. 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 that, as I preferred my Motorbike for a long time
    Did drive a N/A 99 CC for a while as band gear hauler, and enjoyed one of the neighbours 900 Turbo.
    After a looooooong (approx 15 years) wait I purchased my OG9-3 in 2007.
    The only thing I can say is that it felt like coming home, even though there is a big difference between a 99 or a OG900 and the 9-3 it felt right.

    In my usual way of comparing things to musical stuff, it felt just like when I returned to playing Gibson Les Paul again.Not the same guitar, but a special order with compound thinned neck, custom electronics and custom Pick-ups.
    Same feel though, only better and faster

    It’s probably still the turbo, the hauling capacity and driver ergonmics that does it for me, and since my family have a taste for Saab, I have gotten to ride both the NG9-3 Convertible and a NG9-5 Aero V6 with at little Hirsch trim lately.
    They still feel like coming home.
    And I have tried a lot of other cars, that simply don’t do that. Even cars that most motojournos think are the greatest cars “In the ….World”

  13. 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 gas pedal give the driver the sensation that it is directly connected with the engine. My car has an automatic transmission and placing it into manual-mode and selecting the proper gear gives me that feel of power, and the sense that I can tap into all of the engine’s horses at any given moment. Driving Dynamics
    • The solid sounding purr of the engine. Even with the 2.0T “four-banger”, the engine has an astonishingly refined sound to it. It never feels as if the engine has to “try” to hard to get the car moving. Just by listening to the pitch of its rumble, I can accurately determine when to down-shift. Driving Dynamics
    • An engine with a decent power-to-weight ratio. Saab engines are indeed smaller than the competition. On paper, this can give the gross illusion that their cars are somehow inferior because of it. This could not be more wrong! By keeping the engines compact and throwing in a powerful Turbo-charger, they are both frugal with gas and pack a surprising punch that will allow you to smoke any German counterparts on demand. Driving Dynamics and Fuel Economy
    • The ability to do a steer a hard left or right at high speed. The precision and firmness of the steering inspires more confidence than most cars. Driving a Saab, one completely forgets the dubious notion that a sports-car must have rear-wheel drive Driving Dynamics and agility
    • The position of the ignition key/button. That famous sketch of a Saab driver leaning back with a grin on his face says it all. There is something very satisfying about laying back while reaching your arm slightly forward to start the car. It is more natural than arching your back while reaching around the steering wheel Driver Comfort and “quirkiness”
    • Driver-centric dashboard and center-console. Having the dashboard and center-console curved around the driver makes a strong statement: A Saab is a driver’s car. It also makes all of the controls within close reach, even as the driver is leaning back. Driver Comfort and Ergonomics
    • Rube Goldberg cup holders. Everyone sees them as quirky, most find them pretty neat. But they also work quite well! Note: The NG 9-5 and 9-4X have replaced them with more traditional cup holders: not something that would bring me to tears, but unfortunate nonetheless. “quirkiness”
    • Elegant interior. People tend to gripe on this point claiming that Saab interiors are either “plain” or “cheap”. I wholeheartedly disagree. In fact, I find the simple and elegant design of the Saab Interior to be a major selling point. To me, most luxury cars like to clutter their dashboards with tiny buttons, strange shapes and all kinds of ugly chrome. Saab’s do not. Yes, there might be a tad more plastic than I would consider ideal, but it’s not any more serious of any issue than the competition. Besides: Hirsch is always there if you want more leather. Ergonomics and Luxury and style
    • 360-degree adjustable A/C vents. I absolutely love the Saab A/C vents. You can position them exactly the way you want and they just look cool. Luxury and “quirkiness”
    • Distinctive exterior style. It is a mix of elegance and uniqueness. From the grill, to the curves, and the careful use of chrome elements: Saabs just look both different and beautiful. “quirkiness” and style
    • Focus on Safety and Security. Saab is a bit maniacal when it comes to safety and security. For example: “Does the alarm really need to sound if you open the trunk without unlocking first?” And why does the alarm sound when you use the manual key? Yes, I think these two points are overkill. But, Safety is important to Saab, and I know that I can trust my car to protect, should I find myself in the unfortunate situation of being in an auto accident. safety

    Is this list exhaustive? Most definitely not. But, I think it touches on a large number of common points that makes Saab a winner.

    • 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. ….

  14. 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 was looking for. The dealer gave me a Saab 900 2.3 T for a one day testride and the next day I bought the car. Since then I drove 5 Saab’s and still I have a Saab Turbo X and a Saab 900 classic cabrio (1991). I’m still in love with Saab for it’s unique personality (a Saab is a still a Saab and nothing else), for it;s Swedish design and for the powerfull engines (the sound of my Saab Turbo X is something real special). For 6 months I had a Saab 9-5 (2011). For me the car was to big, but the interior was so typical Saab: sober, different and stylish. And at last: I still have a good and personal relation with my dealer. That;s also typica Saab I believe.

    • 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 only problems I have had were just wear and tear problems like clutch cable, fuel pump and fuel lines (broken when pump was replaced) and the muffler. Not bad. 🙂 It is funny that many people I know think Saab is Italian because I drive one and that I have to correct them and tell them it is Swedish. It was also funny when my next door neighbour thought my Saab 900 was actually an Alfa because it is a sports car and Monza red and its owner Italian. Too funny. *LOL*

  15. 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, that handle better, that have more advanced electronics, and so on. But there are very few out there — the Miata comes closest, in my opinion — that can elicit such a strong emotional response and connection with the owner/driver.

    That connection is what makes a Saab a Saab.

  16. 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 Saab was in my and my fathers mind and so we spoke about it still sometimes. Eventually in the early 21th century (when I was like 9-10 years old), my father bought a 95`ng900 and that was the car that somehow brought me very back to Saab because then it felt even cooler than the 99 (mostly I think because of the antenn that went in and out when you switch the radio on or off it looked very cool for a 9 year old:D, or the place of the ignition, all these little saaby things). And after sometime he bought a 9-5 estate (which he still has) and then I had crew up a little bit to and had got a more interest in Saab and have read the saabblogs and other sites eversince. But now, this year I got my driving licence and had to buy a car. In the first I thought that I wouldn´t buy a Saab for a first car because of the storys that it would brake down all the time and big insurance cost and etc and looked for civics and all that kind of crappy cars. But luckyly all of them were pretty much full of faults and mostly rusted, so one night I found a advertisment of a good looking 96´NG900 (with the talladega look, spoiler and lowered front bumper and such) that had just apperad to site and decided to have a look of it in the morning. And so we went with my father and bought it. And I have driven it ever since. For me that makes Saab so special, is the whole history and heritage of the company and the idea of it being so much different. When my friends say that oh I have a BMW or a Audi then everybody go okey I know that but always when I say that I have a Saab then you can see people get interested in it because it is something new and different to them. And the most likely thing with my Saab is the ignition place, I just can´t get enough of it when a person who hasn´t seen this thing before, sits into the car and you can see his/her eyes go like „what the hell is the igniton doing there?!” Before I was a bit affraid of Saab for a lot of speaking about its unrelaiabiliness but now after driven it almost a year, I couldn´t think any other car that I would rather drive with.

  17. 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 …

    • I expected more of a story from you David. Was the grin from the turbo or more of a combined all around? I remember you telling me at one point that you had owned quite a few Saabs over the years, I have to think that there is more than safety that has had you buying them. How many Saabs have you had again, was it like 6? I can’t remember.

      • It is either 15 or 16 Saabs, I forget. I could say lots of things but I think I have pretty much said them all before.

        But as for the safety thing, I am sure my 1999 9-3 either saved my daughter’s life or saved her from severe injury in a accident in 2001. The driver of the other car was drunk and high on cocaine. The other driver was going north in the south bound lanes of traffic, at night without headlights on, going around a curve and they collided at high speed (about 70 mph for both cars). My daughter never got her foot off the accelerator although she had been easing off the accelerator as she was coming to a town. All my daughter could do is turn the steering wheel just enough to have a frontal offset collision. The other driver, who was in a Daihatsu Charade, died instantly.

        My daughter walked away from the accident. My daughter was taken to the ER as a precaution and released several hours later. My daughter suffered a severely sprained ankle and some brusing, but that was it.

        I have never owned another brand since.

        • David this is exactly why I asked and thanks for sharing. I can see why safety quite simply would be the only reason to buy the rest of them. That would sell me, the love of a father, I know it is enough for me. I’m thankful for you to have had your daughter basically walk away unscathed.

          • I’ve told this story many times. It is always hard to do, and never easy, even ten years later. The accident happened the night before Easter. Every year at Easter time, my daughter is still afraid to drive after dark until well past Easter. It’s an annual event.

            • Again, thanks for sharing. I have a 5 year old daughter and I can imagine how this would stay with you forever. You’d be so thankful that she is here and ok but want to keep her close. Thank God she was driving a Saab.

  18. 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..

  19. 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.

  20. 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 my purchase and chose to drive something different than the thousands of Audi and BMWs that are so common these days.

  21. 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 again. On the topic of overlooked technology, I wonder if am I the only one here who owns Ohm Walsh speakers and thinks they are are the best thing ever? Just curious. 🙂 Another overlooked breakthrough in my opinion.

  22. 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 the bug. What kind of car can you get for 9-3 Aero 2.8T money? Not much.

  23. 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.

  24. 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 I was getting till after i owned the car for a short time was that it is very easy to maintain. It is easy to work on. It is easy to customize. I love working on the car in my spare time. I have turned a number of family members and friends onto the little swedish car maker who never gave them a second thought. My fiance just purchased one of her own, My father is in the market for a 9-5.

  25. 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 it. I was considering getting an RB34 Skyline at the time of getting the Saab (As I am a Skyline fan as well), but the Saab is actually better. The Skyline needs 4WD to match the Saab. It also is smaller (and holds no performance advantage), and the Saab looks better, feels better and has way more class. 🙂

  26. 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 when one actually puts their foot down people are quite surprised at the level of performance that the car has.
    5- The long impeccable safety record.
    6- The driver centric cockpit
    7- The practicality and innovativeness of the cars is amazing to say the least
    8- The rich and unique heritage of the Saab company
    9- And finally the moment when the turbo kicks in in second gear and you are pushed back into the seat and your head is held firm by the Saab head restraints. It is a moment of pure joy 😀

  27. 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 and the interior was lame as well.

    The salesman told me “what you need to drive is a SAAB.” Really? My first thought was, are they still around? I hadn’t paid any attention to SAAB since I was a kid and saw the 1st gen 900s around town. Those were unique, cool cars! I test drove a 2006 9-3 2.0T and fell in love. What a well-balanced car! Sporty, handles well, good power, and great gas mileage, all in one package!

    I brought it home to show the family, that’s when I discovered how small the back seat was. My kids, 4 and 6 years old at the time, were even cramped in the back seat and complained. So my search began again, I found and test drove a 2005 9-5 with another dealer. This was the car, but I wanted the newer model with more power and the 260HP 2.3T engine. I found a 2007 and had it transferred through Carmax from Indiana. I’m starting year 3 with my SAAB and couldn’t ask for a more unique, well balanced car. I carpool to work and still get bummed out when it’s not my turn to drive. 🙂 my co-worker that I carpool with liked the car enough to by his daughter a 1999, 9-3. If I couldn’t find a 2002 9-3 Viggen with low mileage as my “fun weekend” car, I would be in heaven. I love SAAB and just hope the company lives long enough to produce the next gen 9-3.

    • 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”.

  28. 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.

  29. 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 literally is a way of life. I think and breathe Saab and whenever I park my red 5-door Viggen, I always have to turn around a few dozen meters later to see it only to get a grin on my face for its shear beauty. I love Saab and I can’t wait to see their bright future.

  30. 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 more well built vehicle.

    I have always said that I could never drive anything less than a Saab, not that I am certain there is anything better, because once you drive one there is nothing that can compare. I love everything about them from the way they smell and most importantly the way they drive.

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

  32. 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 the ignition key and the electrically operated windows button were located between the front seats. So these minor design features gave me the feeling that I sit in a spacious cabin.
    All the control are well located and easy to find on the dashboard, such as the stereo, the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system (HVAC), and the front exterior side mirrors.
    Initially, when my father bought the car at Kuwait city at that time, he bought a 900 GLE sedan, a direct ignition system, as he was worried that there would be engine heating issue in a Hot arid city like Kuwait. The performance of the automatic transmission was fine at Kuwait. It wasn’t a sporty car at all, acceleration from standstill (0 to 100Kms/hour; ir 0-62 mph) took maybe more than 20 seconds, although it was officially stated in the user manual that the same is almost 12 seconds. Travelling in the car in mountainous areas was not easy, the engine used to suffer, and my father had lots of patience and dependence on the use of the transmission’s lever as the kick down feature wasn’t responsive at all. Imagine, a small car like Toyota Corolla was faster and more power than SAAB on mountainous roads.
    But, I and my family loved the car and owned it for almost 20 years. Through out the period of ownership, almost everything was replaced in the car, the 2.0 fuel injection engine was replaced with a 2.0 L 16 V Turbo charged one with APC and intercooler ,the clutches of the automatic transmission, water pumps (a couple of times), the flywheel, the engine starter and battery (many times), the brakes, engine sparklers, injectors, thermostate, all seat, the ceiling fabric, the dashboard as many cracks developed in it, and I had all the body painted.
    I gained experience and knowledge of SAAB mechanics due to my regular interaction with mechanics. Although the car was quite troublesome and expensive to own, nevertheless, I loved it, and I was proud to own the SAAB.

    SAAB has to be Turbo charged, as it’s body is quite heavy without it. SAAB didn’t not have a 3.0 L V6 engine in the past, so they got the Turbo charging system from SCANIA, and fit it to their 2.0 L 4 cylinder engine, to get more power out of it , and to be environmentally friendly. The most powerful unique and powerful engines that was developed by SAAB were the 2.0 Turbo 16V and the 2.3L.The first designs of Turbo were full pressure, as the booster were big in size, and were air cooled. The Turbo was quite powerful, but had some lag in it, as the driver would have to wait until the rpm needle reaches 3000 revs or more to activate the Turbo. As the Turbo was air-cooled, once the driver parks the car, he has to wait for a short period of time, to give a chance for the engine to cool down a little bit.
    Turbo has been improved throughout the years, now a days, its water cooled, the booster is smaller in size, and could generate hp from low revs as low as 1,500 rpm, but, I don’t think that the low pressure turbo is as powerful as the high pressure pressure turbo.
    SAAB developed the Front Wheel Drive system so that the driver could get more control on slippery roads such as the roads of the Norwegian countries.
    SAAB’s dashboard, the speedometer and gauges where green in color with orange needles as the green color as a person eye’s would feel comfortable and relaxed while measurements are taken out of them.
    The front windshield offered a fantastic short and fore sight view.
    The car was somehow heavy, but very stable at high speed especially in a straight line.

  33. 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.

  34. 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 Display as an example. First time it was released was in 1985 and in the full version of it one can calculate required average speed to arrive at a specific time, this wasn´t even an option in other cars at that time and can be very useful when you try to make it for dinner.

    The design of a Saab has always made it easy to find my car where ever I park it, no need to go flash alarms trying to look cool in a 1987 style and at the same time embarrassed that you can´t find where you parked your car. Saab owners know, I KNOW where my car is.

    Some people might not have explored this area of themselves to realize what it means to own something special, a lot of people seems to think that this feeling can only be felt driving a Ferrari or Maserati.

    Luckily some people will find the amazing feeling of actually being different without the need of spending a fortune on something that just starts on Tuesdays and the seats doesn´t even fold how useful is that ?

    So if Dirty Harry asks me if I feel lucky the answer is simple,

    HELL YEA, PUNK !!!

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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 in the housewagon behind.

    2. SAAB is safety, stability and much more fun! You don´t drive grandma in a SAAB, unless she´s not vital and likes some action. The housewagon – you never buy. Better live in a nice hotel or better stay with friends. If you like, you can have a dogs too. Your kids will definitely be safe in the car – even when they get old enough to drive the car themselves!

    3. SAAB is very nice for having fun too. It´s easy to trim – even friendly to environment compared to some other brands…

    4. As a new driver my oldest daughter quickly discovered something important: when driving the driver licence school car (Opel and Toyota) you feel like “the car is driving me around”. In our family car SAAB 9-5 combi, she feels that “I am driving the car”. I feel like it´s like riding a well trained horse: you make a command, and there is obediance. There is no other car doing that for me.

    I tried a Mazda 626 “racing something” – and it was totally mad in speed – up to 80km/h. There all “fun” ended. Just when the power was needed, it was not there for me. The dam*ed car took over the driving and I just had to follow. Totally insane. Am I not supposed to be the driver myself? That is what I get from SAAB: the car makes me a driver and an in control driver. Is supports me when I really need it – I know I can trust my car to do it´s best in every situation! And up here in the cold north, where an ice bear can walk the streets anytime 😉 I prefer meeting such things in a cosy warm car that stays on the road!

  38. 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!!

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. 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 needs me and I need Saab, simple as that.

  42. 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 different.
    Oh, and in a big hit, I KNOW we will be alive at the other end. Something you can;t say with many other Marques.

  43. 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 time. The engineering was amazing. American cars were being heavily criticized because the roofs would collapse in a rollover; SAAB had a picture of dropping the 99 from 10 feet high, upside-down onto a concrete floor, with no effect on the passenger compartment (it just flattened out the slight curvature of the roof). The 99 had 4-wheel disk brakes (rare then) and dual-diagonal braking systems. The seats were amazingly comfortable and had continuous back-rake adjustment (instead of those click-stop seats where you could never get it in the right place). The headlights were on a relay so you never had to worry about leaving the lights on when you parked. The car would hum happily at 80 mph on the freeway. It got excellent gas mileage for the time (28-30 mpg) and the freewheeling made it better. The body was incredibly resistant to side-winds; sometimes we stopped for a break on a long drive and were startled to discover how hard the wind was blowing. We drove it for several Wisconsin winters and never got stuck except for once when we hit a drift so big the snow packed up under the front end and we lost traction. And finally, it had that great, natural driving feel. After that, no other car could feel right, and we are now on our 13th (2008 9-5) and 14th (2008 9-3 Combi Aero XWD) SAABs — and like everyone else, can’t imagine what other cars we could feel comfortable driving.

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