My new Saab…

I want share a story and some pictures with you. Since I have vented the interest for my old Saab some people had wondered what I’m up to, here is the answer…DSC_0352_su

first_testdrive_thnFive years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.

saabspotting_thnSo after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉

But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats.
That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway.
At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.

Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show.
Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!

36 thoughts on “My new Saab…”

  1. Congratulations to your “new” car. I was recently in Stockholm and I actually saw some NG 9-5’s, every time they made made me turn my head in admiration. Initially I was not a big fan of the the rather long, big and bulky 9-5 but I did rent one TiD for a few weeks and have to say I was impressed with everything; the smaller diesel felt perfectly adequate, huge boot, spacious interior and the handling when pushed was excellent, even without the more advanced HiPerStrut suspension. Lovely car, just too big for my needs…
    Thanks for the positive story and nice pictures.
    Wish you many enjoyable miles in your laser red NG 9-5!

    • Thanks! And actually the car feels smaller then it is. I think the biggest concern abut the size is to find a parking space that is big enough to avoid dents… :/

  2. Congrats ! Best color for NGs. I’ve bought my 9-5 carbon grey 2.0T XWD Auto Vector just two months ago with 65tkm. I’ve never thought I’ll do it, I’ve considered the car too big for me. But it’s not. It’s totally perfect. When I first saw the green displays in NG back in 2010, I’ve almost vomited. But how lucky I’m now to have such perfect match to dashboard bulbs with excellent reading ability and possibility to control all functions via wonderful knobs. And I must say that I’m also happy that I’ve got the Drive Sense option, because I’ve got two cars in one now. I’m switching to Comfort immediately in city driving and to S in extra urban driving. What a car !

  3. Congratulations on your new red 9-5!

    Although my ancestors came from Norway, I have not been there in about 25 years. When I was last there it was summer, but perhaps I did not go far enough north to still see snow in July!

    • Tnx!

      It is not so very far north, it is on a mountain called “Strynefjellet”, near Geiranger. But it is at 950 meters over sea-level, but this year we have had a cold spring and summer so far, so I think the melting is a month or so later this year then usual. What places do you visit when you was here in Norway last time then?

      • I visited Norway with my parents 25 years ago, or so. It was our first time ever in Norway. We visited areas around Stavanger and Bergen. My ancestors lived near Vik and Stadheim in Sogn og Fjordane. (My mother’s family name here in the U.S. is “Stime” and we think that is because when they came to America they said they were from Stadheim and it was written down as Stime.)

        My grandfather (mother’s father) was born here in the U.S., but spoke Norwegian at home until he went to public school. When my grandparents visited Norway about 35 years ago, my grandfather was trying to see how much Norwegian he could remember and was talking to a tour bus driver. He said he was from the U.S. and there to visit the area his ancestors came from. The tour bus driver said, “I know exactly where your family came from. I recognize your accent!” My grandfather still had the accent he learned from his parents that came from the region around Vik.

        • hehe, that’s a good story! I can BTW confirm that people from around Vik have a special accent! Vik is a very beautiful place if we look to the landscape around, but the village is also (in my impression) very clean and tidy. It is always a great pleasure when I drive up “Vikafjellet” from the Voss-side, and down the mountain to Vik, and drive out along the fjord to Vangsnes and maybe out to Fresvik. It is for sure one of my favourite parts of Norway

  4. I believe that there are still a few remaining NG 9-5’s (at least in the US) that have never been sold . However, due to their age, they must be listed as used cars.

    On another matter, Trond-Arve, do Hirsch mapping upgrades provide more boost at low RPM. My current 9-5 (stock 260hp 2.3 engine) seems to have the power programmed down until the car gets rolling a bit. A 9000 I owned years ago was much quicker when starting out even though peak power was less than that of my 9-5.

    • I’m sorry, I don’t know how mush boost they add, but I guess they had increased it. The amount of torque is in any way bigger at lower rpms, but at lower rpms my old 9-5 2.3T is much stronger (with some help from Maptun)… :p But I have make the same observation as you, my old M91 9000 2.3 turbo S with Saabs red 220hp box was much stronger in the low rpms then my old M00 9-5 Aero (230hp) and my current M04 9-5 Aero (250hp) with stock software. I felt that the M04 while it had the 250hp software was about equal to my old 9000 in preformance…

      Anyhow; here is a performance chart for the 260hp Hirsch software update:

      • I’ve pumped the 2.0T with BSR to 440nm/280hp, but the acceleration and the feel of the power is less than my 2007 9-5 BSRed to 275hp and far less than my 9-3 2.0T sedan hirsched to 240hp (this is real go cart). I think that it’s mainly due to the heaviness of the vehicle – at about 2 tons (XWD). In sport mode the acceleration is satisfactory, but just not as much as I’m used to be.

        • I think you are right on to it, the 9-5’s weight is the problem here. Something in the rang around the output Hirsch deliver is in my opinion a OK compromise on the 220hp engine, we do not slow down the traffic, but it is not a super sport car either… 😉

    • Right you are! There are at least THREE brand new 2011 9-5s remaining in the US. They are at Secour Saab/Volvo in New London, CT. They’re asking $27,700. Too high for a four year old, orphan car.

      Not sure if there are others.

  5. I’ve pumped the 2.0T with BSR to 440nm/280hp, but the acceleration and the feel of the power is less than my 2007 9-5 BSRed to 275hp and far less than my 9-3 2.0T sedan hirsched to 240hp (this is real go cart). I think that it’s mainly due to the heaviness of the vehicle – at about 2 tons (XWD). In sport mode the acceleration is satisfactory, but just not as much as I’m used to be.

  6. Fantastic car Trond-Arve and looking at your pics it would look like the rear LED strip (across the boot/trunk) is working fine unlike mine which has dimmed evenly across the entire strip. My car 2012 Aero has only covered 9.6k mile or 15.2Km so it is disappointing that this has failed so soon and at some £460 to replace by my dealer (if they had a replacement part in the first place) is sore.

    The car has just been serviced and this was highlighted by the dealer as having dimmed. I asked if this should not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty (expires today) but they stated that this was only a “cosmetic defect”.

    The web is covered by this item failing so there is obviously a major problem with the quality of the item so I would keep my eye on your own (usually needs someone else to highlight the issue). My guess is that if SAAB was still around, this would have been a recall.

    That apart, the NG9-5 is a brilliant drive.

    • Wow, a 2012 9-5, not many of those!
      The interesting thing is what the inspection-guys say, do they think it is cosmetic or do they think it it a “light failure”?

      It seems like the LED-bar on the trunk have a bad quality, when I talk to 9-5 owners there is a lot of different opinions why this detail fail. It is all from the obvious thing like we see on many of the LED-bars water leak to bad quality of the components or vibrations… I have decided to change the seals between the LED-bar and the trunk, I hope that this keep my LED-bar dry. Vibrations and component quality isn’t a issue I can do something about, so I will have my fingers crossed from now 😉

  7. The service technician said it was “cosmetic” Trond-Arve but my argument is that if this was a front grill that fell apart within the warranty period, this too would be cosmetic.
    I am going to speak with them tomorrow and see if I can get a resolve or at the very least go half way with the costs.

  8. Very nice! I personally really liked the final iteration of the 9-5. In the US, I have seen fewer of them then Ferraris! Regarding the LED lights–hey, what is the point of a Saab if you don’t have to fiddle a bit with it! Enjoy!!

  9. I take your point Paul but to fiddle with the LED lights without any wiring schematics and/or replacement parts for this item available on the planet is like farting against thunder. I will leave the fiddling to my 1985 SAAB 90 which is fiddle compatible.

    Many people have written on this site suggesting that the NG9-5 parts should be ok since much are generic GM parts but items like the LED trunk bar are unique as are many other items on this car. God forbid if someone decides to vent their anger on any of the bodywork.

    I am seriously looking at the future of my association with SAAB having (back in March this year) changed our 9-3 which was a lease car to a MB C-class, not because I particularly wanted to, but was forced to because of the SAAB situation.

  10. Stunning car! I’ve only ever seen one Laser Red NG 9-5. It was a Turbo6 XWD getting serviced at my local dealer. Laser Red has long been a great color for Saabs, but I think it’s extra gorgeous on the new 9-5.

    Enjoy your “new” Saab 🙂

    • Tnx!
      You’re absolute right, red has a long tradition on the different Saabs. The only model I can remember right now that don’t has a bright, strong red colour is the 92 (92 had a darker red, maroon red, from ’55 and up) and Sonett III (Sonett II had a dark amber that they called red and a burgundy red colour).

      The 278 Laser red colour that mine car have is a colour that came in 2001 on the current 9-3 and 9-5, and before that there was a lot of different red paints (Imola, Talladega, Cheery, Solar….). I think 278 Laser red is the colour that Saab kept longest of them all in modern time, usually Saab have changed the red colours after 5-6 years. The R2 Torreador red is probably the red-colour that has the longest run – it went from ’59 to ’74 on 93, 95, 96 and 99…

      Another fun-fact about colours, 170/BK1 is the colour that had the longest run in total, it came in ’53 and it went all the way to 2012, and NEVS had also used the colour on theirs Saabs. But there is some Saab-models that don’t was available in black – 94 and 97 (all Sonetts), 9-2X, 9-4X and 9-7X.

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