Saab 9-4X Vs. Mercedes-Benz ML350

To celebrate the launch of the new 9-4X, I’m starting a series that compares it to its midsize competition. Today Mercedes-Benz released the pricing and options details of its new 2012 ML350, and so I thought I’d kick this comparison off with the freshest competitor possible. For most readers here, this information is nothing new, but hopefully to those who link here doing some cross shopping will see the light.

Amazingly most coverage and headlines for the ML350 price list has been “Mercedes adds standard equipment but holds prices down.” While we’re a Saab blog focused at Saab drivers and consumers, I believe that anyone who reads this will come away with the same conclusion– that a 3-pointed star doesn’t add any more value to a CUV than Saab can deliver.

Read moreSaab 9-4X Vs. Mercedes-Benz ML350

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

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


Hi Swade,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Saab had more interior space than the MB.

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

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

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

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

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

Saab 9-5 vs Mercedes Benz CLS

We have a regular reader here with a challenge. He wishes to remain anonymous, but lets just say he lives in Europe and his boss is updating his car.

The car he’s handing back is a BMW and whilst our brave reader is lobbying for a new Saab 9-5, the boss is quite keen on a Mercedes Benz CLS.

Mercedes CLS

The boss says the Merc is a special car and after testing a TiD Saab 9-5 for a weekend, he opined that it reminded him of a Honda Accord – ouch!

When I was first faced with offering some advice on this dilemma, my advice was that the boss was obviously in love with something already and there was little point in pursuing things – pick your battles and all that. I work in audit, not sales.

The boss preferred the BMW’s steering feel and didn’t like the way the 9-5 interior looked. This put him off to the extent that he didn’t event try out all the groovy electronic gadgetry. He kept asking what the benefit of the Saab was, why he should consider it over what he considered the more established and perhaps decorative CLS.

At least he kept asking. Where there’s life, there’s hope.

So…… what would you say? It’s CLS vs 9-5 and our mate wants to give his boss reasons to pull the trigger on the Swede over the German.

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