Last post on Jun 02, 2012 at 7:17 PM
You are in the Saab 9-5
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Saab 9-5, Wagon
#901 of 1081 Looking for Aero Wagon Experiences
Dec 06, 2004 (3:44 am)
I am a Saab owner, fourth time, with a 2000 Aero 5-speed that is an absolute kick to drive. From the reading I've done, I understand models produced after, I think, 2002 have a higher degree of structural safety built in and perhaps even a few more passive safety elements. I would LOVE to own a newer 9-5 Aero wagon with every possible option except automatic tranny. Can anyone provide edification regarding worthwhile options, worthless or poorly presented ones, any reliability issues relating to optional "stuff" as well as warranties, suggest any alternative audio gear (I'm having display issues ~ the Harmon-Kardon radio functions perfectly, it just 'sometimes' chooses not to display the station or band selected).
I'd really like to have the Aero wagon that's the "Big Dog in Town" of all local Saabs. If you have had a good or poor experience with improved performance modifications as well as appearance or "stylin'" add-ons, I'd love to hear your story. I don't check the Forums as often as I'd like, but I promise to read, evaluate, and respond to your missives within 2-3 weeks (sooner if possible). My current ride is fine, it's just that it doesn't have a hatch (my first 3 Saabs were 9000s) and is a beautiful shade of Arrest Me Red (I mean Imola Red, of course). I'd like to drive something a bit more subtle, but with a go factor beyond the normal, "This one goes to 11!" If I could drive a wagon that rips off sub-six second dashes to 60, had a decent all-wheel drive system (a la the Pike's Peak 9-3 of a few summers ago), cornered like a 911, and LOOKED like a grocery-getter, I'd spring for it.
#902 of 1081 Saab's financial health
Mar 10, 2005 (11:03 am)
We've been looking at station wagons since the beginning of the year, and I like the Saab 9-5 wagon. However, after reading the Edmunds Inside Line column on Saab's financial troubles (http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Columns/articleId=104895), I'm worried about buying a car from a manufacturer that may not be around much longer. Should I just go ahead and get a Volvo V70?
#903 of 1081 Re: Saab's financial health [wilburpan]
Mar 11, 2005 (8:09 pm)
SAAB will be around. You should go for the 9-5 with an I-4. I have the Aero Wagon, but for all around use, I'd recommend the Arc. I think that the SAAB ergonomics are better, it's quieter and the Harmon Kardon stereo (optional) is really nice. It's a lot more solid than the V70. If you're thinking used - stay away from the SE V6. The 9-5 with an I-4 has a lot in common with the 9000. If your concerned about maintenance, there are independents around who have been servicing the I-4 config for 18 years.
#904 of 1081 Re: Saab's financial health [wilburpan]
by kcram HOST
Mar 13, 2005 (10:59 am)
SAAB is not really a manufacturer. It's now just a brand in the GM conglomerate. The General can keep it alive as they're doing with Saturn, or they can shelve it like Oldsmobile... strictly a corporate decision.
Host - Wagons
#905 of 1081 Re: Saab's financial health [kcram]
Mar 14, 2005 (8:49 pm)
But what auto company is a manufacturer? Just about all auto parts are outsourced. Over the past 50 year SAAB has made a significant impact on the auto world. About 40 years ago SAAB marketed a unibody, fwd, fuel injected, 4 wheel disk car with safety crumple zones. Now nearly all vehicle are built to this recipe. Can't say the same for Saturn and Olds. If SAAB plays their cards right, they'll use the GM financial backing to their advantage and be out in front of the pack in the years to come.
#906 of 1081 Playing Cards With a General
Mar 25, 2005 (8:14 pm)
Sorry, but SAAB isn't able to determine how they play their cards. When enlisted men from different countries play cards with a General, whose rules do you think they use?
If GM really wanted to have SAAB perform in the marketplace they would start with a product as least as advanced as Volvo or Audi. That means a quick phone call to Haldex for an AWD system to throw under their vehicles, adding more differentiation to the AERO with a high revving V6 stolen from Holden or someone, aluminium pedals, etc. Maybe even adding additonal segmenation by having a stripped down, low MSRP, wash it out with a hose, outdoorsy version of the 9-3 like Nissan does with the Xtera. The early 20's crowd would eat it up.
Then they would borrow a page from Saturn and have transaction prices fairly close to MSRP (i.e, no more fictitous list prices that no one pays and that only cheapens the brand) and a better ownership experience. Believe it or not they might try to support some of the Saab groups (New England Saab Owners, for one) still out there.
But the biggest problem is the product. The potential SAAB buyer may be different but he ain't stupid: four cylinders and 2WD don't make it anymore in the (winter) niche that SAAB invented. (I can remember when half the faculty at Cornell was running two stroke SAABs with canvas snap on covers across the radiators for cold mornings in Ithaca. What AWD Swedish and German cars do you think they now drive?).
#907 of 1081 Re: Playing Cards With a General [blckislandguy]
Mar 26, 2005 (9:21 am)
Oh, I forgot to mention turbocharging and vehicle aerodynamics as some of SAAB other developments. Many vehicle today don't achieve the low drag coefficients that SAABs of the sixties had. Other manufacturers have resorted to the V6 for more power. SAAB focused it's development on the turbo 4. This is the better environmentally friendly fuel efficient option. Fuel efficiency, environmental impact and occupant safety have always been foremost in the SAAB design. 4WD SUV's were not part of the vision. Even today's AWD/4WD vehicles don't get the fuel economy that 2WD cars get. Don't forget about the additional maintanence required for the AWD option.
However, I agree with you. SAAB would have been better off in the market place had they offered an AWD option.
As for safety, Saturn and similar vehicles just don't cut it. SAAB has (or had) extremely high standards with crash investigations and testing being a significant part of the vehicle design process. Testing is an important part of the design process, however it is also the most expensive. I also doesn't stick out on the show room floor.
Interesting comment about the 2 cylinder SAABs in Ithaca. I remember going to Aspen Co. in the 1980's. Their police department was using a SAAB fleet.
#908 of 1081 Re: Playing Cards With a General [bcool]
Mar 27, 2005 (6:56 pm)
Funny you mention Aspen, I think I recall an ad series about 5 or so years ago where they had Land Rover Discoveries. I guess that they are very open to new vehicles. I'm continually amazed that the state police in northern New England stick exclusively to one of two vehicles: either the Ford Crown Vic or in NH brown/green (you gotta see it to appreciate how bad a color scheme it is) Chevrolets. Come on guys, there are better alternatives out there for the six months a year you need a modicum of traction. The State Police in MA have a significant number of Expeditions which isn't the solution. Maybe Chrysler can put some 300's or Dodge Magnums with AWD in these fleets.
Mar 28, 2005 (10:12 am)
Don't get so excited by the fact that Aspen uses SAAB's. The city gets a cut rate deal from SAAB to use them.
Also, Volvo may replace them soon:
Also Dodge announced a Charger police version with both 6 cylinder and Hemi powerplants at the NY auto show last week which will be available this fall.
#910 of 1081 Re: Saab's financial health [wilburpan]
Apr 11, 2005 (7:55 am)
Just a followup -- my wife and I did another test drive of the Volvo V70 and the Saab 9-5 Arc wagon. In the end, we just liked the 9-5 Arc wagon much better, and we picked it up over the weekend. We love it!
So I guess we overcame the fear over Saab's financial health, and hopefully our purchase will keep them solvent a while longer.