There are a lot of things I like about my Saab, which I will list in no particular order:
History – For a 1997 car, it has a lot of history. I am the third owner, and know both previous owners.The car has a big folder of documentation, and is very well cared for. As a 1997 Aero, it is one of the last, and I think the 9000 Aero was one of the best cars Saab made, with brilliant performance out of the box, and the strongest engine for tuning.
- First 3 years – It was as a company car of a friend and it did a lot of work mileage, so after 3 years it was a high-mileage Saab, but had been driven well, no accidents, and serviced frequently
- Years 3 to 5 – The second owner was family, and again it was well looked and serviced, no accidents.
- Year 5 to now – I have owned the car. The last 2 years it has been in a garage, coming out for drives once every few weeks when the weather is good. It has been serviced more regularly than required, sometimes driven hard, but only on the best and freshest oil, and with lengthy warm-up and warm done. Again, no accidents. The car is in great condition, and uses no water or oil.
Performance – Especially given the price, this car has great performance. Lots of power, but also a fairly flat power curve, so great speed from moderate revs. It can get the power down, From 2nd gear if the surface is good, and I only run it on the best tyres. The speed range from 30 to 90 or thereabouts is really impressive. The car is no longer that heavy compared to more modern machines, so the power to weight is decent, and it really takes off. Above those speeds, I notice acceleration is notably down compared to 400+ bhp Supras, but that’s fair enough. It has surprised a great many ‘faster’ cars, both on the road, and on the track. Which is entertaining.
Reliability – In all those years it has only failed to go twice. Once when the clutch pipe went (bits from the inside fouled the seal in one of the clutch cylinders), and once when the head gasket went, which given the 127k mileage was fair enough. Even blasting round track the car has never overheated or shown any problems, then driving a long way home in comfort, the car has never missed a beat.
Comfort – The interior is in really good condition, and is a most pleasant place to be. The quality of the black leather throughout is excellent, and it has been well maintained / treated through its life. The front seats are wrap-around, electric, heated, and really comfortable. The back seats are good too, and more wrap-around than normal rear seats. The climate control works well and can do good heating and cooling with excellent demisting.
Appearance – I know some people don’t like it, but I think it is a nice looking car. It is stock from the outside bar the exhaust, side repeater and some ring stickers. I even like the stock wheels (of which I have 2 sets). If you want to buy high-performance tyres, the stock 205/55/16 is a great size to buy, as the prices are competitive due to the demand. When the car was new that was a rare size, but it is now common.
Space – It has a huge boot, loads of legroom front and back and good storage inside. Can get lots in the boot, and move 4 tall people in comfort. Only drawback is the lack of a glove box due to Saab’s introduction of a passenger airbag. The car is smaller outside than some contemporaries, and compared to washing the Mk3 Mondeo, the middle of the roof is easer to reach.