Saab 9000, the fast Swede from the upper class

Saab 9000 CSE
Saab 9000 CSE

A look back at the younger Saab past and time for a Saab 9000 buying guide. The last Saab of the Saab-Scania era is the Saab 9000. Developed from 1979 he came 1985 on the market. The first contribution of Saab for the automobile upper class was developed in the basic features as Tipo4 project together with the Fiat company as basis for Lancia topic, Fiat Croma and Alfa 164. The joint journey of the two companies soon broke up again, so that the Saab 9000 shared with the Italian relatives only the windows, doors and a few other body parts. However, here is not door door. All Saab have an impact protection in the doors, but the cars of the Fiat Group not.

Saab 9000, year 1998
Saab 9000, year 1998

The 9000 is available as an 5-door hatchback or 4-powered sedan. During the Saab's typically long construction period, the 9000 was constantly evolving. If the first years of construction were still susceptible to rust, this changed from 1991. The following year, the Saab direct ignition "Trionic" was introduced as Saab innovation. An 32 bit microprocessor controls injection, boost pressure and ignition.

Saab 9000 body and interior

The 9000 was not without reason in the US as a "large car". In terms of space economy, it is unbeatable and, with its 4,76 meter vehicle length, lavishly lavishes space in the interior of the 5 door. Although shorter and narrower than its successor, the Saab 9-5, the 9000 has a considerable 14 centimeter in the interior. The bodywork is superbly crafted and makes us aware of the high standards Trollhättan used to build cars in those days. Roost, as we said from the 90 years, is not the big issue anymore, but the rear wheel arches and the windshield frame are still a bit of a nuisance.

Saab 9000 CSE fund, place without end
Saab 9000 CSE fund, place without end

The seats are according to Saab custom the best of the time, the materials in the interior are robust.

Although a lot of plastic is processed, but it is massive and honest. This shows that the 9000 comes from a different era. Unlike today's cars, he never pretends to be something he is not. "Form follows function" - a Saab philosophy can be felt here. The dashboard comes from the aircraft industry and is still today, or again, as a model for successful ergonomics.

Saab 9000 CSE center console, automatic climate control, ZF-4 gear automatic
Saab 9000 CSE center console, automatic climate control, ZF-4 gear automatic

Comfort and air conditioning

The Saab 9000 is a car for long distances. Even today, the noise level, except for the wind noise of the A-pillar on fast autobahn laps, as quiet, the suspension comfort is good. If you have a 9000 with climate control, this CFC is free - because Saab was the first automaker built only CFC-free systems - and then took more than 5000,00 DM surcharge for it, you are well air conditioned on the way. Seat heating is always on board, the leather chairs by Elmo, a Swedish manufacturer of the upper class, are high quality and versatile. The leather is as thick as in the Rolls Royce and, with a little care, can withstand many years without cracks.

Saab 9000 CSE cockpit, best ergonomics from the aircraft industry
Saab 9000 CSE cockpit, best ergonomics from the aircraft industry

landing gear

The 9000 is not a curve sweeper, today's cars are more active. Steering was considered precise at the time and is now felt to be slightly indirect. The suspension is soft and emphasizes the comfort character of the big Saab. But the chassis, rear with star axle, always safe and confident. Even higher motorized, the 9000 is not a racing car, but the extremely sovereign touring car, which is sometimes like quick sprints is not averse. ABS is on board, for Saab with manual transmission there is TCS as a traction aid. The TCS system tends to errors, the exchange is then not cheap.

Saab 9000 CSE, Trionic, Turbo
Saab 9000 CSE, Trionic, Turbo

motorization

The 9000 is almost always on the road with 4 cylinders with or without turbo. In later years, there was also a 6 cylinder sucker from GM, which was, however, not very popular and is therefore rare to find. The basis are the suckers with 126 to 140 PS, above that the soft turbo with 150 to 170 PS and the Vollturbo engines with 160 to 225 PS.

The icing on the cake is the 9000 Aero with the 2.3 liter full-turbo and 225 PS. The acceleration from medium speeds makes even today many company car driver with his TDI from the VW conglomerate green in the face. As confident as the 2.3 liter comes across, it has a drawback. All 2.3 liters are equipped with two balance shafts for a smoother running of the engine, which calls for overhaul or engine damage after one mileage of 200.000 KM.

Cheaper maintenance and considerably more robust are the 2.0 liter engines - without balance shafts. The engine is not noticeably restless, the performance with 130 PS as a sucker or 150 PS as Soft Turbo are of course not as impressive as that of the big engines. For 2.0 liter engines with a mileage of several 100.000 KM are no problem.

Saab 9000 CSE, upper class, high quality Elmo leather
Saab 9000 CSE, upper class, high quality Elmo leather

gear

Either a manual 5 gearbox or an 4 automatic transmission from ZF was available for the 9000. The 5 gearbox, a Saab development, is a bit bony, but fits in well with the 9000. The ZF automatic surprised by silky smooth shifting and is a bit rough only at full load. The 9000 as a comfort car, the automatic is more appropriate than the manual circuit.

Saab 9000 CSE, 3. Brake light from CSE
Saab 9000 CSE, 3. Brake light from CSE

equipment level

Saab 9000 90er years there was a CS in the five-door or CD in the sedan as a basic version. Above ranked CSE or CDE, the Aero or Aero Sport existed only in the five-door version. As a luxury top version, but with GM V6, there was the sedan in the Griffin version.

Particularly popular are the CSE or CDE versions, which already have a leather interior and automatic climate control on board. Even the paneling of the dashboard with real wood from California walnut was series. Even then the wood came from plantations certified according to ecological guidelines. CS or CD versions could buy these features.

The sportiest version, Aero or Aero Sport, was supplied with full leather trim and great sports seats. The seats were equipped as standard with electrical adjustment and memory.

The 9000 Griffin, always with automatic and 6 cylinder, was additionally upgraded with walnut wood on doors and center console to Nobel Sweden.

Saab 9000 CSE belt adjustment
Saab 9000 CSE belt adjustment

Safety

Vehicle safety is a Saab domain, so all Saab are equipped with ABS, airbag - later also with passenger airbag - and side impact protection. Belt tensioners on the front seats are standard, as well as the bumpers themselves repaired up to an impact speed of 8 km / h.

Saab 9000 CSE aircraft logo, embossed in leather
Saab 9000 CSE aircraft logo, embossed in leather

Which buy?

The 9000 was never a cheap car, but always upper class. An 96er Aero with automatic transmission cost more than 86.000 DM, the base with 2.0 liter sucker in the CS version from 47.000 DM. The 9000 has matured over the long construction period. Models from 1992 are reliable and mature and therefore to be preferred. The more popular - because more Saab - is the 5-door hatchback, more elegant and practical than the notchback. The problem is to catch a good copy, because they are rare. The chimera 's absurdity of our chancellor has nonsensically brought many good first or second hand specimens from the market.

Saab 9000 CSE Safety: Tail lights in the doors
Saab 9000 CSE Safety: Tail lights in the doors

Due to the low price level, many 9000 were purchased by end users to then complete the next 100.000 KM without maintenance and care, but with a lot of repair backlog. These copies can be found on Ebay. Buying one of these specimens and putting them in better condition is currently not worthwhile considering the low 9000 prices.

If you are thinking of acquiring an 9000, you should buy a Saab with as complete a history as possible, preferably first or second hand. These copies can be found again and again on Mobile.de or Autoscout. But then you have to be quick, because such Saab are sought after and often sold after less than 48 hours. Because - and this is a Saab typical problem - many owners of an 9000 did not want to split up and buy a 9-5. My Saab salesman always complained for years about the old men, which he did not bring to buy a 9-5. Logically, because the 9000 is a multi-purpose sedan, the Saab 9-5 only a notchback.

Saab 9000 CSE comfort: air conditioning in the rear
Saab 9000 CSE comfort: air conditioning in the rear

A good 9000er can usually be recognized at first glance. An early indicator are the wipers of headlight cleaning. The engines like to give up the ghost, are then often not replaced. If the wipers are on 2 clock, the engine is usually defective. The care condition then often continues throughout the car.

The top engine with 2.3 liters and 200 or 230 PS is just great, but one should think of the problem of balancing shafts. The 2.0 liter soft turbo is the engine of reason, runs well over 200 and is low maintenance and reliable. If Saab then turbo, and if no turbo then by no means the GM V6, all 60.000 KM new timing belt wishes.

Saab 9000 CSE Alloy Wheels, 16 "
Saab 9000 CSE Alloy Wheels, 16 "

If 9000 - then 9000 with leather and automatic climate control. Without leather, the 9000 is later barely negotiable, which also applies to the automatic climate control. Sunroof is not always recommended, often the processes are clogged and then cause bad rust.

Particularly popular are the Anniversary models of 1997 or the last year 1998. The level of equipment is then above average, the 9000er comes in the Aero Trim therefore as our model shown here.

The prices start for good copies starting from approx. 3.500 € and can rise over 6.000 €. The level is still very low, but this will change as the "consumed" 9000ers will disappear from the scene. Who likes the last Saab of the "Pre-GM phase", should now access.

Text: tom@saabblog.net

3 thoughts on "Saab 9000, the fast Swede from the upper class"

  • ... what is already "unprofitable":

    To buy a new (or young used) car for significantly five-digit amounts, loss of value and all that again pay, or the good friend but then again give the body work?

    Unprofitability is something quite different ... that's why the 9000er does not really deserve to be given away.

  • I can only agree with the previous speaker, myself 2 9000er, an Aero from 97 and a CD (2,3, Vollturbo) to keep alive. You should accompany me (now 57) for the rest of your life. Before I sit down in a vehicle of the current generation, possibly Audi oä. Misconceptions, I will go through my old Swedes on bending and breaking. Room for a larger spare parts warehouse is available, and will be filled gradually.
    At the moment I do not see a real alternative.

    Greetings from the deepest Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania

    D. Sabatzki

  • To the management of Saab

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I can be sorry if I read again in the car week that Saab continues to struggle with a bankruptcy. Saab in free fall! There is a lack of money and you are almost as usual today with the Chinese, who have already sold the old Saab equipment.

    I've been driving Saab (9000 Cs) for 23 years and just this week gave away my old Saab wistfully to an acquaintance who after 19's loyal years and 340 000 Km in my service, wants to finish TÜV and give him the Grace Bread. My car, which I mourn very much, is well maintained and still fully functional, but a few rust spots on the wheel arches make a repair by myself or an official garage unprofitable.

    I drive now a Subaru Legacy station wagon, alternatively, an Opel Insignia would have been possible and of course also a SAAB, if it was still built and available in the old style. But the future of Saab is so completely uncertain and the presentation or innards but largely equated with an Opel. Then you can also buy the and even cheaper with a larger dealer network.

    Although I have a new car now, I still mourn for my old Saab. He was just perfect for me. A nice green color. Xnumx had something else on Saab, sunroofs, very good seats, which I never got a backache, because "SAAB was at home on long hauls," a sturdy and safe car, this cart gave me a good feeling as a pilot. Bright seats made of a fabric that did not smell unpleasantly, as it did so often in new cars today and which did not break even after decades, everything was well thought out and well built, practical, innovative.

    In addition a technique, also rel. Economical in consumption, which could be seen even before 20 years. This car had a feeling that was palpable and could be seen, that appealed to men's hearts and also had something for the family, the everyday life left over. Saab was a car with and for the future ... .. It had character and individuality. That should have spun on. You can tell me what emotional attachment a person can make to his car. It was not a disposable model, but a car with character, like a friend.

    Of course, good support in the Saab workshop played a crucial role. The people connected with it first create the trust, the relationship with such a car, which then has to meet and comply with its quality.

    Unfortunately, managers then took on the company or the cars, where apparently only the profit was the priority. The shell remained, inside it became more and more Opel. In the character of this car, the change in management reflected again and unconsciously feels the customer. It was no longer the character of the Saab, the innovation, the forward-looking technology maintained and a loyal customer base, but more superficial image, a lot of "fancy". Sure, the convertible was fancy and good, but there are many other companies, as well as expensive cars that you want to define yourself. It is not so much about perfection, but how you feel in your car!

    What we need today are reliable, affordable, fuel-efficient, everyday vehicles that make you feel good and that you like. Cars with character. Away from these unity cars in silver and black and if possible also inside still black, what one practically speaks. Where are the colorful colors? Where is the feeling, the soul of the driver, the inmates. In a world full of compulsions, man today still seeks a space where he can feel free, relaxed and well, and not yet get a tool in hand, with which he can live out his aggressions, thereby endangering the people, the environment and in Abreacted his car. The stressed-out person wants to feel safe and comfortable somewhere today and in an affordable way. What uses the most expensive car, if I do not have time to go with it, I have to dig even more for it .... Or everything becomes too complicated, exhausting.

    Saab is over at the end, but that can be the beginning for something new, when engineers and suitable managers think back to something:

    Innovation! We build cars for people! We give you character, individuality! (What many people do not have today anymore, they were attracted to you!

    If Saab could make that change: Innovative cars with character, for people, their needs, their emotions, economical and at an affordable price, then you will not have to worry about sales anymore. Then the money flows again and not only from the Chinese. But first Saab needs a background that allows you to act like that, to keep your back free and to people, technicians, engineers, managers who not only want to make money but also build good cars. GM was not the right partner. If he had not tied up so much, a man like Ratan Tata would come to my mind. And do not forget the new market between Europe and India. There lies the future, which must have a balance. There is not just China. But tell that to the lemmings when they're running.

    Yours sincerely, dr. W. Völckel

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