Driving Report: Saab 9000 CS

A Saab is turbo - right? I've never had one in our fleet without forced ventilation. How does the Saab 9000 CS with 2.3 liters drive without a turbocharger with automatic? The large Saab four-cylinder with its balance shafts is a pleasant, smooth-running drive. With a beautiful soundscape and a good start, we drive through Munich's city traffic.

Sky View: Sunroof in Saab 9000

The ZF four-speed automatic switches fast and soft, we are well on the way. 146 PS in a full-size sedan are not much by today's standards. But the 9000 weighs less than 1.4 tons, current mid-range sedans have at least three hundredweight more. And the 9000 was never middle class but counted to the dignified upper house.

There is a dense snowdrift on the highway, and the masses of modern small and medium-sized cars seem to want to avoid any snowflake. Slowly heading north, 360 kilometers, where we will not see any other Saab. After the second traffic jam, an all-wheel drive grand moose joins the other Swedish brand and stays with us until just before Frankfurt. If not Saab, then at least a Volvo. After all !

The proof: 20 years, less than 100.000 kilometers

During the stagnation phases, the children in passing cars press their noses flat against the windows and point to our car. With its black bumpers and the bright livery he is clearly a youngtimer and conspicuous to it. In the meantime we enjoy the blue atmosphere in the style of the late 80er and early 90er years. The plush chairs are comfortable, have a long-distance character. The seat heating bullert, the air conditioning keeps the windows fog-free. Air conditioning, no automatic. Back to the past. The Saab is started and unlocked with a very profane, ugly key. Even Dacia would not want to deliver such a thing today. There is no remote control, but you could operate from the passenger side of the central locking from model year 1993. Comfort from 20 years ago.

While we are a bit faster after the second traffic jam, we realize with surprise that more car actually needs no human. Of course I do not want to do without xenon headlights, cornering lights and four-wheel drive on my 9-3. But we are very relaxed in this time capsule from Sweden.

Blue interior in the style of the early 90 years

Shortly before the Biebelried triangle there is a long ascent, the A3 becomes three lanes. Modern plastic cars avoiding snowflakes stay on the right track. Probably some kind of beeping in the car permanently warns the driver of frost, ice and spoilage. Children's stuff that our Saab does not know and that we will forget for today. We rely on what we see and our experience. Time to let our Saab fly "uphill". We step on the gas, which accelerates 9000, unspectacularly but constantly up the mountain. At a little more than 180, we leave it alone. He could have been faster, the vehicle registration speaks of 200 as the top, which we want to believe now at the latest.

The 50.000 cost around 9000 DM in 1993. A lot of money, but it's worth it. Everything is solid and still exudes indestructibility 20 years later. The black decorative inlay on the dashboard - if you brush your fingertips over it, you notice that it is finely structured - fits the Swedish practicality and is a pleasant contrast to the wood normally used in the Saab 9000.

Saab 9000 CS, clean as factory

The Saab covers the remaining kilometers over the snow-covered Hochspessart with ease. Since our start in Munich, he has become more and more agile and light-footed. The kilometers on the motorway are good for the machine, at 94.000 it is brand new by Saab standards. The last kilometers of today's trip are on the country road, ending in the parking lot of our favorite Italian. The 9000, even without turbo, a real Saab? Definitely ! We traveled a few hundred kilometers in heavy snowstorms, rode through two traffic jams, used around 10 liters per hundred kilometers and didn't feel a bit stressed. On the contrary ! During dinner, it is always about the unbelievably good condition of the car. The long-term quality of the 9000 series astonishes us again and again.

Welcome Home!

The story of the plan remains to be clarified. A few days ago in "Action winter quarters“Written about it. Get the Saab off the street, put it away, look for a Saab fan as a new home in the spring.

The next day I stand in front of the 9000 and imagine what a beautiful Saab he is. With Aerofelgen (which I happen to have) he would look even better. The exhaust new, a few minor repairs and the usual thing to do with a 20-year-old car, and he would really look like a new car. Let's forget the plan and keep the Saab! Maybe with seasonal marks. Did anyone say four Saabs were enough?

15 thoughts on "Driving Report: Saab 9000 CS"

  • No, I thought so and also said four Saabs are enough, but I waver and waver

    • Five Saabs should really be enough. I hope

      • Come on ... you can't stand on five legs (if you're a millipede) 🙂

        • It's true, here on the blog there are readers who at least 10 Saabs, all 9000er own. 😉

  • for me, the 9000 is the reference car in the upper middle class. compact, lots of space, and always enough power. good the design ... i think the 900s are more beautiful, especially the 902. i also preferred to drive the latter in snow. well and getting those aero horses out on the road in wet conditions and in bends was not always easy. Long-distance travel comfort with the 225 is unbeatable.

    even if it is economically nonsense but our aero will be restored and then only in the summer beweget. In the past I always missed the sunroof and the root wood (the last one I wanted to retrofit) so now he will get as he got from the band!

    • That's right - in addition to the "good old Mercedes quality" mentioned by Tom in the last article about the 9000, I still miss the root wood applications on the dashboard in this car, in the style of taxi equipment. And the leather seats ... but with the sunroof and glazing, velor upholstery is certainly more comfortable in summer.

      Otherwise there are fried eggs 😉

  • Hello Tom!
    I was eagerly awaiting your report and the pictures. Last year I exchanged my 1 year old 9-3 TiD for the 15 year old 9000 2,3, also in white. I haven't regretted this deal for a second. The 2,3-liter engine is top notch. In spring, the 900 Red Arrow, built in 1987, was added. The 9000 has since enjoyed convertible status and is only driven in dry weather. Since then, the 900 has had to do the "dirty work", sorry for it. He will soon get a prefabricated garage for this. Your 9000 looks great, a piece of Swedish automotive history that will unfortunately never be seen again. Congratulation!!! Remember and look forward to seeing it every day, knowing that you own an extraordinary car.
    LG Jost from Baden

  • Yes, 9000ers have driven like many. A small detail, especially in winter when it is snowing, are the wipers for the headlights. In the newer models 9.5 and 9.3 with their pressure nozzles, I miss these wipers, because snow does not bring the high-pressure nozzles away.

  • I had such a beautiful 9000er (same equipment) until 2006 - only the paint was dark green and the interior was dark gray (also fabric).

    My successor model (9-5 station wagon) is significantly heavier - but still offers more balanced handling. Especially on bad roads, it is clearly superior to the 9000er.

    The lines of the body of the 9000 are on the same level as those of the successor - both are simply timeless!

  • Nice report!

    Somehow a little strange: Others would have bought such a car as a “winter chum” in order to be able to travel cheaply in winter, and here it was bought as a summer car to protect it! Nice that it still exists!

  • Tom buys a time machine 🙂 Great. If you still need cassettes for the glove compartment, let me know - I can still deliver a lot.

    Apart from that, really a great car. I like the front of the model best, with the very flat nose. And the interior - as you can see, it can be used anywhere without aluminum inlays and foam-filled soft plastic. What bothers me a little are the rubber floor mats. But my God ... if you have to look for so long to find something you don't like, that says a lot about the car.

    So have fun!

    • Another supplement to the motorization: My experience is that the power-to-weight ratio should be around 1: 10, so about 1 PS per 10 kg vehicle weight. For comparison: My old 405 had 1000 PS at about 120 kg curb weight, so with a ratio of 1: 12 quite sporty motorized (despite the objectively low horsepower). My 9-5 has about 1600 kg empty weight and 175 PS is not bad with a ratio of 1: 9.

      Bad was once a Ford Fusion rental car: 1200 kg and 80 PS. Anyone can imagine how it went.

    • The rubber floor mats are really not nice. I will ask Saab if there are still original textile mats in the color "marine" somewhere in Nyköping. It is not impossible. If not, I'll have some made for me, it has to be that much luxury. The steering wheel is also swapped for a leather steering wheel, we just happen to have one more. I may come back to you with the cassettes 🙂

  • Hi Tom,
    If anyone here claims that he did not expect something like that, I have to say, he does not know you and your fascination for this brand

  • Nice report, nice car! Thank you

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