Saab 9000 Anna Project (Part 5) Driving Report

June 2015. The Saab Festival in Trollhättan is history. The Sweden ferry brings Mark and me back to Kiel. In the Saab center, Anna is ready to tour south. I have 620 kilometers ahead of me with the 9000 CSE. A distance that will prove whether the first big Saab is still at home on long journeys.

Saab 9000 CSE Anniversary, the Anna Project.
Saab 9000 CSE Anniversary, the Anna Project.

What happened in the meantime: The ailing clutch was renewed, the strut bar installed, the Anniversary is on new Michelin tires. I'm looking forward to the tour, now it's off to Hamburg. Anna feels good, not at all for utility or utility cars. On the contrary ! The all-round service at Lafrentz did a good job.

The icing on the cake in the 9000 are the seats. The design dates from a time when Saab designed and built the seating furniture itself. Almost everyone will find the ideal seating position on the ingenious seating. How Saab did it - only the trolls will know. In the anniversary, the seats have the embossed, traditional Saab aircraft logo, as well as the special leather upholstery sand beige with Pamir or black with suede inserts. Sand beige with Pamir is most beautiful, the black seats with suede are most ingenious. Suede is suede and the inserts provide additional grip and “hold” the passengers. Small effort - big impact.

A 9000 is a deeply relaxed vehicle. It goes through Hamburg; in the direction of Hanover the speed limit falls. Free ride! The B234 engine is under the hood. With 0.55 bar moderately charged to 170 hp and 260 Nm - inconspicuous and a bit boring, but with a silky smooth run - for a 4 cylinder.

The 2.3 liter and 170 soft turbo horses still have an easy time with the 9000 today. The Saab weighs around 1.400 kilos and runs 220 things. That is enough to be on the move quickly, and the 200 plus X are on the display faster than the paper format suggests. The faster we drive, the clearer the wind noise becomes. Not an exaggeration, but enough to turn the radio up. The Saab is not a new car after all.

He stands for relaxed travel. Still! The 9000 is a touring car, not a hustle and bustle. Relaxing is added: the Saab is free of electronic dumb. Rest for the passengers, nothing barks, warns, annoying. Wonderful !

We drive towards Hanover. An Ingolstadt low-flyer rabidly clears the left lane in front of me. He almost crawls into the trunk of the evil left-lane blocker until he neutralizes himself on the right-hand lane. War on German highways? You could believe it ...

The 9000 stays close, followed by boxes of representatives. The Saab - it still can. Swim along at higher speed. Only the brakes, which are new, should be reconsidered if you want to move a Saab 9000 a little faster in the long term. There would be room for something better.

At the height of Hanover the usual, dense to halting traffic. The 5 gear transmission is crisp to switch. Only the gearshifts are a touch too long, which you can change the way. The switching work is fun, it comes to a sporty feeling.

Is the 9000 at home on long journeys? He is it. We drive towards Kassel, a change of direction to Fulda, then again towards Frankfurt. After a few hundred kilometers you are still sitting comfortably and relaxed. Anna runs like clockwork. Who still wants a new car? Yes, there are quieter cars, but also modern vehicles that are louder and more hectic.

It is the mixture of perfect seats, lots of space, excellent air conditioning, large windows and the best ergonomics that make the 9000 stand out. The chassis, with a rigid axle at the rear, is simple, but also simply well made and neatly guided. It fits that the Saab 9000 lacks any aggressiveness. He is experienced with his passengers. As if, of course, he would drive the Kiel - Frankfurt route every day. For 17 years. And it leaves no doubt: Yes, I will get everyone to their destination safely. No matter what happens. You buy it from him.

The average on this day is more than 100 kilometers an hour. The time driven is comparable to what the 2011 9-5 needs on the same route. I save details, the family reads along. Likewise people who are of the opinion that from a certain age cars should only be driven very slowly ...

The 66 liter tank is empty, as Anna rolls just before the front door to the gas pump. Slightly more than 10 liters of good super fuel has been awarded the Anniversary on 100 kilometers. This is okay with speedy driving. More modern vehicles are thirstier on my reference route to and from Kiel when driving.

And now? Parts 1 through 5 of the story were dramatic and also very serious. It was about blown budgets, a car that almost died, now drives properly again. Now is the time for some nonsense! The 9000 is the perfect basis for a few more horsepower. Saabs B234 engines are so oversized that even with the 225 HP Aero they are bored. And the 5-speed manual transmission was popular in motorsport. Also against boredom. We'll eliminate them in the upcoming Part 6 of the Anna Story. We let the Saab 9000 fly ...

10 thoughts on "Saab 9000 Anna Project (Part 5) Driving Report"

  • As you can see how the opinions can diverge. In fact, the 9-5 sits lower, but the seats in the 9-5 to MY02 are the worst Saab has ever fitted to a car. My opinion. Vector and Aero from MY02 are really good again. But not better than many other manufacturers.

  • Of course, the 9-5 can do even better over long distances, would be bad if not. Even a 9-3 I Aero with the Viggen seats is in a class of its own, still. For a 30 year old construction, the 9000 is still very good, very long-distance and with the charm of a classic car. Thursday or Friday is the sequel!

  • Very nice report. In spite of everything, what is more relaxing than long-distance 9000? An 9-5 I! The seating position in the 9000 is a bit too high for me, the 9-5 integrates me deeper into the car and the seats plus suspension are a bit more comfortable. Despite everything, the overall package of space, long-term quality, driving pleasure, comfort and economy that the 9K delivered even before 30 years remains remarkable to this day. I am particularly looking forward to the next part: who tunes what, how much to Anna?

  • ... like so many details at Saab, the seats are no coincidence: they were developed in collaboration with orthopedists. And even with the speedometer unit, attention was paid to details: the tachometer and the right-hand displays are angled slightly towards the driver so that the illuminated pointers can always be seen from the front. I still remember the first time I sat as a passenger in my 9000 and I was almost shocked: the pointers looked just as cheap from the side as in the Ford Sierra - but it also looked the same from the front ...

  • ARRRGH ...

    Again such a fix (and well-written) 9000er article. How should one stay strong and not buy one?

    Damn it!

    Also very nice (“200 plus X”), as the article casually reminds the initiated of the understatement speedometer. I almost forgot this beautiful detail of the 9000 ...

    The speedometer inspired me so much back then. Somehow he is the quintessence of the whole car and brings in particular the AERO perfectly to the point - can do everything, offers everything and has nothing and no one to prove anything. The 9000 is by far the coolest car of its time.

    Have fun with Anna!

  • The 9000 and the 900 (901) were and still are THE Saabs par excellence, even after 17, 20 or even 30 years ... Here, too, you can tell by certain details such as the seats, the relationship with airplanes. SAAB = at home on long journeys :))

  • This is reminiscent of the good old 9000 era. Were great years, a lot of fun to read. SAAB = at home on long journeys

  • Great writing about a great car! I like to read again and again. I'm looking forward to more episodes!

  • What a happy ending!
    Wonderful your description of the long distance ... I would join you right away! 😉
    I'm already looking forward to the Happy End ² report !!!

  • Very finely written; The 9000 anniversary comes to the right very well. For me that was the best Saab I drove.

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