Out and about in the Saab 9-5 Vector Griffin

Hi all,

My name is Arndt, born 1973 in Oldenburg in Lower Saxony and since 2003 living in Solna, Sweden. For many years I have been interested in cars since my move to Sweden and increasingly for the two big Swedish brands. The interest is probably in the family - my father wanted to buy a Saab 90 at the beginning of the 9000er years, but then it was an Audi 100. My brother drove a red Saab 1986 between 1988 and 99, that was something special: summer tires in the frosty winter, automatic seat heating, wipers for the headlights, who had that?

Saab 9-5 TID Griffin. Image: Andt Mitwer
Saab 9-5 TID Griffin. Image: Andt Mitwer

I did not buy my first car until the age of 27 in France, a Citroen Saxo. At that time in the south of France and as a single I would not have come up with the idea to buy a big and expensive car like a Saab. A few years later (and moved to Sweden) but was the question of buying a car back in the room. Then with wife and dog (but still without a child) and with the Saxo, who became more and more vulnerable - why not buy a Swedish "Lifestyle combo"? Volvo V50 1.6 DRIVe or Saab 9-3 TiD were the candidates.

That was 2009, when Saab was already on sale and the closing of the company shortly after the US financial crisis did not seem unlikely. The 9-3 was for me then clearly the nicer car. Not only the - also the other Saab models. You can still see them in Sweden, but I often had the pleasure of having a Saab workshop just around the corner, where beautiful cars often park in front of the house.

Nevertheless, beauty is not everything - after comparing the offers, it was clear that we chose the Volvo. Five years tax exemption as "Miljöbil" (environmental car with CO2 emissions lower than 120 g / km), lower consumption, more car for the money. With comparable equipment, the Saab 50.000 SEK would have cost more than the Volvo. The Volvo had a few things that Saab did not have: start / stop system, compass in the rearview mirror, keyless entry, something forgotten? The future prospects of Saab played no role for me, because even Volvo was then for sale by Ford and was then sold to Geely, with unclear prospects back then. Today Volvo is in a great shape, and Saab's heritage is being further developed by NEVS.

I have closely followed the events surrounding the sale by General Motors (Koenigsegg, then Spyker) - an interesting chapter in Swedish economic history and I can still remember many media reports. Today it can be said that it was clear that Victor Muller would fail. He misjudged a lot, but under certain conditions the company could have done it. In any case, we should be grateful to him for what he has tried and achieved. The 9-5 II is in my opinion one of the most beautiful sedans ever. Without Spyker, these great cars would never have been built.

Three years ago, I thought about buying another 9-3 station wagon and have been reading ads for a while. But no purchase ... .This year then we decided to sell the Citroen - a good opportunity to buy maybe afterwards a Saab? The Volvo V50 had let us down in the cold winter - the engine went off after very cold nights. Later I found out that this was due to the clogged fuel filter, but we still thought about selling the Volvo. So I started thinking about Saab again. Or maybe keep the Volvo? In that case, it makes more sense to buy the larger 9-5 station wagon.

Numerous offers in Sweden, and a lot of car for the money. So I started reading ads and buying guides again. At Blocket in Sweden, 5-10 ads appear every day for 9-5, but in good condition they are often no more. Utility cars for budget-conscious families that have worn out after 6-10 years. Have a 2.3t with manual circuit test driven, the circuit was spongy and the engine leached. A little later I saw the advertisement for KNT180, a TiD Griffin with automatic and about 100.000 km. The test drive was a completely different experience - the automatic fit perfectly with the car and he drove like a new car - looked almost like that. It had to be and we bought it from a dealer in Uppsala.

The 9-5 (especially after the facelift) may not be the favorite car of many Saab fans, but that does not bother me. He is probably the Saab who offers the most for the money today and I like the design very well, especially as Vector Griffin in certain colors. As I once read, you wanted to anticipate the design of the next 9-5 with the facelift. Whether that's true or not - in any case, the car looks unmistakable, especially in the Griffin version with matte chrome trim.

Saab has built many striking cars in its history. It's worth preserving this story - the cars that are still in good condition should be preserved. Good that Saab Parts / Orio is in good hands (the company is owned by the Swedish state), so that there are still new parts for a long time. Hopefully, the Saabs will be one of the "vintage cars" that will be on the road for many years to come - when most other people will float around the area with self-driving cars, or in anonymous ones (if not on public transport) Carsharing vehicles are rising, as they are more and more seen in Stockholm.

Then some will remember that there was once a small brand from Sweden, from which these chic cars came. Saab - that's rare, and it's something special, not just because of the design. Even if the quality of the cars was not always consistent with the claim - but that is synonymous with other small brands so (Aston Martin, Lotus) and is one of them, right? You can not have everything in life, and even the Saab people had to make many compromises and could not always realize what they would have liked to do. But the result can still be seen.

So, get in and "move your mind"!

Best wishes from Sweden, Arndt

Thanks to Arndt for his Saab Summertime Story! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration, the first contact with the brand from Trollhättan or simply why Saab belongs to the automotive life ...

Whatever it is, write us. We thank you Saab literature and saabigen little things for each published article!

19 thoughts on "Out and about in the Saab 9-5 Vector Griffin"

  • With a competent workshop around the corner things certainly look different.

    By the way: The problem with the gasoline pump would have been quite solvable: A SAAB base in Germany has a test of a used 9-3 installed when I was passing through. This worked perfectly. Back in Switzerland, I then ordered a new one, but even after several exchanges and after changing the whole tank (presumably Orio wanted to clear the warehouse) did not come to work. (I had already written enough about that above).

    As a consequence, I would have gone to the junkyard and get me a used pump and can put a second for safety aside or in the trunk.

    And that's the beginning of the youngtimer story ...... .. I do not want a vehicle made of old parts and laboriously kept running but one for everyday life.

  • Yes, that may be. I do not want to negate the qualities of the 9-5 in any way. These are undisputed.
    After all, I SAAB have "kept the pole" for a long time and even bought a new vehicle as it was foreseeable that it would be difficult. I still liked the vehicle. He has not been seen the kilometer in any way. It's definitely a long-term vehicle.

    I have been to the SAAB several times abroad in various workshops. There are indeed big differences, passion for the brand and competence is in some places quite present and felt.

    A fan with enough time and patience would have the vehicle with security and a manageable effort again in the state. It just turned out to be too much for me.

    I can not drive 800 km every time when something is going on with the everyday vehicle and that is sorted out and solved several times until the problem is solved. And the indifference of Orio (I am a fair sportsman and have communicated in writing and in writing several times, it is not just a matter of grumbling), the back and forth between Orio and the base with cost for me without solving the problem and the utter Lack of perspective for the brand has brought the barrel to an overflowing. By the way, after updates for the sat nav I asked for years at Orio and at the SAAB base there was nothing at that time officially.

    I have a busy job and do not want to spend years worrying about a bankruptcy brand and its consequences.

  • Surely you can not expect that Orio still has a large number of spare parts for such old models as the 900. Maybe the German "premium manufacturers" do that for their cars from the 70ern / 80ern, no idea. But even in Sweden you can hardly see any Saab 900 anymore, even older ones or even less. From time to time even 9000, of course, the newer 9-3 and 9-5 very often. For all these cars (and for old cars in general), a site like bildelsbasen.se makes sense, where many / all junkyards / car recyclers in Sweden offer their parts. Do not know if there is something like that in other countries.

  • Thanks for the comment, interesting! Let's see what experiences are still to come with the car. At least we have around the corner one of the oldest Saab workshops in Sweden, and there are some experts working. Interesting also your Navi comment. I would have bought the car with a built-in navigation system, but prefer the CD changer (would probably have used the Navi hardly anyway). Wg everyday vehicle - I think is possible (hopefully the thing with the fuel pump is an isolated case, and the TiD will have another), but over time you will surely need to invest more time and money to make these cars beautiful and ready to go hold.

  • Yes, there are experiences. Our “chrome glasses” 2,3t (petrol engine) born in 2010 with just under 80 tkm runs like on the first day and consumes around eight liters per 100 km. However, we drive little in the city. I am happy to confirm that the engine and 5-speed automatic harmonize very well. In contrast to the 9-3 SC born in 2007, which we had before; he kept switching back and forth, making him look nervous. The processing of the 9-5 is perhaps not quite as good as with our 2001 9-3 Coupé (176 tkm). Nothing rattles there, with the 9-5 we rarely hear anything from the driver's door. Nevertheless, it is an excellent touring car. In autumn of this year, it is to be given new cavity preservation and comprehensive corrosion protection so that it stays as it is.

  • Sad thing, a competent workshop would have fixed the problem well. Actually, the 9-5 is a sturdy vehicle for eternity
    Incidentally, updates for the NAVI would have been in the bay, working for little money and without complaint.

  • Thank you for reporting in unvarnished truth about the problems that have arisen. The older a Saab gets, the sooner it becomes an object for self-propelled wrenches, which take used spare parts from the junkyard. For the old models like Saab 96 there is nothing at all anyway, for the classical 900 probably not much.

  • I had an 86 9000, which I sold with against 300'000 km, then an 9-5 er SC in LPT version of Jg. 1999 and a fully-equipped 9-5 Aero SC with chrome glasses in blue with beige , two-tone sports seats and sunroof made of 2007. Both 9-5 with automat. No one had technical problems.

    The 9-5 he Jg. 99 was cheating with Stage 1, which I sold with 255'000 km because I wanted the Aero, which had the traction control and a worlds better chassis, brakes and seats. Especially the seats of the Aero are the best I have ever had.

    The Aero was a top vehicle. So I pulled a caravan over all the mountains, this was last December as 1. Hand vehicle with complete service booklet sold with 314'000 km and replaced by a new car. It was not on the vehicle.

    Unfortunately, after several attempts, fair correspondence and far too much time, Orio was not able to let me install a working gasoline pump and get the associated fuel gauge to sound. In case of complaints Orio's answer was to contact the SAAB base, which sold Skoda today and lost the SAAB connoisseurs, they shrugged their shoulders at the base and said nothing came from Orio. That is probably the case that in case of problems with the gasoline pump the whole tank is replaced and that the fuel gauge works because of problems with the potentiometer on the pump after the weather. This could also be due to the change of supplier after the bankruptcy of SAAB. The reason I do not care about today.

    After I then stopped along with caravans on the highway without gasoline, I had to accept that SAAB in use as an everyday vehicle is over, have made the Gebastel an end and pulled the plug. That was the end of my many years of SAAB history. Although Orio is owned by the Swedish government, it may be necessary to learn there that profitable business can only be achieved with the real fulfillment of customer needs. The regular newsletters are no help either, as the SAAB is now gone. As far as I know he is now in Romania or elsewhere in the East. I'm not a collector and I do not need 2. Family but simply would have needed a reliable vehicle for everyday business.

    Qualitatively, the dashboard on the Aero with chrome goggles has indeed left a very cheap impression that did not fit the price or otherwise good quality of the vehicle. Since the Yg. 99 was clearly better. Clapped and crunched has only the rear axle. I have had these checked several times, but everything was fixed. Even the vehicle test was easily passed with 260'000 km.

    Mechanically, there was nothing to complain about, even the consumption, which was between 7.5L on long-haul and 8.5L. On the contrary, this model was the first to my knowledge, in which the problem with the bad oil sludge solved and a service interval display has been installed. In practice, intervals of just under 30'000 km have resulted. The engine and gearbox both ran flawlessly.

    Annoying and incomprehensible, however, was that you have built in the chrome glasses to 2010 a sat nav, for which there were no mid-2010 card updates more. It has just been noticed that the chrome glasses are an 2. Facelift of an already outdated basic construction of the 90-ern is. Anyone who touches or replaces the navigation system will subsequently have problems with the vehicle's BUS system. Investment protection and care of existing customers looks different.

    Conclusion: As a youngtimer, hobby or as a SAAB fan with several vehicles and the willingness to invest some time always, as an everyday vehicle, I would not touch it.

  • Thanks for the comment! I like to meet, if I am there. Send me a mail, thearndt at hotmail.com

  • Gluckwunsch to Sweden for 9-5 Griffin, Arndt!
    We have almost the same (dark blue metallic, beige leather, ornamental piano black - a dream!), Only TiD with manual transmission. After 230.000 km everything is just perfect, after the care he stands there like a new car. And we will drive it as long as possible. The chrome glasses discussion is annoying, the quality experiences individually different, the main thing, you are now a member of the Saab fanbase!
    We are in 4 weeks in Sweden, whether we will meet?

  • Yeah, strangely, no one complains about the chrome on the 9-5 II.

  • I would recommend to anyone. But at that time he had new summer tires and just tried to drive in the freezing winter, which was possibly not allowed then. Traction was good. In any case compared to the VW Beetle he had before

  • Have heard of such quality problems after the facelift nothing specific. But I once read that the throttle problem with the TiD did not occur in the last few years. Surely you can buy an older 9-5, but then you have other problems, just because of the older age, less vehicles with xenon, useless cassette deck (I like the CD changer very well), oil sludge on the gasoline ...

  • A few weeks ago, I asked my Saab dealer for a pair of young chrome goggles, as I would like to upgrade from my 2005 9-5 (before the facelift). There I was strongly advised not to buy ("Just keep her old!"), Since just the last years of production of the chrome glasses under massive quality problems (chassis / axles / materials in the interior, etc.) suffer. Is there any experience?

  • So I can only advocate the purchase of the 9-5er eyewear and the engine fits perfectly with automatic very well to the Trum. We also had the engine in our first 9-3er convertible together with the automatic transmission. Conclusion: no failures and many beautiful trips with an "average real consumption" (always full tank and then the rule of three) of 6,66l. As always, the better is the enemy. Our current Aero TTID convertible (even with AT) even only takes 6,32l / 100km. Well, I'm not a racer and drive a lot of long distance. City dwellers / city drivers certainly consume more.

    Now in June it has finally packed me. Have the "Aeroflotte" now increased by a 2006er combination chrome glasses. Is a Beziner with automatic and can be safely kept at my route and driving profile under 9,5l / 100km. Long-term values ​​are not yet available to me. With my 9-5er still a little must be made, but nevertheless the first 4Tkm were already very very pleasant. If I remember correctly, then the current 9 5er is my 23. or 24. Car (many brands were also the so-called premium brands) and as a general conclusion, I can say that I have made the most pleasant and beautiful trips with the SAABs and will hopefully make a long time.

  • Nice post, nice car!
    My son and girlfriend bought chrome glasses two weeks ago.
    Black and inside light beige. Looks great. The nice thing is that you rarely see the chrome bars.

  • .. went to me too, I was really scared when I saw the chrome glasses for the first time. At that time I thought an aging diva with too much rouge, now I think she's good!

    ... but why drive an 99er in summer with summer tires?

  • Yes, the chrome glasses. She was and is much disputed. When I first saw her, I was downright horrified and repelled ...

    But it was not long before I realized how fresh and forward-looking the design is and took great pleasure in the facelift. It has given the 9-5 a new standing and appearance that still looks pretty modern and at the same time standalone. Really SAAB!

    I think it's beautiful!

  • Great Saab story, thank you!

Comments are closed.