The wind is driving thick snowflakes over the A3. It's cold and uncomfortable when I set off in the Saab 9000 for a test drive with a 9-3 Anniversary. Actually, the conditions are not right on this dull day. But a promise is a promise ...
The story begins the weekend before. It's Saturday afternoon, I'm on my way to a friend when a reader's mail arrives. He is looking for a Saab and is interested in an 2002 9-3 Anniversary, which is offered in my area.
A pearl at the used car dealer?
I know the ad, the car has been on sale since October, and I would certainly have looked at the Saab if I had room for another car somewhere. And because the blogger wants to see readers happy, I take a minimal detour to the dealer - without too much expectations. Because the 15-year-old Swede with its 150.000 kilometers is offered in an area where you usually only come across consumption cars. Which is not entirely correct, because the regional Audi center is in the neighborhood.
I'm there 15 minutes later. The Saab parks in the second row, the dealer pushes the key into my hand. Immediately afterwards, waving the maintenance booklet, which is kept amazingly complete. First at the authorized Saab partner, then annually at an independent workshop that is known for good work on vehicles from Trollhättan. Can I find a pearl exactly where you least expect it?
The good, first impression continues. The Saab seems well maintained. Some minor quirks and dents, a small abrasion on the plastic of the bumper. The rear door on the passenger side could have been repainted at some point. But the interior seems like new, all fluids are maintained, the tires have a good profile. I can't find any rust in the usual places quickly. I have to test drive the car. If only because the 150 hp soft turbo has an automatic transmission. I was told that it should develop the temperament of a shifting dune. And that's exactly what I want to try ...
Test drive on snow and ice
A few days later I'm back at the dealer's in the yard. Thick snowflakes, but the streets are free of snow. I ask for a test drive and first of all get skeptical looks. Yes the snow and the summer tires. Someone is worried about their car. Only when I swear not to go into the Hochspessart and to avoid areas with snow do I get the green light.
And off it goes. The Saab starts without any problems even after months of standstill. The heater and the electrically heated seats transform the interior into a comfort zone, and I rush through the winter in the Saab 9-3. In a parking lot, I calmly take a closer look at the problem areas of the anniversary, which is second-hand. And where is the rust? The wheel arches are not found. Everything seems fine behind the wheel arches too. Likewise behind the bulkhead. There is nothing to be found. Then I make a mistake. I forget to check the recess for the spare wheel, you should also look there.
On the other hand, the quirks on the beautiful Alu 36 rims stand out negligently, the driver's belt no longer rolls up, the antenna rod is bent, and there are dents and scratches on the passenger side fender. But apart from that, this Saab makes a damn good impression of substance.
Automatic is slow. Or so.
And so he goes too. Much better than expected, everything is taut and by no means 15 years old. As soon as he was warm, I stepped on the gas. The automatic switches back, soft as butter, the 9-3 is agile. Wanderdüne is different. If you then press the sports button, it really greedily hung on the gas, goes even faster and better. That makes me a little helpless.
Because he does not feel lame at all. And not to 150 PS. More like 180 or 190. Why it is like that? Not clear. Either this 9-3 is a particularly good, upwardly scattering copy. Or he was provided with a Hirsch Leistungskur. Or an 185 PS controller. It can not be clarified after 15 years. At least not with a short test drive.
One thing is certain: The substance seems good, the Saab is delicious. Despite or even with automatic. Because he is consistently well maintained, the care condition is right, he has the rare Anniversary features and a sunroof.
A bargain. And still to have.
One thing is also certain: There is a Saab 9-3, which with a little commitment could become a piece of cake. If you were to fix the manageable defects, you would have a very nice car. The price: First offered for just under € 5.000,00, then to less than € 4.000,00 and finally reduced to € 3.700,00 in an oral hearing.
A bargain? Probably. Because without defects it would be worth around € 6 or € 7.000,00 with the good basic substance. The story goes on and it comes to an end last Saturday that I never expected.
The interested reader travels over several 100 km by train. Inspect the Saab, see its strengths and weaknesses - which it would have accepted. But he can't handle the anniversary seats. He simply does not find a comfortable seating position for himself, no matter how often he adjusts the steering wheel, headrests and seats.
Which brings us to the surprising end of this story. The Saab is still available. He is in Aschaffenburg for sale, he has been waiting in the past years at AZW, Where you can certainly ask for the history if interested.