Unpainted - the SAAB with eyeliner

Summer in the city. Blue sky with white sheep above and a red traffic light in front of us. Saab's standard tinted windows and silver roof filter or reflect the sun, making it easy to air-condition the 9-3 I. We hold behind a Mercedes of the E-class. Next to me my beloved wife with ball belly.

Unbiased and as good as new: the 9-5 (EZ 2007) 2011 on Rømø
Unbiased and as good as new: the 9-5 (EZ 2007) 2011 on Rømø

My right hand wanders to her left hand or even to the tummy. I don't really know anymore. In any case, the atmosphere in the SAAB couldn't have been nicer. We smile at each other and are looking forward to it ...

... when it crashes and splinters and we are thrown forward.

A sad farewell

The E-Class in front of us was a few inches shorter, without you have looked at the front of the SAAB much. The SAAB rear or the front of the Ford Mondeos, which is there, but already. The scene and consequences could be described in more detail, but the bottom line is that the 9-3 I had done his job and his duty involuntarily and without fault very well. The growing family was fine, but she needed a new SAAB.

A fresh eyeliner

The choice falls on a black 9-5 SC with the BioPower 2.0t and chrome glasses. He was already at a dealer, was immediately available and cheap. And he feels good. He even delights as long as he is new and unfamiliar. As ingenious as the hatchback was, the trunk of the SC is larger and in front of the car the road and signs seem twice as bright at night, thanks to xenon light. The 9-5 is quieter. At crawl, doubts arise over and over again, whether the engine is even on. A kick on the accelerator brings clarity. The hired Turbo plays in a different league than the naturally aspirated engine that we had in the 9-3.

A new favorite game with simple rules. At construction sites on motorways, one sticks to the speed limit and does not accelerate until one is allowed again. For a long time, an Audi, a Mecedes and whatever one or two lanes have left to the left, are growing in the exterior mirrors or are already at the same height next to us.

Only then does the SAAB join. With "only" 340 Nm and 220 PS from renewable energy. The driver's side window is suddenly empty again and the rest of the world seems to be slowing down in the mirrors of the BioPower. The draft is fascinating ...

The chrome glasses are new, SAAB is still scarce and even a living myth! Comments from our environment were: "What kind of battleship is that?" Or "Oh, a SAAB! Certainly not without! What's under the hood? ”Passengers expressed their enthusiasm. No trace of pity ...

But how is your own perception 2019, after nearly 12 years and good 125.000 Km?

Aging & everyday life of a Swede

The dry truth is, SAAB has been bankrupt for a long time, and today I am neither a "brand ambassador" nor ecologically superior. I drive a no longer young and technically arbitrary petrol engine, a combination of the upper middle class with an 5 gearbox. Without E 85 pushes the ecological conscience and I drive slower, quieter and less overall. I drive SAAB. In everyday life and as a travel car.

Investments are limited to a new loader and 2018 a new clutch, which is fine. And yet, the original intent to keep the beautiful car meticulously in order and maintain, unfortunately, long since abandoned. It is the little things that are difficult to implement.

The familiar uses hot glue or cable ties to fix the glasses frame or the motor cover. Or a defective servomotor of the blocked tank lock is thrown out without replacement. When it is available again, the interior trim has to be taken out and back in for the second time.

This costs time, nerves, money and does not do the car well. Plastic parts are not meant to be touched more often than necessary. Outside, the aging and improvised solutions visually ensure minor discrepancies and more wind noise. Even under the hood or in the interior, noises gradually emerge which, from a technical point of view, may be ignored, but in total are not beautiful. I'm in doubt if my chrome goggles are still quieter than the 9-3 I was?

I drive her on. Still happy! But the years (and the spare parts situation) are not ignored by the car, my initial enthusiasm or my original owner pride. And are not the wheels of other cars just as round?

I continue to drive her because she does her job and because, as long as you can still drive SAAB in everyday life, I prefer sitting in a SAAB. This is again due to little things - but there are many and they are positive. The overall package is just right and the design is good. It just feels more and more natural over the years. But I can just remember how the red lighting of a jagged and overloaded dashboard almost drove me mad during a long night drive. How much I wish the trip might end or I could continue it in a SAAB.


Thanks to Herbert Hürsch for this Saab story! How is it in everyday life with an older Saab? What do you experience, how do friends, colleagues and the family react? With indulgence, enthusiasm or compassion? How do you keep the Saab alive, what do you do with spare parts and workshops, how do you optimize or restore the old Swedes?

A broad topic for the "Saab stories 2019!". Challenging, but also interesting. How does it look with the fans, how strong does the Saab heart beat in everyday life? Write it to us, it's worth it!

10 thoughts on "Unpainted - the SAAB with eyeliner"

  • As far as chrome glasses go, I like them best from the first 9-5I series. It still looks modern in the street scene and is not considered an old car.

  • yes yes, the "chrome glasses" ...
    When I saw the SAAB 9-5 once, I thought: what's going on with the Swedes ??? Ugly high1! Too few were bought / driven from me in the region. It stayed with this first impression for a long time. That only changed when I stayed in Motala for a few days to ride a lot 😉. On every street corner I saw various “chrome glasses” in the most pleasing color combinations and equipment. Since my first perception tipped. I realized how much more modern this SAAB actually was and at the time it anticipated the later models: For example the last 3-9 or the last 3-9 NG.
    Unfortunately, the desire for “chrome glasses” remained unfulfilled after this stay in Sweden. But now the joy of the last real copies outweighs.
    All owners a good relaxed and accident-free ride!

  • FACELIFT

    I felt the same way. You can see (especially in a direct comparison with its predecessor) that the car was thought differently. Without eyeliner and with the old taillights, the design is really from a single cast ...

    And yet I am very grateful to SAAB for the chrome glasses. It looks much more modern and in some points it actually is (Xenon example). At the same time, a relatively steep windshield and large, low-set side windows were kept, which provide a good analog view and sense of space. I really like this combination of unfashionable and well-tried, but technically and even optically still somehow modern. And it is probably relatively unique ...

    ... because when the SC was discontinued with the MY 2010, hectic model changes and thus the latest craze for stupid fashions and designs had long been common practice.

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  • The “baby” will also get pimples soon. Like the roof antenna ...

    Maybe I should have shown the timing more clearly? I thought that results from the post (“But how is your own perception in 2019, after almost 12 years and a good 125.000 km?”), The pictures and the captions (“Two four-year-olds: the prenatal accident-tested child and the replacement for the 9-3 ") ...

  • Can you already congratulate the baby, if so, then congratulations and all the best!

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  • The chrome glasses I never found so sparkling, quite the contrary. I was horrified when I saw the first pictures on the net. In addition, they forgot the Saab Schrifzug on the radiator grille, right?

    Years later, I find that more relaxed. The glasses seemingly have their qualities and remain a true Saab through and through. Even with small weaknesses, which apparently have all the cars. Thanks for the article!

  • Unvarnished and honest. Saab on Sunday is fun and the 9-5 is still a nice car. The little things, such as the recessed grip, but should be able to resolve any reasonably dedicated SAAB workshop. Or is there a lack of it in the capital?

  • Nice, because very honest report. Sobering? Realistic? Both - but I'm glad that my chrome glasses are doing better. In any case, I am convinced that I will keep it, despite 240.000 km. Except for the very dam ... leather seats everything is good and small nonsense things are always done quickly!

  • Yes, that's exactly where it belongs (in the comment field). If you hadn't congratulated the blog on having 1.111 subscribers and thanked them for a good job, I would have done so. Or maybe another reader ...

    SAAB is just living - quite real and with more joy than bad luck.

  • Thank you for this real SAAB story. No whitewash, real, as everyday life is like. With highs and lows. And yet: still more pleasure than the injustice with the “chrome glasses”! 🙂

    PS: It doesn't belong in this comment field, but I think it's worth at least 1 mention (or have I overlooked something ???): Welcome to the 1111 subscriber! The slowly increasing number shows: the interest in the super SAAB blog is still gratifyingly high! Therefore: A big thank you to the entire blog team for interesting and exciting stories and ideas to harness the SAABians ... Keep up the good work!

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