Back to the Future

If someone had recently told me that you can be very satisfied with a 20 year old vehicle, I would probably have looked at it crookedly and thought about repairs, rust, seats, etc.

immaculate interior
Immaculate interior

The fact that I drive a 20-year-old Saab 9-5 on my own came like this: I still drive around 50 tkm per year - and since 1997 in various Saabs. The current 9-3 X has now run 234 tkm and should be spared a bit so that it will last a long time. When the idea came up to drive the 9-3 X "in the right way" in winter and to buy another station wagon for the summer. Problem: Around 10 or 8 years after the end of production of Saab station wagons are practically only vehicles with high mileages on the market. And I also wanted to have my favorite color combination burgundy metallic with leather beige - a search for the pin in a haystack.

Coincidentally, I looked at Autoscout.ch in January to Saabs, especially since the Swiss cars should be in good condition, and lo and behold: It was a 1999er 9-5 wagon offered in burgundy metallic with leather beige, with sensational 99 tkm on the clock, and as the cherry on top of the V6 gasoline engine under the hood. Wow! So contacted the dealer in Zurich, queried various things, conducted a WhatsApp video call, where he showed me various details, and then made the purchase contract. Then came the customs procedure, which must be settled in advance on the Internet, and the end of January, the Saab repair shop of my trust brought the vehicle on a trailer to Germany - I was at this time due to flu, unfortunately not able to ride.

The 9-5 got the full approval by the TÜV, a service and the disc-film tinting, so that the sun does not burn so much the rider dog on the fur. Now he is running with season ID 03-11.

Well, the body is not dellenfrei (that will give a few cosmetic repairs), but what was absolutely important to me is: The interior including leather seats is really 1a! And the 99 tkm was understandable not only on the basis of the service booklet, but also on typical details such as: zero stone chips on the hood, zero mini-stone chips on the windshield. Of course, the Saab is rust-free, oil-tight and all electric helpers work.

All in all: a stroke of luck! And the smooth running V6 with the automatic is a dream! After kilometers traveled so far by 3.500 itself, the average fuel consumption for 9,7 l / 100km - 1 liters is more than for 4 cylinder turbo - given. Of course, this value comes about with a relaxed driving style, and the car always charges for that.

Finally 9-5 again, after four and a half years "abstinence". Finally again: The ingenious double sun visor, the practical parking ticket holder, the super-comfortable seats, the generous space.

On the subject of value and sustainability of older cars, the Saab 900 girlfriend in the reader contribution of 17.02.2019 already said everything - I can only agree. Even the infiltrated trends do not impress us Saab drivers.

My 9-5 station wagon was certainly the best thing that came off the line in Trollhatten at the time. And this Vorsprung durch Technik makes driving enjoyment even today 😉


Thanks to Thomas Zecher for the Saab story on Sunday! 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!

We thank you for every published article with an exclusive Saab-Scania board.

31 thoughts on "Back to the Future"

  • blank

    Hello ! Everything done right, great color combination and what I particularly like and wasn't even advertised at the time; the car has the great GHSD. I also saved the data / ad, in case you didn't think about it at the time. I myself have seen interesting second-hand cars several times in Switzerland. In my experience, however, there are Saab partners who are very reluctant to sell to Germany and who are honest about it, because I can understand that they are more interested in keeping the vehicles and thus the customers in Switzerland. I no longer remember the exact procedure for 100 pc, but wasn't it so that you can, among other things, have the CH sales tax shown and credited at the dealer? Did you incur customs duties? Wasn't there something with the so-called EUR1, ie isn't the customs partially set to zero? But I'm not quite up-to-date anymore ...

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    As an author, I would like to thank you very much for the many congratulations after so many and more comments than expected. The car arouses a lot of emotions and memories ...
    Sure, the Saab emblem will be exchanged on occasion!
    I think I should announce the purchase price: 4.500, - Euro plus 10% duty plus 19% import sales tax. Even with these extra costs still a great value for money.
    The list price was 1999 at about 80.000, - DM, as I have taken from a price list, which I found in my fund.

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    I would like to send a warm greeting to Thomas Zecher. I have driven from 1999 to 2010 the same model, not as a station wagon, but the same color and interior and with the wonderful V6 petrol engine with automatic. 2010 I exchanged the car with 100 tkm for a 9-5 Combi Vector Griffin, which has meanwhile also driven 109 tkm.

    My dealer in Berlin still has the V6 in its inventory and I was able to drive it for one day while my station wagon was in service in the workshop. The V6 now has 236 tkm on the meter and it still drives like a dream!

    I wish Thomas Zecher a lot of fun with his Saab!

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    Wonderful, this interior! Unfortunately it is generally very difficult to get a 9-5 with light leather AND “wood” in Germany. The steering wheel alone is awesome! I once had a 99'er 9-5 Aero as a sedan with exactly this interior (including the wooden steering wheel!) In scarab green with all the bells and whistles - a dream that I still miss today! The car was then sold to Norway (!). I would buy it again today if there was one ... 🙁

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    "... double sun visor, the practical parking ticket holder, the super-comfortable seats ..."

    That's exactly what I loved about our 9-5 at the time (these inconspicuous "little things")!

    Unfortunately my current 2011 (at least so) doesn't have any of that anymore…. ;-(

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    I do not want to be fussy, but the car is so fantastically well-kept, I would rely on originality and swap the hood logo for an authentic Saab-Scania logo, matching the steering wheel. The MY99 was finally before the full GM entry with a change to Saab logo without Scania. Looks great color combination and 8,7 L is already difficult to reach with the 4 cylinder switch, drive even the 9-5 as both LPT and FPT Aero. Therefore, I find 9,7 L with the V6 automatic sensational. Can even remind me well of the ad, had also become aware of him. Congratulations!

  • blank

    Very nice post that inspires every Saab heart. Great car. I can not wait to get my 9.3 convertible from 2000 out of the winter quarters today. The sun laughs suitably and will be reflected in the yellow paint. Looks optically and technically not like 19 years.

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      @ Wolfgang, I went today too! 93er Convertible 1998 brought out of hibernation in yellow and looking forward to an Easter bunny 🙂

  • blank

    Yes, great car such a 9-5. My 9 5 wagon comes from Japan, extremely well maintained and maintained, only 40.000 km ago 2 years ago. As a right hand drive extremely cheap and actually intended for our summer holidays in England. So popular in the family that it's not just used for it.

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      Did you import the Saab yourself or buy from a German dealer? A Japanese Saab would also be worth a blog story

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        Oh yes, I would love to read this story (s) too ...

        No matter which of the many possible. Be it the acquisition story or the ingenious luxury of taking a vacation on the island in your own SAAB right-hand drive ...

        That sounds really fantastic. No matter how well you get along with the left-hand drive in town or on the M-Anyway, from my own experience I can say that you want the steering wheel to be on the "right" side behind a truck on a country road at the latest.

        Anyone who has fulfilled this wish has to be a very happy person and has definitely one or more good stories in store ...

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    And the 2,3 liter engine is still being built today.
    Shanghai Motors has bought the complete engine production line and continues to build the engine on the line.
    Only it should be difficult to get from there spare parts.

    • blank

      Great report! And I congratulate to this really beautiful 9-5 with this interior!
      Meanwhile, I'm getting really weak with the 70s & 80s Saab in silver gray with a plush red interior, your / your interior is the modern interpretation, but also completely free of today's bling bling.
      Congratulations, but I repeat myself ..

  • blank

    I also thank you for the story, I find interesting that vehicles that were previously presented in the category now, all did not have the classic Saab turbo engine. I also drove the V6 as a service car, the 300 000km has not really been seen in the car and driven it is like new.

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      "(...) none of them had the classic Saab turbo engine."

      Is that correct? "Rubric" means reader story 2019? Before this V6, there were two naturally aspirated but also two 2.0 4-cylinder turbos. A 900 Turbo and a 9-5 2.0t. I always thought that a SAAB turbo engine couldn't be more classic than in the 900 I?

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    An example

    1994 Saab 900 S $ 23,900

    Mileage 22,777
    For Sale by DEALER
    Color dark green
    VIN YS3AK75E2R7003068
    Transmission Manual
    Body CONVERTIBLE
    4-CYLINDER ENGINE
    Ask Seller about Features and Options

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    Yes, that's how it is, in the US, because of the exchange rates, such a car was also bought much cheaper and they were also offered there cheaper.
    And there are also some spare parts in very good condition that you can easily shop. I already did it myself. They have a great service.
    You get everything from the Saab Sonnet to the end.

  • blank

    Yes, congratulations also from my side.
    ! A good decision !
    The 9-5 is actually regarded as unpopular, but in my view, together with the 9000, the best Saab, which was produced by the Swedes.
    With almost 100.000 kilometers you can almost price the aircraft as new.
    However, I have to tell you that over the years oil loss will begin.
    A lot of work, but everything was done right!

    • blank

      The 9-5 yesterday & today

      I think that (it is supposedly still unpopular) is due to the fact that many SAAB drivers got to know and appreciate the hatchback through the 900 and 9000. The 9-5 was at the same time the departure from habits (related to SAAB) and the special (related to the entire market) ...

      An 9-5 SC with or without a roof railing can not really be accused that its utility would be lower than that of its predecessors. And yet I know an EX-SAAB driver who was so angry over the move from 9000 to 9-5 that he changed the brand. Of course, he did not get another hatchback or even a brand new 9000 there, but a different station wagon. As accordingly irrational and also unfair SAAB I felt the brand change at that time.

      But the time in which the 9-5 has been accused of abandoning the hatchback seems to me slowly but surely coming to its final end.

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        The 95er Kombi was just too late! The Saab people have already missed some trends (station wagon, small car, all-wheel drive)

        I returned to Switzerland after almost 1993 years on the black continent and wanted a spacious station wagon. Citroen or Saab it should be, the Citroen XM I did not like and Saab had no station wagon in the program. So it was, of course, an 10er from Volvo. Also a very good car. And unfortunately I first came to my first Saab in 945.

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          I can understand well ...

          I also had the pleasure of driving the 940 station wagon. The largest trunk I have ever moved in a normal car. Compared to its predecessors (e.g. the 245), I have very good memories of the chassis, engine (a soft turbo) and gearshift, at least as progressive within the brand. It was really a great car with a lot of space ...

          True, SAAB has taken too much time in different directions (small and large cars) and overslept some trends. But they've done everything they've ever done pretty thoroughly and very well, taken a lot of time and invested in good cars. That's why we like SAAB 😉

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    If you want a good Saab you should check out one of Saab's main markets.
    Because the main market was USA.
    And there are very good vehicles from old to new.
    And transport is no problem with Schenker, who even take care of the customs clearance
    Also the re-admission in Germany is trouble-free with a TÜV certificate.

    2011 Saab 9-4X Aero XWD AWD 4dr SUV - $ 20991 (+ Choice Auto Center) hide this posting unhide

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      That's right, the market in the US always allows one or the other bargain. Generally, it seems to me that many models in America are (substantially) cheaper than in Europe. Models like a Turbo X or 9-4x are much cheaper to have.

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    Congratulations on the great purchase. And from my own experience I can only say: it stays that way. My 91-series 9000 CSE, 93-series 900 coupé soft turbo and a 94-series 900 convertible V6 look and feel like a car of the year. I keep asking myself - especially when I get out of a rental car - what the premium car developers have been doing over the past 30 years….
    And it is impossible to imagine where Saab could have been today ... But we don't even start with that.
    And take care of what is still there ... Greetings to the community.

    The Lizi

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      I can only confirm these positive experiences. I have been driving two V6 petrol sedans for some time. I had to invest a lot, but I definitely haven't regretted it. Wonderful, especially on long journeys. I keep hearing, as I wrote before, my old favorite cassettes in good quality and I like to have all the “performers” overtaken.

  • blank

    Great report, great vehicle! Have fun with it!

    I live in the border area between Germany and Switzerland and I keep looking to Saabs in Switzerland. As a rule, they have significantly fewer kilometers on the clock (small country sends their regards ...) and no longer cost in CHF what a Saab costs in euros in Germany. Then there is the customs and the acceptance. But it's not that wild. I have already exported two Saab and a Lancia from CH to D. Everything went without problems and with a reasonable expenditure of time. But that's only possible if you live very close to the border.

    I like how much here on the blog. I am passionate about driving my 15-20 year old Saab. I stand on the 93er series. They are so nice and compact and as Aero Coupe just beautiful! I would not disdain a great 95er Aero.

    Good time and good drive into the spring!

  • blank

    Great report !!! Can I just confirm everything. My 93 Convertible Bj 1999 is in such a good condition (no rust, no worn seats, etc.) as you will rarely find.

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    Then (later) congratulations to the really gorgeous 9-5 😉 And 9,7l on 100 km for a V6 is really acceptable.

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    A really nice car. I am currently driving my third 9-5 station wagon and somehow I can't get away from it because everything about the car “fits”.
    Good ride !

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      I can really only confirm that. Above all, however, the safety when there is a crash. Today I see vehicles that are only safe in the relevant crash test area. Everything else is neglected.

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    This neat 9-5 apparently comes from good hands ...

    ... and is then back into good hands as the vehicle of choice in the color and equipment of your choice. That's almost as good as if Thomas Zecher had ordered a new SAAB car from the dealer.

    A nice, encouraging and comforting Sunday story (thanks to the author). If there are no new ones, why not look for the SAAB that you always wanted to have so long and cross-border?

    PS
    Mr. Zecher, you are writing about a dog. The inner handle of the tailgate is designed for this purpose. The parental control too. First you bring the docile animal out on its own and then you have to secure it 😉

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