The trolls' laughter. The eerie career of the Saab 9-5 NG.

Life sometimes takes strange paths. A small, Swedish manufacturer disappears from the market. As a result, the last vehicles are given away more or less. And what happens then? In 2020, 8 years later, these cars are worth more than in 2012. They are surprisingly stable in value, if not increasing in value.

Wanted among the fans. An investment?
Wanted among the fans. An investment?

It was not foreseeable. Company cars from Saab Germany were available on the rest ramp for small amounts in 2012. The mood and forecasts for the future were bad. Spare parts, demand, everything on the ground. But the wind turned quickly, very quickly. The last great Saab, it became a myth! And only months after Saab Automobile AB's bankruptcy was more popular than ever.

The trolls' laughter

What would have happened if Saab had continued to build cars? The 9-5 sedan and the station wagon so fabled today would have had outsider chances at best. Generous discounts and subsidized leasing rates could have helped. In the second half of the model cycle, it would have been really tight. The effect of the novelty gone, the small group of brand fans adequately supplied with new cars. 9-5 used cars would have become a special offer on the gravel pitches; there would have been no chance against the big players with their powerful sales organizations.

Even the station wagon would not have turned the tide. A huge car, with an amazingly small amount of space. A strangely small trunk, not typically Saab, barely thought out. To stay with the truth - for Saab itself, the 9-5 NG was at most a temporary solution. The means to an end that ensures survival. Bridging the gap until the next generation rolled off the conveyor belt on its own platform.

What you cannot have - you want that

The disappearance of Saab changed everything! Few cars, a hot story in the background. A drama! But it was not alone. Because if these ingredients were enough, brands like Rover would still be in discussion. But this is how the Rover 75, the last great representative of his family, dodges on the used car market. Except perhaps the rare V8, which has a special position. But even he can't match the used car prices of a Saab 9-5 NG.

The design is cool

That's where the secret lies. This incredible line speedometer, which is unique to this day and which simulates the artificial horizon of a fighter jet. The blue headlights, the LED light bar at the rear. The boat stern, which is reminiscent of an elegant yacht. In general, the whole package is right!

Saab anticipated various trends with a single car. The big premium brands took 5, 6, 7 years to incorporate individual features. One generation later, they are where Saab 2010 was. The LED lightbar is popular today in the Volkswagen conglomerate. It is slowly being passed through to the lower vehicle classes.

Blue headlights can now be found in some electric cars, so far no one has dared to use the line speedometer alone. That would only work if you had credible aircraft DNA. Subaru would have it, maybe BMW too. Only both will not dare to do that. Too special, too brave.

Of course there is much more in the background that drives the uncanny career of the most stable Saab of all time. Workshops that care, enthusiasts who keep the cult alive.

The incredible career will continue

Few cars, a great design, an incredible story. A myth on four wheels that shines all the more emphatically the longer it has been since the end of the brand. The best foundations for continuing your career. The trend towards digitalization, which is degrading the car of the future to a pure means of transport, intensifies this development. There won't be anything for the heart or the imagination in the future. Electric cars are so terribly factual.

To put it in a nutshell, the Saab 9-5 NG is the last great story from Trollhättan, the final laugh of the trolls. Because, if you are completely honest, only they could come up with this story.

8 thoughts on "The trolls' laughter. The eerie career of the Saab 9-5 NG."

  • I think there are very few cars that trigger more desires after 10 than at market launch. Ten years ago, people were happy that it was finally the new 10-9, but in some places they were disappointed with how it was done. Today you can see all of this and are happy to get a 5-9NG

  • And I thought that should be 'keep them trolling'. Although, some deep-sea anglers will say that it doesn't work at all 🙂.

  • Very well written! The nG is still an eye-catcher and despite all the nicknames (lightbar, 3rd brake light and other small quality defects) a great car! The design is excellent and timeless, the driving characteristics great and safe. You have to cherish and care for - like all old Saabs ... keep them rolling

  • I think the team Saab had back then would have had a lot of answers for today. In terms of design, drive technology and, above all, customer orientation. The 9-5 NG would likely take a back seat, like all luxury sedans. And from today's point of view, I would like to say that the competitors, maybe not Angs, were at least respectful of it and preferred to see Saab die rather than strike. GM, certainly responsible for the biggest chunk, but Saab's death had many fathers. At least that's how I think it is.

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  • Great article

    I now always climb into my 9-5 NG with the laughing trolls in the back of my head

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  • The 9-5 was cool from the start. It is just a shame that it took GM almost 20 years to invest in Saab and implement this vehicle. In the end it was too late. Well, the Americans got the receipt. There is nothing global and leading anymore.

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  • If the right "big one" had gotten access to SAAB (as is well known, this was cleverly prevented by the behavior of the GM troop), the vehicles would certainly not have come into a kind of outsider role. Even today, the last series of the 9-5 built are no worse off than current comparative models from Audi & Co. (see also Chris's comment).

    It is time for Evergrande to put something of the same value on its wheels - are there already dates for the presentation of the new vehicles “made in Trollhättan by Trolls”?

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  • Can only sign most of the points, the design features were way ahead of its time. Stainless steel exhaust trims from the Aero in the same design have now (19/20) arrived at Volvo, and the already mentioned LED light bar from Porsche via Audi and Seat is indispensable. The color-contrasting A-pillar, the windshield in the aircraft cockpit design, the rear-view mirrors optically “up”, but not yet on the door like most of the new models and not in the mirror triangle.
    The only thing I cannot fully understand is the lack of space. Of course, the limousine is, as usual with a limousine, terribly loaded and a 5-door would have been the ideal design for it, but if I used the 9-5 with, for example. compared to an Audi A6 (2011-2018) I wonder where the storage space in the A6 has gone. Longer wheelbase, even a little more outside length than the Saab, but significantly less space in the interior than in the 9-5. Will probably be due to the longitudinal engine architecture in the Audi, but there are, emotionally, worlds between the two cars.
    Overall, the car is really stable in value, the price level is quite good and much better than with other brands and their 0815 models, but at least here in Austria we are far from keeping the price level.
    Well-equipped 9-5 NG you get (already with the NoVA to be paid by us) for ~ 20-22k.
    I am still thrilled from 9-5. A prototype that has made it onto the road and that always attracts attention, not an eye-catcher like a Porsche or Ferrari for the young audience, but it is always noticed in different places and in different situations!
    Thanks for the article & LG from Vienna

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