Actually I didn't need it at all, the Saab 9000 CD from Japan. I had just sold a 9000 CC with the firm intention of downsizing the vehicle fleet a bit. What is coming now, many of you probably know from your own experience.
After I was able to buy my first Saab from the mid-2000s, a 900 convertible as a fair-weather alternative to the practical station wagon company car, and the Swedish fleet has been slowly but steadily expanding since then, I found myself by accident - or not by accident? – an advertisement for a 9000 CD.
Japan import with 50.000 kilometers
A Saab 9000 CD with its traditional sedan trunk is not necessarily the typical Saab. He doesn't necessarily solve this one either Will have reflex out of. When it comes to the brand from Trollhättan, many think more of the practical hatchback.
Four-door or even two-door. The Saab 9000 was not considered a full Saab by many in the Saab community anyway. However, the qualities of the 9000 as a long-distance vehicle and family car are legendary - at home on long journeys. In recent years, the scene has rightly taken the then big car from Trollhättan to Saab's heart.
However, the majority of them are more likely to be the hatchback variant called CC or CS/CSE.
Saab 9000 CD from Japan with 50.000 kilometers
Back to the advertisement of a Hamburg dealer. Japan import, 2,3 liter turbo, with automatic, year of manufacture 92. Left-hand drive, very good equipment, as is generally the case in Japanese versions by European manufacturers. Just over 50.000 km mileage, complete vehicle documentation including service reports in Japanese. I had to take a closer look.
There are actually no more 9000s with this mileage. As was to be expected, it wasn't just a matter of looking at it. Did a test drive, found no significant defects or indications that cast doubt on the reported mileage and then secured the CD for the collection after the obligatory night to think about it.
In the meantime, I asked one of my employees who is stationed in Tokyo to contact the service company in Japan. From there the KM status and no accidents were confirmed. Bought another contemporary radio and had it installed, since the Japanese JVC device built for Saab (Link) is not compatible with the European frequency system and let the fun begin.
If the 9000 CD from Japan, like my other Saabs, was initially only moved in the nice season, it now has to meet a different requirement profile. It is just so much fun to drive the car that it was declared an everyday and family car without further ado. In order to make the decision consistent, I have the leasing contract for the company car type expiring in March 2019 very fast diesel station wagon for the left lane not extended.
I don't have to build a new car anymore
In addition to the fun factor of the CD, the decisive factor for the decision for me was the conviction that I no longer had to build a new car. In addition to the conviction to travel short distances by bike, this is my small contribution to resource conservation.
Yes, the CD is not a new car, but even when driving it is much further from the status of a classic car than the year of manufacture would suggest and expect. The hitherto low mileage certainly helps here. Chassis and seats are tight and show no signs of fatigue.
Only the characteristics of the automatic and the wind noise when driving faster reveal the age. But I don't see that as a deficiency, but rather as an opportunity. Set the cruise control to 120-130 km/h, enjoy every journey and still arrive at your destination not much later.
Only the long vacation trips to southern France and southern England made in 2019 were not made on CD, but we used grandson 9-5NG. Not that we don't trust him, but after 1.500 km in a row (except for fuel breaks, of course) you get out a little more relaxed. In addition, more luggage fits in and the interior is again a very good deal larger. Arguments on holiday trips that should not be underestimated.
A positive conclusion after about a year
After a little over a year now that the 9000 CD functions as an everyday vehicle (the months since March 2020, the vehicle was hardly driven due to the corona measures and strong home office), I draw a very positive conclusion. Apart from a quickly solved problem with the cooling water thermostats and a defective lambda sensor, there have been no technical issues so far. The air conditioning system will have to be refilled soon in order to achieve full cooling performance again. With a driving profile of 80% city traffic, fuel consumption averages 12,5 liters.
You can already tell the age and the motor-automatic combination, which is not so efficient compared to today's technology. The gain in fun and also serenity in traffic by the 9000CD is worth the additional consumption of maybe 2,5 liters compared to a modern mid-range car. Although the car can also be moved quickly, it does not encourage it to do so.
As the last Saab meetings (unfortunately not in 2020) showed, the CD is on the rise and is leaving its wallflower existence. I can understand this trend very well, as it offers the full load of Saab 9000 when driving, as well as the hatchback variant. The fact that the CD is the nicer 9000 seems to me to be a daring thesis.
In any case, in my opinion, the design with the traditional trunk supports the luxury class ambitions that Saab pursued with the 9000. If you don't need daily transport flexibility for family or hardware store, the CD is a good choice and due to the smaller quantities it is even more exclusive than the CC/ CS/ CSE models.
Actually I didn't need it, the Saab 9000 CD - and I'm very happy that it found its way from Japan to Schleswig-Holstein.
Text & pictures: Marc Naruga