It's about time I got the Saab 9-5 Aero out of the hangar. After two long days, the time has finally come. After work, I swap the 9000 for the 9-5. A generation change, the timing for this is extremely poorly chosen. Because thunderstorms and heavy rain spread across southern Hesse.
Disappointing, isn't it?
It's been ages since I rode a Generation 9 5-1 Aero. In between there were so many other Saab that the memory is no longer present. That’s never a good sign for me. The first few meters with the new, old Saab will be accordingly. It drives, well, like a modern car. Disappointing, isn't it?
At this point you have to go back a bit. There are three variants of the first Saab 9-5 series. With each variant, and sometimes in between, Saab had turned the tuning of the chassis. The 9-5 was the first Saab with a split rear axle, and the chassis was a big hit in Sweden. There were auto magazines that wrote of a miracle running gear.
The first 9-5 variant is very comfortable and very safe. It is the chassis that the makers in Trollhättan wanted for this series and that best does justice to the 9-5. With the facelift in 2001 everything became sportier, with the revision of chrome glasses it was sharpened again. But that's another, longer story.
In any case, the 20-year-old Saab drives like a new car. Very quiet and well insulated. The operating forces are low, the cockpit is self-explanatory anyway. The 17 ″ tires are proving to be the gold standard, the question of larger rims is off the table. The chassis set-up was really successful, my company car, which is 18 years younger, can only do a comparable thing with the use of electronics.
I fight my way through thunderstorms and heavy rain, the freeway entrance is shortened, the right lane in the hand of heavy trucks. I squeeze the 9-5 into a small gap in the middle of heavy rain and spray. For a split second, I think about the fact that this car doesn't have ESP or other assistants. Doesn't need it either.
The Saab is just well made!
As the first ride was, so it goes on. Summer heat, constant traffic jams on the motorway. The Saab does everything without complaining. The Aero is fast, it's handy. Its comfort is high, even at higher speeds. The workmanship is surprisingly good. Nothing rattles anywhere. And that after 20 years. The desire for anything new and modern never arises.
In between I go to Frankfurt, to introduce the new acquisition. Gerard Ratzmann from Saab Service Frankfurt takes the time for a more extensive test drive. A new car, or close to it. We quickly come to an agreement. In the workshop, on the lifting platform, the Spaniard shows his qualities. Two little things should still be done, soon, when there is time. Otherwise it is in very good condition, technically and optically.
The paintwork, partly remade in Barcelona, is first class. I had certain worries, but they were unfounded. We need some time before we can even discover traces of the work. And also work at Berma were executed with meticulousness.
All good? Somehow yes, the Saab keeps what it promises. But does it get into my heart too? A comparison of Saab 9-5 Aero and Saab 9000 is pending.