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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    18 Dec 2017
    Kensington, Maryland, USA
    2009 9-3 Aero Convertible 2.8T Auto (current) Previous: '71 99 Sedan, '74 99 Combi, '85 900 Combi
    Thumbs Up:   6

    Why I Left Saab in 1993

    I just thought I’d start this and see if anyone wants to add their experiences or otherwise discuss. In 1985, when we were expecting our first child, my wife and I bought a new base model Saab 900 (red) hatchback. It was her first Saab, my third. I guess I had sold her on the safety advantages of Saab, and those were high on her list. We loved that car, even if it was quite underpowered with its 8-valve engine. I called the AC button the “acceleration control” because when you pushed it, you could feel the car slow down. Anyway, we motored happily along, two babies grew into two kids and made the back seat their territory with stickers on the windows and melted crayons in the armrests.

    I didn’t usually drive that car to work, leaving it for my wife, but one rainy day I needed to take a rocking chair to a coworker and naturally took the Saab with its enormous carrying capacity. Got into a multi-car accident on a rainy, rush-hour congested road. No anti-lock brakes for that car. I was fine but the front end of the Saab was smashed, including the bumper, hood, radiator, etc. This was an 8-year-old Saab, and you can imagine what the insurance settlement was (not much). I could have fought it and bought back the car. As I recall, the repair estimate wasn’t all that much higher than the settlement. But as the car was getting up in years, we had previously decided to trade it in, in about a year. This was late summer 1993 and the new GM Saabs were coming out in the Fall. We decided to wait for those and see what they were like. The preliminary pricing info that I could find at the time indicated that a new one was probably within our budget. The ’85 900 had been a bit of a stretch, but we were glad that we got it.

    The new Saabs finally came to the showrooms and one night we went to test drive one. They looked good and I think we both really wanted to like them, and to drive out with a brand new Saab. My wife drove it and immediately noticed what she called “tunnel vision” out the rear. I guess the design was different enough from our beloved 900 that the rear side vision was reduced. When I drove, that didn’t bother me so much, but I found the shifter to be rubbery and balky to engage. We both were both manual transmission purists (at that time) and wouldn’t consider an automatic. So with two important strikes against the new 900, we left the dealership. We went down the block to the Honda dealer, drove a new Accord and both fell in love with it. My wife liked the whole feel of the car and liked the fact that she could get a sunroof. I liked the alloy wheels on the EX model (which we got), the quite ample power of the upgraded 4 cyclinder engine, and other features. Sorry Saab. We bought another new Accord in 2003, giving the ’94 to my daughter.

    We returned to Saab at the end of 2017, when I bought my current 2009 9-3 Aero convertible. We love this car (it’s an automatic, we’re old and have converted). I’m glad that we are back in the Saab family. Happy New Year and happy motoring, Steve

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  2. #2
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 2010
    near Seattle, Washington
    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   31
    AC=acceleration control! Push it and the car slows? I was the other way around. It was hot. AC was turned on. Push the AC off in times of need and that was my "turbo"! Rocket out of danger.

    My first car was a hand me down family car. As soon as I got my first job, even before day 1 started, I bought a 1982 900 (classic) that had a retail price of $12,995. Then came a replacement 900 in 1989. 1990 came and it offered anti-lock brakes and driver's airbags for the same $16,995 base price as the 1989. In a move of not being economical, I figured "is my life worth it not having an airbag and anti-lock brakes?". I traded in a 1989 for a 1990 900. I had the 1990 900 from 1990 to 2003. The car was so sweet. Big trunk. Nice sporty handling. It even came in silver metallic, which was not available in my first 900, only in the 900S. The 1990 900 was not a turbo. Turbo were for rich folks, I thought.

    The Saab story didn't end with the 1990 900 (classic 900). It continued with a 2005 9-3. I finally was one of "them rich folks that had a turbo AND now traction control!" When an insurance company insisted on totaling the car and not fix it, a used 1999 900SE was it's replacement. Sadly, Saab died and the 2014 Saab 900 (Phoenix) never was built. It it were, I would have bought a 2015 Saab 900 unless it was really crappy.

    In short, nearly all of my driving life was in Saabs until 2015 when the 1999 was too old and needed to be sold to another owner who might use the car for a few more years.

    1982 Saab 900 (3 door)
    1989 Saab 900 (3 door)
    1990 Saab 900 (3 door)
    These were great cars and safe cars but, by the safety standards of 2020, were not that safe. The 900 had the best seats that I've ever seen in a car. Have a backache? Go sit in a Saab 900 and watch it disappear.
    2005 Saab 9-3 (came with a turbo, I finally became one of those "rich folks" but, in truth, it only came with a turbo or a Turbo)
    Very refined. The 9-3 was the best Saab ever. Very practical for everyday use and everyday fun.
    1999 Saab 9-3SE (2013-2015)

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    Last edited by Dave T; 18 January 2020 at 00:28.



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