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The Future of Saab?



  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    In other words you don't know what you are missing: ease of entry/egress, quiet and smooth ride, ease of loading/unloading . . . as opposed to: all that power and handling stuck in slow traffic going no where, between having your stuffings shaken loose on pot holes and plate joints, and in turn between getting acquainted with the mechanic on first-name basis.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    in slow traffic.
    I am lucky that I do not have to work from 9-5. I can pick my own hours and avoid most of rush hour traffic.

    Please do not tell me that you do not know the mechanics that work on your Toyota. You still need to change oil (probably each 3000 miles).

  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    I think the 9-5 design is even older than 7 years more like 10 no?

    ok you win a 9-5 is bigger than an Audi A4 - for me it's not a big difference - I also like the new Passat - super roomy inside! I would find it hard to shell out the dough for the 9-5 - just look up the depreciation and either you pay for an AUDI or a BMW upfront and retain the value which is a plus

    or you can buy a SAAB for a little less and in just 1.5 years lose more money in Depreciation than MANY MANY other cars ...this is a negative.. it's not a wise investment when compared to the value retained in Audi and BMW even VWs. It can end up costing you more in the long run and the SAABS are not that different or unique anymore than other options in the market. If I wanted a nice Japanese competitor I really like the Acura TL- of all the Japanese brands it doesn't seem so cheap .. and they hold up really well plus they look hot!

    As I said I think they did a really nice job with the 9-5 it's just high time for a refresh without losing it's uniqueness and value which GM hasn't been really good at keeping in the SAAB brand.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Driving on snow covered road and overcoming snowbanks is a common occurrence for a lot drivers . . . not to mention the ease of entry/egress that takes place every day.

    I have no idea who the mechanic is; I change oil every 5000-7500 miles, as per the manual. Bring my own synthetic every time.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Passat is still a lot smaller inside than the 9-5. I crossed-shopped A4, Passat and A6 when I bought the 9-5. Whether A4 being smaller than A6 (comparable size inside as 9-5) is a big difference to you personally or not is quite irrelevent as far as the cars themselves are concerned; Audi thinks there is $10k difference.

    I did not pay anywhere near MSRP for the 9-5; the real value retention that matters is % of the money you paid, not % of MSRP. Hint: if you know when and how to buy a 9-5, the cost is comparable to a Passat, comparably equipped. Yes, you can get strippo Passat, but 9-5's all come quite well loaded. For that reason, a loaded Passat loses value (% of what you pay) even faster than a 9-5; all those non-standard options lose value in resell really quick.

    9-5 has been refreshed a couple times since 2001, in 2002 and again this year. Audi A4/A6/Passat platform has not been changed much either in these years. The new VW gaudy exterior may not hold well at all in a few years. In any case, I just don't understand how this new penchant for newness dovetail with your earlier praise of ancient Saabs and putting down of new Saabs at the same time??

    What does TL have to do with any of this? Try find a TL wagon . . . it doesn't even have a folding back seat!
  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    I had various SAABS of course there were issues with the old ones and we all need to accept that SAAB didn't take off and was about to fold if it weren't for GM - I just feel GM has been a bit lazy. I look at Ford with Astin Martin, Range Rover, Volvo etc and well I dunno it just seems they took the cars to a better level and when you get in the cars they don't feel cheap and they don't FEEL like FORDS. I praised the old SAABS for what they were at the time. They were different and unique and a blast to drive compared to what was out available then. I don't feel that same feeling has carried over to the new ones though. The seats got cheaper, The leather got thinner and the plastic got more plasticky and this is where GM should have stayed out of the planning room. 9-5 is probably GM's best effort but the Subaru and GMC Envoy are insults to the badge. Where are the cool headrests SAAB is famous for in these cars?

    Anyway I understand if you are currently driving a 9-5 and you like it and glad you got a good deal - I just think people can do better. It's not the only option for the money and they depreciate awfully fast.

    hope that explains it better.

    again I praised the SAABs for what they were at the time. SAAB lost some of that specialness as time went on with GM at the wheel being awfully lazy and cheap with materials and design
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Look, if you have an old Saab and it's not time to get a new one yet, that's fine; it's not a logical reason to play sour grapes and put down the new ones. The new ones are indeed better than the old ones in every way, except for cost of ownership. The seats are not cheaper at all; they have standard leather in most models as opposed to the cloth in the old 900 and 9000. And the leather is better than those found in Accord, Camry, VW, TL. Go check them out for yourself. The handling is much more balanced than 900 and 9000 ever were. There is nothing cheap feeling about the 9-7x interior . . . unless you think the RX350 has a cheap interior (yes, LX470 interior is better, but that's twice as much money); it's actually more richly put together than that of MDX.

    There always were other options even in the days of 900 and 9000. I just don't understand what standard some people are using nowadays just because they don't want to buy a new car. Saab is a small company, and in modern carmaking, economy scale is necessary for financial sucess. Even Porsche shares platform with VW. Either that, or bankruptcy or letting a platform run for 20 years like the original 900 did . . . how would either be preferrable even in your own value system?
  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    I don't have a SAAB any longer - last one was a 9-3 Sport Sedan - I now have an A3 and I am much happier

    anyway I can see you drank the cool aid

    good luck
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    If you have issues with the depreciation of the 9-5, why not buy a Certified Pre-Owned one? You can let someone else take the depreciation hit and get a nice car for far less than what a brand new one would cost.
  • saablcpsaablcp Posts: 195
    As to what Saab owners drink ...I can't say.I do know they can at least spell "Kool-Aid" correctly!!!!LOL!!!
  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    yeah there's no way to edit here - kool aid !

    I hope you still got the point ..

    I owned 5 saabs 3 were pre-GM 1 was when GM had 50% of SAAB and the last was a 2003 9-3 ARC Sport Sedan with Driver's package.

    I was really disappointed with the car - GM sneaking it's cheapness in was too obvious for me. I never felt the cars had a cheap feel before. doesn't mean the cars didn't need to evolve or be improved upon. I would have been happier if someone else bought SAAB The other companies seemed to have done better jobs with their exotic brands.

    I can see now after reading some of the posts here that GM has plenty of takers -

    Def a good idea to buy a SAAB 1 year off lease or more to account for the rapid depreciation. That is if you are in love with these cars and aren't willing to look to other brands as I did.

    I'm thrilled with my Audi it's way more fun than the 9-3 - I have an F1 style DSG transmission which is getting rave reviews and the 2.0T is fun fun with split second shifting that beats stick shifts.

    I'm glad I switched. I drive a true German car now made in Germany by a German parent company and it shows.
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    My missus and I own twin, except for color, 1999 Saab 9-5s, hers with 70K mine with 114K. Mine has a 5-speed and sport exhaust, hers has auto. Both had a penchant for unpleasant surprises in their youth but matured into very comfy, fun to drive, economical vehicles. We've never had better cruisers.

    Pros: See above plus they live up to the past Saab rep for durability,longevity, economy. They seem to love to show their stuff in a good snowstorm, and I've often had 4wds line up behind my Saab to get through the New England white stuff. Mine also has a very nice exhaust note, which reminds me on every drive that I lived in the Golden Age of internal combustion.

    Cons: Quirky can be expensive to repair. And when I was in the dealer getting a sensor replaced last week, I wandered around the showroom and noticed among the Saabs a Subaru and a Trailblazer. Plus the new Saabs looked an awful lot like our seven-year-old ones. (Which doesn't necessarily make the new ones a bad choice, but it did leave me with a question as a Saab owner -- "Why trade? The neighbors couldn't tell the difference, but for color.")

    Observation for the frugal: IMHO, if you're looking for the maximum car for your vehicular dollar, I'd give a three-year-old Saab 9-5 or 9-3, back from lease and certified a chance.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Some may find a glorified Golf a great deal; some don't. That's why they make different cars for different people. If you feel the premium paid for a "true German car made in Germany by a German parent company" is worthwhile, why are you in the "future of Saab" forum?
  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    yes an A3 a glorified Rabbit (they dropped the GOLF name in case you are out of the loop) and what's wrong with that?

    I'm here about the future of SAAB b/c I haven't totally given up on the company but I am not hopeful GM will wake up and build the car I want.

    after I sold my 98 900S I bought a VW GTI and I was much happier then too. Then the 9-3 Sport Sedan came out and I thought I would give SAAB another chance. I was happy for a while but after test driving the A-3 just 2 years later I could see it was a better more fun car. I was even going to buy the new GTI and I would have been happy too but it wasn't here yet(6 mos away at the time)so I took the A-3 instead of the GTI.

    Either way these cars are far more fun than my 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan (the new style) I easily could have bought a 9-5 new or used but I didn't feel it was as nice or fun as the A-3. Granted it's bigger but I am ok with the size of the A-3 interior specs are nearly identical to an A-4 as well. I also wanted a 5 door hatchback not a wagon(remember when SAAB made cool hatchbacks??)

    I'm here b/c I owned 5 saabs and I really used to like the company and ..........I would go back if they GM would read these posts and build a better car...don't I have a right to be here for that reason?

    Why are you here if you are happy with a 10 year old design ? Obviously you don't want things to change.
    What future is in that?

    I hope the future SAABS are what I want. In the mean time I have not been disappointed with my glorified VW. ouch :-(

    Just remember what your car is a glorified version of ....a chevy? A subaru heh heh come on now - I know you like your car and don't like my posts I'm just being honest I was an avid SAAB buyer and I have been disappointed with it's evolution I can see you are thrilled with all of GM's moves. Of course I don't want to go back to the 80's and 90's SAABs I just want to see a little more effort from GM ...

    anyway I hope you can see why I feel I have a right to be here.. since we are talking about the future ..I may buy one if and only if..VW would buy SAAB from GM ha ha
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    At least we change oil in similar manner ;-)

    I do change oil per manual every 5000-7500 and bring my own sythetic.

  • georgekgeorgek Posts: 50
    The Rabbit was the car that was so bad that it almost caused VW to withdraw from the U.S. market after they closed the PA plant.

    I drive a 2006 9-5 now but my previous car was a 2000 Passat. Both are good cars, the SAAB is better.

    Changing the Golf to Rabbit is the stupidist automotive car name change since Datsun became Nissan and lost a third of its U.S. sales as result.
  • robjc123robjc123 Posts: 30
    I can see that - I find it hard to knock the 9-5 really I just hope when they do it over they hold off on the cheap.

    I can see a 2006 9-5 is nicer than the 2000 passat.

    I went from a 2001 VR6 GTI to a 2003 9-3 and really I can't say the same - I don't feel the 9-3 was any better than my GTI and the 9-3 in my opinion is not nicer than my 2006 A-3 Sport Package.

    what cars did you cross shop? This is just my opinion but I would find it hard to choose a 9-5 now over the new Passat loaded. The interior is phenomenal in the new Passat.
  • georgekgeorgek Posts: 50
    I cross shopped the new Passat, Subaru Outback and Legacy (cramped), SAAB 9-3, Volvo V-70 (numb steering and handling), Mazda 6 (cheap and nasty interior, awful side-impact crash ratings) and used E classs Merc and A-6 wagons.

    I did not like the new Passat - roomier and quicker than the B-5, but also noisier, less comfortable seats and less road feel in the steering. I really can't point to one thing, but I just did not like it as much as my 2000.

    The only thing I do not like about the SAAB 9-5 is the lack of cubby holes and other storage space for small items.

    I have driven Audi A-3 and A-1 in the UK and liked them, but they are smaller than I wanted. I did not like the 9-3 at all - small, cramped, harsh ride and cheap looking interior. The 9-5 is an older design, but seems to get most things just right (except for the storage space and cup holders).
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Lets compare apples to apples. The logical comparisons for a 9-5 is a Volvo S60, Audi A6 and a 5 Series BMW. While no real Saab fan, the 9-5 does have some advantages that we seem to be overlooking. These advantages, some quite recent, have lead to sales resurgence.


    A new 9-5 with the sports package (called the Aero package until 06) and some other neato accessories (cooled seats, zenons, etc.) will be way under 40K. This means roughly the same price as the Volvo comparably equippped and thousands less than an A6 (two wheel or AWD) or a 5 Series BMW. Incidentally, the Saab MSRP is way down this year.


    The 9-5 is going to have a 50 HP advantage over its Swedish competitor, a more agile chassis (with the handling package), etc. It will also be more fun than an A6. Sure a 5 Series will run away from it but we are talking 12K -20K more. (Have you ever seen a BMW order form? Everything is an option! Leather, roof, everything.)

    Unique differences:

    Driving a Bimmer here in the East has become a cliche with lots of unwanted baggage. (Let me clean up an old joke: "What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW? With a porcupine the sharp needles are on the outside".) Do you really want to be a cliche?

    Seats. The 9-5 with sports package has some neat contoured seats and cooling fans are an option. Heated rear seats are available. Not so on Volvo.

    Zenons. You can't get Zenons on a Volvo unless you buy the XC wagon and then go for the option.

    I think these are some of these reasons is why Saab is up 46% this year.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I didn't know they were up 46% this year.

    Guess that's good news for Saab :)
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    The "up 46%" figure is a quote from Rick Wagoner in saying that the GM turn around is going much faster than thought.

    Incidentaly, here is two more things that are unique to Saab:

    1) no mouse. On a a 9-5 you don't have to use a mouse to change the volume on the radio. Unlike BMW with their I Drive or Audi with their MMMI, Saab doesn't have a computer interface between you and the controls.

    2) paddle shifters. Yes, the 9-5 has F1 like paddle shifters for the tranny. Nice touch.

    Now, does Saab tell you about these things in their ads? No, that would be too gauche.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "The logical comparisons for a 9-5 is a Volvo S60, Audi A6 and a 5 Series BMW."

    That is the whole question right there. The s60, maybe, but most buyers seem to think (and i agree) that the a6 and 5-series are at least one category up form the 9-5.

    I also doubt you've driven the a6 and 9-5 back-to-back. :)

    You just can't compare cars solely based on horsepower and doodads. If so, you have to say that a loaded v6 accord is also a logical competitor to the 9-5, and maybe a loaded hyundai as well-then your price argument doesn't work anymore.

    As for the cliche thing, if you let people define you by your car, you'll always have unwanted baggage, saab, bmw, or chevy.
  • georgekgeorgek Posts: 50
    I disagree.

    The Volvo S60 (or, in my case V70 since I have a 9-5 wagon) has numb steering, marginal handling and a poorer ride. When the street prices are equivalent to a 9-5 the Volvo will be a stripper with few options and amenities.

    The R version Volvos are as quick as the SAAB and handle as well or better, but are priced closer to Merc, A6 and BMW.

    My wife has a V70, so I am well acquainted with its driving characteristics. I also have owned or had a lot of driving time in 3, 5 and 7 series BMWs, E-class Mercedes and A6 and A4 Audis.

    For driving dynamics I think the rwd 5 series is at the top at the pack, but the awd 5 series just doesn't have the BMW magic on the road. The E class is the most comfortable, and the Audi has the nicest interior.

    I think that the SAAB and Volvo offer the best value - 9-5 for driving dynamics value, and the overall package; an awd S60 or V70 if you must have awd.

    The SAAB and Volvo are not head-to-head competitors for Merc and BMW, except perhaps outside North America where the Germans sell low-level base models.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    We will know Saab is back as soon as they make a real 2007' Volvo S80, and C70, alternatives

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I would also like to agree that the 9-5 is not exactly in the same class as an A6 3.2, E350, or 530i.

    Then again, I don't consider it as a G35, 330i, IS350, TL, or C350 competitor.

    I consider it somewhere in between- providing the size of an A6 or E350 with the price of a 330i or IS350.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Hm. Well, i have driven volvos and saabs back-to-back an thought the handling was comparable. In particular i thought the new s40 feels as good as a 9-3. What year is your wife's v70? Are you comparing it to a similar 9-5?

    When i said the 9-5 doesn't compete against the 5, a6, etc, i didn't mean it just in regards to price or size.

    Again, i have driven these cars back-to back, on a track, in particular at GM's autoshow in motion in chicago. There was a 9-5 and 9-3 there, as well as a 325i and 530i and c320 and e320.

    The thing that jumped out to both me and my driving companions was that the saabs were much harsher on the bumps in the track, yet they also didn't perform as well. In particular, the e320 was MUCH smoother than the saab and handled somewhat better. The 530 handled MUCH better and was still quite a bit smoother.

    Smoother = less harshness & noise

    There is no mystery as to why. Both the 5 and E were riding on much newer platforms with less chassis flex, were RWD so there was less weight on the front suspension, they had more suspension travel, etc.

    The manual in the aero also vibrated due to the rough idle of the 2.3L. And the lag was pronounced. I had a saab for years, and i never got used to the lag.

    They had a TL there as well. I didn't like the TL that much, it was still a squishy FWD understeery car. But so was the 9-5, and TL had more gadgets, 20/30 mpg out of a lag-free and totally smooth v6, and a 33K sticker.

    Of course, the 9-5 areo was over $40K then. I looked at a CPO one about then, honest i did! :) It was a manual, with the ventilated seats. I LOVED the ventilated seats. I WANT that in my next car.

    But the best deal i could get was 30K. I just didn't think it was a good value, as it suffered from the above. It rode harsher/noisier than my BMW and didn't handle as well. And even though the saab had a lot more torque and HP it was torque limited in the first two gears due to FWD. Combined with lag, this made the old "slow" BMW feel much faster.

    This is not to say the 9-5 is a bad car!! Heck, if i needed a new car tomorrow, and i wanted to lease a lower-cost vehicle, a 9-3 at $299 a month or a 9-5 and $399 a month would be attractive options. No doubt about it. But i would probably end up cross-shopping a passat and maybe a subaru or acura as the logical competitor to the 9-5. The 9-5 would gain points for uniqueness, which means something to most of us, i think.

    I think this is saab's problem. It's not exactly luxury, and not exactly commodity either. People (now) buy saabs because they're "relative" bargians in the luxury/unique class--at least people who think they're in that class. People buy mercs/bmw's/audis because they think the car is worth the high price.

    I think this is not a bad thing, to be a 'tweener, but it makes saab hard to market. I think saab needs to choose one or the other and push in that direction. If they want to compete against VW and acura, they need to have a decent 9-2, a solid new 9-5, lower prices, and dispense with the fire sale rebates and leases.

    If they want to compete against bmw and merc, they have their work cut out for them. :)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Saab should focus on competing with Volkswagen and Acura and then slowly move up to competing with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I think Volvo, should be Saab's first competitor and if you can whip them, perhaps move on to the next. ;)

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Nice post. I agree with most points. Most buff books in comparisons of "entry level luxury" rate Saab similarly. I do think though that a lot of "people buy merc/bmw's/audis because they think the car is worth the high price" in social status. Nothing else. Most people I know don't even know which engine they have or in the case of a FWD Audi would have the snow tires installed at the rear if the tire buster didn't tell them otherwise.

    How should Saab compete? Moving downscale would be difficult with their small volume. IMHO Saab , like Jag, has to move upscale. One way would be to stop the cheapskate dealer behavior I read about on the Saab forums. Make the Saab ownership and dealer experience as good if not better than Audi's.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I also agree.

    They should try to slowly move up after conquering Volvo.
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