Friday, March 5, 2010

1995 Saab 9000 - Almost A Classic

I owned a 9000 for awhile. It was a long time ago. It was the earlier body style and it wasn't a turbo. It was green with a tan interior. It was comfortable. It started and ran every day, no problem. That's about all I remember.

I can remember the tiniest details of most of the cars that came before it and after it. The 9000 wasn't memorable.

The reason for that, I found out later, was the engine. Had I opted for a turbo, I would have remembered my 9000 in a big way. The turbo engine transformed the 9000 from a decent - but unmemorable - 4 door "family car" into a serious sports sedan.

The 9000 was one of the "Type Four" chassis cars. The Type Four chassis was a common front wheel drive platform developed by Saab, Lancia, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Along with the 9000, the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and Alfa Romeo 164 are all based on this chassis. (This project was started in 1978, prior to Fiat's takeover of Alfa Romeo.)

The 9000's body was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. (As was the Fiat's body. The Lancia and Alfa Romeo were Pinninfarina designs.) It was a nice looking design, that, compared to any previous Saab, looked "normal".

This 9000 is a CSE. The CSE has a 200HP turbocharged 2.3 liter 4. The car gets to 60 MPH in the 7 - 8 second range. That's very impressive for a big sedan.

There aren't a whole lot of things that go wrong with a Saab 9000. Starters and alternators start to fail at 100K to 125K, but the rest of the car is pretty solid. As with any turbo car, it's important to know how often the oil was changed how hard it was driven in the past.

Really, the Saab 9000 to have is the Aero (225 HP), but they're fairly rare and more expensive than the CSE. For the money, a CSE is a fun, fast, everyday, "almost-classic" car.

Located in Elgin, IL, click here to see the eBay listing for this car.


Richard said...

I love the 9000, it is a great, solid car. A lot say the true quirky Saab line ended with the first gen 900, I'd argue it ended with the 9000. While it does look more normal compared to the 900, to me its still kinda out there in design and performance. Engine wise the Aero was great, although I do believe that the late CSE's had the same output as the Aero making them a good buy, could be wrong though...

Chris Keen said...

My parents have had a '93 turbo since new. Even at over 150K, it's still great to drive, and there's nothing quite like getting on that turbo. Thing always feels like it's trying to make you go faster!