Is Buying An Old Saab A Good Idea, Or A Swedish Recipe For Disaster?

Editorial

Are we the only ones who miss Saab?

Unless the Chinese-backed electric Saabs somehow work out, the only Saab cars that you can buy in the US are used ones. Saab went bankrupt in 2011, but what happened to all of the cars in the US? Just because the company doesn't sell cars anymore, doesn't mean that all of the Saabs on the road would just suddenly disappear. We decided to conduct an online search to see what some of the old Saab models were selling for and we came up with an interesting question: Would it be completely insane to actually buy one?

Surprisingly, there were a few Saabs that we thought would be a pretty good value. While we were searching, we decided to start with the last car that Saab ever built, the 9-5. You could buy the 9-5 with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged GM Ecotech engine, or a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6. These engines produced 220 and 300 horsepower, respectively. The V6 was available only with a six-speed automatic while the four-cylinder could also be optioned with a six-speed manual. The 9-5 had a unique looking exterior, and a pretty nice interior. The car may not be as advanced as a new car, but we found a manual model with navigation for less than $15,000. It does have a GM engine, so perhaps a Chevy dealer will service it.

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Another Saab that interested us was the 9-7X Aero. You may not remember the 9-7X, and that may be because it was just a rebadged Trailblazer. You may be asking why we would ever be interested in something like that. Well, the highest trim Aero version packed something interesting. The top of the line 9-7X was powered by a 6.0-liter LS2 V8 with 390 horsepower. This means that it was essentially a Trailblazer SS! We found a high mileage Aero model for less than $13,000. It even comes with a TV in the back! For not much over $10,000, you are getting a fully-loaded SUV with almost 400 horsepower! If you have your eyes on a family SUV, you may want to see how you can find a 9-7X for.

The final car that caught our eye is a bit of an oddity. Like the 9-7X, it too is not actually a Saab. For just two years, 2005 and 2006, Saab sold a rebadged version of the Subaru Impreza Hatchback called the 9-2X. This long forgotten car was given the nickname, the "Saabaru." The 9-2X had different fenders, bumpers, and hood, as well as some nice additions to the interior. The interior was more upscale with more insulation than the Subaru and nicer seats with active head restraints. Saab was pathologically obsessed with safety after all. In 2005 you could buy a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated EJ253 in the base Linear trim with 165 hp. A 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the WRX was available in Aero trims with 227 hp.

Both engines could be paired to a five-speed manual, or optional four-speed auto. In 2006, the 2.5-liter engine was upped to 173 hp and the 2.0-liter turbo was replaced by a 2.5-liter EJ25 turbocharged engine with 230 hp. Basically, you can buy a Subaru WRX for less money! Subaru has a pretty good reputation for reliability, but if you are thinking about going out to look for a 9-2X, just keep in mind that body panels will be hard to come by. Your insurance company may not be too happy about that.

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