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A friend of mine is thinking about buying a 9000. He has never driven a Saab before, but has admired them for some time. He needs it for family (wife + 2 children) plus a fair amount of luggage space. It needs to be comfortable, reasonably frugal on fuel as most driving will be around town, comfortable and of course safe. Performance is a plus - currently he also has a concourse 3.5 V8 Rover P5B. He is happy to undertake routine maintenance himself as he has a good understanding of most things mechanical.
I have suggested he visited this site in a couple of days time to get some feedback from those who know and drive these fine cars as I am sure all you Saabscenn'ers will not let him down. He is going to look at a 9000 Anniversary and a 99 Turbo three door from a local Saab specialist I recommended, called Jamsaab.
Price wise I'm not too sure what the budget is, but hopefully price should not affect your comments?
I have suggeseted the 9000 because it ticks most if not all the above, and the 99 three door does similar but is of course older.

Many thanks in advance.
 

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I am classed as a "beginner" in the Saab scene but feel this is worth a mention, as I own a Saab 9000 CSE Annaversiry Edition.

I can definately recommend this model. Its very comfortable (leather seats, front two are heated), its vry safe with SRS airbags all round, as as for performance, we depending on the engine size, I have the 2.3t and performance is very good but its the cars potential I love. Spend a couple of hundred on mods and you get alot more peformance. The boot (trunk for the Americans) is huge and theres loads of room in the back.

I cant comment of reliability as I have mine about 3 weeks but I am informed that ppl have had 9000's do well over 200k with any major probs. I am sure other will give u a better idea or reliability as one thing this forum has is a wealth of knowledge.
 

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The 9000 Anniversary would be the best choice by far, (as a practical 4 door hatchback for family use/reasonable performance...v.good if a 2.3FPT ) etc.,etc.
As good a car as the 99 Turbo is
, I feel that it isn't perhaps as practical a propersition as the 9000 would be, and in someways could now be considered as a weekend 'classic' rather than everyday transportation.
 

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Remember, the 99 will not have PAS - which your friend (or his wife) will consider a real necessity if doing a lot of urban driving/parking.

I love the 99s (moreso than the 9000s, dare I say?) but for practicality from a family point of view the 9000 should be the better prospect. If the family was not a criteria then I'd seriously consider the 99.
 

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While, I have been in the passenger seat on a 'hot' Foxley 99T induced lap at Goodwood - which was excellent.... and have no doubt that the 99 is a fantastic car.. also confirmed by driving it's slightly strange love child the 90.

I think the 9000 is a corker of a grown-up car. I'd rate it far better than my 9-3 in several areas too..
 

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I do like my 90, which as Mark says, is mostly a 99. No power steering is a bit of a shock to the system, though, especially on what was a heavy car in its day. Full of character, though, and simple to maintain. For me, it's an enthusiast's toy, but I know a couple of people who use them every day and one who currently clocks up 1000 miles a week on one.

I do love all the creature comforts of the 9000, though, combined with excellent performance (more or less excellent depending on the particular variant). The practicality is amazing. For a car that really looks like a big executive saloon (they really tried to make the CS not look like a hatchback), being able to fold the seats down, stack a couple of single beds in the back and close the tailgate is great. I carried my whole kitchen home (I didn't buy it all at once) and didn't use the roofrack at all, even when carrying 2.4m lengths of furniture board (a bit of a squeeze, though) and 3m cornice (just 6" sticking forward out of the passenger window).

On the fuel economy front, an auto won't do very well in town, but a manual won't break the bank. On the open road, 35mpg from a 2.0lpt (manual or auto) is quite achievable and I've had over 40mpg from my Aero - the 2.3T variants had very high gearing.

If he's maintaining it himself, the 9000 is more sophisticated (i.e. complicated) than the 99, but not overly so by modern standards. Maintaining one is well within the capabilities of the home mechanic. Steer him to my 9000 site for more details.

I don't know what JamSaab's prices are like, but I'd say the 9000 is generally good value for money due to its large depreciation (in common with most other Saabs).
 

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Maybe I am a bit prejudiced but for the money, I think the 9000 should win hands down. I know that the european market is very different than here in the States but for the amenities the average 9000 provides along with the safety, performance and good value for the dollar; they are hard to beat!
 
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