SOTW: SAAB 9-5 AERO HOT
A turbo'd Swedish barge for Shed money? Yes please - that'll do nicely
Since then, eyeball-swivelling torque steer and chin-wobbling axle tramp have been effectively vanquished by nancy-boy traction control electronickery and sophisticated chassis designs. Which means that even the most lead-footed buffoon in PH Land should be able to enjoy the big-stick temptations of this rather handsome 9-5 Aero HOT.
There’s an addictive quality about a big Saab that’s hard to explain if you’ve never experienced it. Despite being based on the Vectra chassis, the 9-5 serves up a generous dose of specialness. When new, this lavishly-equipped Aero car (the highest trim level available) would have cost around £29K. Now it’s here for greedy exploitation by some lucky Shedder at just a grand.
Wonderfully comfortable seats make long journeys a pleasure, as does a great cabin ambience, especially at night when the dash lights up like a Heathrow traffic controller’s workstation on Bank Holiday Friday. Or not, if you select Night Panel to blank out most of the lights bar the speedo – very restful, that, especially for the somnolent Shedman who may be hoping to catch up on a few zeds on some of the straighter sections of motorway. That’s a joke by the way.
The owner of this car has a saucy whiff of Garlick about him, in that he seems to be incapable of running a car in anything other than tip-top condition. It’s as well to be dealing with a dream vendor like that, because 9-5s plus bad luck can equal major financial pain. Potential issues cover the whole gamut, quite apart from the usual trail of malfunctioning electrics and corroded brake pipes that can plague any Shed. Hoses pop off or split, temporarily de-tuning your motor. More persistent absence of turbo boost could be a failed one-way valve in Saab’s EVAP gas-dispersal gizmo: new valve kits that replace the original plastic items with aluminium ones come in at under £40. Engine misfiring might be a duff DI (Direct Injection) cassette. Replacements can cost anything from £80 to £270 depending on how aftermarket or used you want to go. Used cassettes can be a false economy though, as misfires can crock the catalytic converter. At least the DIC’s drop-in four-bolt design means that even a chimpanzee can stick a new one in in under a minute.
Even Shed’s mum knows about missing or dead pixels in Saab Information Displays (SIDs). There are plenty of specialists around to fix that for you. There’s an easy fix for the vendor’s errant Xenon headlamp levelling warning lamp, too. All you need is a small piece of black electrical tape, or possibly two if you can still see the light when the first piece of tape is in position.
Here’s the big danger of Saab ownership: being seduced by the idea of it and then getting sucked into an apparently endless programme of maintenance. As all powerfully-built PH types know, trying to recoup your roulette losses by increasing the size of your bets never works. Go in with your eyes open and your wallet shut, and don’t be scared to pull the ripcord if the ground seems to be approaching a bit too quickly.
SAAB 9-5 AERO HOT 2001 (£1,000)
I am selling my late 51 plate 9-5 aero, it has the 02 facelift etc, 250 BHP model remapped to around 270, otherwise standard.
It has 118K on the clocks and is taxed and tested until April 2013.
Electric windows, Xenon headlights, heated front seats, dual zone aircon (been regassed last autumn) Cd player, parking sensors and so on. HPI clear, with report printed when I purchased the car. Chassis and engine numbers all present and correct, v5 in my name and personal address, three keepers before me.
I have owned the car 14 months and when I bought it I serviced the fluids, plugs and filters, replaced all the disks, pads, springs, front top mounts, droplinks, dropped the sump and cleaned it and updated to the newest PCV system. I also did the gearbox oil which is extremely expensive due to do. Since then its had a further two oil changes, always mobil one oil always genuine filters and parts.
Service history is present up to when I purchased the car and then I have receipts for all the above parts I fitted myself.
Tyres are all in good health, checked pressures fortnightly and all in all the car has wanted for very little in my ownership.
Two bad points are that the front xenon level sensor lights up a yellow light on the dash, they level as they should and passed an mot like that. I have found sourcing a sensor difficult, always on back order. Second bad point is I bumped the rear quarter, ive had the dent pulled out by one of those paintless dent guys but it is not 100%, photo below.
All in all this is a real workhorse of a car with as much load carrying capacity as Ive even wanted with a young family (two kids and a wife) and will still show up some supposedly hot hatches on the open road.
I am asking £1000 for this car which is 500 less than the cheapest similar spec car I can find on autotrader etc. for that reason the price is firm and no offers, unless you happen to have a mk4 golf gti with the 1.8T engine in it that you want to swap.
mk4 golf 1.8T