RE: Saab 9-5 HOT Aero Estate | Shed of the Week

RE: Saab 9-5 HOT Aero Estate | Shed of the Week

Friday 29th November

Saab 9-5 HOT Aero Estate | Shed of the Week

A swift Saab has been a Shed staple for yonks; cars like this £975 Aero prove just why



Want big power for your pound? If so, it's hard to look past something like this week's Shed, an Aero HOT version of the Saab 9-5. 260hp, nearly the same number of torques, no rust, a long MOT, plenty of new bits fitted, and all for the princely sum of Β£975.

OK, so it was Cat D once, but as long as the repair work was done (as it was here), does that really matter at this end of the used car market? At the last MOT test in August there were advisories for worn brake pads, a worn rear tyre and corroded front brake lines - hardly the kind of problems to launch a public inquiry about. The mileage is high at 170,000, but although the official stamps petered out at 100k we're assured that it's had regular servicing since.

If this 9-5 had been of a certain age, namely 1999 to 2003, you'd have wanted to make sure that the regular servicing was more than just oil and filters, because 9-5s of that vintage suffered badly from engine-killing oil sludging caused by carbon buildup on the sump's oil pickup screen. Saab cured this by bringing in a new PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system in 2004, and our Shed is a 2006 example, so it's fair to assume that sludging shouldn't be an issue here.


What Saab never really sorted out was the coil-on-plug coil pack known as the Direct Ignition Cassette, which is that black plastic banana-shaped doohickey sitting between the valve covers. In simple terms it used the spark plugs as sensors, a clever idea in theory that turned out to be not quite so clever in practice because the component was given to failing. If your cassette failed a bit, you'd get misfiring: if it failed a lot, you'd be immobile at the side of the road with a burny smell in your nostrils. Smart owners kept a spare cassette in the boot for just such an eventuality. Sometimes though it would be the overworked spark plugs that had given up.

A few other things could go wrong on 9-5s, like dirty or deteriorating throttle bodies, wonky engine mounts, coolant bypass valves, fuel pumps, crankshaft sensors, and leaking head gaskets. Inside, windows would drop down and not come back up, HVAC ventilation systems would stop ventilating and SID LCD displays would stop displaying. On 2006 and later facelift cars like our Shed you would also have to learn to live with the GM cabin parts that came along in that year to replace much of the home-grown Swedish stuff.

Thing is though, a 2006 car is quite likely to have experienced some or all of these shortcomings already and will have had good quality fixes applied. This car has had its suspension polybushed and a new steering rack and dampers fitted. The way is surely clear for a new owner to enjoy the built-in core appeal of a car that even GM couldn't completely ruin.


The 9-5's enduring appeal hinges on its outstanding comfort, cargo space and safety and, in the Aero HOT version, storming in-gear performance, with or without the contents of your flat in the back. You can safely tune post-1998 B235 engines to 350hp. Interestingly, the earlier (1990) B234 motor used in the 9000 has legendarily strong internals that will put up with 500hp or more, and Shed thinks there might be a fair degree of interchangeability between the two. Just a thought.

Mr & Mrs Shed owned one of these 9-5s a while back. At that stage of their marriage Mrs Shed was still making an effort. She made a point of checking out the foibles of each new car Shed bought, so that when they broke down (as they invariably did) she would have some meaningful contribution to make, even if it was only to put her 424lb weight to good use in shoving the vehicle to the nearest garage while Shed sat behind the wheel in the warm.

When the 9-5 arrived she found out about the Direct Ignition Cassette thing and immediately instructed Shed to buy himself a spare and keep it in the boot. Unfortunately this led to a terrible misunderstanding on a country lane one dark night when the Saab expired. While bending majestically over the engine bay, Mrs Shed told Shed to pop round the back and get his DIC out. Things were never quite the same for Shed after that. In the right light you can still see a faint imprint of Mrs Shed's skull ring on his forehead.


See the full ad here.

Search for a Saab here.

Author
Discussion

tomsugden

Original Poster:

1,602 posts

176 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
I was looking at this in the classifieds only yesterday!

Sparky137

565 posts

129 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
That's a bargain, I doubt it will be there very long at that price.

Cambs_Stuart

684 posts

32 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Looks like a good shed. From memory I think 99T had a 9-5 readers car thread. I was really impressed with the lack of rust and the general build quality.
Good wheels.
And does it have the heated and ventilated seats? They're fantastically comfortable and warm.

Turbobanana

1,559 posts

149 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:

Good wheels.
Not technically correct wheels for a "Dame Edna" facelift I don't think: I believe these are from an older car.

Still, for a grand, who cares?

Mr E

18,836 posts

207 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Ran one for a few years in non dame Edna style.
Pull in 3rd was impressive. Didn’t handle, but that didn’t matter.
Good car. Even the Vauxhall bits.

Lotusgone

155 posts

75 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Had a 51 reg, really liked it. Comfy, fast, roomy. If you want handling, don't choose a 16ft long estate. A bit more money would find one without the catD stigma, also look out for gearbox problems; mine needed rebuilding (still forgave it) so it's handy if the work is already done. Regular oil changes (6k) were no trouble, and no bad thing to have your friendly spannerman look at it at those intervals.

PSB1967

56 posts

104 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Logical head :- This is an interesting curio; a high mileage Cat D with a VED class more than half its asking price at £555. Whilst the Odo reading and Insurance marker shouldn't matter at this price, I fear the VED could prove to be crushing for it.
Heart :- But it's a 260 bhp Estate sleeper!!!!!

only1ian

584 posts

142 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
I loved my 95 but the facelift was a shocker! Always wondered if you could undo it and fit the older lights onto these later cars?

richinlondon

130 posts

70 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
only1ian said:
I loved my 95 but the facelift was a shocker! Always wondered if you could undo it and fit the older lights onto these later cars?
Always thought the same - or at least unpick the chrome border around the lights?

Jamescrs

480 posts

13 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Looks great for the price, if I didn't already have an estate car I'd be having a punt on it, thankfully for my bank balance its a fair distance to travel

grumpy52

4,088 posts

114 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
PSB1967 said:
Logical head :- This is an interesting curio; a high mileage Cat D with a VED class more than half its asking price at £555. Whilst the Odo reading and Insurance marker shouldn't matter at this price, I fear the VED could prove to be crushing for it.
Heart :- But it's a 260 bhp Estate sleeper!!!!!
This !
It's what's going to kill many perfectly good sheds .
For someone who does such low mileage as me they could be spending more on VED than fuel each month .

Lazadude

1,570 posts

109 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
They look alot better when you de-dame them, mine done by Abbott Racing:



Great sleeper, MPG hurts though, low 20's. Used as my current daily with around 450hp biggrin

pSyCoSiS

2,522 posts

153 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Great cars representing phenomenal value for money.

Question is though, what's better? This or a similar age Volvo T5 wagon?

I've had a 2000 vintage 9-5 Aero HOT and currently have a 1998 S70 T5.

Both are very similar in performance, build quality, etc. There is just something a bit more 'reassuring' about the Volvo in comparison, but can't quite put my finger on it.

Good SOTW either way, but I do prefer the interiors / dash of the earlier models.

richthebike

593 posts

85 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
My inner Partridge can't help but point out the three Ventilations and four Displays in this phrase! tongue out

"...HVAC ventilation systems would stop ventilating and SID LCD displays would stop displaying."

el romeral

502 posts

85 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Looks like much shed for the money there and best Mrs Shed references in a long timerofl

Mammasaid

1,360 posts

45 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
richthebike said:
My inner Partridge can't help but point out the three Ventilations and four Displays in this phrase! tongue out

"...HVAC ventilation systems would stop ventilating and SID LCD displays would stop displaying."
The tautology is strong in Shed this week.

Equus

6,927 posts

49 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
grumpy52 said:
For someone who does such low mileage as me they could be spending more on VED than fuel each month .
You've not seen the fuel consumption on one of these, then? biggrin

I replaced mine with a Mercedes S500 (nat. asp 5.5 litre V8), and saw a marginal improvement in fuel efficiency...

SaintEtienne

39 posts

27 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
Putting these on the “disposable sheds for between leases” list.

Gez79

92 posts

131 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
If it had only been registered 3 days earlier then it would have qualified for the lower VED rate rather than £555 a year!

I like 9-5 Aero's but for me this has the wrong wheels, wrong gearbox, wrong VED rate and it's the awful facelift model. That GM interior is terrible. Plus it's a cat d.

Plenty of others available at shed prices without those issues.

Nickp82

2,045 posts

41 months

Friday 29th November
quotequote all
This is exactly the kind of car that I associate with the term ‘shed’.
I like that the seller has done that classic thing of photographing their shoes in the pic taken from the driver’s seat, you can tell a lot about a person from their shoes (apparently).