Keeping track of SAAB, from its separation from General Motors until they finally went down in mid-2012, was certainly not a spectacle for the faint of heart SAAB fans. It was a rollercoaster of will-it-or-won’t-it for the survival of the brand that ended in August when it finally settled on “It won’t”. This very red SAAB 9-5 is one of the last cars they produced and because it’s from a not very well-liked firm and not old enough to be a classic, you can pick it up for cheap.
I believe that I’m actually doing a disservice of the brand by saying it was not liked. SAAB always had a very loyal fanbase, bordering of fanatical actually, and almost always highly educated and sneering at the traditional offerings. Their media kit was always happy to tell you that, and I quote, “More Saab owners have advanced degrees than any other car owning group.” Though they weren’t usually picked as smart buys they certainly had the smart vote which, as we all know from a quote from someone eluding me, isn’t enough.
Saab Sales in the U.S never once exceeded 100k units a year since 2000, and for that matter they didn’t exceeded 50k units. 2003 was the best year for SAAB in the new millennium with a grand total of 47,913 units. This would be… not okay but at least passable if they didn’t just insisted on making large, expensive bespoke parts for their cars instead of raiding GM’s endless parts bin. This made the costs higher and everything more difficult to manage. When bailout time came around, dumping SAAB must’ve been the easiest choice since cake or death.
Our subject car is really a last batch, a 2011 model with only 17,000 miles on the clock painted in a very lovely shade of red. Being as how every other SAAB I’ve seen is on the requisite resale greyscale this just made it immediately more desirable to my eyes. Not to mention the exterior is absolutely gorgeous in your author’s opinion.
The interior on the other hand, as “inspired by jets” as it may have been I’m sorry, the interior just looks awful. The central LCD screen looks like an enlarged and greenified 90’s BMW unit to me, the dashboard looks like an afterthought in cheap black plastic and the whole green instrumentation just seems unnatural for a car. Still, if it floats your boat and you want to tell people that you own something unique and actually quite special, it’s currently sitting at $13,100, though still below reserve price. Just don’t go around telling people you own the last SAAB ever, as Mahindra just bought what’s left of the SAAB group. The zombie might just come back from the dead once more.