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Again, not really...
Posted by Justin VanAbrahams [Email] (more from Justin VanAbrahams) on Tue, 8 Apr 2003 23:45:18

In Reply to: Re: Retire the CDE for a 164S?, Andrew [Profile/Gallery] , Tue, 8 Apr 2003 15:12:03
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The 164 is not only remotely the same as a 9000. They share similar dimensions, but that's about it. The front-end is strut based on both cars, but the geometry and assembly is substantially different. The rear end is utterly different, with independent struts in back vs. the 9000's solid axle. The engine layout is the same, but obviously the 164 has a sweet, sweet six (in the States, anyway) vs. the four in common 9000s. The manual is a completely different transmission, manipulated via cables instead of Saab's rods; the automatics are effectively the same. The Alfa's body is sleeker and lower, and tangibly shorter with a near-equal wheelbase. There is less trunk room in an Alfa, comparable interior volume. The Alfa is a substantially more rigid platform, which helps the sporty feeling of the car. On the interior, I'd put my 164 up against *any* Saab I've ever owned and those my friend's have owned. Material quality is about equal - though Alfa's leather is FAR superior to Saab's IMHO. At 100k my seats are perfect and supple - even compared to my friend's '99 9-5SE. It's quieter on the inside, to be sure. The electronics all perform wonderfully with the exception of the LCD - ironically, it's not unlike the disappearing pixels on the 9-3/9-5. In the three years and ~20k I've owned the car (8 years and 100k on it...) I've had zero problems and zero complaints. I chose this car over a 9000 Aero because after looking around and driving several examples of each, *all* of the 164s seemed to be holding up better than the Aeros, and those people with maintenance history didn't show anything like blown turbos, blown head gaskets, snapped balance shaft chains, problematic TCS systems, dying window regulators or smoked ACC panels. Compared to my ex-roommate's '96 and '97 Aeros and my friend's '95 Aero, the Q has been substantially cheaper to own. I'd buy again - and I'm an 18-time Saab owner... On a side note, the 164 gets a substantially more positive reaction from females... :D

-Justin


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