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safety and owning a saab
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Posted by Snowmobile [Email] (#686) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Snowmobile) on Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:43:29 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: V6 in current car 01 SAFTEY, Japida, Mon, 12 Nov 2012 07:00:30
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The 9-5 is a fantastic car, and safety is one of it's best attributes... it was waaay ahead of the game when it came out and really highlights the result of good engineering design for safety (that the Swedes do) vs the "safety features" mentality of other brands... eg, most cars have side curtain air bags and the 9-5 does not - yet it does as well without the curtains as most modern cars do with the curtains and many of those cars would fail brutally without the curtains... and that is today, 15 years after the 9-5 was introduced! In the mid-1990's Saab recognized the SUV/car incompatibility problem (there was a video of a range rover T-boning a 9000 as a crash test from Saab)... The 9000 was probably the safest car in the world at that time, and the 9-5 was the first car designed to overcome the SUV/car side impact incompatibilities (folding B pillar)... almost a decade before everyone else (who all addressed it with curtain airbags and not necessarily better structures)! the 2003 Saab 9-3 was the first car ever to receive an IIHS double best pick for the same reason: Saab engineers cared about real life safety, not just a couple tests. Most other manufacturers (even high end!) had to withhold cars from the IIHS SUV side impact (pending redesign) so they wouldn't fail and tarnish their image!

So that's the safety... but things like comfort, ergonomics, overall driving experience are also good reasons to love these cars... I have 3 saabs, and they are great. Ultimately, most die-hard saab fans (myself included) are going to tell you that a 4 cylinder turbo is preferred... that said if you are looking at an inexpensive older 9-5, the V6 might actually be a safer bet, as the older 4cyls were prone to sludging if they experienced inadequate maintenance. That is a big deal, and a real consideration for any $2500 car with an unknown history. Actually, most of the stuff you hear about maintenance woes are from people who haven't owned saabs or didn't look after them properly. All european cars need better care than Asian models... If you keep on top of basic maintenance (oil changes etc) you will be alright. You can't just weld the hood shut and hope it works like a honda or toyota (nb toyta had sludge issues also)... but otoh, in addition to the 9-5, I have 2 Saabs each over 20 years old now, and they are 100% safer and more fun than a honda half that age (most of which are rust buckets now)... They also cost very little to maintain and are very diy friendly...

Search this bb for "Larry West". He is a die hard saab fan who knows the V6 inside and out. Recognize up front that the V6 is a little different and as a result possibly more expensive... follow his advice, budget a little bit for initial repairs (inevitable PO neglect), and you'll be fine.

good luck!
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