A Winter Driving Review Of The 1997 Saab 9000 CS

Posted on 22. Jan, 2009 by in 2000-2009, 9000


Photo Credit: Saab History

The 1997 Saab 9000 CS is the first Saab we have had in the family purchased this past June from a private sale in which that owner was fortunately the first and only owner.

This model marks a completion of ownership of all 9000 body styles starting with and an 89 9000 CC, as well as an 89 9000 CD, while the body styles were all different, they were similiar in that they were all 5-speed models complete with turbochargers.

I would like to cover this review by highlighting the areas in terms of significant Saab brand pillars below:

The Durability:

This past weekend I embarked with my wife on a journey through the white mountains of Northern New Hampshire with the 9000 CS that currently has over 227,000 miles on the odometer. It was certainly still up to the challenge as you will read further.

The Performance:

The strong, yet slightly tired 2.3 liter turbocharged engine complete with Direct Ignition provided the just enough power for the hill climbing I needed and expected. The suspension system along with truly directional snow tires on steel wheels, provided the agility to make it around the sharp bends on the highway in the icy and snowy conditions without worrying about ruining summer alloy wheels or creating unnecessary vibrations to the suspension bits that all-seasons tires are notorious for.

The Versatility:

In an effort to reduce fuel consumption while adding more security to our belongings, I removed the ski rack from factory drilled holes, thule fairing and ski adapter in favor of inside storage this time around. The skis & snowboard were placed in the trunk through the 40/60 split seats that went perfectly flat, although not as smoothly and well designed as my 1989 9000CC (no need to remove headrest combined with a steel bracket hold on end of seat on this model). This 9000 also has the plastic trunk mat accessory with the 4″ lip surrounds which helped considerably given the mud, snow and ice mixture that our boots, and additional luggage had etc (the current accessories or 3rd party mats are not up to the challenge). This vehicle’s production year marked the beginning of the end of the incredible accessories such as this that the 9000 came with, so hopefully in the future Saab will decide to return to producing these items, now considered rare. The rubber floor mats that I also located, also sadly now rare, continued to provide at a minimum, stellar coverage of snow and ice for both the passenger and driver as we freqently found ourselves in and out of the car to clear off snow, ice and other debris during our travels.

The Safety:

The safety cage and dual airbags on this late-model Saab 9000 made us feel considerably safe, but just knowing about the two miraculous crashes on the bridge in Maine and with the moose in Vermont with a similiar model Saab 9000 CS, made us feel that much safer in this particular model. The heated seats, mirrors, headlight, windshield and rear wiper wash systems ensured that the driver was alert while also having optimum visibility at virtually all times. The integrated cornering fog lights are much less of a maintenance item than the previous 9000’s I have owned and seem to be more durable as a result of the design. In addition, the rear fog light unavailable in 9000 CC and 9000 CD models only available in the 9000 CS models, made me feel more responsible as I provided even more visibility to drivers in the rear of the vehicle.

The Accessibility:

Everything from the HVAC system to the Audio system, and all other critical systems were immediately accessible to me, ensured that my driving experience was safe, secure even in the extreme snow and ice conditions that I encountered.

The Experience:

The experience driving the Saab 9000 CS qualified and quantified the Saab difference systematically through all of the brand pillars and continues to capture the feeling of what makes me a devoted Saab owner and enthusiast.

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No Responses to “A Winter Driving Review Of The 1997 Saab 9000 CS”

  1. Hector Mario Rosales

    29. Jun, 2009

    The Saab 9000 CSE Turbo – automatic gearbox – is the best car in my town.

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