Thursday, June 4, 2015

3k: Seller Submission: 1998 Saab 9000 CSE

The Saab 9000 was the final vehicle designed in house at Saab and brought to market by the funky Scandinavian OEM before it was flushed down the toilet by penny pinching bozos at GM.  The major problem with the post GM Saab era vehicles wasn't that they were less reliable (in truth they were probably better cars) but that they had lost the essential Saabness and GM's corporate overlords were so busy patting themselves on the back that they forgot to figure out if Saab was going to compete with BMW, Bugatti or a Bangladeshi rickshaw manufacturer. If you want that old school Saabosity, you'll need to look back a few years, like this 1998 Saab 9000 CSE offered for $3,000 via craigslist located in Norwalk, CT.  Seller submission from Cory.

The 9000 dates from an era when Saab had a game plan and it included building cars like the 9000 that had final gear acceleration from 50-70 mph faster than a Porsche Carrera 4 or Ferrari Testarossa, and selling those cars to wacky professor types who just wanted something different.

This 9000 is powered by a 2.3 liter turbocharged version of Saab's B234 engine (Aero spec) that is boosted to 225 horsepower with a Mitsubishi TD04 turbo. The Saab 4-banger will make torque and horsepower anytime the turbo is spooled up, with a bonus of good fuel economy when the snail is relaxed.

Got your own funky old car for sale? Send it here:


  1. Yummy.

    Oddly for a company that'd always pitched safety, the passenger-side airbag requirement wasn't well dealt with in the 9000, so 9000s with passenger-side airbags (at least US-spec examples) lost the glovebox and had to make do with some tacked-on storage underneath.

    The B234T motor is strong like bull, and from mid '96 up has the GM Ecotec bellhousing pattern; there's a couple 9000s out there running around with the F40 6-speed transaxle.

  2. Don't get too excited about this as some sort of 'pure Saab', as this shares a platform and a lot of engineering with its Fiat/Alfa/Lancia platform mates AND this has the key in the wrong place. In terms of key location, the 9-7x is more of a pure Saab than the 9000!

  3. Happy with my '95 thus far. This one is probably a best-of, except for the mileage - which ain't horrible, but needs to be considered. They removed the pesky electronic throttle from post-95 cars. Cozy yes spacious, rapid, reasonably fuel efficient, can row your own gears... other than the death of Saab, what's not to like?

  4. Had a non-turbo '89 9000. Slow? Sure. Still regret selling it? Yup. Think about buying another every other week? Oh yeah. Best car (for its time) I ever owned.


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