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Just thought I'd close this out (for me, you guys can carry on). I did end up finding an OG 9-3 hatch with lowish miles in good condition to meet my immediate needs. I went with that as my goal was to get some cargo capacity and the 9-3 has a mechanical familiarity advantage for me.

I will likely be back to the 9-5 wagon idea once my car life settles down... and I can look for one without being in a hurry... and I can find me an aero version with low miles!

Thanks for all the help.
Sorry to hear this. No comparison to a 9-5.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Sorry to hear this. No comparison to a 9-5.
Might be true, but the 9-3 does feel like home... and I could literally repair most of it with a blindfold on... and this one has already had all the usual wear items done. I'm good for now as I'm a man of simple needs.

When I get the time (read: Summer or later), I'll start a relaxed search for my dream 9-5 wagon. It's a one or two owner Aero, in excellent condition, with < 100K miles, from a seller who actually responds to messages left - unlike 50% of Craigslist :roll:
 

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I'm still looking for a 2004 or 2005 red Aero wagon with ventilated seats. I found one back east, but it had a ton of miles and the guy wanted a lot of money for it. I'll settle for that or a red 5-door Viggen. Hopefully I won't have to agree to a third kid before I can get another Saab. :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hey, reviving my old thread. Considering a 9-5 wagon again. Probably in the '03 to '05 range. 100Kish miles. I see a number of V6 cars out there.
  • IIRC, the V6 is a 60K belt change. How big a job is that? Any way to tell if it's been done if there's no history? Is it externally visible?
  • How are the DICs on those motors... same as the I4 for longevity?
  • Anything in particular should look at when a V6 / Auto is involved besides the suspension and ACC issues mentioned above?
 

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I have both 4 cylinder and v6. Both have their ups and downs.

The V6 never had sludge issues. The V6 never had pcv issues. It idles smoother, sounds better, is capable of equal engine life (300k+ miles), and so on.

So why do people hate the V6? I think it's four reasons:
The oil cooler issue made it look like the V6 engines were blowing head gaskets left and right. The fact of the matter is that only the 1999 to mid-2000 v6 engines tend to have head gasket issues (uncommon) They use the old style gaskets, not MLS.

Second, the V6 isn't as tuneable. You're limited to about 220 horses with a tune before serious engine work is required. So, less popular with the modding community which is a high percentage of people left that want Saabs.

Third, the timing belt. A few hours of work every 60k miles, and if you screw it up the engine is dead. Not scary once you know how to do it and use the right tool set.

Finally, the turbo. The V6's turbo is just strange, with the exhaust side cast into the exhaust manifold. No wastegate. Full replacements (including the manifold) are horribly expensive. Saab should have gone with a bolt on solution like the 4 cylinder. Maybe space constraints? When the turbo fails, people tend to give up on the car because of this cost.

Anyway, I love my V6. Pulls harder than my 235E, sounds great, and I've done all of the work myself (including head gaskets because they did actually fail). So, I'm not afraid of them. Maybe they take more work? I'm not sure, seems about even to me.
 

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The 4 vs 6 cylinder arguments remind me of the same arguments people used to have years ago about the NG900. Everyone hated the 6 cylinder engines except the people who actually owned and maintained them. If you kept up with maintainance, they seemed to be good engines.
 

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The T7 in a four cylinder 9-5 will have pretty much the same bits as the T7 in a 9-3 (with various sensor changes and other tweaks, of course). The V6 is a different beast and I don't think much of anything carries over.

If you're interested in learning a new engine and and its parts, a V6 is fine. If you'd rather stick with the familiar, a 2.3 is a good bet.

I would also look at what options you might or might not want in a car. The cooled seats are the one option that is really nice. Back up sensors are good in the wagon as well, but I think they come bundled with stuff like the self-dimming mirror (which is fine if you like that kind of thing) and the HID headlamps, which are a whole learning process if they aren't working right.
 
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