100,000+ Mile Saabs Wanted

Yesterday, I added a brand spanking new page to the site The High Mile Club. This is partly for self indulgent reasons, but mainly to showcase the exceptional craftsmanship and longevity, Saabs of all ages offer.

As I write, a new era of Saab begins, and whilst none of us quite know what the future holds, there are literally hundreds of thousands of amazing Saabs to own, enjoy and protect.

I’m lucky enough to own a 2011 9-3 TTiD and it really is a pleasure drive, but I also own a 9-3 SportCombi and a classic 900 convertible, both equally enjoyable, yet have covered over 100,000 miles and I imagine, both will cover many more hundreds of thousands of miles if I look after them.

It would be great if other 100,000+ mile / kilometre Saab owners join me and send in a few pictures together with a quick story that I can add to the High Mile Club collection, the more the better.

Join the 100,000+ High Mile Club Collection.


Let’s honour our Saabs and make them last

We all know Saabs are built beautifully, they’re built to cover hundreds of thousands of miles, and it’s looking increasingly like those who truly love their Saabs may have to put them to the ultimate test – longevity.

We were in Morocco recently, taking a taxi cross country to Marrakech, the driver was an older gentleman, eyes excitedly lighting up when I asked him about his loyal Mercedes, especially when I mentioned the milage shown on the dusty dashboard, “643,791 miles, and on the original engine”.

He purchased it new, many, many years ago, and hasn’t seen any reason to change it since, but why should he, it was comfortable, reliable and oddly stylish in an eccentric kind of way.

It got me to thinking, that although the future of Saab is looking bleak, those of us who already own one are rather lucky. My Saabs have varying milage; the new 9-3 saloon has just 14,000, the 900 has 138,000 and the 9-3 SportCombi has 143,000 miles, and in my humble opinion, all are just run in and have many more years of pleasure to give.

Society seems to force us all to think we need new cars every few years. Ones with 100,000+ miles are seen as unreliable and costly, but lets face it, if the worst happens, and you need a new or refurbished engine, it may cost a few thousand, but still a lot less than changing.

What we need now is to solidify parts manufacture and supply for all who are less bothered about the future value of our Saabs, and more about the ability to maintain them for many more years of unique and pleasurable driving.

Why not create a high miles club, make it acceptable and exciting to see how far our Saabs can take us, rewarding the loyal and intrepid. After all, if Ali can do it in his beaten up Mercedes, then I can sure do it in the comfort of my Saabs.

Notes from a Cornish trip. Part II

I read over my Cornish Notes Part I and had a think about what i’d missed out.

I don’t think I made enough fuss about how exceptionally comfortable the SAAB 9-3 is for long distances, it really does make the journey feel totally effortless, and after another 350 mile round trip to pick a 9-3 Sport Combi for my wife earlier this week, it really has confirmed this for me.

Also, anyone having had the pleasure to drive around the ultra thin country lanes of Cornwall will know how important good brakes are. The locals (my Grandfather having been one of them) seem to find it rather amusing to scare the visitors and speed up the second they’re on these lanes, either that, or turn any number of infinite corners and you can be faced with:

A. more corners
B. a heard of content sheep
D. a huge farm vehicle plunging the entire lane into darkness

All of which require urgent braking to avoid a Cornish collision. This is were I thank Hirsch for the amazing brakes on the 9-3, they really are fantastic, they give you complete and utter confidence, better than any other car I’ve owned.

A week of driving in Cornwall and the SAAB looked as though it had just finished the Paris – Dakar Rally, and deserved a very well earned clean.

The more I drive this SAAB, the more I love it.

Notes from a Cornish trip. Part I

Overlooking Widemouth Bay, Cornwall

So, we’ve just arrived back safely, nearly 1000 miles in a week.

On a journey like this you begin to discover a cars pluses and minuses, and I have to say, there really weren’t many minuses in the SAAB.

Firstly, the huge amount of boot space the 9-3 saloon provides is truly exceptional. With 2 children who don’t know the meaning of less is more, and a wife who packs enough attire for every eventuality and climate, there really was a lot of stuff to go in. It all fitted beautifully and with enough room to squeeze a few holiday purchases in there too.

On the journey down to Cornwall we spent over 5 hours in the SAAB and on arriving, we all felt totally relaxed and comfortable; this is another thing SAAB does so well, the seats are just superb, and the heated seats still feel like one of life’s little luxuries.

Surprisingly, having had a few concerns over the Sat Nav’s functionality of late, it performed faultlessly, this is huge praise indeed, but one you’ll only ever understand having had to navigate the country lanes in Cornwall, some aren’t much wider than the 9-3, and the headlights are fantastic, again, something you don’t get to appreciate until you really need them.

I’ll write more soon, but something that I wasn’t as happy about was the combined mpg; well over 20mpg less than the official figures, the SAAB returned a maximum of 47mpg over the entire week, only 3mpg more than I get sitting in commuter traffic!



A SAAB journey to the end of the earth

Well, almost, about 40 miles from Land’s End actually.

We’ll be up bright and early tomorrow for a 5 hour journey down to the gorgeous Cornish coast to relax, take a few photos, surf, walk on the beaches and maybe eat too many homemade scones with clotted cream.

I’ll be resetting the mpg on the SAAB 9-3 and let you all know how it performs with a week of driving – motorways, moors, country lanes and steep coastal roads – should be interesting.

I only have one concern; a while ago I mentioned that after changing all of the cars suspension to Hirsch, that one of the front bearing cages needed to be replaced. Well, on the eve of our journey, the other side seems to be going the same way.

My SAAB dealer had told me that this is perfectly safe, so i’m hoping he’s right. We’ll soon see. Any insight into this from anyone would be much appreciated.