The High Mile Club’s Newest Member

Saab 9-3X_Front storyHigh MIle Club

Our 2011 9-3X TTiD has just joined the ranks of the esteemed High Mile Club and is now proudly showing 100,000 miles.

Compared to some other club members its barely run in of course, and has a long way to go to catch our previous SportCombi with 185,000 miles (and still going strong).

We’ve loved it for the past two years, but the time has come for it to make way for another Saab project, alas, the High Mile Club’s newest member is for sale over on Ebay.

Those of you who read the blog will have read plenty about this Saab, but for those who know less, I’ll repeat the Ebay listing below.

Sad to see it go and hope it’ll find a home with another Saabist, it’s a very special Saab and will make someone else exceptionally proud.

In 2009 Saab launched the 9-3X – a Crossover AWD version of the SportCombi with a few rugged styling enhancements. Sturdy wheel arches and side skirts designed to protect the car from mud and gravel, an enlarged front grille, detailed skid plates front & rear, chunky twin exhaust, aluminium roof bars and an extra 35mm added to the ride height.

Although launched as an AWD, Saab couldn’t afford to connect their exceptionally capable TTiD4 engine with the necessary running gear, so the 9-3X TTiD was only ever available with 2 wheel drive.

Result, gorgeous rugged styling, but hugely efficient – currently returning between 45 – 50mpg.

As standard, this is 180bhp but has benefitted from a Hirsch upgrade taking it to a capable 200bhp.

This also has the very rare full leather sports interior and Sat Nav, both really nice touches.

It’s just covered 100,000 miles (low mileage for a Saab, we sold our last at 180,000 and that one’s still driving around the neighbourhood), has had a new timing belt, water pump and full service by one of the best Saab specialists I know of – Malcolm Miles.

Overview:

2011 9-3X TTiD
3 previous owners
100,500 Miles
MOT until November 2016
Solid Black
Heated seats
Roof Bars
Full sport Leather
Sat Nav
Boot Tray
Recent discs and pads
Full Service History

Some points to note:

Tyres good but will need changing within the next year or so
Sat Nav works intermittently (regular 9-3 issue, could be fixed with an updated disc)
Slight scuff on front bumper from a careless garage (being removed at present)
Private plate will not be with the car

Ebay listing here

Saab 9-3X_Exterior 4Saab 9-3X_Exterior rear 2Saab 9-3X_Exterior RearSaab 9-3X_Full InteriorSaab 9-3X_DetailSaab 9-3X_Detail 2

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X Rated Saab

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It was time to make a choice, either spend some money on my wife’s loyal 185,000 mile SportCombi or invest in a new one that would see us through many more years of Saabing – we chose to invest.

We’d briefly looked at other options, but nothing stood out or appealed quite like a 9-3 SportCombi, in fact my wife wouldn’t look at anything else. She had simple requests: it had to be black or dark grey, have bluetooth, leather, heated seats and parking sensors, the search was on.

We saw some the hadn’t been looked after, others that were too expensive and others that just didn’t feel right, then a pretty special 9-3 came along.

A black 2011 93X with 200hp Hirsch upgrade, full sport leather, Sat Nav and all of the above requirements. It came from S.A.B, a great guy who specialises in exceptional quality Saabs with many years experience.

It’s already settled in nicely, doing it’s job and carrying son and dog to a local country estate over the weekend, lots of mud, lots of 4x4s, but the 9-3X looked perfectly at home.

Looking forward to the next 100,000 or so miles in this great Saab.

BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY

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As many of you will know, my Saab Hirsch 9-3 was regrettably up for sale, and this weekend saw it set off on the next leg of its journey, to say it was heart wrenching would be an understatement.

The amount of interest the auction attracted was astounding, literally thousands of views and hundreds of emails; some genuine, others barely worth answering, but, I’m pleased to say, it’s gone to another Saab family with exemplary Saab pedigree.

They’ve owned Saabs for over 35 years including 900s, 9-3s, 9-5 Aeros and they’ve even raced a Saab 90 in rally cross. I’m genuinely happy it’s gone to such a great new home, it will surely be cherished and enjoyed for many more years to come.

I always knew it would be a difficult one to let go, it was essentially unique, Hirsch kit that just can’t be replaced and it fast became part of our family. We’re currently down to one Saab, and for any self respecting Saabists, this just doesn’t feel quite right, there always seems to be at least 2 on the drive at any given time.

The 9-3 will never be forgotten, it can never be replaced, but there are more Saabs out there to care for and enjoy, the search begins.

Saab 9-3 TTiD Hirsch 200bhp Sport Saloon for sale

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This is a post I never wanted to write – my 2010 Saab TTiD belongs to our company and we have a strict 3 year ownership policy, as much as I’ve tried to think of ways around it, (I even tried to persuade my wife to have it instead of her beloved SportCombi) but can’t, so with huge regret, it’s up for sale.

Any regulars to SvsS will know plenty about this Saab, it’s pretty special, if fact, almost unique. When I bought it as a demonstrator from Saab, I had an entire range of Hirsch extras factory fitted which include:

200hp Hirsch ECU upgrade
Full 4 piece front grille set

Rear boot spoiler
Stainless steel dual exhaust
Rear diffuser
Lowered springs
345mm brakes and callipers
18” five doublw spoke alloys
Sport steering wheel
Leather carbon dash
Leather carbon gear centre
Leather carbon door caps
Leather handles

I’ve kept it pretty nice, it’s been looked after by Bond Street Saab and has only covered 41,000 miles. It’s got a new MOT and has just been serviced, it has new rear vented discs and calipers, Michelin Pilot Sports all round and has just had a clay bar treatment, wax and full valet.

Regular readers will also know it had a few war wounds during the past 3 years:

Slight indent on bonnet
Sat Nav UK disc needs replacing (Sat Nav and Europe disc still work fine)
Stone chips on front bumper
Front wheels have slight kerbing

It’s an exceptional Saab, and I’m really hoping another Saabist will buy and enjoy it for many years to come, it’s amazing to drive, reliable, fast, safe and efficient – 40 – 45mpg with enthusiastic daily driving.

Cost wise, I’m really not sure, I’ll be placing it on ebay tomorrow with a sensible reserve, but wanted to post it on here first out of respect.

As you can imagine, I’m hugely sad to see this go, but don’t worry, I’m currently buying another ‘older’ Saab to compensate for the loss and to take Saab vs. Scepticism into its next chapter.

If you’re interested, feel free to ask me any questions via email, I’ll try and answer anything as honestly as I can.  Once the car sells, I only ask one thing of the proud new owner – to send me regular pictures and updates of the car so that I can continue to share the Saab love here on SvsS.

It’s up on ebay, please let’s hope it goes to someone who loves Saabs as much as I do, good luck 😦

Hirsch Love, German Style

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A few days ago I received a fantastic email from H in Germany “your blog is awesome, one of the loveliest sites I have seen. I’ve spent hours on your site over the past few weeks and enjoy your pictures. There are  just two problems – time goes by all too easily and my girlfriend is not delighted, and you made me have to buy a set of Hirsch five spoke alloys”.

After further email correspondence, H happily sent me a few pictures of his gorgeous 9-3 TTiD Aero convertible with some real Hirsch attitude. Such a stunning Saab, and great photos too, thanks for sharing H.

If this is what German Saabs look like, I’d love to see more please.

Batteries, Brakes and Breaks

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It’s been a quiet few weeks on SvsS, work has rather taken over and kept me from my passion. So, what’s been happening, well, they say bad things come it threes, and that seems to have been the case with our Saabs recently.

1. Early morning call from my wife saying ‘the car’s dead, interior lights are flicking all over the place, doors won’t lock and engine won’t start’ . We had it checked over and sure enough the battery was no longer doing what it should do, alternator all fine, so new battery at £108 for the SportCombi please.

2. Wife complains ‘when I go over bumps or around corners, it makes a knocking sound almost as though something’s broken, like metal against metal’  So off the SportCombi went again to our local garage and sure enough, one of the front springs had become brittle and broken, new front set purchased and fitted for £120, not bad I thought.

3. My turn, travelling back from Wales after a gorgeous weekend, the 9-3 TTiD starts making a horrible noise every time I brake, first thought, stone trapped from the gravel roads we’d been traveling on. Except it didn’t stop, if fact it got worse over the coming days. Into the garage, rear pads completely worn to the metal (even though they where checked only a month ago) and discs had suffered too. New pads and vented discs to the rear, all fitted and silent again, another £180.

So, £400+ lighter but all great again, well almost, someone decided to not see my wife was slowing down and decided not to use something called brakes resulting in a little bump at a junction. But being a Saab, although it forced the rear bumper out a touch and pushed the parking sensors in, it can easily be fixed for around £500, luckily, we won’t be footing the bill for that one.

All in all, a busy few weeks offline, not the most inspiring post, but real life.

Field of Dreams

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Last week the weather was perfect for driving the 900 convertible, but this week it’s back to the mighty 9-3. With a spare hour over the weekend, I managed to give it a quick clean – the first it’s had for well over a month.

I’m always amazed at how beautiful it looks when it’s clean, unfortunately though, being clean highlights things I need to give some attention too. It’s 3 years old now, and has a couple of small war wounds; stone chips to the front bumper, a small run in with an unfriendly kerb, and an antisocial idiot mark on the bonnet, all small things, but to keep the car in perfect condition, they need sorting.

Taking photographs of the Saab also gives me a rare opportunity to stand back and admire it for a moment. It really is an amazing design, it’s aged exceptionally well and feels as fresher and more exciting than many new cars do today.

Asked if I’d by one new today, the answer would be a resounding yes, after all, what other car has this much individuality?