Subjective Question – What’s the best car you’re ever owned?

On paper, the Saab 9-3 Viggen is the best car I’ve ever owned.

It’s the one I paid the most money for. It had the most powerful engine, the highest level of equipment, the best interior, the best paint (color and finish) and the highest safety rating.

It’s close. Top 3, even. But it’s not the best car I’ve ever owned.

‘The best car I’ve ever owned’ is not just a statement about the car. It’s a statement about relative time, the way the car was used, the payback it gave and the impression it left on me.

Cars make impressions for different reasons. One might mean so much to you because of the work you did to resurrect it, or to bring it up to a standard. Another car might hold it’s place in your heart because you never expected it to be so good. Yet another might have carried you on a wonderful trip to a favourite place or simply provided you with a wonderful ownership experience.

So with the Viggen in third place, what other cars could be above it?

What’s the best car I’ve ever owned?

Number two on my list goes to the totally surprising and quite wonderful Alfa Romeo 33 16V. I picked up my 1990 model Alfa 33 at a bargain price a few years ago.

I’m always surprised by the lack of effort people put into the ads they use to sell their cars. This 33 looked like it’d had a reasonably hard life and the writeup didn’t provide much to get excited about. When I talked to the owner on the phone, though, I knew there was a good chance I’d buy this car. The owner loved it and had really looked after it, even if it didn’t show in the photos.

He’d had minimal interest in the car from potential buyers, probably because of the crappy ad. As a result, I was able to buy it for around 65% of his original asking price.

The car drove beautifully. The little 16V boxer engine is a pearl. Tuned with a chip from Squadra Tuning, the car would redline at 7,200rpm but still had plenty of low end torque. It cornered like a go-kart and thanks to the 2.25 inch exhaust I had fitted, it sounded like a swarm of Italian killer bees. The Alfa 33 16V really is one of Australia’s true old-school performance bargains.

It was actually quite practical, too. Five doors, folding rear seats, plenty of head and shoulder room. For those who like to dress their cars up, this 33 had beautiful red paint and an engine bay that just screams for some prettying up (which I was more than happy to do).

I sold the Alfa because after selling some old stuff I had laying around (including some staff passed on after my father’s death), I thought I should put the money into a car that was worth a little more. Dad was a fledgling car guy, too, so I didn’t think he’d mind. I chose to sell the Alfa and use the top-up money to buy a Mazda MX-5. The little blue MX-5 was a great car but I missed the Alfa 33 so much that I ended up buying another one around six months later.

(The chain of funds from that old stuff continues today in my current Alfa GTV6. My aim is that that money will always either be a) in the bank, or b) in a classic car)

The replacement 33 was nowhere near as good as my original one. Sometimes you just don’t know how good a car you’ve got because you can’t compare it with others. If I’d known, I definitely would have kept that first 33.

——

So what’s #1?

I’ll cover that for you in the next few days. In the meantime, why don’t you have a think about which car from your history is your own personal favourite?

Remember, it’s not the best car on paper. It’s the one that brings back the fondest memory, for whatever reason.

Comments are open.

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40 Comments

  1. Mechanically, my best car was my BMW 330ci. 6 speed, dark green metallic paint, black leather interior.
    The car that makes me smile the most was my Ford XC Panel Van. Leopard print car seat covers, using 7 of its 8 cylinders to ship me and my possessions anywhere, old futon in the back. That car took me and my loved one from Sydney to the Daintree and back, was painted with white ceiling undercoat, owed me nothing yet provided the feel good factor and freedom in spades. great article Swade.

  2. Thats a hard question to answer. I would say the newest cars I have owned due to better handling stopping power crash protection etc. I now own a Saab 2008 Turbo X sport Combi and a 2012 BMW X-5 Turbo . The Saab handles and performs better with the Map Tun upgrade. This car is high on my list if not at the top. But my favorite would be my 1965 Austin Healey six cylinder 150HP four speed with overdrive. But had to spend a lot of time keeping it running. Before owing the Healey I had a Early Corvette and was disappointed in the handling and braking so that is why I started going to the European cars.

  3. Its probably my Renaultsport Megane Cup which I’ve sadly lamented here (probably all too) often. Just a brilliant, brilliant car. However, a couple of others come to mind.
    Not unlike The Copaking, I too had a panelvan – although mine was a HQ Holden . Sandman Edition. Sadly, I drove it home from Adelaide to Sydney, tooled around for a few weeks in Sydney and then the gearbox stuck in 2nd, I was a broke student with no money to fix it and so it eventually went off to a wrecker.
    I love the Saab I drive now, the Volvo my wife drives and the BMW we used to have but of everything thats passed through my life its probably a little yellow Honda Civic 4WD wagon which I drove around in Japan for a couple of years. That car was the key to indenpendence and thanks to its modest but capable 4wd it was the key to winter time in the mountains. It was really, the breakthrough that allowed me to start snowboarding and that opened a whole new chapter in my life. It was cheap, safe, comfortable, practical and just such a handy car to own. I remember many nights driving back down snow-covered roads without a hint of slip or risk. It taught me neat tricks like how to heat up the windscreen so that I didn’t need to use wipers, even in howling snowstorms. Ahh, those were the days.

  4. I loved my Saab 9-3 Aero 2005 and my actual 2011 9-3 Aero. But the best memories are for a Volkswagen GTI 1983. I was younger at that time …

  5. Tough question to answer.
    Most reliable car: 1963 Studebaker Daytona Lark, also my first new car, so I have fond memories of it.
    Most fun car: 1966 Saab 2-cycle, red sedan. Forever replacing plugs on it and wouldn’t run on rainy days, but HUGE fun to drive, especially in snow.
    Best all-around: 1975 Saab 99 Wagonback (3-door), fun to drive, safe, but could haul anything (fit a pool table in back once)
    Best on paper: My current 2004 9-3 Arc, 2.0T. A fast, wonderful car but somehow lacking in magic, maybe due to my age and longing for simpler times.

  6. I’d say my Mk.1 Escort RS2000 was the best based on the criteria you’ve suggested. I’d gladly have another today as a ‘Sunday’ car

  7. Lets see…

    The best and most comfortable must be the one I drive now. A 9-5SC Vector Anniverary 2.0t BP.

    The most rewarding in terms of getting around just about Everywhere my -92 Jeep XJ Cherokee Limited Executive 4.0 H.O.

    The most Loved car: A Saab 9000CSE 2,3t 170. The car was good at everything. Comfortable, stylish, safe, Huge inside, big trunk, reliable, swift and with superb roadholding.

    Car with coolest but otiose feature. 1995 BMW 520i Estate. The car had a double moonroof… Ok cool if only opening in the front Or rear but if opening both that gave two openings of only 6 inches… And as the car did have AC the double tin moonroof was indeed ultra otoise.

    1-3 would be:

    1. 9000CSE
    2. 9-5SC
    3. Jeep XJ

    Cheers/Tom

  8. My favourite car, out of the many SAABs I’ve owned, has got to be my 2003 SAAB 95 Aero estate in steel grey with a sand leather interior. It was an auto and when you selected Sport mode it went like a rocket. Fantastic looking car inside and out and so comfortable. Loved it to bits. I also have a soft spot for my 9000CSE 2.3t auto.

  9. 1988 9000T, white, 5-speed, leather, roof. Loved that car. Was a beast of a workhorse, perfect family hauler, towed our boat nicely, and was fast as stink.

  10. I’ll start with my first car … a 1963 Corvair, midnight blue, complete with racing stripe and a “three by the knee.” Bought in 1967 for $500, reliably got me through college with minimal expense. Claim to fame was when I was pulled over and frisked by the local cops as I parked in front of my fraternity house just before dinner, so that all were there to see. My offense? Another blue Corvair with racing stripe had pulled up in front of a women’s dorm and flashed the residents. The guy turned out to be a grammar school teacher from 2 towns over. Suffice it to say, I still hear about that from my old frat brothers 45 years later.

    After a variety of transport … including far too many company cars … my current is the best … 2004 Saab 9-3 bought new … 5 speed … comfortable, reliable, economical, fun drive, space galore, 102,000 miles, and I have yet to spend a penny beyond normal maintenance. I have never owned a manual transmission automoble in my life where the clutch has lasted beyond 75,000 miles … this Saab has now surpassed that record by 34%. Could be that in my 60’s, I’m not as aggressive a driver as I once was, but I’ll drive this car for a long time.

  11. I’ve driven a couple of different cars, but I’ve owned only 3 different ones, so there is not much to chose from, but I have to admit that my first car is still no 1 in any list. It is maybe only a sentimental thing, but that’s life. I even try too find out if it is for sale, just to know how it is doing.

      1. A brand new 1999 3 door 9-3 in silver with the 2.0 i engine and 130 hp. It is not much about the car, but about what I was able to do with the car 😉 I had a very exciting time during those years.

  12. Best, or most missed? I should say that though I’m old, I haven’t owned so many cars as I tend to drive them until they’re “done”, at least in latter years. That said, I regret the lack of mechanical knowledge that caused me to part with some truly fine autombiles, simply because I didn’t know how to do simple stuff, like repair brake calipers, that would not phase me now in the least. So, on the list of cars most missed, I’d have to share that with a ’78 99EMS 3 door, non-catalyst version. That car was FAST for a normally aspirated car, probably as fast as an 8V SAAB Turbo!. If only I’d learned how to fix those Girling calipers a little earlier. The other greatly missed was a ’76 Lancia Scorpion (Monte Carlo outide the US, named Scorpion in the US because Chevrolet owned the Monte Carlo name, same as why the classic 900 T16 Aero couldn’t be called that here, GM owned the Aero name). The Scorpion had been breathed on and de-smogged and was an absolute blast in the twisties. I used to describe it as a poor man’s Ferrari, situated somewhere between the 308 and the X 1/9. Sadly, the Scorpion was sold due to the financial constraints that accompanied three small children. I still think today that I could be happy with the EMS and the Lancia in my garage, but part of that is likely nostalgia…

  13. The best car is probably one of the cars I have now, which is my Mercedes CLS. It’s beautifully made and runs like a dream.

    But, the most charismatic is my Saab 9-3 convertible which despite all tugs at the heart strings the most. 🙂

  14. Like Swade, I too have had cars that excelled on paper, but didn’t live up to their specs in the real world.

    By most empirical measures, my “best” vehicle is my current one. A 2007 Nissan Murano, it’s solidly built. It has all mod cons including heated seats, climate control, keyless ignition and a backup camera. It’s quick, with 245hp (183kw) and handles better than you’d expect a crossover to. It also delivers decent economy, with a 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km) average.

    But I can’t wait to be rid of it.

    On the other hand, the vehicle I best loved was far less practical.

    My 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, was, in hindsight, the most expensive vehicle I’ve ever owned. Now, I only paid $9000 for it in 1999, but with economy in the single digits (the best I ever recorded was an average of 12 MPG) plus three engines and a transmission (not to mention frequent vacuum leaks) in my three years of ownership, a car payment would have been cheaper. And it wasn’t exceptional in any real way. My father described it as “the newest 1970 vehicle” I could find.

    But I loved that Jeep. Everywhere I went, people asked me about it. It would happily carry me along an unimproved road to an isolated campsite one weekend and then get parked amongst the Ferraris and Astons in front of Santa Monica restaurants the next. The seats were comfortable, traffic parted when I appeared in rear view mirrors. It even had a name…”The Yak”.

    1. For what it’s worth, I still pine for my Saabs, but neither could be called “best” in either empirical or emotional measures.

      The 9000CD was quick and comfortable, but let down by the dreaded ZF automatic, dodgy lights and the fact that it had a boot. The 9-3SE was great fun too, but when I owned it, it was at odds with my self image at the time.

  15. Most fun , the Sunbeam Tiger , sadly distroyed by a idiot who hit it from the rear
    Best club racer (SCCA) was the VW Golf GTI always in the top 5 in feilds of 40 cars or more , once in a small feild of just 8 cars I was able to lap 2nd place , but it did cost a lot to race in time and money .
    Best , the one that saved my life a 1973 99 bad driving at 80 MPH I hit a curb sidways and roled it twice , the roof held I got out looked and sat on the curb looking at what used to be a great driver now just a wad of metal . Bless that SAAB it saved my life .
    Today is my 01 9-5 SAAB Areo 5 speed , I keep it well turned out , clean and it will still pull away from 5 liter cars @ 125 MPH . I still dont know just how fast it is , but I like it a lot . When I drive proper 55 – 70 MPH it gets 32 MPG .
    I thik back to all the cars I’ve owned it’s so hard to pick 1 a walk down a long memory lane , the 86 930 was a lot of car to drive proper , the MGB was great for dates , the Sonnett , My 1st car a 64 Ford Fairlane , bugger I’ve had so meany cars , and so much of my life has been tied to so much of them .
    Thanks for the spark of memory Steven =) .

  16. Wow — one of the cars on my short list is a 78 99 ems — still have it because it’s such a fun utilitarian car/truck/storage shed/conversation piece. And after 18 years of ownership it has not been expensive at all. Next car on the list — a 1964 Saab 96 GT850. I have owned it since 1987, and it is simply the most entertaining car to drive ever. It just makes me happy. The best car ( on paper and in reality) is my 2003 Aero wagon. Beautiful, safe,comfortable, fast and very dependable –it will always do what needs to be done.
    But I have to admit the best car I ever had was a 1971 Chevy Caprice 4 door hardtop. Bought it in 1981 for $100, sold the 454 big block and turbo 400 trans for $700 and threw in a beater 350 auto from a junker. Bought all my parts from a chevy junkyard for really cheap — nobody wanted a big tank like that. But my only real expense was fuel, and I drove that barge across the US 3 times, using a quart of oil every 200 miles. I worked as a mechanic and if a car came in for an oil change with not very dirty oil I would save it for my beater. The best part about that beater was that after thrashing it for 2 years and 20k miles I was able to sell it to a Chinese college student for $450. He was in heaven — huge car, power everything and really cheap. The day after I sold it my friend called to see if we could take it on another canoe trip– 3 boats on the roof no problem — but it was too late.

  17. I still miss my Saab 2006 93 SportsCombi. Merlot red, with the 2.0 turbo, beige interior. It was a great car and I still regret not buying it at the end of the lease (but GM had just gone into bankruptcy so it was worth 6 grand less than the government wanted for it). I also have a soft spot for my wife’s Saab 9-2X Aero, which drank fuel like no tomorrow but as soon as I put decent tires on it, it was a completely different beast. I wish we kept it (although the Rabbit we replaced it with is still a lot of fun, and probably safer).

  18. The best, in context to its time, was my ’98 US Ford Contour SVT. That car felt so special and overengineered. Its the best handling car I’ve ever owned, my Turbo-x included. It triggered my love affair with the concept of sports sedans. It was only let down by a cheap plastic interior and the fact Ford never made a (US) successor.

  19. Nice read as always Swade.

    I always feared buying used cars, which is proably why I am currently only at car No. 3. Used cars always bring additional risks of hidden flaws and god only knows how such cars were maintained and how many kilometers are in reality behind them. When your budget is severely limited, the only way to overcome this hurdle is to acquire a car that’s already there, so my firs car was a 10-year old golf III diesel, that I got from my mom as a gift when I started to work. It meant a lot to me, it meant independence.
    An old golf diesel with it’s 64 hp doesn’t get you anywhere fast an overtaking is a major pain. Lack of AC didn’t help with comfort in hot summer days as didn’t it’s dark green colour. Still it was a good design. It was one of those machines, you could always rely on to get you anywhere and back again. The first thing that broke on it was it’s electric sunroof. The car was 13 years old then and that was 1 week before I sold it.
    My second car was a corrola 2,0 D4D, a 90 hp version. A 4 year old car, which was exactly what I could afford right then and it originated from the same source as my first one – only this time I payed for it. Corrola was a major upgrade on golf. It had a stronger engine which alowed me to overtake more than just slow moving vehicles and an aircondition, which I consider the most important piece of equipement. It was just as practical, but you could see it was made from inferior materials and this soon started to show on maintenance. Definitely a better car than golf III, but it’s difficult to put it in front of it, because it seriously lacked character. So I am undecided about the second place.
    First place hands down goes to my current Saab 9-3 SS TTiD 130 Linear with a nice package of extras. Bought new, less than a year ago it just fit into my budget and it was a dream come true. It’s reliability record isn’t straight – I already had a gearbox replaced, but there’s something about this car that makes me forgive. It’s comfortable, ergonomicaly superb and has some unique and well thought-out solutions that I enjoy. And it’s a blast in snow, second only to Subaru, as I found out last winter. Great car. Hope to keep it for years to come.

  20. My best car I’ve driven (compared to competitions at the time) is a -90 audi 200. The second best drive is the car The driving school had: 9000 turbo my -88. Man, what a ride to get driving lessons in!

    The best car I’ve owned, 1-3:
    1. 9-3 TTiD sc aero my -08. A confy practical fasr and safe car. Some minor inerior details.
    2. 9-5 220 sc vector, my -04. Had it for 4 years, did 120.000 km. Not a singel error or any other nerds than gas and service.
    3. Current car 9-5 TTiD xwd aero. Goooood comfort and handling. A bit difficult to get the right feeling of the size.
    After a troublesome first 12 months, the car is now flawless

    I use to do approx 20-30.000 km a year in rentals loke audi a4, a6, passat, volvo v70, skodas and toyotas.
    There has not been a singel one of them that has tempted me. The vag generic (das boring) stuff is seen in audi, seat and passat. The seats cant coop with long tripps.
    Volvos was nice cars, but not very interesting. Toyotas? The are like the vags is trying to become. Unpersonal, generic transportation units.

  21. Brilliant question. I’ve had two Saab 9-3’s (my current car). A Volvo before that. I adored the second car of my youth – a 1969 Plymouth Valiant. $900, used of course. It was soooo un-cool that it became cool.

    My all time fave car was one that you wouldn’t think would be fun or zippy, but it was. It was an absolute blast to drive – like a skateboard with a motor. A 1983 Honda Civic 1300FE that I bought new. The engine was just 60 or 70hp, with a 5 speed manual. The car weighed just 1800 lbs. The damn thing was somehow fast, and handled beautifully. It got 45 – 50mpg highway (5th was a tall gear). It made me a fan of hatchbacks. Three decades later, one can wonder how we lost the formula for a simple, fun car with great mpg. The answer of course is safety stuff – put modern safety gear on that and it is much heavier. Ultimately, I’m not complaining about safety gear – my current 9-3 has all that. But that little Civic was a damned fun car, perfect for that point in my life.

  22. Best car may come as a surprise from somebody who owns currently owns fun cars like my 1964 MGB-GT, Sonett III, C900 Vert, and a Stage II Viggen Vert. All great cars that put a smile on my face, but it’s my 2001 Saab 9-5 Combi I bought off ebay for $4,000 USD at 105,000 miles back in 2008. It’s a utlilitarian car but it fits my needs and has been astonishingly reliable. I just passed 205,000 miles and pretty much everything on the car is still original and it’s undergone nothing but preventative maintenence. It’s my daily driver. I actually have a 2006 Dame Edna Saab Combi (doesn’t everyone own 5 Saabs?) that I bought three years go thinking that would be the replacement for the 2001, but the car just keeps on going, and going, and going….. Now if I didn’t have some of those other cars to fall back on for some fun summertime cruising I might think differently.

  23. I really miss the recently departed Audi A4 quattro turbo with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. What a fun car to drive. Smaller than I’d like. Seats were a little short, too.

    My first Saab, a 1986 900 S (16-valve normally aspirated, 5-speed), was great. I loved that car.

    A surprise car in the mix? My 1989 Dodge Spirit Turbo ES 5-speed. If the Chrysler build quality had been up to par, this car would have been in my garage much longer. As it was, it was a semi-reliable hot sedan that would blow the doors off many an unsuspecting BMW driver. Very practical, too. Major weakness (other than the reliability thing): Loads of torque steer. Major talent (other than being a sleeper): very little body roll in the turns, especially for such a high roof line.

    The favorite has to be the one that I sold and shouldn’t have — the 1993 Saab 900 turbo Commemorative Edition 3-door. It was so perfect.

  24. Thank you for allowing me to reflect on some very fond memories. I have two cars that are favorites for quite different reasons. The first was my 1979 SAAB 99 GL. The red two door was a stunner and the way it drove, with manual steering and transmission, made me participate in driving like no other car I have owned. The time it left me stranded when the water pump disintegrated is just a distant memory.

    The other favorite was a 1977 Volvo 244 DL my parents purchased new. Dad had been a Ford man who bought a Thunderbird every two or three years until he test-drove the Volvo. That broke the replacement cycle as it stayed in our family for 31 years. Washing, waxing, changing the oil and all the while telling stories was how Dad and I spent many happy hours together.

  25. My Saab 900 single carb 1985 model year. Ihave owned this car 18 years and still drive it ,its one of the family now . no one would let me part with it,as if I would,and yes I do own 4 others.

  26. The car I drive every day.
    2002 9-5 Silver Aero sedan.
    A Sleeper.
    Best of the 9-5 series.
    Looks great. Makes me smile.
    Cheap to run. Goes really hard.
    Demands respect when things get lively
    Has saved my life more than twice
    Looks special and its design is ageless,
    And is quite rare, to boot.

  27. What a great question! I would have to say that the car that has the most nostalgia would be my 1986 Ford Taurus LX. I was a junior in college in 1995, and used my summer work money to buy it from my dad for $1500. It was, by far, the coolest car we had owned in our family (we were firm “buy US” car consumers back then). It was black, had a moonroof, tan leather seats, automated doorlocks/windows, and a premium sound system. Nevermind that the car rusted so badly, that my dad spent a good portion of ever summer attacking it with bondo, primer, and another coat of paint. Or that the car had chronic electrical probrems. Or that it was on its second transmission, or that one time, the engine casing broke.

    I soon learned that my 10 year old Ford was not the most reliable car. I managed to break down in or around every major road around Kent State (Kent, Ohio). (Favorite break down memory- breaking down in downtown Kent, near a cop in a police car. He gave me a ride home, but I had to ride in the back. When we arrived at the house, my friends were outside, and they were convinced that I had gotten arrested).

    Thankfully, dad was pretty handy- and is a really devoted dad- and he would drive up on a moment’s notice from Cleveland’s east side to trouble shoot and usually fix the problem (it’s only a 45 min trip).

    At the time, I lived in a sorority house off campus with 32 other girls. Everyone knew my dad- he was the guy at the end of the extension cord in the parking lot.

    When the car did run, I ran it hard. And I packed it full of stuff – friends, sorority sisters, or the contents of my worldly possessions at the beginning and end of semesters. I prided myself on not driving like a typical Taurus owner. Thank goodness I had a radar detector- or I would have been put in jail, I think.

    The air conditioning broke at some point, and I had to leave the windows down in summer time. Needless to say, I had some pretty comical moments in some very near east side Cleveland neighborhoods while lost- and usually at night.

    At some point, the transmission line came undone somewhere out in Brimfield, which is outside of Kent. It was a very remote little town. I scored the tranmission by driving the car back to civilization (no cell phones then). I remember that it looked like someone had been shot in my friend’s driveway. The car developed an endearing “jump” between gears after that.

    Oh yes, and the door locks would contantly trigger themselves while driving.

    After all that, I decided that my Ford was worthy of a name. So I named him “Henry.”

    The summer after college graduation, the car seemed to have really turned the corner. I had moved back home, and was attending law school in downtown Cleveland in the fall. The Ford would have never handled the commute from the suburbs. So my dad bought a new (slight used) Chrysler Concorde, and he gave me his 1994 Buick Skylark. Yes, the year of the pointy bumper. As it turned out, the junkyards wouldn’t take the Ford- not without paying them a decent amount. We ended up trading it in for the Concorde (I think the salesguy was being nice), and my dad got $100 for it. I was devastated. When it came time to say goodbye, I gave the car a huge hug. I asked to take the nameplate (I knew where the car was going), but the salesguy said no.

    Sadly, I don’t think I ever took a picture of my Henry.

    Thankfully, I had many more great car memories to come…..after some pretty unremarkable cars, I eventually found and then was able to afford my first SAAB. But that’s another story :).

  28. All of my cars were best in some regard and it is difficult to pick “the best” or a favorite. A few come to mind.

    1975 Toyota Carina – it was my first, best memory!
    1985 Nissan Silvia – my first 2-door coupe, best feel to drive younger than 20 years old.
    1980 Vauxhall Cavalier – fun to drive with RWD, sister of the Opel Manta
    1993 Nissan 240SX – gorgeous looks, only 155hp but fun to drive with RWD and 4WS
    2001 GMC Sierra – there is something about a big American full-size truck hauling loads and towing big trailers
    2006 Saab 9-3 2.0T – my first Saab where it all started in Sweden
    2005 Saab 9-5 Aero (I had a few..) Best bang for the buck with the the older Saab design
    1990 Mercedes-Benz 300TE – best build quality and very composed ride
    2011 Saab 9-4X – best new car I have owned

    I am sure I have forgotten a few..

  29. My second car – a Mk3 Seat Ibiza Gti in Red. It was a swap with my first car which was a 97 alfasud. The Ibiza was simply stunning back then (still think it has the looks till this day). Came out with a 2.0ltr engine producing 130 BHP and around 170nm of torque. It was extremely comfortable to drive. the power steering had this slightly annoying busisng sound when turning at a stand still, it’s a noise that just makes me smile today when i hear it. Few months after i bought it, i started the modifications, full body kit, momo wheels, recaro seats, engine modification that increased the HP to over 200, the lot. Unfortunately, being 19 and gas pedal happy, i totalled the car after a few weeks of completing the works. had the car for just over a year and loved every second of it. It had more power than you could possibly need and never ever let me down. 6 years later, i drove past a showroom and saw another red Mk3 Ibiza, witha 1.6ltr engine which was more sensible. I decided to go for it and fell in love all over again. Later on i had exchanged it for a 9000 CDE. The Ibiza was truly my first love and i would absolutely have no problem fetching another one once my mid life crisis gets going 🙂

  30. Nice topic here, and wonderful comments indeed.

    1. 2004 Audi TT Roadster
    It was the 5V engine, and with a REVO Teknik tuning, the performance was unreal. Eventually, I was transferred to Spain and had to sell the vehicle. I probably would’ve driven it into the ground otherwise. It did have several electrical gremlins, but when she was in working order, it was a beast to drive and handled like nothing else.

    2. 2001 Viggen Convertible
    This was my first Viggen, she was all black through and through. However, I didn’t own it, rather I assumed someone’s lease. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very easy to obtain a Saab replacement in stick after the lease was over. I couldn’t find a Saab stick anywhere in Florida, and frankly couldn’t wait a couple months for a special order. I purchased the Audi TT instead. While the Audi was a better overall vehicle, the thrill of the Viggen’s turbo was in a class of its own. She also had a character that none of my other vehicles had.

    3. 2002 Viggen Convertible
    After my return from Spain, I purchased an Audi A4 convertible. It was the worst decision I ever made. I thought perhaps it would share some characteristics of my previous TT, boy was I wrong. The A4 was a Camry on wheels. I sold the A4, at a loss, and found a beautiful 2002 Viggen convertible, which is my current daily driver. She’s on her last breaths, in fact she just came back from the shop from yet another repair. Honestly, I would’ve replaced her long ago, but have been hoping for something with Saab to materialize. This particular Viggen has had a lot of treatments, and ironically her problems have not been mechanical. I will miss her dearly, and I will miss Saab.

    Honorable mentions:
    1995 Infiniti J30 (Incredible cruiser, and one of the most unique vehicles on the road.)
    1997 Saab 9-3

    ***I just noticed after proof reading that I referred to the Saabs as “her”, and the other vehicles as “it”. I think that pretty much sums it up!

  31. Top 3 is easy….It’s made by Saab..

    Tie for 2nd place is between my current 9-5 Aero and previous 9-3SS Aero…The 9-5 is just that it’s such a comfortable express machine, swift and stylish; the 9-3 added sportyness.

    The best was my M83 99GL 4-door. 2-litre carburettor good for 100 bhp, acceleration was pedestrian 0-60 in 13.1 seconds, tops out at 105 mph. It was 17 years old when I bought it, other potential buyers were wary of the rattly bottom end but it never gave up, even at 100 mph on the M62. Whereas a 150 mile journey in my Vectra SRi would take 2 1/2 hours, I somehow managed it in 2 hours in the 99. It would take the bends very easily and stop on a 2 pence piece, but the best thing about it was, despite its occasional sulks, it made me smile every time I went to it, such fun to drive…..maybe I’ve just grown older..

  32. Saab Turbo X Saloon with Hirsch chip to 300bhp. Lunatic fast from 30mph to 70mph, very little on the road could match it. On ignition, a rumbled enough to be heard from the next street. Downside, a very sensitive clutch that didn’t forgive a heavy left foot.

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