Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Saab 9000s - High-Powered Luxury with a Four-Cylinder Engine

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Saab 9000s - High-Powered Luxury with a Four-Cylinder Engine

Article excerpt

I drive a four-cylinder automobile, (which will remain anonymous) so, when I got behind the wheel of the Saab 9000S and pulled out of the parking garage, I knew the sales representative was wrong - intentionally or otherwise.

He told me the car had a four-cylinder engine in it. I guffawed as I tooled away in the new luxury sedan and laughed out loud when I got it on the highway. What did this guy take me for, a fool?

Then it occured to me that in my cursory look at the specifications for the 9000S, I had read that the car is indeed equipped with a four-cylinder engine - a 16-valve version. There are no options for any larger engines.

It's transversely mounted, and naturally-aspirated (I know, I had to look under the hood to believe it was four-cylinder) - and fast.

Horsepower is rated at 125 at 5,500 rpms. It also features Bosch LH electronic fuel injection.

(If the 9000s response is not satisfactory, the Scandanavian car builder provides the 9000 Turbo and 900 Turbo - both 160 hp at 5,500 rpms - and a 900S/Turbo SPG option, rated at 165 hp at 5,500 rpms.)

But besides the engine, there are other striking features revealed in The Journal Record test drive of Saab's new flagship from Bob Moore Cadillac in downtown Oklahoma City.

Overall, I was impressed. They wouldn't have to ask me twice to take one if they were giving them away - which they are not.

But the car certainly seems well worth its base price - $22,562. The model I drove had metallic paint, bringing it to $22,982. The major options include a leather package, metallic paint and automatic transmission, totaling $24,572 for the top-of-the-line 9000S.

The 9000 Turbo is $26,342 and leather is standard. Its top price is $27,322.

Meanwhile, both the 9000S and the turbo get the same gas mileage: 18 mpg city and 23 highway for the automatic; and 19 and 24 for the five-speed.

The 9000S is rated in the "large car" size classification - with seating for five passengers. It boasts 15.9 cubic feet of "trunk" room plus 60/40 split rear seats which fold down for up to 56.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The hatchback door lifts up to accomodate an amazing cargo bay. It is a heavy back door, too. It goes up, but defies gravity when it is time to close it. (Put the groceries in the back seat, folks.)

But because of the size of the rear opening created when the door is up, a full size sofa would even fit nicely in the cargo area.

One note: the seats are a little challenging to pull from their normal position into the folded position to create the cargo area.

It is comfortable to say the least, even in the back seat, with that comfort complimented by a very smooth ride. In fact, the interior is designed with ease of operation in mind. The five-speed shifts with little effort, although after three days I had still not completely mastered the clutch, and I am accustomed to that function. …

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