Chicago Saab dealers ready to usher in new 9-5

Posted in saab 9-5 chicago with tags , , , , on July 16, 2009 by Alyssa

Classics and antiques are great. But when Saab realized that the 9-5 was the oldest design in their production, dating back to the early 80’s, I think they realized that they were pushing the limits of antique design. But since the 9-5 has been such a reliable and steady-selling car for all of these years, they figured why get rid of it? Instead, they have decided it is time for a 9-5 upgrade and have officially produced the very last of the old model sedan last week.

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Chicago Saab dealers anticipate 2011 arrival of 9-4x

Posted in buy new Saab in Chicago with tags , , , on July 1, 2009 by Alyssa

It has been quite a few months for Saab. Between a divorce from GM and a new relationship with Koenigsegg, it has been an emotional roller coaster that anyone would be sympathetic to. And if Saab were to sit down right now and say that they needed a break, I’m sure that we would all understand. But no. They are going to push right through and hopefully come out on top of all of this with the new 9-4x, due out in 2011.

Saab Chicago dealers are sure that this new 9-4x will be just the thing to help Saab readjust to this dramatic breakup. Early reports of the upcoming crossover make it look like a beauty. It is expected to be built on the same platform as the current Cadillac SRX, a GM build. That being said, GM will oversee the whole production, hopefully making the transition a little smoother for everyone, while helping keep the qualities of Saab that we love in tact.

The Chicago Saab 9-4x is also going to be marketed to replace the 9-7x SUV, which didn’t do as well as Saab had hoped for. But they have big plans for the future of this 9-4x and are sure that it will have much more success with, not only this new model but also its new relationship with Koenigsegg.

The new addition to the Saab lineup will have many features that Saab-lovers have come to expect. With a powerful 284 horsepower and V6 engine, it will be just as strong and powerful as ever before.

However, the new Saab will also be relatively fuel-efficient. It will achieve 22 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the city, both very respectable numbers for vehicles in its class.

And though not a ton has been revealed about this new vehicle, it’s probably pretty safe to say that it will be just as sleek and smooth driving as any other Saab out on the road today. And from the looks of the photos already released, its also a safe bet that it will be just as stunning.

Even through such a rough bump in the road, Saab has chosen to take the higher road and continue on. So, if you’re looking to buy new Saab in Chicago, stop in to any Saab dealer in Chicago and find out more details about the upcoming 9-4x.

Chicago Saab News: Saab to Debut New 9-5

Posted in saab 9-5 chicago with tags , , , on June 16, 2009 by Alyssa
The new Saab 9-5 is expected to be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September

The new Saab 9-5 is expected to be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September

In 1997, Saab debuted their brand new model of the 9-5. Since then, not much has changed on this sedan. But now, after 12 years, it is being reported that Saab has decided to give this car a makeover, inside and out.

The new version of the 9-5 Saab will be unveiled at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show in September and is predicted to make its North American debut at the 2010 North American International Auto Show next January.

The new model will give the 1997 version of itself a run for its money. This new 9-5 has been based off of the build of the GM Epsilon II. With a bigger wheelbase, 14cm bigger, and an overall length of 5m, the interior of the new 9-5 is much roomier and more spacious than ever before. Which is a good thing too, because I can promise that once it gets out there, everyone will want a ride. While the 9-5 has undergone some changes over the years since 1997, this new generation will significantly revamp the car, differentiating it even more from Saab’s 9-3.

With a turbocharged V6 engine, and an expected 350 hp, Chicago Saab dealers are looking forward to seeing how this new model will handle. But with a stiffer suspension than its predecessor, a new steering system, and an optional brand new all-wheel drive system, I don’t think that it will disappoint. This expected 350hp is also more energy than we have seen exerted from any Saab to date, which will make this new sedan more fun to drive than ever.

According to my local Saab dealer in Chicago, this new addition to the Saab lineup could be exactly what Saab needs. The past few months have been difficult for Saab, and they need a little something to push them in the right direction. People are hoping that this new design-forward model will be just the right thing to help.

So keep your eyes out at your local Chicago Saab dealers for this debut, because after 12 years, this new model is ready to wow car buyers again.

Saab 9-3 Convertible Chicago test drive

Posted in saab 9-3 chicago with tags , , on June 3, 2009 by John

saab_9-3_convertible_2006_01For those of you who have been riding shotgun with me over the years as I write my reviews, you know that I love most cars but won’t write about or push any models not up to my standards.  I simply write it as I drive it.  That being said I recently took a Saab 9-3 Chicago test drive to test out the open-air version of the 9-3.  While I wasn’t sure how a 9-3 Convertible would look or drive, I must say I’m impressed with Saab’s work.

Before I break down the drive itself, let me examine the appearance and comfort of the ride.  My initial reaction upon spotting the car on the lot was that this Saab 9-3 Chicago Convertible looked sleek, even by already-lofty Saab standards.  Compact and stylish, the convertible-version 9-3 definitely makes you take notice.  I like feeling as though I am not stuck in my car as I cruise about town.  And since Chicago is the town I’m cruising most of the time, I really took notice of the hardtop the Saab 9-3 Convertible offers.  A total requirement for Chicago weather, the hardtop insulates the cabin nicely in the winter.

I couldn’t help but notice the 9-3 seemed relatively spacious from the inside.   Sure I’ve driven roofed 9-3s before, but even with the top up on the convertible it somehow seemed roomier.  Maybe the hardtop offers slightly more headroom.  I’m not sure.  The ride itself was very smooth.  It was as if I was driving down a basketball court rather than the potholed streets of Chicago. 

The convertible’s performance was just as you would expect from any 9-3 test drive.  The 9-3 has always met my standards for style and performance.  I knew this convertible would perform, and I was really pleased with its looks.

After my ride I took a spin on the superhighway and found the 9-3 Convertible’s fuel economy to be in line with its competitors, 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.  Overall, I was impressed by the 2009 Saab 9-3 Convertible.  It’s the 9-3, with nature added.

2010 Saab 9-5 spotted at Ring

Posted in saab 9-5 chicago with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by John

The 2010 Saab 9-5 has again been spotted, this time at the Nurburgring race track.  Take a look at some of the spy shots on Motor Trend.  The shots of the next 9-5, which is set to debut in September, show an impressive body flow.  I was impressed by the renderings and photos I wrote about a couple of months ago.  But these new shots of the 2010 9-5 at The Ring show an even more pronounced rear end that flares to a lip, more like the current luxury sedan offerings from BMW.

The profile looks really nice, but with the car’s camouflage it is tough to get an idea of this 9-5 prototype’s personality.  Critics will say Saab is jumping on the design bandwagon of other luxury car manufacturers, but we haven’t seen the whole package yet.  Bank on Saab producing a very Saabish vehicle while incorporating design elements that appeal to more luxury buyers.  The company has always done a nice job at keeping their models unique.

Of course, it is time to update.  The current 9-5 form, which I do like, was born in 1997.  Obviously, there have been some redesigns, but essentially the current 9-5 is a 12-year-old sedan.  I’ve been on a few Chicago Saab 9-5 test drives over the years, and I’ve always given the model great reviews.   However, it has always come across as a bit of a niche vehicle to me.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but the new 9-5 has an opportunity to reach out to a lot of new buyers.  I think when the dust settles over Saab’s eventual sale and the new 9-5 architecture is revealed, people will consider this car to be a serious alternative to the 5 Series or E-Class.  They should.  Saab makes great cars that are fun to drive.

The new-form 9-5 will have a considerably longer wheelbase, differentiating it even more from the 9-3.  Also raising the 9-5 to another class will be a more powerful engine, though we’re not sure what that engine will be as of now.  The Motor Trend people said that their spy photographers “assert that the prototypes pictured were running with 210-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engines with both manual and automatic gearboxes.”  They might put in something that spits more than 210 horsepower for the production model.  Although, if that is the plan why wouldn’t they use that engine at The Ring?  I think the 2.0-liter turbo 4-banger will get this model moving very nicely, with decent fuel efficiency.  However, at 210 hp, its umph would come in under the luxury sedans it will be competing with.

I know I’ll have to wait for about a year to see one in person at a Saab dealer in Chicago, but I’m axiously awaiting the new 9-5’s unveiling later this year.

Update:  I just found some newer, less-masked spy shots of the 2010 9-5 on Carscoop.

Chicago Saab service: 6 tips for summer driving

Posted in Saab dealer in Chicago with tags , , , on May 8, 2009 by John

CarRepairIt’s that time of year again, when people all over Chicago start cooking outdoors, taking evening strolls, and failing to prepare their cars for summer. What’s that? You thought winter was the only season you had to prepare your vehicle for? Guess again.

Something most drivers don’t realize is that summer can be every bit as rough on a vehicle as winter. But not to worry, your Chicago Saab service team is here to get you through this. Here are our 6 tips that should keep you enjoying the summer in your Saab.

  • Check your air conditioning – It’s a wonderful spring day and your windows are down, the breeze playing flirtatiously with those few strands of hair draping over your forehead. Who needs air conditioning? Well, try fast-fowarding a couple of months to Taste of Chicago weather, when the sun is beating down, the temperature rivals that of a Hammond steel mill, and the air is more humid than chicken soup. What I’m getting at is that I think you’ll want your air conditioning to be in top shape at some point, and finding out there is a problem with it in July is a lot less fun than fixing it before the heat arrives. The stress summer’s heat puts on your car’s air conditioning can take its toll, especially on an already weak A/C system. Have your system checked by a trained Chicago Saab service professional before you begin relying on it every day.
  • Check your coolant – An engine without proper coolant protection is a disaster waiting to happen in the dog days of summer. Overheating is the one of the biggest causes of summer breakdowns. Make sure your coolant has the proper cooling protection, and check to make sure your levels are consistent. If you have to add coolant on a regular basis, you have a leak and need to get your car in for service. If your “check coolant” light ever pops on, be sure to get your vehicle into a Chicago Saab service center to have the coolant level checked.
  • Test your battery – The extreme temperatures of summer can be tougher on your battery than cold weather. That is one reason more manufacturers are moving the location of the battery out of the engine compartment where it is away from the added heat of the engine. The health of your battery can be tested with specialized equipment by a Chicago Saab service technician.
  • Pay attention to your tires – A lot of people would think tires are more of a winter concern due to snow and ice. Warmer temperatures, especially on a long trip, can really test the integrity of your tires. Check your tires before they let you down in the middle of nowhere. Under- or over-inflated tires cause poor fuel economy and uneven wear on the tread. Worn tires cause accidents during summer months when the roads are traveled the most.
  • Change your oil regularly – Regular oil changes are always a necessary practice, but they are more important in the summer. The extreme heat causes oil to break down faster, leaving your engine unprotected. You also want to pay attention to you summer miles. Most drivers use their cars more during warmer months, so you may need to change you car’s oil more frequently during the summer.
  • Clean your car – Not only does a clean car make driving more fun and give you more pride in your vehicle, a car that is routinely kept clean will stay looking new for longer and help retain its value. Additionally, a car driven in Chicago all winter will have a nasty buildup of caked-on dirt and salt on its underbelly. You need to make sure you have your car’s underside sprayed off thoroughly to prevent that grime from causing rusting of various components.

2009 Saab 9-7X

Posted in buy new Saab in Chicago with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by John

I’d never been in a Saab 9-7X, and I figured it was about time I took a drive.  So I headed over to Chicago Saab dealer Patrick Saab on Saturday, a nice 74-degree day fit for cruising in a new car.

I knew this vehicle was built upon the platform GM uses for some of its SUVs, so I was worried the 9-7X would come across as a boring Saab crossbreed (a SaaBlazer if you will) when I finally got my closer look at the Saab dealer in Chicago.  Honestly though, I struggled to make much of a connection between the design language.  Sure, it’s of a similar size and dimension, but Saab did an excellent job making this vehicle its own.

2009-saab-9-7x-car-pics

The 9-7X displayed really nice acceleration and overall impressive performance during the voyage away from the Chicago Saab dealer — what I would expect from a Saab, but I had some doubts as to whether Saab could measure up in the SUV arena.  I’m glad I was proven wrong.  The cabin is large and comfortable and the chassis produces quite a smooth ride.  Everyone knows I’m a sucker for any vehicle that can take me to a trail head with a few hiking partners, all the necessary gear and some space to spare.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to envision a Saab delivering me into the wilderness, though.  But again I was proven incorrect.  It felt and acted like a very capable and fun vehicle to have on trips.

The Saab 9-7X seats five people comfortably.  I, at 6’2″, made sure to climb in the back and there was plenty of headroom and legroom for me back there.  The cargo space is a solid 40 cubic feet and includes a cover and tiedowns.  With the rear row down, you can fit a whopping 80 cubic feet of cargo.  And the 9-7X is a very capable tower, matching what the best in its class can deliver.

For comfort during the ride, all models come with heated, power front seats, leather seats all around, a moonroof, a Bose sound system, and a steering wheel-controlled cruise and audio interface.  A navigation system and DVD player are optional.

When I made it to a road with a less-stringent speed law, I liked the real quiet transition to high-speed driving (with the small exception of my Bose sound system sing-a-long).  I heard very little wind and did not notice tire noise in the least.  I also heard very little of my passenger’s objection to my songbird-like vocal expression.

I was driving the 9-7X 5.3i that is in stock at the Patrick Saab dealer in Chicago.  That model comes stuffed with a Vortec V-8 equipped with cylinder deactivation.  It provides 300 hp and 321 lb-ft of torque, but because of its cylinder deactivation technology, it gets the same mpg ratings as the six cylinder. The Aero package takes the engine to a 6.0-liter V-8 with 390 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque for the serious power driver.  The 4.2i features a 4.2-liter V-6 that gives 285 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque.

Overall, my take on the 9-7X is a favorable one.  As a family hauler or load hauler, the vehicle performs quite well.  I like the styling way more than the GM models the 9-7X shares its platform with.  This is a really nice choice for anyone looking for an SUV that can get things done but still wants more of a European styling flavor.