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Old 08-15-2007, 07:00 AM   #1
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Arc v. Aero

Hey guys. I'm searching for a new car (11 months left! If you knew me, then you'd know this is panic time for me) and I'm beginning to think a Viggen might be too old for a 100 mile a day commute; when I buy one, I'll relegate it to fun driving only.

I've loved the style of the 9-3 SSs since they came out, but I can't afford to get the V6 model (though I would love to....although I don't get why they didn't just stick the 2.3t in there...) and even the new 2.0t model is too much. I was looking into getting a Rabbit, and even with the 08 update to 170bhp and 177lb-ft, I'm still not sure if I'm ready to go to a naturally aspirated engine. I'm having separation anxiety over losing my 1.8T in the Passat (of course, the Box S doesn't have a turbo, but that's another story)

I remember driving a 9-3 Arc way back when, and I liked it. I definitely liked it. One of the more impressive FWD cars I've driven (at the time, I was of the mind that FWD was the root of all evil; obviously, I don't feel that way anymore). But I do recall wanting the Aero.

So what exactly are the differences between and 04 or 05 Arc and Aero? I think the Aero came with a 6 speed and the Arc had a 5, but I'm not sure. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

Would it be worth it to pony up a few extra dollars to get the Aero, or does the Aero name carry too much worth on the used market? 210bhp is plenty, and they share that engine. I'm going to skip the Linear, though it's power is comparable to my Passat and with a stick it should be quicker, but I can't help but want a little more power.

Also, is the 9-3 smaller than a B5 Passat? I tend to remember that it's classified as a compact car and my Passat is a midsize; if it's smaller, that's a good thing.

Thanks for the help, guys.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:07 AM   #2
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I wouldnt worry about a Viggen taking miles and being reliable. If you stick to semi normal power levels you are fine.

Now with an SS, they can wind up in the shop plenty. DO NOT buy one with out a warranty and stick with an 04+. The Arc has the same bigger brakes and 6spd as the Aero. The Aero gets the body bits, better seats, and MAYBE tighter suspension tuning. That is all.

We drove an 04 Passat and it was definitely bigger than our SS.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:22 AM   #3
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You think the better seats are worth the upgrade?

When I posted my first thread, someone posted a link about the Viggen; the common problems scared the crap out of me. And, every Viggen I've seen for sale has had an engine rebuild. Again, that scares the crap out of me.

What's the big issue with the warranty? I'll be keeping the car longer than the warranty period if it's an 04. I probably won't buy another car until 2012.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:35 AM   #4
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In 11 months you may be able to find some 2006 9-3SS's coming off lease. They would still have the balance of any warranty left. We really like ours. I would prefer it to the 2.0 liter.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:41 AM   #5
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What are the redlines on the 2.0t and the 2.8t?
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:58 AM   #6
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dont know the redlines. If you were worried about reliability id def stick to the 2.0T over the new v6...

aero is lower. and a bit stiffer, supposedly... i think the twin 5 spoke aero wheels are gorgeous... and interior...

Unfortunately, warranty is a must
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:23 AM   #7
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Reliability is nowhere near my number one concern. I just don't want to be worried; I'm pretty good on preventative maintenance and I'm great with oil changes.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:31 AM   #8
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Reliability is nowhere near my number one concern. I just don't want to be worried; I'm pretty good on preventative maintenance and I'm great with oil changes.
Then you are fine with a Viggen. Plugs, oil, maf and DI and your Viggen will be damn reliable....more trusted than a 9-3SS which has its own issues like "disappearing coolant".
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Then you are fine with a Viggen. Plugs, oil, maf and DI and your Viggen will be damn reliable....more trusted than a 9-3SS which has its own issues like "disappearing coolant".
Maf and DI?

Also, Viggens take synthetic, right? I figure it has to because of that heat.

I didn't know about these SS issues; I always heard that newer Saabs are very reliable.

Would buying a 9-5 of this era make sense, or is the performance of the Viggen that much better?

Also, can I have your Viggen?
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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Maf and DI?

Also, Viggens take synthetic, right? I figure it has to because of that heat.

I didn't know about these SS issues; I always heard that newer Saabs are very reliable.

Would buying a 9-5 of this era make sense, or is the performance of the Viggen that much better?

Also, can I have your Viggen?
MAF is only about $120 and takes 5 mins to replace and its good insurance to replace every 50-60k just in case. DI is the part in the middle of the valve cover, costs $200 new and takes 1.5 mins to replace. They can just go bad but the newer ones are far better. Yes, synthetic in any modern Saab is a good idea.

The SS is actually hurt the reliability of Saab due to being in the shop so much for auto trans(even the early sticks can be bad), stereo malfunctions, clunky suspension, and again the coolant issue which is linked to a porous block.

The 9-5, in the later years is one of the most reliable Saabs you can buy. The performance of an Aero isn't that far off at all from a Viggen. Its a smoother power delivery and a few hundred lbs heavier. But its a more sorted platform and plants power better.

And sorry, no.....my Viggen is staying with me for a good while.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:53 AM   #11
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The 9-5 would be the best choice, especially the Aero model since it is more reliable than the lpt versions (more reliable turbocharger). I drive a 60+ mile commute every day and it has never really let me down.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:24 AM   #12
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The 9-5 would be the best choice, especially the Aero model since it is more reliable than the lpt versions (more reliable turbocharger). I drive a 60+ mile commute every day and it has never really let me down.
My only issue with the 9-5 is size. It's huge. I've had an E class, and I do not want a that big again. Viggen's basically a 9-3 with a 9-5 engine. I also don't know much abotu the handling of the 9-5, but I've driven a Viggen and I love it. I've got to drive one, to make sure that I haven't changed.

There was one for sale that Champ sent me towards, and that guy was selling it to buy a R32. I like R32s, but they don't have the character or the gas mileage of the Viggen.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:27 AM   #13
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My only issue with the 9-5 is size. It's huge. I've had an E class, and I do not want a that big again. Viggen's basically a 9-3 with a 9-5 engine. I also don't know much abotu the handling of the 9-5, but I've driven a Viggen and I love it. I've got to drive one, to make sure that I haven't changed.

There was one for sale that Champ sent me towards, and that guy was selling it to buy a R32. I like R32s, but they don't have the character or the gas mileage of the Viggen.
Have you driven a 9-5? I felt like the Passat was BIGGER.

Stop swearing off the Viggen for reliability sake. If you are shooting for under 300whp and do basic maintenance than there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:46 AM   #14
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My only issue with the 9-5 is size. It's huge. I've had an E class, and I do not want a that big again. Viggen's basically a 9-3 with a 9-5 engine. I also don't know much abotu the handling of the 9-5, but I've driven a Viggen and I love it. I've got to drive one, to make sure that I haven't changed.

There was one for sale that Champ sent me towards, and that guy was selling it to buy a R32. I like R32s, but they don't have the character or the gas mileage of the Viggen.
i always thot that the 9-3 and 9-5 were too similar in size... our 9-5 doesn't seem as big as an e-class to me.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:10 PM   #15
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Have you driven a 9-5? I felt like the Passat was BIGGER.

Stop swearing off the Viggen for reliability sake. If you are shooting for under 300whp and do basic maintenance than there is nothing to worry about.
I'm shooting for 200whp!

If you guys have my back, the Viggen's back at the top of the list.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:53 PM   #16
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I'm shooting for 200whp!

If you guys have my back, the Viggen's back at the top of the list.
215whp bone stock is the norm. If you are happy with that then you will have a very reliable car.

In the 33k miles I put on my 99 the only issues I have had were DI and MAF which I replaced myself in minutes. Anything else that happened like blowing off hoses/boost leaks happened when I added 50-60whp lol.

There are a few guys on here running very high mile Viggens and will tell you they are happy. If you let the cars sludge, neglect CEL's or a bad MAF and DI then yes, you will get a car that needs a new long block with only 60k miles on it.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:03 PM   #17
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215whp bone stock is the norm. If you are happy with that then you will have a very reliable car.

In the 33k miles I put on my 99 the only issues I have had were DI and MAF which I replaced myself in minutes. Anything else that happened like blowing off hoses/boost leaks happened when I added 50-60whp lol.

There are a few guys on here running very high mile Viggens and will tell you they are happy. If you let the cars sludge, neglect CEL's or a bad MAF and DI then yes, you will get a car that needs a new long block with only 60k miles on it.
215whp is plenty; I already have a sports car. What people tell me I should do is buy a Jetta diesel and drive that. But I'm not okay with that; just because you have one fun car doesn't mean you don't want another. I just don't need super fast. 0-60s for a stock Vig run low to mid 6s; way faster than what I wanted. I was looking at mid 7s to low 8s; that's all I wanted. I'm not a "fast is fun" guy. Fast is fine, but fun is fun. If there's fast there too, that's fine.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:11 PM   #18
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215whp is plenty; I already have a sports car. What people tell me I should do is buy a Jetta diesel and drive that. But I'm not okay with that; just because you have one fun car doesn't mean you don't want another. I just don't need super fast. 0-60s for a stock Vig run low to mid 6s; way faster than what I wanted. I was looking at mid 7s to low 8s; that's all I wanted. I'm not a "fast is fun" guy. Fast is fine, but fun is fun. If there's fast there too, that's fine.
Also note that 0-60 is one of the stock Viggen's most lack luster numbers. 1st and 2nd gear are severely crippled stock and thats what you use to hit 60. Thats why 3rd gear roll ons are a different story in a stock Viggen. When my car was stock I had a 50-95 roll against a NON S Cayman and B5 and B6 s4's and I won all of them. All 3 of those cars would romp me from a dig or to 60. A healthy stock Viggen will trap at 98-99mph, that shows you how capable they are from a roll.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:24 PM   #19
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I drove 120 mile/day commute in a 200,000 mile 9000...I would expect a well kept Viggen to do that more reliably than my old beater.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:37 PM   #20
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Then you are fine with a Viggen. Plugs, oil, maf and DI and your Viggen will be damn reliable....more trusted than a 9-3SS which has its own issues like "disappearing coolant".
Damn if I didn't have that problem myself. So did my daughter. I replaced my expansion tank cap and it solved the problem.
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