Classifieds’ Saab Of The Day

The Perfectly Preserved Saab 9000 CDE

Saab 9000 CDE

Good connoisseurs of Saab cars, and especially the 9000 series, know that the 9000 model was made in a large number of versions and subversions and that only one of them was the CDE version. From the beginning, Saab had placed the CD and later the CDE above the hatchback model in terms of equipment and price. The CDE model was offered initially with only the 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) turbocharged engine.

Unfortunately, over time, there are fewer and fewer good examples on the streets around the world, so fans of this model can hardly find a good example for themselves. However, from time to time, a great opportunity appears in the classifieds, and we found one in the classifieds in Arlington, MA – 1993 Saab 9000 CDE turbo, Automatic for $ 4,800!

As the seller says, he knows it’s a bit of an odd duck, but he’s seen to all the common issues and a lot more. He rebuilt the entire TCS system it works perfectly so you’ll never have to worry about that. This may be one of the last surviving 1993 CDE in this condition. And really, according to the description and photos, This is a beautiful example of a CDE.

Below, we present this car from the point of view of the current owner and seller, in order to bring you closer to the dedication and love that the Saab owner has given to his beloved car.

Groomed, pampered and cared for, Saab 9000 CDE
Groomed, pampered, and cared for, Saab 9000 CDE

The Story about 9000 CDE

I am selling my beloved car. A particularly special version of the iconic Saab 9000; a 1993 9000 CDE turbo. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to find a 9000 automatic sedan as I’d much rather have a manual hatch, but this car followed me home, and in the process of breathing new life into it, I have come to love it for what it is; a polite but assertive executive cruiser with comfort just as much at the forefront as is performance.

I’ve had a dozen Saabs, and this one stands out among them and holds a very special place in my life. It has taken me from coast to coast twice without ever missing a beat. I am reluctantly selling because I am building a recently purchased van into a camper and it doesn’t make sense to keep this as a third vehicle. This must go to a good Saab home with someone who understands these cars and who will take good care of them.

To acknowledge the concerns of my fellow enthusiasts:
“BUT IT’S AN AUTOMATIC!! BUT IT HAS TCS!!”
Please read on to see why these objections can be overcome…

I am a personal assistant. One of my wealthy clients bought this car new and spared no expense over the years to keep it running. He had seen many of my Saabs over the years and finally offered to sell this one to me in 2017. It came with every single document since new, including the PNS, window sticker, a handful of keys, and full chronological Saab dealer service history. While camel was the standard interior for a scarab green exterior color, this one was special ordered in with a charcoal interior. It might be a 1-of-1 in this combo for 1993!

He bought this CDE at Beherman Saab in Brussels via the diplomatic delivery program. It was built with a US VIN# and stayed in Belgium until 1996 when he finalized the import to the USA. It had since spent its life simply cruising back and forth between his garages at MIT in Cambridge, and homes in Boston and Cape Cod, with only him in the car, until it came to me. The speedometer and odometer remain in kilometers. In 2001, the transmission was replaced ($3,500!) with a new crate transmission shipped from Sweden and installed at the Saab dealer. So, the transmission has fewer miles than the engine.

Good preserved Interior - Saab 9000 CDE
Good preserved Interior – Saab 9000 CDE

Saab 9000 CDE – Info, Details, and Features

1993 Saab 9000 CDE

  • Scarab Green
  • 217k Km (134k miles)
  • 4-Speed automatic transmission
  • 2.3-liter turbo gasoline engine
  • New Kenwood radio head unit with Bluetooth and USB
  • All the usual Saab comforts…
  • Saab auto climate control
  • Power windows/locks
  • Heated leather seats
  • Sunroof
  • Fog lights
  • Factory passive alarm system
  • Fully intact tool kit

Maintenance, Updates, and Reconditioning

When I got the car, it had good bones, but it was tired. Here is an exhaustive list of what I’ve done to the car since 2017, in no particular order:

Replaced/Added

  • H4 Euro headlights (with electric height adjusters, but the switch isn’t yet connected)
  • Headlight washer motors
  • Refinished (not refurbished) OEM 15” BBS cross-spoke wheels
  • OEM Armrest added from a ‘98
  • All brake calipers lubed and cleaned
  • Exhaust re-hung
  • Coolant flushed
  • Transmission fluid changed several times, just to be sure
  • Recent oil change with OEM filter
  • Brake fluid flushed/replaced
  • Kickdown wire motor
  • ACC Blend mechanism
  • Leather Aero door cards (previous fabric ones were disintegrating)
  • Hazard flasher button
  • Driver ceiling grab handle
  • Power window panel
  • Turn signal stalk with cruise control
  • Decayed rear decor panel replaced with a solid red trim cross member piece as an homage to the last 9-5 (very subtle)
  • All four door gaskets
  • Clock/Smart Display controller
  • A/C compressor disassembled and rebuilt with new seals and internal magnetic clutch. Works very well!

New Saab spare parts

  • 4 Yokohama Avid Tires
  • Front and rear suspension, including all dampers and bushings
  • Windshield
  • Ignition lock cylinder
  • TCS system completely rebuilt and reprogrammed (at great expense and aggravation) with all new vacuum lines, and one of the last NOS throttle bodies in the world for this car. The TCS is working flawlessly and will outlive the car!
  • Headliner professionally recovered in deep black (while headliner was down, sunroof drains were cleaned and sealant applied, just in case)
  • Kenwood head unit (w/Bluetooth and USB) and all speakers
  • Engine air filter
  • Cabin air filter
  • NOS Horn buttons (hard to find!)
  • OEM Spark Plugs
  • OEM NOS Fog light lenses
  • Amber fog light bulbs
  • All engine mounts
  • Front control arm bushings (the rearward, airplane looking ones)
  • Battery
  • Power antenna mast
  • All pads and rotors
  • Battery cables
  • OEM Transmission fluid filter and gasket (kit no longer available)
  • Outside temperature sensor
  • Headlight and other relays
  • Headlight wiper blades and windscreen wiper blades
Rear seats, leather armchairs like new
Rear seats, leather armchairs like new

Full Disclosure

Now that I’ve explained all the good stuff, let me explain what quirks come along with a car that is 30 years old:

  • Despite being a year-round New England car, there is no serious rust anywhere. There is some surface corrosion underneath, but absolutely nothing pervasive, and nothing cosmetic.
  • Sometime before I got the car, a mechanic wrongly placed a jack and slightly bent upward the drivers floor pan. This is hard to notice, but I’ve really gotten used to it. I like to rest my foot on the little bump during long drives!
  • I have replaced the oil level sensor O-Ring with a new OEM part, but it still drips ever so slightly, a trivial amount not noticed between oil changes. I wasn’t willing to do more than that to remedy the issue given how small it is, so I just live with it. I have pics available to highlight this.
  • Above, I mentioned a replacement kick down cable motor… this slightly remedied the fact that the transmission likes to upshift too soon, but didn’t eliminate it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the gears or synchronizers, it just likes to prematurely upshift. As such, I keep the gear selector in “3” around town and pop it into “D” when I merge onto the highway. This in no way detracts from the enjoyment of driving the car.
  • As the previous owner aged, he started bumping into things while parking. Namely: the slanted hull of his boat parked in his driveway opposite his garage. In doing so three separate times, he left some small dents on the back that I have decided to embrace as part of the story of the car, given it’s age. There are a few small age-related love marks on the body as well, but nothing else significant.

Sale includes

  • OEM Touch up paint
  • OEM Saab branded Thule roof rack
  • EU Spec owners manual wallet
  • Three original master keys, and a handful of copies.
  • An extra OEM DIC
  • A box of extra 9000 parts, including a pair of headlights
  • OEM Saab rubber floor mat set
  • Saab emergency triangle
  • Extra cross-spoke rim and two center caps
  • New OEM Fuel filter (I haven’t gotten around to installing it)

If you’ve read this far… thank you! I have had a lot of meaningful memories and journeys in this car, and have thoroughly enjoyed rejuvenating it. If my circumstances were different, I would simply keep it. This will be my first time not owning a Saab since 2002.

Saab 9000 CDE

The VIN# is YS3CL48MXP1032017.

I have the title and I’m as ready to sell as I’ll ever be. Please send me an e-mail that includes your phone number to the ‘reply’ link above if you’re interested, and we can arrange a time for you to see it.

I am happy to work with remote buyers, and I would welcome a mechanic of your choice to perform an independent inspection. I have a mountain more of pics that won’t fit in this post, which I will be happy to send upon request.

I have almost $9k invested into this car, and I know that I won’t get even close to that when selling it, but having the most comfortable highway cruiser and nimble city car I’ve ever owned, has been worth it.

Thank you! Charlie

Contact Seller

You can contact the seller via this email or via his Facebook account.


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