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I need to save my dad from becoming automotively beige

Illustration for article titled I need to save my dad from becoming automotively beige

When I visited my parents over the summer, my dad mentioned he was thinking of replacing his 2007 Saab 9-3 Aero 2.8T convertible that he bought brand new, with some kind of boring crossover like a Mazda CX-5. But he hasn’t yet. This weekend he sent me this pic of his 9-3 hiding among the SUVs. He should keep it.


Being a couple of empty-nest, well-off DC Baby Boomers, my parents have two houses: the one in the DC suburbs where I grew up, and a bigass vacation house on the eastern shore of Maryland. They bought this vacation house over the summer to replace their previous, reasonably-sized vacation house. Because...reasons.

My mom drives an ’05 Acura MDX, also bought new, that she wants to downsize from. My dad was talking about wanting to get something that runs on regular gas (unlike the Saab) and can haul around the assorted crap that comes along with having a big house on a couple wooded waterfront acres and a couple boats. He was leaning toward the CX-5 because it’s sorta kinda sporty, runs on regular gas, and apparently has the highest tow rating among 4-cylinder compact crossovers.


The Saab was making some kind of clunking noise that I didn’t get an opportunity to diagnose while I was visiting because we were busy doing vacation-y things, but my dad said if the clunk was some big repair, he’d sell the car to my friend’s shop/dealership that works on the Saab.

I at one point suggested he should keep a fun car and snag an old pickup or proper trucky SUV and leave it at the vacation house, but he was all like, “I’m old, I’ve had my fun with cars, I just want something fuel efficient and rational that I don’t have to put damn premium gas in.”


Fortunately, the problem with the Saab turned out to be a sway bar end link and was fixed for less than a hundred bucks. So when my dad emailed me this picture of the Saab, naturally I replied:

See, this is why you should keep it and get some cheap old SUV or pickup for hauling/towing duties. 😉


UPDATE with reply from Dad:

Well, I plan to keep it a while. Mileage is almost at 139k so I’m wary about how long it’ll last.

Mom’s been talking about getting rid of her MDX but she just had it serviced fully and it’s doing pretty well despite having about 135k. They fixed the backup camera and the broken front passenger door lock, both of which were the most overt annoyances. So, as long as that car is around, I don’t need something to tow/haul with.

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