Let me be quite honest. I’m 19, and I’ve already owned a huge German luxobarge, a huger Japanese luxotank, and a classic Italian roadster. None of these are cars that a high school or college student should have. I should’ve had something boring, reliable, economical, and if I was really lucky, comfortable. I should’ve had that from the beginning, but I decided to learn that the hard way. I was finally to the point where I couldn’t deny it anymore. I needed something completely different from everything I’d ever owned before. And so, after much deliberation, I decided that I would buy a 2001 Toyota Avalon XLS...

over my cold, dead body. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new SM70mobile, a 2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT.

This is the car that I desperately wanted to get my hands on. After deciding for sure that I wanted a 9-2x Aero, I started searching the country. I found plenty of clean examples under my $6,000 budget, but they were all automatics located in New Jersey or North Carolina or Oklahoma (shoutout to davesaddiction for his willingness to help out!). Then I came across one right here in Des Moines, with leather seats, a manual, and 137k on the odometer for $4100. Long story short, the car was available, then sold, then the buyer backed out so it was available again, with the seller now quite impatient to get rid of it and asking just $3,500. I drove the car, loved it, and an exhaustive PPI revealed only a few problems such as the need for a new valve cover gasket, muffler, and tires, all within the next 6-8 months. At that price, I can afford some off-the-bat maintenance.

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The most important thing, by which I mean the second most important thing after the fact that I can now afford to run my DD, is that I now once again look forward to driving my daily. When I had my D2 A8L, I couldn’t wait to leave wherever it is that I was and slip back behind the wheel of my old Autobahn cruiser. With the Lexus, I never had that. I was fine with driving most of the time it, but it was big, ponderous, slow, and numb. Also, it was really quite noisy above 75mph given that it had four gears and a shape like a warehouse. The Saab, which of course is just a WRX in a fancy costume with a few changes (STI steering rack for the win) is a bundle of fun to drive in all weather. It’s also comfortable enough, uses half the gas of the LX, should be reasonably reliable if I stay on top of the preventative maintenance, and it’s cool in a way that only other car geeks recognize. Plus, a hatch with fold down seats can still hold my mountain bike in a pinch.

If you can’t tell, I’m pretty stoked. I’ve got a laundry list of right-away stuff such as the new tires before the snow flies, new badges as the old ones are currently Saab’s infamous blank silver disk, clearing up the slightly yellow headlights, and a thorough detailing. Expect more posts to come.