5k: Better Than A Thema: 1995 Saab 9000 Aero

As much as it pains me to say it, you should forget about picking up this Lancia Thema 8.32 located in Canada with a busted engine. Sure, it is powered by a Ferrari V8 taken from the 308/Mondial, is 25 years young and ready for import… but if you really want a car based on the join Saab/Fiat type 4 platform (1984-1998 Lancia Thema, Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, Alfa Romeo 164) just pickup a used Saab 9000 already.  The 9000 features the same executive class luxury, front drive safety, and Giorgetto Giugiaro styling…but..critically, a new engine is a trip to the local junkyard and a few Benjamins instead of a trip to Luigi’s House of Italian Cars and Mafioso Collections Dept and a new mortgage on your house.  Here is a great example — this 1995 Saab 9000 Aero currently bidding for $3,050 on ebay reserve-not-met with 3 days to go, located in Maywood, NJ.

Don’t get me wrong, the Thema is certainly an appealing car for the cash, but without the flat-plane crankshaft, it just isn’t going to sound like a Ferrari, but it’ll still cost like a Ferrari.  Leave those sort of cars to the Jay Lenos and folks who have money to burn on expensive repairs and step into a Saab that is certainly more reliable, better looking and probably faster on the street.

This 9000 Aero is powered  by a 2.3 liter turbocharged version of Saab’s B234 engine that is boosted to 225 horsepower with a Mitsubishi TD04 turbo.  Compared to the Thema’s 215 horsepower from the 3.0 liter V8, the little Saab will make more torque and horsepower anytime the turbo is spooled up.  Fuel economy will be better when the snail is relaxed.

A 5-speed gearbox ensures that this Saab isn’t some penalty box of boring motoring and it should be an involving driver for anyone willing to give it a chance.  As an added nod toward usability, this car is a hatchback and will allow you to easily transport long things like surfboards, sticks of roll cage tubing, french bread, or conduit.

See a better Type Four platform car for less? tips@dailyturismo.com