Despite my earlier statement that I would have a hard time buying a foreign car (because it goes against years of my own “buy American” rhetoric, despite knowing that that is fairly meaningless) there are a number of Saabs I would consider. This is kind of cheating, since GM owned Saab during the years that I would be looking at. Anyway, there are two main choices.
The 9-2X is commonly referred to as the “Saabaru,” since it is a rebadged Subaru WRX. Personally, I much prefer the Saab styling, and being a WRX, it’s practically a rally car for the street. It’s a little small, but in all actuality the cars I’ve mentioned in this space before are larger than I really need; I rarely have passengers other than small children, and the biggest thing I regularly toss in the trunk is a golf bag (my wife’s Acadia and our small utility trailer have taken over all Christmas tree and junkyard parts hauling duties). They were only built from 2005-06 and are a little hard to find, but many have manual transmissions and are generally reliable.
The Saab 9-3 is their mid-size model, easily found with relatively low miles and a stick shift, and were available in an attractive wagon version. I would search for an example with the turbocharged V6 and 6 speed, of course.
These probably fall in the same category as the Saturn I talked about earlier, in that they wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice – but given a lower price threshold, I could easily see myself tossing one of those 9-2x’s around a corner or hauling the kids around in a 9-3 wagon. I’ve never been one to lust after a European car, although I understand the appeal. These cars seem like the best way to get that feeling without forking over the big bucks for a BMW.