SAAB guy looking at TCH
I live in Portland, Oregon and own two older SAAB 9-5 4-cyl turbo sedans, both of which are capable of excellent mpg (well over EPA rating with no tricks). I unfortunately average about 24000 miles/yr, mostly for work and some personal road trips out of state. I think turbos are underrated and find the high torque at low rpm's to be good for spirited, yet efficient transport. On the other hand, the European cars, while enjoyable to drive, do seem to require more frequent maintenance and repairs.
My lifetime average mpg with the 2001 5-spd (185hp) is 26.9 and the 2004 5-spd auto (220 hp) is not far behind at 26.1 - this is not stellar for folks on this site, but is the result of driving 50/50 in some very congested and hilly urban areas, mixed with highway runs at 70-75 mph (corrected). I will also occasionally run them hard in the mountains, where the turbos are simply exhilarating and one can enjoy the planted feel of a good road car. No apologies for that - I love all aspects of driving.
Last year I achieved a personal best when I made it from Sacramento to my home in Portland on one tank of gas in my 5-spd 2001 with 130K on it - 575 miles/16.6 gal/34.6 mpg - that took some moderation of speed (60-65 mph avg), 40 psi in the tires and some coasting in the mountains. I frequently get 500 miles from a tank on open roads but was especially pleased with that one. I hand calculate every tank and keep excel spreadsheets of gas/maintenance for all my vehicles.
I've decided to replace my 2004 9-5 Arc (which I use for work) with a late model Camry Hybrid, for a few reasons: 1) I want something that is more reliable, ie. just oil and tires for awhile; 2) I want to try and reduce my carbon footprint as best I can, and 3) I really want to see what I can do with hybrid technology. I have been looking at 2007 and 2008 TCH models and find prices quite reasonable right now.
I apologize for the long-winded post - I really look forward to learning from the pro's on this site, hopefully finding a good clean TCH soon, and sharing an occasional gem of wisdom when I discover one. After all - even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while...
Last edited by JRB : 11-21-2010 at 02:55 AM.