I REMEMBER driving a range topping Saab 9-5 Aero a good few years ago that boasted around 250bhp and had acceleration enough to make mincemeat of the quickest GTIs.
It wasn't particularly fast off the line for the zero to 60mph sprint, but in the gears, when the grunt is really needed for overtaking, it was mind blowing.
At about the same time, I read about the latest Ferrari, and found the big Saab's 30 to 70 miles an hour time was about a second quicker.
When you're a car enthusiast like me, that's the kind of thing that sticks in your mind and I was really saddened when the Swedish company was ignominiously blotted out by the bean counters of General Motors.
That said, there are still plenty of good Saabs out there and plengty of garages specialising in fixing them, and the company built among the safest, longest lasting cars in the world for many years.
With fellow Swedish maker Volvo, it pioneered automotive safety in the 1960s and 70s.
The big 9-5 saloon and estate are good for 250,000 miles without problem as long as the ever important servicing is done, and I know of one estate that has covered 360,000 without needing any major parts or rebuilds.
A very good reason for choosing this model over the other very good executive offerings is its superb level of standard equipment.
There are just two trim levels in later models - Vector SE and Aero.
Vectors come with a multi-function steering wheel, a nine speaker audio system with aux in and USB, DAB radio, sat nav with touchscreen, Bluetooth, climate and cruise.
They also have parking sensors, electric adjustment for the driver's seat, adaptive headlights that swivel for corners, auto dipping and automatic assistance for parallel parking.
The Aero adds full leather upholstery, heated seats, sports steering wheel, alloy pedals, and larger alloy wheels.
Saab has always majored on comfort in its suspension settings, and that means the 9-5 can cover long distances leaving occupants fresher than they might be in other executive offerings.
There is some body roll in harder cornering but nonetheless, the 9-5 also has good balance and excellent grip even when pushed very hard.
Petrol engines are all turbos, and start with a 1.6 that has 176bhp. This is followed by a 2.0-litre with 217bhp and then the 2.8 V6 with 296bhp. These are very rare of course, because they're pretty thirsty.
There are two versions of the same 2.0-litre diesel with either 158 or 187bhp and decent performance is backed up by 50-plus miles per gallon.
The estate version is huge and actually has a bigger load area than the benchmark Volvo V70, and most available secondhand will have the diesel.
Pay about Â£5,500 for an '11 11-reg Vector SE TiD (158bhp) manual, or Â£7,950 for a '12 12-reg Aero TTiD (187bhp).