Not sure which Saabs you have been around, but they are great cars, very under estimated and go 150mph stock with a 4 cylinder. BMW is taking the lead of its spark plug ion sensing knock detection and 4 cylinder turbo charged engines now. Saab was 25 years ahead of its time :-)
There is no question BMW is in a different class, but for FWD, they are great cars, easy to get the power out of and handle quite nice with just a few suspension mods.
My 9k had 333,000 miles, its been tuned on E85 with 350bhp for over 5 years and it will hang with and beat many cars at the road race course and I am talking about M3 cars, Porsche 911 cars and many other cars. It really surprises a lot of people at the track. When we go up to Lewistown, Gary Wolf's 9k is the target at these events and I often see him battling it out with the 01-05 M3 cars, but he has better power to weight and can get by them whenever he wants :-)
I do love my BMW, but I also love what the Saab can do for a fraction of the cost. I also love my Audi A4 with its tuning, they all have their advantages and disadvantages.