I love XM Radio! I have been a subscriber since 2001 and I will never own a car without it.
In my '89 SPG and my '91 9000, I used the Pioneer IPBus-based XM receiver.
This was a box mounted in the trunk that mated to a XM Ready head unit via the Pioneer IPBus cable.
In Spring 2005, I bought a lemon on eBay. A '97 9000 CS. Before finding out about the disastrous water leak it had, I installed a new stereo and XM Radio.
This time I went with a Delphi SkyFi2 receiver.
This system mounted the small receiver in a cradle on the dash and pushed it's signal through an in-line FM Modulator on the head unit's antenna.
Surprisingly, it worked extremely well and the sound quality was awesome.
I know that many people do not like the FM Modulators for this application, but I am here to say that they do work without signal loss.
I recently bought a 1999 Saab 9-5 Sedan and once again needed an XM solution.
This time, I wanted a clean install without any protrusions on the dash and no exposed wiring.
That being said, the Delphi system was out. I found out about Saab's XM offering for the 9-5 while researching different radios on-line.
It seems that Saab outsourced the design and construction of an XM faceplate bezel to a company called Pro-Fit.
Pro-Fit made the bezel that Saab sells in their XM Radio kit....and that is where your extra $100 goes.
You see, the Saab XM Radio is really a Terk XM Commander.
||This is the image from SaabCatalog.com of the XM Radio for $279.
|This is the Terk XM Commander that sells at Circuit City for $169.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to find Pro-Fit's Saab bezel anywhere except Saab. Pro-Fit will not sell you one directly.
So I paid the $279 at my local Saab dealer.
They recommended factory installation and noted that the radio would not be guaranteed if I installed it myself.
Too bad...I'm not paying $500 (approximate) for a factory install. And now you don't have to either!
With some patience, you can install the Saab kit cleanly in your 9-5 too!