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Saab 900 / 9000



  • We own a '93 9000CS non-turbo 5 speed named Ingrid, and a '94 Camry LE V6 Coupe named Beulah. We got a great Saab lease on Ingrid with zero percent financing, and then purchased her when the lease expired. Ultimately it was a much better deal than the Toyota in spite of a couple of hefty repair bills, (aprox total $2K so far with 55K mi). We both love the Saab, and are ambivalent about the Toyota. The handling is superb in the Saab. The dealer experience was not wonderful, but we found a great independent mechanic who has given me the confidence to keep a car beyond warranty - something I haven't done in many years.

    The hatchback is great! We have been amazed at what that car can hold. It doesn't have the same qualities as the Toyota, but when it comes to safety (active and passive) we'd take Saab first.

    P.S. Ingrid was rear-ended on the Bay Bridge once - Spine and car (with exception of bumper) fully intact - stupid Maxima (tho not driver) totaled.
  • #080586- Thanks for the confidence building. I loved the new 9-5 too, but they no longer offer a hatchback and I need a wagon kind of set up. We considered the Audi A4 Avant first but the price was a bit too dear. There is a real shortage of them here since in Europe they're all the rage.

    I just took a car load of boxes full of hats down to the UPS station for shipping and I told my wife that if all these boxes would fit into the 9-3 I'd really be a happy camper. I already knew they'd not fit in my Lincoln. Sure enough they fit although, I had to bungee cord the hatch back closed but they all fit!

    I'm really a station wagon kind of guy and I'm hoping that by the time the 9-3 comes off lease the new 9-5 wagon will have proven its reliability. I like the Volvo wagons but they seem a bit too pricey for the higher horse motors. My wife and I both hated the base V70's engine.

    I hope that 080586 will let me know about who his independent Saab repairman is in the Bay Area. We are likely to be moving there ourselves within the coming year.
  • Frederick - Enjoy the Saab - and her cavernous trunk. Would be glad to give you the name of the mechanic (found him through a fellow Saabite). Also if you need help with info about the Bay Area feel free to drop me an e-mail - I work for a relocation company here - and I work with people who rent in SF. It's been interesting that I've had a rather disproportionately high number of Saab drivers as clients. Enjoy and Good Luck to you both - David
  • Sorry for the delay.

    In a word, yes, there is that much difference between the 900 and 9-3. The biggest factor, IMO, is that the 9-3's workings have been updated to be essentially like the 9-5. This means the same "safe seat" with side bags and whiplash protection, the same "data bus" connections which eliminated hundreds of wires and simplify fault diagnosis, and improved HVAC. To boot, the entire line is now fitted with the 2.0 turbo, which means that a 9-3"S" will run with a 900SE. That, and the handling improvements and body reinforcements point to the newer car as the way to go.
  • We just got back from our Labor Day weekend up in the Monterey Bay and enjoyed every mile of our first long drive in our new 99 9-3 automatic. I was amazed at the pick up this car had when going south back over the Grapevine. The first stretch up the mountain is really grueling and the Saab pulled up the grade with real aplomb. I had the peddle only half-way to the floor and we were going 75 mph up the grade.
    The pick up on this 2.0 ltr. engine w/ turbo is something else. We've driven mostly only American V-8's and inline sixes in the past and it's nice to find this engine has the umph to get us going in the manner were accustom to. Having a turbo is really good for wife's indecisive gas peddle pressure because rather than down shifting the transmission the turbo just winds up or down to compensate with out a gear change.
  • I have known a few people in University with very well-worn Saab 900s (125,000 to 250,000 miles), and they never experienced any problems with them. They did, however, always perform their own maintenance, always used 5W-30 synthetic (for Canadian winters), always kept to the recommended maintenance frequency, replaced ALL hoses and V-belts every 60,000 miles/2yrs, and throughly cleaned the underbody and then had it oil sprayed every fall. One fellow did indeed have his Saab from around 90,000 to 200,000 miles.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    FREDERICK, your first long drive over Labor Day weekend brought back some good memories. I lived at the Presidio of Monterey in the late 70s. What a great place for a test drive!

  • carlady-

    Can we please close this forum since the Saab 900 is no longer being made. I've opened a new forum under the new "Saab 9-3" title
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thank you for creating a new Saab 9-3 topic, Frederick!

    For now, I think I'll leave this discussion open for owners of the Saab 900 or folks who buy a used one.

    For those of you who are interested in discussing new Saab 9-3, please join us here!

  • I'm looking for anyone who has had problems with the 1993 Saab 9000.
  • What Problems? Post me privately for counselling.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Hey, that would take all the fun out of it, goldberger! :-)

    Please, let's ask and answer questions here so we can all learn.

  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    You know, putting this forum under hatchbacks hides it from many folks reviewing BMW 323s and 328 and Audi A4s. Acuras and so on. I looked at the Sedan forum for weeks before I bought a Saab 9-3 and determined it to be a "hatchback" rather than a "quasi-sedan".
    Suggest you move the forum if you truly desire to be noticed. Many comparison shoppers are missing out on the most underated near luxury car on the market.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Good point, rfellman. Most manufacturers are similarly confused as to what constitutes a hatchback, a coupe, or even a sedan as you point out. So we're bound to miss some folks whereever we are. Still, the diehard hatchback owner who's looking for something special will, I hope, continue to find their way here.

  • RE: '93 9000 counselling: I have no problem discussing anything, er, Saab related, in the open. I just sensed a very raw nerve from cindi11. Hence the offer.
  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    Regarding the 93 9000 answer, "who was that masked man?"
  • I'm contemplating a 98' 900 SE 5-door for $19,900 with 19k miles. Seems very cheap to me. Is reliability on later 900's versus 1993 models better?

    And yes, I have a great independant mechanic that works on every imported car including Jags (now there is an expensive car to fix). Or do I need a mechanic that only works on Saabs?
  • 1993 was the last year for the Classic 900, except the convertible which carried a 1994 model designation from about January '93 on, until the new generation 900 convertible was ready. Most of the reliability problems with the new generation 900 were addressed by '96, and the '98 model includes such benefits as better seats and a hydraulic clutch. Absent are the improved front suspension and reinforced body upgrades, along with the "safe seat" and data-bus engine and chassis electronics. But, the 900 is still a blast to drive, and for $20,000 it's a pretty attractive proposition. The 9-3 5-door base version goes for the mid '20's, and lacks the leather trim, sunroof, automatic climate control, and bass speakers in the front door. The 9-3 "SE" is above $30,000, so your saving is substantial. Any half-way competent import service mechanic in New England (I'm guessing here, Mr. Boston Whaler ;-)) had better be up on Saabs, but this car still has 3 years/40,000 miles of warranty left, so your dealer will be your first stop for problems.

    The only possible warning flags: if this car is an automatic, check to see if it was a rental car, and if it is a 5-speed, check to see if it was one of the "company cars" used at the 50th anniversary Track Sessions. And of course, check the history to see if it is a reassembled salvage car.
  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    Given the mileage and the year end close out deals on the 98s ($2500 to $3500 as I recall), the price seems reasonable.
  • I found the '97 900 to be a total lemon of a car.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Yours in particular, jimrearden, or the model year in general?

  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    What do you mean by total lemon? Did you not have the benefit of the manufacturer's warranty?
    Did your car suffer from systemic brakdowns? Was the Saab USA service unacceptable? Did you have engine, suspension, build quality, and transmission problems? Obviously, you have had an undesirable ownership experience, but how can any of us repsond to a general blanket indictment of the 97 Saab 900? Are you so angry that you remain incapable of articulating the basis for your anger and resentment? Please fill us in.
  • My SAAB was in the shop again!!!! Although this repair, an ignition switch, was under warranty, I still think It is a terrible car. I can't rely on it at all. I feel as though I am driving a 12 year old car with problems instead of a brand new one.

    It only has 28k miles and is just over 2 years old.
  • manjmanj Posts: 1
    hello i need help on deciding about this saab
    900se year 1995. it has 63,000 miles and i am
    tying to get a response from anyone who has had
    one, what kind of gas mileage did it get,
    troubleshooting, maintenance, anything. believe it
    or not, I need to decide between this car and an
    SUV. The reason is i live near new york city and
    parking is a problem. I just loved this car's look
    and thought it might be more affordable and easier
    to have in city. the cost is 12,900. Thank you
  • sashjosashjo Posts: 1
    Sounds like a good deal. I'm selling my 94 900 SE for the same amount. It has the same amount of miles.
  • maynardf1maynardf1 Posts: 127
    Be sure to check that the water pump pulley was replaced, as per a recall. If not,have it done because it will break and cause plenty 'o damage to surrounding parts.
    Also, see if the power antenna has been replaced. If not, budget to do that yourself soon.
    Is it a 6-cylinder or turbo 4? If it's the 6, be sure to change the timing belt regularly.
  • crascras Posts: 1
    I purchased a '96 900SE 2 door coupe with 55k miles in January for 13,500 in a private sale. What a deal! It had every option available and was in mint condition in and out (aside from a small tear behind the passenger side leather seat which looked to be caused by a ski that slid when in the rear seat pass through.)

    I love the car. It handles great, accelerates awesome and is the most comfortable car under 3500 lbs on the road (I am 6'4" 220 lbs).

    The best thing that ever happened to people like us who are after used cars is Saab's questionable reputation in the early nineties. Apparently, the car was pretty lousy with respect to frequency of repairs in the 94 and 95 models. Also, I guess people are terrified of paying the price to repair Saabs. This is why you are looking to purchase a car which five years ago retailed for around $31,000 for under $13,000. If you were looking at a maxima, camry or accord, all of which by the way originally sold for less than 30K and are far inferior to any Saab, the used price today would be about $16,000! What a rip off. As a used Saab seeker, you need not worry about its reputation any more. More than likely all the quirky repairs (if any were needed at all) were already completed. As far as drivetrain and hardware are concerned, you have little to worry about...

    I also own an 88 900 turbo coupe that just hit 200,000 miles on all original parts less the clutch (repaired at 179,000) and tires and brakes. Oh, I should mention the car turned 200k when it was @ 100mph! Something few car makers can boast.

    Before I purchased my car, I asked the owner to let me take it to the dealer and have it checked over. It costs about $60. Well worth it as with any car manufacturer.

    If you are concerned about its resale value, don't be. The car depreciation schedule is very flat after 80,000 miles. This means the price difference for a 900 with 90k miles and 120k miles is small. I think it might have something to do with the car's ability to last 300,000 miles!

    The bottom line is: if you purchased a new Saab in 94-96 and are looking to sell it, you're probably not happy. But if you are looking to purchase one....YAHOOOO!

  • mcostlemcostle Posts: 1
    I am looking at a '95 Saab 900S and did have some concerns about the reputation of costly and frequent repairs. It sounds as though you think this would be a good deal at $10,000 for the car fully loaded. Is that true? Of course I know it varies from car to car and I plan to take it to a mechanic before I purchase, but I am just looking for some positive feedback. The car I am looking at has 64,000miles on it. Sounds like I should be able to get a whole lot more from it.


  • smoarksmoark Posts: 1
    Help. I am considering buying a 1994 Saab 900 2.5 V6 SE 5 Spd with approx. 38,000 miles from a German Dealer (I live there) for around $8,500. This car was Dealer owned and driven (original tires still have 7mm tread)--all papers included + solid warranty. I only have experience with 84,86, and 88 Saab 900 -- basic maintenance and repairs self done. Can anyone share information concerning this model and year to help with my decision?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Only the usual from me: get a VIN check, review all service records (no records, no sale) and take the car to the mechanic of your choice for an independent review.

    What do our knowledgeable lurkers think?

This discussion has been closed.