1996 SAAB 900 Reviews from North America

1996 SAAB 900 SE 2.0

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired142000 miles
Most recent distance219567 miles

Summary:

Fast, sexy, practical, high maintenance indulgence

Faults:

Turbo at 142k.

Transmission at 150k.

Timing chain at 150k.

Struts at 160k.

Shifter cable at 170k.

Motor mount bracket at 170k.

Transmission mount at 170k.

Idler pulley & belt at 170k.

Blower motor connector at 175k.

Water pump at 172k.

Axle at 180k.

Radiator, fan hoses and temp sensor at 194k.

Radiator fan resistor at 210k.

General Comments:

Love it. Took a lot of TLC, but the performance, looks and hauling capacity are unparalleled. I hauled a 400cc motorcycle in the hatch, and with some mild mods I was pushing 220hp and blowing the paint off of Beemers and the like. Its distinctive style always made it stand out.

Handled like a dream. But again it did require constant attention. I wouldn't call it unreliable, considering the miles and the abuse of NYC streets and my lead foot. But I did almost all the work myself, otherwise it would have been bankrupted me. So if you can do the work yourself, go for it, otherwise I would stay away.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2013

1996 SAAB 900

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 miles
Most recent distance180000 miles
Previous carVolvo S40

Summary:

Turn the key & it goes

Faults:

Little odds & ends; plastic falls off the dashboard, CD player no longer works, headliner hangs low, speedometer & dash shuts off intermittently.

General Comments:

Turn the key & it goes. A friend of mine who's a mechanic said a lot of Saabs leak fluids, and he was shocked at how clean this one was. These cars can go on & on, and I think mine might be one that keeps going strong.

Just got a new clutch & air filter, & it runs great. This car is not for whiny people or those who are picky with little things. If you want a car that you turn the key & it goes, this one's for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2011

1996 SAAB 900 S

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired168000 miles
Most recent distance173000 miles
Previous carVolvo S40

Summary:

Turn the key and it goes!

Faults:

Few cosmetic issues.

Knobs fall off, stickshift knob fell off.

Check engine light on, reading was vacuum hoses.

Hood needs 2 people to open up. Having clutch replaced, but at 170,000 miles that's understandable.

Dash shuts off intermittently, 50% of my driving time.

General Comments:

Turn the key & it goes. That sums it up for me.

Mine has high miles, some dents and dings, radio & AC knobs tend to fall off, speedometer & dash shut off intermittently.

Engine runs fine, tranny runs fine. I turn the key & it goes, which I love. Starts up great in the cold too, which is a good sign of good engineering.

If you're a girl, or annoyed by little things breaking, Saab is not the brand for you IMHO. However if you can look past all that, & want a horse to give you 200,000+ for cheap, then a used one should satisfy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2011

1996 SAAB 900 SE Turbo 2.0 turbo

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired134500 miles
Most recent distance136000 miles
Previous carFord Crown Victoria

Summary:

I like it, wish I could own one that was issue free, though

Faults:

My transmission lost 1st gear and reverse. 5th makes a whining noise / no power in less than a month of buying.

Car clutch has never felt right since a few days of buying; had to have the clutch all the way to the floor or grind gears; it did anyway sometimes.

Pedals and gears are too close together; unless I sit way back, my foot would get caught on dashboard/underneath between the clutch pedal while the clutch is engaged, which is safety concern, and causes excessive clutch burning.

Problems getting blinkers to stay on, and when they do stay on, they never click off on their own; I have to disengage them, this is a real nuisance in a 5 speed.

From reading other reviews, it sounds like the clutch cable stretching is a major issue and an annual issue. I believe this is an issue in mine too, probably why I had to push the clutch all the way to the floor.

Power antenna sticks and makes a clicking noise.

My gas mileage reading reads less than what I actually get for gas mileage.

Button on the door for the hatchback does not work.

Lack of cup holders.

General Comments:

Other than the things I mentioned above, I love this car. Love the frills, and the performance

Car was very fast and tight, I was shocked when it suddenly just lost 1st gear and reverse. I thought if anything, it needed a clutch/cable.

Everything else works great in this car; power sunroof doesn't leak a drop, 6 disc changer works, but can be temperamental if CDs have scratches.

I am bummed out, paid $2600, and less than a month later (about 1500 miles), the tranny issue suddenly happens, it felt like it was being restricted or slipping slightly at the high end, when getting on it.

I thought this was also an issue with the clutch, but then tranny issue (s) happened.

If any one help me find a good used transmission for under $500, or has any advice, or thinks this tranny can be rebuilt for less, please let me know!

Thank you, Chad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2010

17th Oct 2010, 18:05

The cup holders are actually on the inside of the glove box door, and to add insult to injury, they aren't deep enough to hold a coffee, and one bump sends it to the floor and all over.

I really expected more, coming from the Swedes, but I have a 900Se turbo convertible, and I still love driving this car.

24th Nov 2010, 06:04

It sounds like you are talking about my car. Antenna makes loud clicking noise, e brake is broken, clutch cable just went, O2 sensor is bad, my toe sometimes gets stuck right under the clutch on the bottom of the dashboard, and the blinker stays on sometimes, but overall it is a great looking car, and it drives really nicely.

1st Dec 2010, 02:34

Mine is parked for winter. If it's nice out, I will take it to get steam cleaned.

I have one issue with the parking brake. Sometimes the light comes on and shorts out the entire instrument panel. Within 3-5 seconds it's usually on again.

Saabs are quirky... that's for sure.

28th Mar 2011, 03:33

OMG! This is exactly what happens to my car as well. The e brake when driving will sometimes vibrate, and either light up every warning system or light on the dashboard, or short everything out. It does nothing to the car itself, just the dashboard electronics. Quirky that's for sure, thanks for sharing!!!

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 11 reviews