2002 SAAB 9-5 2.3 turbo
Best car you can buy for the price in the second hand market, with a unique look and personality
Nothing at all.
Only done an overall check after purchase, and replaced one radiator hose, engine oil, transmission oil, coolant fluid and associated filters, pollen filter, one engine support.
Best car for the price. At one stage, I looked for a 2003-2005 Mazda 6 to replace the 626, and didn't really find any difference in comfort, handling and noise level. So, I wouldn't invest just to have a newer look but the same car basically. I continued with the 626, and later started looking for something else. I paid for this Saab exactly the same amount I would for a 2004 Mazda 6. For the same price, the Saab is a far better car. Not only because of the turbo engine, but for everything such as suspension and seat comfort, handling, noise level, smoothness and effortless driving.
I haven't owned or driven the car long enough to comment on long term reliability. But the one I bought is a really problem free one for a ten year old and 140000 kms car. No pixel loss on the displays, no Xmas tree on the cluster, everything works perfect.
Some downsides, although of minor importance exist:
Relatively small interior space, lack of storage space, front bumper is too low, striking everywhere. Also, some maintenance is really more complicated. For example, to change the pollen filter, which is a 20 second operation in a Mazda and doesn't require any tool, you need to take the whole glove box out, and take out some other part to reach the filter in the Saab.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st December, 2012
I changed one by one all the parts that are famously known to last only around 100,000 miles. So, the car is good for another 100,000 miles! No problem at all other than the above stated preventive actions. Oh yes, didn't start once, it was the crank position sensor, engine died during drive, was the fuel pump. These are within the list of well known 100,000 miles lasting items, so these with all the rest (DIC, PCV6, coolant bypass valve, radiator hoses, water pump, belt, tensioner and so on...) are out of way now. So, don't expect anything other than regular oil changes.
Unfortunately, people don't do these and are not happy because all these items fall down one by one. Better to get them out of the way in one go.
Even with all these changes and repair, I am very happy with the car. After all, I paid less for everything (buying the car, parts and repairs) than I would have for a new 60 HP Clio/Corsa. I would never spend so much and drive a 60/70 HP matchbox.
This total price includes also other spares that I didn't fit into the car yet, but I am going to when needed such as starter, exhaust silencer, alternator, spare hoses, cam shaft drive chain and pulleys, and I don't them remember all.
So folks, stop complaining about the car you bought for almost nothing, but you expect to behave like a brand new one.