I've only have had the car for just above 15,000 miles, and purchased it late August 2008 and I've had more problems with this thing than I would even imagine. Alright, I know it's a fairly high mileage car, but for being now 9 years old, 135K isn't all that bad. Here's a list from what I can remember having been replaced aside from basic maintenance.
- Clutch, flywheel, pilot bearing
- Rear main oil seal
- Oil pan gasket
- Oil drain plug
- Driver side axle (CV boot went and it's easier just to replace the whole axle)
- Both lower control arms
- Both tie rod ends
- Fuel filter
- Clutch slave cylinder
- SID message screen... started to become pixelated and not displaying anything correctly
- Driver seat belt bucket needs to be jimmyed a little bit... it doesn't like to let go of the bucket to let me out
- The reverse gear grinds sometimes when I put it into that gear (manual trans)
The car has a lot of features and everything is powered! Power windows, mirrors, seats, sunroof, etc.
I just with the repair costs weren't so high. I'm a college student and I need something reliable that won't cost me my entire weeks paycheck to fix.
I get pretty good gas mileage of about 28-29 mpg highway, and about 25-26 city with the manual transmission and the low pressure turbo. The turbo actually has quite a bit of kick, but I think it's starting to wear out (go figure).
I've kept up with Audis and BMWs and other performance-like cars with this hatchback. I don't race but like to have fun.
If you have a thick wallet, by all means buy a Saab, but if you want something more reliable that's fairly easy to maintain (oil and filter changes every 3K get very, very annoying especially when you have to buy fully synthetic oil), get an American or Japanese and stay away from European.