1999 SAAB 9-5 SE from North America - Comments

13th Dec 2009, 11:27

My husband and I were looking at one of these last month. The dealer wanted to sell it to me for $3000 out the door. We test drove it and heard a rattling in the engine area. My hubby used to sell cars and said he remembered something about the timing belts being EXTREMELY costly if it broke. The car was a used trade in from the cash for clunkers program, so the dealer was not standing behind the car at all. We decided against it. I think it was a good choice.

3rd Mar 2010, 18:39

Just a note the 4 cylinder engine does not have a timing belt, only the 6 cylinder has one.

19th Apr 2010, 20:51

I am writing in regards to a 99 Saab 9-5. This car was originally my mother in law's, and it ran wonderfully for them when it ran.

In 2004 the engine blew, and the car was worked on, and in 2006 the engine was replaced. I was extremely excited, because I loved the car from the first time I saw it. I took it to my home, which was about 13 hours from my home in Mass. It ran great for about 4 months, and then the car started randomly stalling. Stalling when I was increasing in speed and decreasing, and even when I was idle.

I took it in to the shop and thought it was the fuel filter; nope, then I was told it was the ignition core, which has to be replaced every 2 years in Saab's anyways. (according to the dealer). An ignition core is about 300 dollars.

I have spent 700 total on this car and the Kelly Blue book value for this car is 1,185 for good condition. So I have almost spent the value of the car. Not happy, especially being a first year teacher, and of course teachers do not get paid nearly the amount it costs to keep up on a Saab.

22nd Apr 2010, 14:59

I have owned a really high mileage 9-5 2.0t saloon for nearly a year between 2005 - 2006, and I wish I had never sold it. I was forced to sell due to redundancy. This was one of the best cars that I ever owned. Fast, fun to drive and reliable.

I am now looking for an auto box one for around £1,000, and no doubt I will find one soon. One tip, I always change the oil and filter every 6,000 miles or six months, whichever comes the soonest.

Perhaps the European Saabs are built to a higher spec, but there are a lot of them around in England, and most motorists that I have spoken too are very pleased with them.

Best regards to you all from the other side of the pond, God save America, and of course the UK!!!

13th Jun 2010, 11:36

I feel your pain. I own a 99 9-5 with 140k, and it's constantly problem after problem. All serious ones; it has no high beams, half of the dash lights are burned out. It leaks and burns oil like there's no tomorrow, check engine light is on with 12 problems.

Mind you, this car has been serviced as well. There is an issue with the brakes, and they're brand new.

These are extremely problematic vehicles; stay away unless you want to fix your car all the time.

15th Jun 2010, 22:35

Saabs are great cars - as long as you live in a temperate climate zone where the mercury seldom tops 25C.

The service history of cars sold in hotter/more humid climates is not so encouraging.

In the US, Saabs sell best in New England, but are a rarity in the sun belt locales.

The lead markets for Saab are its native homeland of Sweden, the UK and the US (see comment, above). They sell in relatively scarcer numbers in other markets, and do not have a generally good reputation in the Middle East, for instance.

16th Jun 2010, 12:08

I am reading just a few of the many negative experiences, my friend bought one. I learned from him - don't buy SAAB!!

The mechanics laugh when they see one coming into the shop and say: Another SOB story.

6th Nov 2010, 12:04

I am shocked to read all these negative comments about Saab. I ran into a rental car some years back, and it was brand new 2000 Saab 95. And I took the car from GA to Indiana. Boy oh boy, this car had some kind of 'kicks', and I thoroughly enjoyed the car while I was renting it.

But I do recall an incident where... a friend of mine just bought a new 95 from dealer, and we went out of state. It was cold winter night. The car was parked outside in the parking lot for about a few hours. My friend just went out to get something from the car, and saw her running back inside saying 'my car is catching fire!!'...??? A fire??? I went out to see what was going on, and what I saw was some smoke coming out from underneath the seat where the gear (car was automatic) was located. We called 911, but by the time fire truck arrived, the car was actually on FIRE. I never discovered the exact cause from her, but I thought I would not buy a Saab in my life time...

It does look great and runs great when it is behaving like it should. But the reliability is way too questionable...

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