1983 SAAB 900 Reviews

1983 SAAB 900 GL 2.0 from Sweden

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired180000 kilometres
Most recent distance280000 kilometres
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

Saab 900 1983-1988 is the best car ever made, and the most service friendly I know

Faults:

I replaced the transmission as almost all 900s have a failure in the gears on their 5 gear models after about 200000 kilometers.

In my case the second would not engage and the fifth jumped out of gear.

At the same time I changed the clutch and all parts in the front, including brakes, sealing, links drive shafts, and had the steering adjusted.

In Sweden this runs up to a total of around $1000, and as I helped the mechanics do it, his payment was $200.

It took some 5 hours to do it, and that is why I love 900 Saab. In an hour you have a running car stripped from engine, and have all parts on the floor, and it is so easy that I did it myself when I was 25 in my fathers backyard, using only a homemade wooden construction to attach the lifting device.

To put it back after service is easier if you have a hydraulic lifting device, or a chain type, since you have to level the engine to make it fit.

But having said that, anyone can change an engine with transmission in a day or so all by himself!!!

That saves money.

In Sweden there are a lot of used parts at low prices, and the Saab 900 is as standard as it gets.

General Comments:

This is a safe and comfortable car, and if not for the strange back, which makes its loading capacity lower, it is the best car I ever had.

The engine is never a problem, but the transmission is always. You can count on having it replaced every 200000 kilometers. A rebuilt on costs $2000. Comparing prices, even in Sweden, parts are about 2 times that of a Chevrolet.

Saab has never made a better car than the 900, even if 9000 were better as new, no one wants it as used with a high mileage on.

For the luxury 9000 (1990-1994) you pay around $300-400.

For a Saab 900 1983-1988 you can easy pay double that, as it's so much better and more reliable.

I even said no to an offer to get one Saab 9000 for free, the other day. This is strange as exactly that make and model as new was my absolute dream car.

Saab 9000 as used is an expensive adventure.

Saab 900 1883-1988 is the safest car I know to buy, to use, to pay and to repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2008

1983 SAAB 900 Turbo 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired119000 kilometres
Most recent distance213000 kilometres
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

A classic we will love forever

Faults:

Front rack at 120000k.

Head gasket at 209000k.

Heater switch at 160000k.

Seats suspension broke 3 times (cheap repair though).

Injectors and oxygen sensor at 209000k.

Turbo switch at 180000k.

Turbo control unit twice.

Numerous small items I have long since forgot.

General Comments:

I love this car to pieces! There are a number of eccentrics out there that do - you love them or you scratch your head at them. None of my circle likes it, but everyone is shocked at the fact it is 20 years old, and runs so well and looks so timeless.

It is more expensive to repair than a 350 Chevy - maybe triple the cost. It is however ten times the fun and pleasure. My teenager takes the new 5.0 Mustangs out to 80 kph!

Repair costs equal to our 89 Volvo 240.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2003

1983 SAAB 900 900S 4 door 8v from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 8v Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired106000 kilometres
Most recent distance130000 kilometres
Previous carJeep Grand Wagoneer

Summary:

Crash-Tested and true.

Faults:

One valve spring broke.

Started was replaced.

All brakes replaced after being parked for one very wet summer. (these seize very quickly)

Thermo switch for cooling fan was replaced.

General Comments:

This car was parked for a long time before I purchased it. This explained 106 000km for a 1983 in 1998.

I was a student and paid 16 000$ (Cdn) for it.

The only major problem I had was a broken valve spring right in the middle of my exams. This took me about 2 hours to replace, but since none of the three dealerships could identify the problem, and since they told me I could drive the car without any problem; the whole endeavour cost me much more.

I guess the engine did not appreciate being driven at 150km/h for 4 hours on three cylinders. It ended up costing me a rebuilt engine.

This goes to say, I loved the car, its looks, and all... but you need a gooroo to help you along the way.

It ended up destroyed in a 60km/h impact due to a drunken driver. I can honestly say it's a safe car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2002

1983 SAAB 900 Turbo Coupe 2.0 turbo from Hungary

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired203000 kilometres
Most recent distance223000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Affection is not rational

Faults:

Oil was leaking from every gasket in the engine, the engine bay looked like the interior of an oil rig.

Minor electrical problems got the car stranded every few weeks - blown fuses, faulty contacts, intermittent and untraceable little annoyances that drove me mad.

Turbocharger failed - but that's OK at the age of 15, after all.

No mechanic could ever get it to idle smoothly, and it stalled regularly in Drive at standstill.

General Comments:

The three speed automatic gearbox is ridiculously low geared for a two liter turbocharged car. It had a red-line-limited top speed, which is pretty unusual.

It was an utterly unreliable car with huge maintenance bills and miserable fuel economy, still I just loved it.

It looked the part, it was quick enough and seemed to be a great car - when it worked.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2002

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 4 reviews