1984 SAAB 900 Reviews

1984 SAAB 900 S 2.0 SOHC 8v from North America

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.0 SOHC 8v Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired158000 miles
Most recent distance162000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Delta 88

Summary:

Comfortable, but expensive to maintain

Faults:

Complete braking system, it took two weeks in the garage waiting for out of town parts to be found and shipped in. Parts and labour $900, and that's with used front calipers.

Lots of electrical problems, but I fixed most of them myself.

Two starters, three solenoids and eventually the teeth on the flex plate wore down. The starters on 84 and earlier cars are under the exhaust manifold, and the solenoids don't like all that heat.

Front shocks $70 each, but reduced to $50 with mechanics discount.

Drive shaft assembly and trans seal $150 and $9.

All belts $40, plus $50 for labour, because the mechanic had to use a torch to heat up the alternator bolt until it was red hot and then use vice grips to remove it. I couldn't remove the bolt myself, and the two alternator belts are on the outside of the other (s) or I would have replaced them myself.

Spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor,

O2 sensor $149 I replaced them myself.

Plastic fuel lines from fuel distributor to injectors $20 used, and I replaced them myself.

Transmission leaks and band adjustment, a lot of Ford type F trans fluid.

General Comments:

The car was an American model with 110 HP instead of the 118 HP the Canadian model without a catalytic converter.

I paid $500 for it "as is" after the owner took me to a garage down the street, claiming the car only needed a tune-up and front brake pads. After buying it, I found out the last owner also owned the garage the mechanics rented. The mechanic's were honest with me when I showed up after buying it. They were the only garage in the whole city that would work on old SAAB's, and gave me the parts for cost (including their discount, and yes I price checked parts at several parts stores).

The car drove great after sinking all that money and work into it. But starter and trans problems meant I had to take it off the road. Because the synthetic oil completely drained of the cylinders the engine seized. I was looking for a rust free good runner to fix up and used the old one for parts, but these cars don't stand up to the rust belt to well.

These cars ride much better at highway speeds than around town. Probably because of the heavy and slow steering.

The sunroof, heated front seats, folding rear seat and large trunk are great.

I was getting 20 MPG city and 25 MPG highway after the tune-up.

Stay away from models with the Borg Warner three speed automatic.

You need to do a lot of your own work and or find a good mechanic that will work on these cars if you're considering a classic 900.

Look up The SAAB Depot and The Saab network on Google.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th July, 2009

1984 SAAB 900 1.7 from North America

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.7 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired186000 miles
Most recent distance186400 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

She is a stout Scandinavian Queen!

Faults:

Nothing mechanical except the heater blower makes odd noises, but it still circulates and defogs the windshield.

General Comments:

I love the handling, the ease of the shifting of the manual gear box and the gas mileage is insanely good for such an old dependable car. This is the second car that I have owned of the 900 series three door hatchbacks. They are the most dependable and impossible to kill of any car I have owned in the past. They have a very unique appearance, comfortable to take long distance trips, and the heated seats still work! The view of the road in front and back is great because of the shape of the cab. I like the way the seats are designed because my back never gets stiff. It is like driving in a nice lounge chair. The heater core puts out some serious heat, you could drive naked in this car in Antarctica! Also, the car has a personality, unlike other cars that I have had. I named the first car "Helga of the Fjords" and my current one is "Red Sonja (since she is red)"

If you are really lucky to find a car that has been well maintained like this SAAB 900, you will have a car that will last another twenty years, easily. Just keep the maintenance up and check the oil whenever you gas up, as well as the other fluids, and keep track of the mileage. Doing these very simple checks will allow your SAAB to live like an immortal. You just can't kill the car. If you do, you are doing something VERY WRONG. . .

For a 22-year-old car, this is nicer than the late model Saturn that I owned a few years ago. This car starts, stops, purrs, and treats me well and I will never own another kind of passenger car outside of the SAAB arena ever again. I have been told by many mechanics and wrecking yards that SAABs are the hardest cars to find for parts cars, and the owners are fanatical to the point of keeping them for a long time. I have to admit, I have been bitten by the Swedish Bug in a big way. I plan to have "Red Sonja" for a long time. This car has "Heirloom Potential." Really!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2006

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 9 reviews