1985 SAAB 900 Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1985 SAAB 900 Turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired230000 kilometres
Most recent distance320000 kilometres
Previous carPeugeot 505

Summary:

A very good car,not a lemon.

Faults:

Oil leaks all over the place.

General Comments:

A very reliable car, very comfortable and fast if you put your foot down... thirsty if you do... no joke here!!!

Very comfortable interior and so well made... a big truck hit me once and really no worries, the truck driver was very surprised as the car was damaged, but not as if it has been a korean car...

Before you buy one make sure.. I will say this again, make sure you got a good mechanic... not an "specialist" but one that you can trust, as the car is fairly complex... very advance for its time. My car used to leak oil from everywhere...didn't stop this dinosaur... a heavy and very safe dinosaur.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2007

1985 SAAB 900 single carb 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired147000 miles
Most recent distance151000 miles
Previous carPorsche 924

Summary:

A great car with a classic look

Faults:

Gear box is notchy, but that's normal on this model, its worth getting use to. Heated seats don't work as well as the sunroof.

General Comments:

Solid built car which is very reliable mine is 22 years old and starts first turn of the key, the body is galvanized so rust is not a problem, just check bottom of doors on the inside if its going to rust its there.

The seats are extremely comfortable for long journeys, apart for the notchy gear box the car is a dream to drive. This is my second one as I regretted getting rid of my other, i won't make that mistake again unless I see a nice turbo model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2007

1985 SAAB 900 from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired109000 miles
Most recent distance117000 miles

Summary:

It is a fun car, great for younger drivers to have fun in

Faults:

Blown Head Gasket at 117000.

Oil Leaks starting at 109000.

Bought the car with bad seats and worn interior, including cracked dash board and ripped up headliner.

General Comments:

This was my first car that I bought at age 14 and began to restore it at 15. In my opinion it is the most unique car I could ever hope to own. Had I been older with some more money to play with I don't think I would have ever gotten rid of this car.

While I loved owning this car, its age and because it was an import made it pricy to fix and eventually cost too much in repairs to keep.

For those looking for a great little car that, with the proper upkeep, will last a long time, the SAAB 900 is perfect. I found it handled well in the snow, the heater never failed on me, and it's fold down back seats made it perfect for a day of skiing or snowboarding.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2006

1985 SAAB 900 8-valve from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 8-valve Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired93000 miles
Most recent distance182000 miles
Previous carMazda RX7

Summary:

Reliable and bulletproof if maintained

Faults:

New clutch (120,000 miles)

Fuel pulsation dampener became clogged which caused very strange stalling behavior - I just removed it! (130,000 miles)

Main radiator fan died (140,000 miles) - replaced with a used unit.

Tie rod ends and ball joints (150,000 miles)

Water pump (155,000 miles)

CV Joints (160,000 miles)

Used Main radiator fan died along with the sensor that kicked both fans on when the AC was turned on... I replaced the fan with another used unit (new ones are scarily expensive) and rewired the car so both fans come on with the AC and when needing to cool the car. (160,000 miles)

Various electrical gremlins during my ownership due to the biodegradable wiring harness generally seen in the 1985 model.

AC relay died (180,000) but to the system's credit, the original AC still works!

Somewhere in there the following items were replaced - brake master cylinder, heater control valve, cold start assist solenoid, O2 sensor, distributor cap/rotor/plug wires and brakes.

General Comments:

That's a long list up there, but don't let it dissuade you from owning a classic Saab. Most of the items above are general maintenance that just have to be done to an older car and none were unexpected. To the car's extreme credit, many things have never had to be touched like the timing chain, bearings and, if treated well, the rather stout manual transmission.

Texas heat does no favors for this car, however, and the paint is beginning to simply get thin, and for most folks, the AC is not adequate - but since I'm typically the only person to use the car, I can put all vents on me and I say quite cool.

I have loved this car dearly and am certain it has at least another 50,000 miles in it, but it is becoming a bit ratty. The cloth seats just don't stand up to heavy use.

My car has the 8-valve, single cam motor without a turbo, which has all the acceleration of a sleepy turtle. But the car cruises at highway speeds effortlessly and the engine is so unstressed, it will likely last longer than the car around it.

While the upholstery is a bit iffy, the seats are easily the most comfortable I've ever had in a car on long trips. They don't look special, but every time I've run the Saab on road trips, I've been amazed at how comfy things are.

My car is the bottom of the line version, with nothing automatic, so it is likely to last forever as well. Still, even the high-dollar 1985 cars were very spartan by comparison to other vehicles of the time. Creature comforts are few with a very basic climate system when most luxury cars of the time were already experimenting with thermostats in the cabin.

I'm currently looking for another Saab to replace this one - simply because I'm vain enough not to like driving a ratty car. I will definitely look for one of the same series (1985-1993, known as the "classic 900 series) with their longitudinal engines and the clutch out at the front of the car.)

Standard trannies are the only way to go as autos were known to be highly prone to early death.

Since I drive this car round trip 70 miles a day to and from work in Houston traffic, it has been rear-ended a number of time... and has been a tank enough to never show a single mark. Amazing.

I would definitely not suggest this car to someone who didn't do their own work. They are VERY simple cars that most shade-tree mechanics can keep running with ease, but if you have to have a mechanic do the work on the car, you should be ready for shocking prices. Parts range in price - some are cheap and others horribly expensive... and most of the parts are easier to get on the aftermarket than from Saab. Overall, however, nothing is really out of line compared to today's new cars...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2005

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 12 reviews