1986 SAAB 900 Reviews

1986 SAAB 900 i 2 door 2.0 8v injection from UK and Ireland

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 8v injection Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired64000 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles

Summary:

Great looking classic with character, but nowhere near perfect!

Faults:

Radiator developed a leak.

Heater valve jammed on hot.

Oil leaks.

Lots of squeaks and rattles.

General Comments:

I bought the 900, because I always liked them, and I saw a low mileage rust free 900i for sale locally, so I snapped it up. It was black with tan cloth, and despite being the basic 'i' model, it had electric windows, central locking and a sunroof.

I found the cloth interior unpleasant however, and changed it to black leather; black on black 900s look awesome!

I was disappointed with the performance; even after a total service and tune up, it ran perfectly hot or cold, but didn't have much to give power wise. It was happy to sit at 70mph all day long, but anything more got very noisy indeed; the engine didn't like it.

Fuel economy average to poor for a 2.0 too.

The heater, once sorted, was amazing though, and with leather trim it was very comfy to sit in, although the ride is very harsh at times.

I put 4 new tyres on the car, which improved it no end, and actually the handling is surprisingly sharp for such an old design.

Visibility is good, and the enormous bumpers help it to avoid damage from careless parkers, but the size of the windscreen means the wipers are small.

Headlights not great as standard, but easily fixed with uprated bulbs.

Oddly for a car designed in a snowy country, it had a bizarre quirk, when actually driving in falling snow, it would find its way through the grille and onto the radiator, causing steam; worrying when you see it for the 1st time!

I don't think they are the indestructible vehicle SAAB enthusiasts think they are, they certainly don't do anything a similar aged BMW or Mercedes can't do, and some of the design flaws are just stupid; it's impossible to change some of the front suspension bushes with the engine in the car!!

It's an oddball classic and great fun to own, but personally I think slightly overrated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th August, 2010

1986 SAAB 900 S 4 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired5 miles
Most recent distance345253 miles
Previous carPontiac Wagon

Summary:

Probably will be the best car I've ever owned.

Faults:

First squeak at 18+ years old.

New clutch @ 321,000 miles... no other major repairs.

After 325,000 miles many parts were nearing their life cycle end and the frequency of shop visits increased. Additionally, after last tow-in at a late hour in a not so desirable part of time and an estimated repair bill of ~$1500, my wife and my mechanic strongly suggested I give the Saab a peaceful end and obtain more reliable transportation.

General Comments:

...bought for my wife who I upset while teaching her to drive the manual 5 speed and she never touched it again... so it was passed to me. I learned to appreciate it, especially in the mountains during ski season... much better handling than my previous Pontiac station wagon.

Overall, it was a fun little car to drive... solidly built. It served me well; replaced by a 2007 Audi S4, however, I'd take that little Saab back any day. Early Saabs don't look like every other car on the freeway... they are UNIQUE. My hat's off to the Swedes... excellent engineering and production !!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th June, 2009

1986 SAAB 900 S from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired230000 miles
Most recent distance233000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

I am absolutely in love with this car!

Faults:

The shock in the rear right broke through the wheel well, the shock mount popped off. the car also needs a new headliner.

General Comments:

It runs good, I never had a problem starting it. The car drives on curves so nicely. It does, however need quite a bit of work to pass inspection. I figure normal repairs for a car this old, but when I took it to a mechanic he just let it sit for weeks. The mechanic told me it would cost around $2,000 to fix the car so I asked him for a more accurate quote, he never got back to me. I went to get my car because it was plowed in, the mechanic never had any intention of looking at my SAAB. When the mechanic was backing it out he states the brake line popped. The brake lines are less than a year old. I also noticed one of my tail lights had been broken, from the plow or shovel. The car I drove in to this shop over a month ago now has to be taken out on a flatbed tow truck. I am devastated, I love my car, it is the cutest thing I have ever owned. (when it comes to a car)I was going to give it up, but I just cannot do it. I know this SAAB is worth fixing, I have a feeling it will last me two or more years. I just do not understand why I was mislead by this mechanic, he was recommended by friends. Now I am not sure of my rights, I do not think it's right that I have to pay to tow my car when I drove it to the shop.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2007

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 15 reviews