1987 SAAB 900 Reviews

1987 SAAB 900 i 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1987
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired52300 miles
Most recent distance131000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-3

Summary:

Brilliant - reliable, comfortable, a trusted friend

Faults:

We bought the car with 52,000 miles on the clock, but have the service and repair receipts from when the car was new.

At 41,000 miles, the head gasket was replaced.

At 85,000 miles, a shock absorber was replaced.

At 101,000 miles, the front discs needed replacing.

At 102,000 miles, the worn-out steering rack was renewed.

At the same time, 2 wheel bearings needed replacing.

At 121,000 miles, the brakes failed and the car had to be towed home (the only breakdown on the road). It was a perished hose.

At 124,000 miles, the water pump was replaced and a new radiator fitted - the latter had been leaking slightly for more than a year.

At 127,000 miles, owing to having been used very little and left outside in all weathers, a major overhaul was needed - principally replacement engine block, front shocks and ball joint - private job by a Saab mechanic and only £450 all-in!

The full-length Webasto roof cover had to be replaced in 2003, as she has spent most of her life (now garaged, at last) in the open air.

It can be a problem keeping the hub-caps on (the clips are useless), and it's quite scary to see the heavy caps bouncing down the road in front of you! I now use cable ties.

A lot of the braking system has been replaced over the years - more due to age than any mechanical fault.

Some rust is appearing, especially at the bottom of the rear doors, but will be fixed this year (promise!).

General Comments:

We refer to the car as Rosie because the colour is rose quartz, although most of the time the car looks silver, and the registration document says brown! We also had a car with the registration GYM.

A full-length Webasto roof was fitted from new, and makes Rosie almost a convertible in the summer. Lovely.

Minor servicing and repairs, including brake pads, are easy. When she was on the street for 4 years she was keyed and the badges stolen - we have yet to remedy those defects, but she still looks (and sounds) great.

Rosie drives like a dream - so eager and positive, yet sedate and comfortable, and you feel you can trust her. We also know from a bad experience with an earlier 900 - we have had five 900s, a 9-3 and a 9000 (oh dear) over the years - that in an accident she would protect us.

The boot is huge - big enough to sleep two comfortably and carry very large and/or heavy weights. I used her as a courier car for a couple of years, because the automatic gearbox made town driving so easy. We have a Saab roof-rack, too, which is a great boon.

Tyre wear is very light - the sidewalls are more likely to perish (should have avoided the kerbs!) before the tread wears down.

Only 5 criticisms of the car - one major and four minor. Major: the 3-speed gearbox means fuel consumption is high (27 miles/imp gal). With petrol prices going through the roof, we have to consider whether every journey is necessary.

Minor criticisms: the spare wheel is a bit of a joke, although it does the job and we have only needed it once; the plastic fittings (e.g. rear ashtray, seat release clips) tend to break easily - but that's probably age; the brakes squeak (when not applied) sometimes - I could remedy that if I made the effort; there is no rear wash-wipe as standard.

Until last year we always had a second car and used Rosie very little because she was the more expensive to run. Now we are retired in Wales, we have given our newer car (Saab 9-3 turbo - wow!) to our son and rely totally on Rosie. She doesn't disappoint, and at nearly 24 years old, we are very proud of her. She turns heads.

Shame they don't make them like that any more, eh?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2011

1987 SAAB 900 2 Door Carb 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1987
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired172000 miles
Most recent distance181000 miles
Previous carRenault Laguna

Summary:

Solid and individual

Faults:

Tendency to overheat if stationary in traffic for more than a 3-4 minutes.

CV Joint required replacing.

Brake pipes required replacing.

Headlining saggy and torn.

General rust spots around the bodywork.

General Comments:

A very comfortable car to own, even aged 20-years old, with 180,000 miles on the clock.

With regular servicing, you genuinely feel theses cars could go on forever - what an engine!

Not an 'away from the lights' car in terms of performance, but once you hit 40mph upwards on dual carriageways and motorways, you can keep up (and regularly overtake) the best of 'em.

Handles superbly around corners, and is a solid, solid car.

Can get classic insurance for them, which is dirt cheap.

Alas, mine was in daily use on the school run, and on stop-start journeys, which detracted from the pleasure of ownership somewhat - the biggest problem for me was the horrific fuel consumption I was getting, and the opinion that these cars deserve to be used as a weekend or summer car, rather than get hacked about through the rat race every day!

In the end, I just had to get rid of it, as the petrol cost was bankrupting me! As a fun summer or weekend car however, I couldn't recommend them more.

A pleasure to own, and its timeless styling really stands out these days amongst all the soulless euro-blobs and ghastly, clichéd 4x4s that litter our roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2008

10th May 2009, 20:50

I'm surprised that you say the fuel costs were bankrupting you! I'm thinking it might have something to do with being carbureted vs fuel injected? I've got a 1990 900S fuel injected and it will easily get at least 28 mpg in the city.

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