1987 SAAB 900 i 2.0 from UK and Ireland
Brilliant - reliable, comfortable, a trusted friend
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!).
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