1988 SAAB 900 S 2.0 16v L4 from North America


Fun, funky and cheap transportation, and I hope it goes another 140K miles..


Broken exhaust header pipe..

Bad suspension bushing at right front..

Interior light burnt out or switch is bad..

Lower front doors have some rust...

General Comments:

Great build quality, doors shut with a satisfying click.

Funky and unique car, appeals to my AMC roots. View and feel from driver's seat is strangely similar to a Cessna 152, same upright windshield and semi-cramped "rudder pedal" area. I like it.

Fun to drive, but shifter is a bit rubbery. Steering is precise and tight, flat cornering.

Comfortable and handles quite nicely, booms down the freeway at 70MPH, no problem.

At 147,000 miles, engine seems bullet-proof, no leaks or smoke, starts immediately, idles perfectly and winds easily with no missing (16 valve).

Bought car for $600, hoping to get 25 to 30 MPG, it's just neat and different. I'm going to drive it until it won't go anymore.

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

Review Date: 5th September, 2004

1988 SAAB 900 S 2.0 Gasoline from North America


Tight steering and unique look at minimal cost


The A/C was not working when I first bought the car, and I knew about this in purchasing it.

There is a very slow leak in the clutch fluid line and I've just been topping off the brake fluid every month or so.

The logo on the steering wheel has come off, and the one on the back of the car was taken off by a pressure washer at some time before I owned the car. The one on the hood remains intact.

Cabin lights are shorted possibly. Might have been from a spilled drink, see last paragraph of review for more.

General Comments:

When I first drove this car, I couldn't get it in to fifth gear. Turns out that reverse is way farther to the right than fifth gear, which is almost in the same spot as third. Reverse can grind if you don't double clutch, as there are no synchronizers for that gear. Don't single clutch in the higher rpm's, it'll grind there too, especially from first to second gear. Downshifting doesn't work too well. It runs about 2800 rpm or so at sixty-five mph in fifth gear, this may seem a little high, but I've been getting around 33 miles per gallon if I do a lot of highway running. I get about 29 if I cruise the city a lot. It claims to have a 12 gallon tank, but I've been able to fit over 14 gallons of gas in to it.

The seat heaters are awesome, I wouldn't have expected such a well engineered car to be built in 1988. The hood opens up like a semi-tractor trailer hood, the hinges are near the front of the hood. The sound system was junk, I tore it out and put in a decent one for about three hundred dollars.

This car doesn't perform like a Porsche, but it sure seems to handle like one. I haven't had a chance to time a zero to sixty run, but I'm guessing somewhere in the range of 8-10 seconds. I haven't spun this car yet on pavement, I've been able to take some nearly 90 degree turns off small state highways at around twenty five or thirty and stay in my lane too.

Winter is a beast on this car, don't expect to be able to run in more than five inches of snow without honking huge knobby tires. Front wheel drive can make it hard to accelerate in snow, I'd rather drive a rear wheel in the snow.

Trunk space is good, the rear seat folds down if need be. I haven't had complaints from passengers about the back seat, but it does look crowded back there sometimes.

I have one large gripe about this car, believe me this is a biggie. There isn't a single cup holder to be found in the entire car. Time to start drinking things from bottles with caps. If you get a shake or malt from the local shop, make sure it's a small, because then you can set it right by the ignition and it won't tip over and short out your window opening button, which, mind you, you have to press on the top of the button for the window to go down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2003

11th Jul 2004, 19:00

Open your glovebox door, presto there are two cupholders for your convenience. They look useless, but, they hold a pair of soda cans much better than you would expect from their appearance.