1989 SAAB 900 Reviews - Page 2 of 7

1989 SAAB 900 16v from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 16v Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired221000 kilometres
Most recent distance239000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Jetta

Summary:

Fun to drive and work on!

Faults:

ECM computer stopped working after I bought the car (got a new one from ebay for $40 LUCKY! $500 new) and the car wouldn't rev past 1500rpm.

Automatic idle control valve and mass airflow meter needed to be replaced. (replaced with used parts).

Fuel injector seals replaced due to lean running condition. (solved)

Bonnet latch cable snapped.

Exhaust to catalytic converter had a crack. Needed to be welded.

Scheduled maintenance.

General Comments:

Parts can be obtained easily and cheaply if you look in the right places (ie; not the dealer). This car needs to be fettled with, and the engine management system is a bit fussy (pity the poor Brits who got Lucas instead of Bosch). Once you get the problems sorted, the car runs like a top.

A good car for someone who can spin a spanner. I love the amount of space there is to work with under the bonnet; it is a backyard mechanic's dream. The B202i is bullet-proof, but the transmission is the Achilles heel. Shift into a forward gear before shifting into reverse to avoid a crunch.

Despite mine being naturally aspirated, it was a spirited performer with excellent steering feel and a buttoned down, firm ride. This was my first Saab. I had to sell it to pay for tuition, and I will own another (turbo this time) after school. Some people think they're weird, but I think they're unique and quite gorgeous.

There's just something about this car. Those who like Saab, like them a lot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2008

1989 SAAB 900 Turbo Convertible 2.0L turbo from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0L turbo Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carPontiac Bonneville

Summary:

Favorite car I've ever owned!

Faults:

In the first year the only issue I had was the air conditioning unit, which I had been warned about by my now Saab mechanic that it would be an issue. Since it's a convertible, I don't really care about the AC!

The following year was an expensive year, but all wear and tear items. Not only that but I had put over 20k miles on the car in the first year I owned it, and being that it was 16 yrs old when I bought it and only had 38k miles on it at the time of purchase, I made it work harder than it was used to. First thing to go was the alternator. $350. All four tires. $350. Brake system was almost $700. Exhaust (from stem to stern) $700. Wheel bearings (I think that's what it was, I can't remember) $700 ($350 per each front wheel, rear are fine). I know I'm forgetting something but I can't think of what. (Still cheaper than a car payment!)

General Comments:

I haven't had to have any more work done on the car, except for regular maintenance (which it is due for the major maintenance job - $600) since 2005/2006. The car has been extremely reliable and an absolute joy to own. I had wanted this specific Saab since they came out, and after I was done paying off my sedan (Pontiac Bonneville...another car I HIGHLY recommend!!!) I set out to find exactly what I wanted in a Saab and I found it! They say "be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." I'm very glad I got it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th April, 2008

1989 SAAB 900 Turbo from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.5 / 10
Distance when acquired93000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carPontiac LeMans

Summary:

Quirky and Costly, but Fun to Drive

Faults:

The thing was a gross polluter when I bought it (not knowing that in my state the seller was obliged to produce a smog cert pass), and it cost the price I paid for it just to get that fixed. This high end car commanded high labor and part costs for simple maint.

The seat was already mashed into submission by heavy set driver.

Interesting tidbit: the car was stolen (I didn't use a Club) and found a year later. Body near perfect, still, but the interior wands and switches were abused beyond belief... made me realize they were a bit delicate. Cops recovered the car in drug bust, probably a speed freak was over-manipulating the devices. But fact of theft means: this is a cult status (valuable) car & security should be top priority. In-floor starter does not mean theftproof.

General Comments:

I found the car extremely noisy (roof on, but still hard to carry on a conversation), even by convertible standards.

Although the leather seats were nice, and the seat heater was especially awesome in a convertible, the "reach" is oddly far for the driver's arms. As was my own problem, no other driver of my car could bend their elbows (read: relax) while holding the steering wheel.

My review from 2003 has disappeared from this site, in which I gave the car similar marks, similar remarks.

Sense of tight, hard body is just awesome: taking corners beautifully, firm slam of the doors... Swedish steel made me feel very safe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th June, 2007

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 22 reviews