1989 SAAB 900 Turbo Convertible 2.0L turbo from North America


Favorite car I've ever owned!


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


Quirky and Costly, but Fun to Drive


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

1989 SAAB 900 SPG 2.0L 16v - turbo from North America


A blast to drive, but not to own


Heater Valve leaked, Rear Calipers seized, cruise control stopped working, heated seats failed, radiator leaked, clutch master failed, ECU fried (common for 89 models), fuel injectors failed, exhaust downpipe and rear muffler rotted, MAF failed, fuel feed pump failed - caused car to stall when fuel level is low, valve cover gasket leaked no matter how many times it was changed, plus many other nickle and dime items...

General Comments:

An extremely fun car to drive, particularly on the highway and in the mountains. Tons of passing power when you get on the boost. Handling is decent, but is slightly on the soft side. Amazing exhaust note! Gas mileage in town was around the 21mpg mark.

Sharp, unique looks, especially being the more rare SPG model. Comfortable interior and gobs of room in the hatch, and doubles with the rear seat folded. A friend of mine carried a single bed in his 900! Nice leather seats and good seating position. A nice dash layout and clear gauges. The heater system did not perform as well as many 900 owners claim, even after I replaced the heater core thinking it may have been clogged. Decent heat, but certainly not as hot as my VW would get.

Finding a well kept example is THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect in buying one these quirky Swedes. The P.O. of mine was a cheapskate. I paid the price by not getting an inspection before purchasing. The vehicle had constant issues with the turbocharger control system which I finally sorted after two years of ownership.

Maintenance was sub-par. Parts prices are not as bad as one would think, but are hard to find in my area. Internet Saab parts suppliers are a god send, as is Ebay. It just seemed that as soon as I fixed one thing, something else would pop up. A well maintained example should be more forgiving.

I honestly miss this car and the power, looks, and utility that came with it. But I won't miss the constant battle to keep it on the road and off of a hoist.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2006