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...
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