1989 SAAB 900 Reviews - Page 7 of 7

1989 SAAB 900 S 2.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired207450 kilometres
Most recent distance211700 kilometres

Summary:

Swedish Pedigree, Loads of Personality, and Excellent Road Manners

Faults:

Hand brake cable needs to be replaced.

Catalytic converter heat shield was holed.

Some other items had to be replaced due to normal wear and tear: the coolant reservoir, shock absorber bushings, and anti-rollbar bushings.

General Comments:

I've owned my SAAB 900S 4dr for 3 months now, and have already spent $1,200 on it. It's been very reliable so far, but the repairs are generally expensive. Nothing major has gone wrong with the car, but with SAABs even little problems cost a lot to fix.

That said, my car is in excellent condition partly because the previous owner spent $5,500 on it over his 3 years of ownership.

Performance is less than impressive due to the fact that I have the non-turbo S model with an automatic transmission. Handling, however, is very good and the car corners like a champ.

The seats are extremely comfortable and the dash layout is very driver-friendly. Visibility is also excellent.

Style-wise, the "classic" 900 is very distinctive and is instantly recognisable on the road. For those who don't like today's bland and generic cars, it is a breath of fresh air.

Pre-1994 SAAB 900s are well-known for their durability and practicality, as well as style. If maintained properly and cared for, these funky SAABs will provide their owners with many years of motoring enjoyment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2002

1989 SAAB 900 Base 2.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired187000 miles
Most recent distance283000 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz W123

Summary:

A safe, solid car with style and practicality in mind

Faults:

Steering rack leaks - this is common on 900's. This happened at over 200K miles. Still worked, but the leaking drove me crazy.

Front wheel bearing - somewhat more prone to failure on front wheel drive cars in general. Expect 100k miles per wheel bearing if you use a good brand like SKF.

Drooping headliner and dash cracks - these items are eventually going to happen on all classic 900's. Although SAAB used great materials throughout the car, the dash is not one of them. As for the drooping headliner, it happens because the thin layer of foam breaks down over time and becomes brittle and powdery. Similar problem to that of GM cars in the same era.

Fuel pump failure - original was great until 190K miles. Remember to install the external check valve on all 1989 900's. If you don't, you'll have long cranking times to start your car until the fuel pressure builds up.

Heater valve leaks - this will happen to all classic 900's. The deteriorating O-rings between the heater core and valve will cause a leak.

General Comments:

Although Saabs have their quirks, I appreciate them for the safety, style, comfort, economy and performance. If you like to work on cars, the 900's are a blessing. The A/C components are totally accessible, as is the clutch without engine or transmission removal.

The design makes the driver feel as though its somewhat of a "cockpit" with the high A-pillars.

And for quirky, the engine is directly on top of the transmission with the engine's belts (fan, A/C, etc..) towards the rear of the car next to the firewall.

If you like to tinker with cars, the 900's are pretty fun. Saab used great materials for their metals and paints. Seems like it would last forever.

With the hatchbacks, cargo room is immense when you fold the rear seats down. I also love the heated front seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2001

1989 SAAB 900 i 8v 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carFiat Uno

Summary:

Class. Forget BMWs and Mercedes - this is where it's at

Faults:

Apart from me and my other half attempting to trash the car (twice!), problems have been restricted to the radiator dying (in Winter, of course) and the earth strap breaking a few wires due to wear and tear.

Did need a new clutch when the old one got unacceptably heavy at about 110K miles - it was still usable - but apart from the above, it's been a paragon of virue in it's own way.

General Comments:

Find a non-SAAB garage to spanner it, and make sure it's serviced regularly. Do these things and you'll find it's not only affordable but also intensely practical, despite the slightly sad fuel consumption (30 mpg).

It's the sort of car that grows on you to the point where I'll happily buy another one - and that's given the fact that they're all at least 8-9 years old now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2000

1989 SAAB 900 8v Coupe Turbo Special 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance131000 miles
Previous carRenault Clio

Summary:

Build quality of a Merc, presence of a BMW, safety of a Volvo and the performance of a Porsche!

Faults:

Nothing, I keep it well serviced; every 6000 miles.

General Comments:

A superb car. Looking to buy another SAAB soon to do some more spaceship mileage in!

It is in Embassy Blue, and it has leather interior with heated seats - a superb cure for back problems.

It was fitted with a "T" pack from new which gives it better handling.

It's a coupe, so it has all the looks.

The only niggle is that it could do with a rear wash wiper!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2000

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