1992 SAAB 900 Basic 2.1 Liter from North America
A sensible sportscar
Clutch replaced at around 140,000 miles (The car was a gift from my parents, and this happened right before I received it. $500, so I was thankful for the good timing).
Master cylinder replaced at around 148k. The internal gaskets went bad, causing it to lose pressure if depressed for more than 30 seconds at a stoplight. Almost left me stranded an hour away from home until I realized this and just left it out of gear at idle. This occurred during the cooler months and home repair was pretty much out of the question, so $170 later, she's back on the road.
Head gasket is beginning to leak, and dripping coolant on the alternator belt which (1) causes a horrendous squeal while the belt slips and, incidentally, (2) prevents the system from charging the battery. This recharging issue was only a problem until I got a new battery, and I have since added gasket sealant to the coolant reservoir (fingers crossed) and the leak seems to have diminished.
Rust is beginning to take its toll, but not too bad for a car with over 150,000 miles on it. Mostly on sides of hood near 'SAAB' logo, bottoms of doors, gas flap; the usual spots. Any pre-'94 saab owner can tell you they all start rusting in the same areas.
On the whole, this has been an excellent vehicle. Great car for a student like myself, and at 17, it's deffinately a step up from most teenagers' cars.
Upon first acquiring the car, I installed a new audio system (MiniDisc player with an a/d/s/ 8" sub-woofer. sounds fantastic, highly recommend the upgrade from the factory setup.) I've neglected to continue with the cosmetic upgrades, such as neon lights and window tint because I don't have any desire to start anything with someone driving a more powerful vehicle, as this car isn't the fastest one on the road. However, for a four cylinder (140 horsepower), I honestly feel that most four cylinder Honda and Nissan drivers would be impressed with the second and third gear accelerration.
Handling is impeccable for the age. It corners like a true sports-car and yet has the versatility of a moving van. The backseat folds down to accommodate just about anything (large TVs, push lawn mowers, etc).
The interior is extremely well designed. The parts are high quality, noise level is low, but that exhaust sound penetrates the cabin at higher RPMs (okay by me), and the heated seats are wonderful. They heat up 5 to 10 minutes before the car gets warm, so they're great on those cold mornings.
Personally, I still believe that they're overpriced. $20,500 is a lot of money for a basic model, especially in 1992. However the reliability, safety, versatility and performance are unmatched in any other good-looking package.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th April, 2003