Previous to my purchase, the following went wrong:
- Headliner sagged (reupholstered).
- Headlight wiper broke (replaced).
- AC failed.
- Seat heat unit failed.
- Cruise-control failed.
- Transmission slippage/failure (replaced).
- Power door locks fail intermittently.
- Fuel rail leak (repaired).
- Oil leak (repaired).
- Leather seats wearing at the seams.
SAABs are often dubbed invincible. This is only true, because their owners love them. It's not uncommon for a SAAB to have a million miles on it, but ask the owner how much time and money has gone into its maintenance.
You can see my car at http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2153509/1
I love my 1993 SAAB 900 S. It's my first car, and I will certainly only replace it with another one like it.
I bought it used, and I opted for the naturally aspirated engine. All the turbos that I drove had been badly abused, so the NA engine was a good way to avoid heavy-footed previous ownership.
As you can see from the above link, I have modified mine quite a lot, but this review will focus on the pros and cons of the stock car.
- Low purchase price (now).
- Quirky, unique, and (some would say) pretty.
- Satisfying and confidence-inspiring in turns.
- UNSTOPPABLE in all weather conditions.
- Dependable (for the most part).
- VERY safe, especially for the time it was built.
- Comfortable and intuitive cabin and instruments.
- Leather interior can hold up very well with care.
- ENORMOUS cargo-space 21cu.ft./58cu.ft, seats down.
- Oil is never dirty.
- None of the maintenance concerns of a turbo.
- Engine requires careful maintenance.
- Some features work, but are temperamental: power door locks, heated seats.
- Parts/upgrades take dedication to find.
- Sluggish acceleration in the cold
- Not the turbo model.
I find the SAAB 900 S is the perfect car for the American who likes to stand out with subtlety. It is not a loud, wild car. Rather, it is an understated, well-built work horse.
There is plenty of room for modification. The stock intake and exhaust are fairly restrictive, and the suspension is a bit on the soft side.
Overall, though, I would buy the same car, if I had it to do over again. I would recommend it for both first time car owners and Swede speed enthusiasts.