1996 SAAB 900 S Convertible 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Looks a million dollars, but lots of common faults


Power steering leak.

Gearbox replaced due to reverse problems; went for a secondhand unit, which has started to play up 18 months after fitting!!

Front tyres wear quickly.

Roof motor replaced.

SID replaced (cheap from ebay).

General Comments:

I have fallen in love with this car. I love the way it looks, the driving cockpit is a nice place to sit, and it gets down the road with bags of style, especially with the roof down.

I am looking to upgrade to a turbo because I think the car is a little slow from pull away. I wouldn't normally mind, but when I am sat at the lights with the roof down, everyone wants to race me. I sometimes struggle to get up to speed, and I often get beat by hot hatches. The turbo is the way forward, but comes with all the extra problems, so if speed isn't important, stick with the cheaper to insure non-turbo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2010

1996 SAAB 900 SE Turbo Convertible 2.0? from North America


I love my Saabs, expensive but good cars


Reverse synchro failed.

Headlight wipers do not work.

Alarm system locked me out, no fob.

Exhaust flex pipe broken.

Clutch was out when I bought it.

Radio antenna (automatic) was not working.

General Comments:

I own a 1985 Saab with 254,000 miles on it. With repair it still runs good.

I bought this 1996 Saab SE Turbo Convertible with 136,000 miles. I paid $1,100.00 for it.

It needed a new clutch. Repair cost approximately $700.00. After the clutch was fixed, mechanic informed me the reverse was out. This was fixed by replacing entire transmission ($400.00 used at junk yard). Install cost $500.00.

Fixed antenna by replacing with manual: cost installed $80.00.

The car is fun to drive. The convertible top works great. Heater, wipers, radio, seats, windows all work. Hard to figure out all knob functions.

NO CUP HOLDER. Thus, cup is placed over ignition switch -- liquids flow into ignition. You know the problem -- right? Solution: Put the ignition switch on dash or column, or put CUT HOLDERS IN IT.

Otherwise, I love my Saab's. GREAT in snow (1985 is excellent). Thanks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2010

15th Oct 2010, 05:58


Was wondering where you got the transmission for the 1996 convertible 900 SE Saab for $400?

I'm going through the same thing? I have almost identical car; mine is 1996 Saab 900 SE 4dr non convertible with 2.0 turbo with manual transmission/5 speed. I plan to have the clutch and cable replaced at the same time, but I need to find a good used m.t. at a reasonable cost, if you or any one else can help me out. I have that same issue with power antenna also.

I would greatly appreciate some help/advice.

Thank you


4th Jan 2011, 13:42

Chad, I can help you locate used parts for your Saab. Contact me at jdenya2 at live dot com.


1996 SAAB 900 SE 2.5 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Shop around for a good one, and then buy a 2nd car of a more reliable brand, you'll need it


In the short period of time I owned the car, quite a lot!!

- Shortly after buying the car, the engine developed a starting issue. Numerous turns of the key and it would finally fire. This only happened on frosty mornings or after hot running - tedious but I learnt to live with it.

- Almost every seal in the engine was leaking oil (even the oil filler cap!!!), engine was removed from the car and it spent a week in the shop having them replaced.

- Passenger sunvisor won't fold up properly.

- The alarm system. PROBABLY THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING IN THE CAR!!! A thief definitely won't be able to steal this car, and given the car's mood, you probably won't be able to drive it either.

Eventually I gave up using the key fob to lock the doors, because the amount of times it never switched off the alarm, was more than what it was worth for the embarrassment of having the security guards and public in mall carparks looking at you funny, as you sheepishly try to shut it up.

- After the engine was put back in, the engine temp. gauge needed numerous trips to the shop to be re-activated (kept reading cold). And eventually a new coolant temp sensor was required.

- Pirelli tyres had a fault in them, which made a thud sound, didn't replace them though as they were new when I bought the car.

- The hatch. Worked perfectly when ever I put small loads in the boot. Until the one day when I am taking the dog to the kennels and the stupid thing jams shut. It takes an hour of yelling and swearing to get the stupid thing open. It wouldn't have been so bad if the seat tilt release wasn't jammed also. *Sigh*

- The driver side headlamp wiper assembly. The rod connecting the arm to the motor bent, so I took the headlight out and unplugged the motor. Easy to do if you have the same problem.

General Comments:

Well on the plus side this was a fun and enjoyable car to drive. But I am glad it's not my everyday car. What a character this car had!! Far more exciting than the BMW it replaced!!

I bought the car privately as a well maintained example, I maintained it well myself, but sadly I don't think it was helping it.

It was nimble fast and quirky. The center console ignition makes the whole car special.

My 900 SE had climate control, which was great but confusing with its different labels, the A/C switch was labeled Eco. etc...

Cruise control was good, but you never really get to use it in Auckland.

The stereo system was excellent. As good as the one in my Volvo S80!!!

The engine, although problematic, was reliable and was excellent on the motorway, push the sport mode button and put your foot down hard and this thing flies!!! You get so lost in the growling it makes that you don't realise you are well over 130kmh.

Was good at the traffic lights, you can easily put the other guys in their done up Subarus in their place with your stock standard Saab!!

Heated seats!! Front and rear, nice and toasty and on really cold mornings they made the interior feel like it was heated by a open fire.

The rear seats had two built in child seats, would have been great if I had kids, but I'm only 19.

Although sadly this car cost me a lot of money in repairs, and in frustration of more impending repairs I sold it for well under what I paid for it. It owes me more money than what I paid for it. However, I was taking the car to an independent specialist, so the cost of repairs were a lot cheaper than they could have been, the distance to mechanic (well over 40km from my home) would have well been worth it.

I'd have to say I would defiantly buy another 900 SE V6. It was a great car to own, just sadly not as reliable as the Volvo, so out it had to go. I think next time I buy a Saab though I will hold out for the 3.0 V6 9000CDE.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2009

13th Aug 2010, 09:21

I got my Saab 900s V6 as a Demo with about 5000ks on the clock. I have had this car for 15 years. It is still a great car to drive, but it has had its problems. All electrical and never the correct error code. But the SID (Saab Information Display) was a revelation! It told me when to clean the tape deck heads, when a light bulb was blown, when to change the windscreen wipers, coolant levels, service time, as well as outside temp, fuel consumption, how many Ks were left in the tank.

Point to point, it was quick, and the new Bilsteins really changed how the car handled.

I would buy another Saab if they had a hatch, but the company that gave us some of the best hatches, stopped producing them.

People think the ignition in the centre is silly, but they have not tried this. It is the perfect place, never hard to find, easy access and I drive other cars that try hard to hide access to the ignition behind the steering wheel; annoying!

One electrical fault cost me $5000.00 to find!

The car now has 230,000ks and is getting new electrical faults.

The only car that I find attractive is the Golf GTI.

I will miss this car.