1996 SAAB 900 900S 2.3 liter from North America


A good convertible car with great looks and comfort


I have completely redone the front brakes (no big deal). The coolant sensor occasionally indicates low coolant when there really is no problem (also not a big deal).

General Comments:

This car has tan leather interior, black cloth convertible top, metallic red exterior, woodgrain dash, CD changer and looks as good as new.

Compared to the Volvo 940 it's ride is rougher and not as comfortable. However, it is a little quicker and handles better, quicker.

Our car has the 2.3 liter 4 cylinder non-turbo. It seems to be a good engine and has been no trouble.

I don't think this car matches the quality of the Volvo 940, but it's reasonably close.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2004

7th Jul 2006, 20:43

It’s been more than two years since I wrote this review. Since that time I had to replace the computer, but nothing else. The car was running fine, but it wouldn’t pass the state inspection (OBDII) That repair was expensive and had to be done by Saab.

That is really all I have done to the car except regular servicing. My wife drives this car everyday, everywhere. She loves the little Saab convertible. We have no plans to get rid of this car. My guess is that we will keep it till the odometer hits over 200,000. That’s about 100,000 miles away from now.

18th Feb 2010, 19:57

2010 and still driving the Saab. Nothing has gone wrong with the car. Nevertheless, we are talking about trading it for something with a little more room. The Saab is a decent and fun car. Some repairs can be more expensive than most other brands. Saab parts aren't cheap. Since Saab has been sold to an exotic car company, it will be interesting to see what happens.

For now we are still driving the Saab. I wouldn't even try to argue that this has been the best car we ever owned. But, it hasn't been a bad one, and we have had lots of fun driving this car. It's very pretty, and since it has been garaged its whole life, it looks close to new. With that said, I know I won't get much on trade. If you have some ability with car repairs, don't be fearful of the little Saabs. As a spare car, this convertible is great for a day in the sun.

1996 SAAB 900 SE V6 from North America


Too much money for little return


Honestly, I don't know where to begin. I have had a new problem with this car every couple of months for the past year. Some highlights:

Valve cover gasket (2x)

A/C compressor.

Lower engine mount.

Ignition wires.

O2 sensor.

General Comments:

Maintenance is also very expensive. You must replace the timing belt every 30k miles ($8-900) per.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th February, 2004

7th Aug 2008, 21:21

The GM V6 engine uses a belt - not a chain like a real SAAB engine.

1996 SAAB 900 S 2.0 Litre petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, well equipped, different, excellent value


Battery failed after 110,000 miles (six years)

Windscreen wiper washers blocked.

General Comments:

This is an extremely comfortable, solid car and is an excellent second-hand buy.

I have owned Toyotas in the past, a marque with a good reputation for reliability and build quality, but, in my opinion, this car is better.

On the downside, the clutch is very heavy and the ventilation system is especially poor (no air-conditioning in this model).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2002

1996 SAAB 900 iS 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


A quality second hand bargain


The original factory fitted battery failed after 6 years!

The centre section on the exhaust failed after 5 years, the rear silencer box is shedding it's multiple skins -this looks unsightly, but is only cosmetic and does not fail the annual test.

General Comments:

Very reliable.

Very safe.

A little bit different from the crowd.

Excellent build quality.

A little on the thirsty side.

A good allround family car that is practical, robust, safe with a large boot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2002

1996 SAAB 900 2.0 16v Normal Aspiration from UK and Ireland


A very capable car, with guts and style


Original battery failed, - Replaced.

Exhaust pipe failed, (repeated short cold-weather journeys by previous owner.) - Replaced.

Headlight wipers neglected and defunct -Don't need them anyway.

Windscreen squirters blocked. - Fixed them.

General Comments:

I thought I loved this car the day I bought it, but within a week, I realized – This car is tiny. I’d just parted with my Ford Granada living room on wheels. So now I didn’t like it any more, because this was like a closet on wheels compared to the Granada. But over the coming months I began to notice things like; ‘This car is quick, this car is comfortable, this car is economical, this car is reliable.’ The list goes on.

One down side; Saab dealers know how to charge, I discovered this at my first service; IRP£390 (say €440) for what was effectively an oil change and a set of brake pads. I quickly learned how to change oil, plugs, and filters etc. So now I service it myself every 10000 Miles for approximately €50.

In summary, the car is an engineering masterpiece. Even though it’s a heavy 2.0 Liter Family Hatch, (it so wants to be a coupe) once you have come to a rapport with its willing engine, its solid Gearbox and its dynamic chassis / handling, you can out-maneuver any GTI in the hands of a driver who doesn’t understand his car, (and that’s most GTI drivers)

I should also comment on its strength, because a Honda Civic once wrote himself off in a futile attempt to bend my rear bumper; he failed.

P.S. I bought this car based on a one-liner from Jerome Clarkson. “Saab – A seriously good value second-hand buy.” – He was right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2002

14th Sep 2004, 08:05

The SAAB 900 is a superb car, with an awesome boot space. The only thing is, the jump from 2nd to 3rd gear can seem a bit large. But with 2 litres, who's complaining?

5th Jul 2005, 04:02


I too have taken chunks out of my scalp on the tail-gate latch... very painfull. You probably won't do it a 3rd time... at least not a 4th.

But it's a good car!

1996 SAAB 900 2,0 from UK and Ireland


Better than most of the competition


Head gasket blew at 102000 miles.

New front suspension bushes required at 108000 miles.

General Comments:

This car has had its detractors, but I feel that Saab did extremely well considering the Cavalier floor-pan it had to work with.

The handling is the car's downfall, but that was remedied by fitting slightly wider tyres and using Abbott Racing's steering rack clamp.

The car is comfortable, quick, much more economical than the classic 900 and relatively cheap to repair/service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2002

1996 SAAB 900 XS 2.0i from UK and Ireland


The right hand side of the trip computer display fades occasionally (although it is still readable) and the glovebox door rattles occasionally over rough surfaces (yes you're right, I am picking holes now!).

General Comments:

A smooth, quiet, comfortable car which is perfect for long trips. There might be better cars technically for the money, but none which have captivated me so much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 1999

1996 SAAB 900 S 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Interior lights failed.

General Comments:

A good car, smooth and quiet, with excellent seats, let down by uninvolving handling, rather heavy and limited storage space for cassettes, maps, coins and all the junk I need in a car.

A colleague left a motorway at 70mph and survived; the crumple zones were destroyed, and the rigid body cell was untouched.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th March, 1998

1996 SAAB 900 SE 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Seat belt pre-tensioner failed causing failure of driver air bag (off road 3 days).

Fog lamp bulb blew, can only be changed by dismantling front trim.

Cabin fan would intermittently stop (automatic climate control), which was fixed.

Now cabin fan runs out of control, like driving in middle of a tornado. Car currently off the road for one week waiting to get fixed.

General Comments:

Blistering acceleration from turbo blown two litre, but niggling faults spoil it. I've had more faults in two years with this car than in the last twenty years with Japanese cars. (Moral there?)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 1998