1997 SAAB 900 Reviews

1997 SAAB 900 S 2.3 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.3 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired105000 miles
Most recent distance140000 miles
Previous carRenault 9

Summary:

If parts were cheaper, I'd get it painted and keep it indefinitely

Faults:

Control arms, sway bar links.

One CV shaft.

Clutch cable.

Alternator is a bear to get out.

Replaced a few vacuum hoses.

Power antenna inoperable since purchase.

Info display pixel problem like all of them.

Speakers deteriorated from sun/heat.

A/C out again.

Changed the battery a few years ago, and the factory radio wanted a security code to work. Nearest Saab dealer insisted I put the car in for service to obtain a code. Bought a Sony CD deck instead, but aftermarket fitment kits do not fit properly, so there's a hole in the dash above the radio.

Interior has held up pretty well, but small plastic knobs & clips are starting to break, which are difficult to find replacements for.

The most frustrating event was when the driver's door latch mechanism (inside the door) failed & jammed. It made it impossible to unlock the doors, even from the other side.

Clutch disc, outer tie rods and timing chain will need replacement eventually.

General Comments:

Bought the Saab for $1400 from an auction with 105,000 miles on the clock. Was a one-owner car from Long Island.

It's a good car that handles well and has plenty enough get up with the 5-speed. I feel a little "closed-in" driving it, but it has been comfortable on long trips and averages 31 MPG on the highway to this day. Commendable cargo capacity, and the back seats are roomy enough for adults to ride comfortably, even though it's a two-door.

Parts are not cheap, and that's the car's biggest downfall - I'm having a hard time justifying spending around $2000 on upcoming maintenance needs on a 15 year old car I'd have a hard time selling for more than $1500-$2000.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the service it's given us.

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

Review Date: 14th April, 2012

1997 SAAB 900 S Cabriolet 2.3 non turbo petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.3 non turbo petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired169000 kilometres
Most recent distance175000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Pulsar

Summary:

Solid and simple engineering, let down by poor quality plastic design for the interior

Faults:

Engine oil sludged up, and engine ready to fail due to oil starvation at purchase.

Interior plastics break easily: both rear cabin lights fall out of their sockets due to broken tabs. Sun visor mounts crack etc. Black plastic trim turns greyish white.

General Comments:

Bought from a car yard after test driving several before. This car was in nice condition and felt well looked after when test driving.

I did have a screaming sound from the engine when first started, but disappeared within 30 seconds. Did some Googling and discovered that that SAAB have big problems with these engines 'sludging up' and seizing. Took delivery Thursday and removed the rocker cover Saturday, and found sludge over a centimetre thick stuck to the cover and head. Removed the sump and the same. The sludge looked like coffee grounds in black honey. The oil 'pick-up' filter screen was almost completely blocked apart from about 10%, this I suspect was the source of the screaming sound. The SAAB filter screen is very fine on these engines compared to other manufacturers, and is the cause of engine failure. I replaced the filter screen with a coarser mesh and replaced the stock oil filter with a Ryco Z9, as it holds about 200ml more oil. Now when I change the oil, I drain the oil through a sieve to check for sludge. I then replace the sump plug and fill the engine with diesel, allow it to sit for half an hour and drain, again checking for sludge. I have not detected any sludge and do not use synthetic oil. If I had not done the above, this engine would have had a catastrophic failure.

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

Review Date: 14th November, 2011

1997 SAAB 900 SE 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired165702 miles
Most recent distance181000 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

This car is invincible

Faults:

2/22/2010 - Replaced water pump & upper radiator hose @ 166,417.

3/12/2010 - Replaced lower radiator hose @ 166,916 miles.

5/5/2010 - Repaired evaporative leak by replacing the canister valve; replaced broken valve cover nipple & bushing @ 167,680.

6/25/2010 - A/C needed servicing (evacuated & charged system) @ 168,819 miles.

12-29-2010 - Replaced Direct Ignition Cassette, spark plugs, and had fuel injection service @ 175,431 miles.

General Comments:

It is quirky, but commands high miles if maintained with quality.

This car is fast, durable, safe, and well-equipped. If anything should happen to it, I am hunting for another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2011

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 29 reviews