1997 SAAB 900 Reviews - Page 2 of 9

1997 SAAB 900 SE B204L from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission B204L Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Out of 50 cars I've owned it ranks as my 3rd favorite, behind a '76 TR6 and '69 454 powered Firebird

Faults:

Re-torqued head bolts at 125,000 miles.

Turbo oil seal had failed, so I purchased a used turbo and replaced the failed unit (not bad service for the extreme temps these run in).

Replaced alternator (which is a pain to get to) at 135,000 miles.

General Comments:

For a cheap used car (under $5K) that sold for multiple decade digits new, and gives such great performance and comfort, you can't beat these cars. Don't let anyone fool you. They are just cars; if you can fix a newer Chevy or a Ford, with a little extra research and patience you can fix a SAAB. There are a lot of forums available to help diagnose and help with step by step repairs. I wish I could buy one of these brand new, I wouldn't hesitate. They are extremely well built and engineered.

This 4 banger beats any I've ever seen in a production vehicle in top end. It really is an amazing motor when it spools up and powers the heavy 900 down the tarmac. I became a believer after my wife talked me into getting this car for her.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2010

1997 SAAB 900 S from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Manual
Distance when acquired129000 miles
Most recent distance181000 miles
Previous carJeep Grand Cherokee

Summary:

Superb!

Faults:

Needed to replace the fuel pump.

General Comments:

Other than replacing the fuel pump, my Saab has run perfect. No issues at all.

5 speed, so gas mileage is excellent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2010

1997 SAAB 900 SE Turbo 2.0 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance165000 miles

Summary:

Great buy luxury for a DIY mechanic

Faults:

Clutch went at 110,000 miles.

Power steering pump went at 140,000 miles.

Worn driver's seat.

Clutch cable broke at 150,000mi.

General Comments:

Owned since 75,000 miles, and have had very little problems with the car overall.

It does need some extra love and attention now and again, but any decent DIY mechanic can do it themselves.

It handles great. It has some torque steer which is hard to avoid with front wheel drive. Excellent handling in the snow. You'll be passing BMWs and Mercedes through the pass.

Overall, doing your own repairs is the key to keeping costs down with this car. If not, find a good independent mechanic who knows these cars.

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

Review Date: 25th November, 2010

1997 SAAB 900 SE Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired30 miles
Most recent distance150000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Born from jets - death throes near 90k

Faults:

97k; Direct ignition cassette.

99k; A/C condenser.

101k; Trip computer - repeated false malfunctions, like an Alzheimer's patient, turbo needed replacement.

115k; Starter - unavailable in U.S. Had to be shipped from Sweden.

120k; Motor mounts weakened from rust.

140k; Convertible top sensor and motors dead.

145k; Cracked head gasket.

General Comments:

I bought this new, as a handed down 9000 I'd had was indestructible. Initially it was a complete pleasure to own. Great seats and stereo, weak heater for a Swede. Driving it felt more like flying.

Nearing 90k, minor niggles that I didn't mention started - then major ones. In all fairness, it held up an average amount of miles. I have a very light, pampering touch with cars though. Two VWs I've had and an 80's Peugeot lasted virtually trouble free for nearly 300k. Those three cars combined probably cost less than this beauty.

All told, great for an average duration. Not for those who keep cars till they die.

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

Review Date: 29th August, 2010

1997 SAAB 900 S Convertible from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carChrysler Sebring Sedan

Summary:

Better than a Sebring, but still a GM that pretends it has wings

Faults:

Funky electrics -

Vert top does whatever it wants sometimes. Up means down - or it will just stop working sometimes. Yeah, water also finds its way into the top beams, and out the seams, so when you pull out the driveway after a rainy night, you get pissed on.

Saab Information Display drives me crazy - blown pixels, always low washer fluid message (uses gallon per wash).

Headlight wipers don't work, and are pointless anyways.

Leaks small amount of trans fluid.

Ignition switch went bad.

Plastic things breaking - seat handles, cup holder, SID buttons fall off, ashtray opens itself.

General Comments:

4 cyl engine seems very reliable and strong.

Quick enough, sport mode with downshift button is a plus too.

Acceleration is decent, I like the grunty exhaust note, sounds grumpy. Gas pedal feels heavier to push than most cars.

Pretty quick through corners until the tire's limits are reached, then you just start plowing forward. Good ABS too ha.

Interior leather didn't handle the sun too well, and seats don't feel very snug, soft or supportive.

Back seat is Hell.

Telescoping wheel is good, but Saab forgot the tilt?

Convertible could have used some more structural support, car twists and shakes over rough roads or expansion joints. Feels like the front end is just going to shake off and leave you behind.

Cup holder is dumb.

So is the headlight switch, as they are ALWAYS ON anyway. The only thing it can do is turn on JUST the orange parking lights - but only while in P.

Fold down seats are handy.

Overall a good car mechanically, but could have cut some things out and made the materials better.

From what I read Saab did make the cabin nicer in the new ones, but forgot to make sure the junkers would run past 50,000 miles. Is GM finally gonna figure out how to compete with the Germans and Asians?

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

Review Date: 20th April, 2009

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