1986 SAAB 9000 Reviews

1986 SAAB 9000 Turbo Sedan (5-Door) 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired2000 miles
Most recent distance147000 miles
Previous carMazda RX4

Summary:

Great car, takes good care of you

Faults:

Hood struts.

Alternator.

Radio.

Power antenna.

Driver's sun visor.

General Comments:

We bought an '86 9000 Turbo new in 1986, and put 147,000 miles on it before selling it in 2003. My wife and I loved this car, and there are days I wish I still had it. It was the best highway car we ever had, eating the miles while you cruised along in peace and serenity, but still in complete control. It was easy to average 28-30 mpg while cruising at 75+ mph.

The 9000 is a classy-looking car that is just the right size. It comfortably seats 4 adults, but by folding the back seats and pulling out the package shelf panel, you can stuff it with outrageous amounts of cargo. I brought home a 5-foot office desk with the hatch closed. We bought two twin bed mattresses for a trundle bed and they fit inside without a problem. We even bought two (disassembled) recliners and took them home in one trip. You don't have to wonder if something will fit in a 9000 - it will.

It is a deceptively fast car, good for about 140 mph if you use high octane gas. With regular, it storms up to 125 mph and just flattens out. In rural Alaska we ran for 20+ miles with the cruise control set at 105 mph, serene as could be, with the trip computer reading 20-22 mpg! And the computer was always dead-on accurate - I don't think it was ever more than a couple of tenths off, unlike more recent cars that are often grossly optimistic with fuel economy numbers. A Saab mechanic told me it used an aircraft grade turbine meter.

There were a couple of unique touches I never experienced anywhere else. The windshield washer tank held over a gallon of liquid, and it had a fine gold-mesh filter in the fill neck to remove any contaminants. The vents had multi-layer directional fins that were adjusted by a center joystick - it was just cool how it worked. The 9000 is a car that is just a joy to operate.

The original clutch lasted 107K miles, and in the whole time I owned it the engine and turbo never required any repairs. We never had to replace a shock or strut in the suspension in 17 years of ownership. The electrical parts of the car were the things that gave us problems. The alternator died at about 120K, and the stereo got flaky in the last few years we had it, refusing to come on or cutting in and out intermittently. Too bad, because the factory speakers and amps were quite good, sounding better than any other car we had before our current 9-5's Harmon Kardon system. The hood struts failed at about 100K, requiring a prop rod when changing the oil or working under the hood. All in all, it was pretty reliable and not expensive to own. If only I could say the same about our later Saabs!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2011

1986 SAAB 9000 Turbo 2.0L t from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.0L t Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 miles
Most recent distance206001 miles

Summary:

A couch with a rocket strapped to it

Faults:

Replacement of fuel pump (common), cost around 200. Also had to replace a fuel pump relay.

Power steering was known to be bad. 500 job. Since I bought this car for 500 dollars, I was getting a steal and the total cost is about 1500.

Electrical a little sketchy, but it holds up.

Headliner and door fabric replaced by myself.

General Comments:

This car is not a Toyota. It has some problems, but it is all worth it. This was my first car and I will be very very sad when I part with it. I have grown attached. It is something about it that Saab owners know.

Driving it is awesome. Very stable on the road and is hard to coax to drift, even in rain. This says something about engineering. Turbo is slow to start, but kicks in around 27 Grand. Watch out for some nice torque steer, which I find very fun. Very fun car, but watch your speed.

Interior is nice and cozy. Get a leather interior if possible. Fabric is getting faded. Back seats are SUPER comfy and can be easily driven over a long time. Very solid investment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2009

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 6 reviews