1986 SAAB 9000 Turbo Sedan (5-Door) 2.0 turbo from North America
Great car, takes good care of you
Driver's sun visor.
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