My mom bought this car new in 1986, and while I can't remember everything that has gone wrong with it over the years, most things have just been general wear-and-tear issues. This model is the 9000 Turbo hatchback sedan, Saab's first real 'luxury' car, and it's got all the options. Climate control, moon-roof, power everything, cruise control, leather interior, AM/FM cassette with equalizer, 5 speed manual, etc.
Driving the Saab is very different from driving my 3-series BMW, it's a more 'relaxed' driving style; the steering wheel isn't angled like in the BMW, and it feels like what it's meant to be, a luxury car, not a sports car.
But that's a bit deceiving... because when it comes to performance, this car is amazing- no wonder my mom got a speeding ticket just after she bought it. I've got a Saab hat with the slogan 'find your own road'. Well, if you own this car, you'll certainly need to- you're bound to speed at some point in time, whether you realise it or not! The ride's so smooth, you think you're doing 30, but look down and see you're going over 50. The handling is 'okay'. No where near as good as my BMW, but it's definitely not the worst.
There's a big difference in gas mileage between 4th gear and 5th gear as well (and this car really wants to be in 5th gear if you're going over 35). In 5th gear on the highway, the gauge shows around 40mpg (although it's probably getting more like 30)
The leather seats are extremely comfortable, and there's plenty of legroom as well- remember, this is a full-size sedan equivalent to the BMW 5-series in size. Except... in the Saab the rear seats fold down, and you have storage space rivaling that of many minivans. We've put many large pieces of furniture in here, with no problems at all.
The bad news- no anti-lock brakes, so, if you're used to them, the brakes will feel a bit strange at first. The stock stereo speakers sound terrible as well, and always have. The original head-unit is a very good one, made by Clarion for Saab (and only offered for a few years, apparently), however the speakers are among the worst I've ever heard. It's unfortunate that in a car with every option possible, the stereo system has to be so awful.
The climate control system isn't great either. While it does it's job, the second you turn the car on, it comes on immediately on the highest setting- extremely annoying. The headlights are also terrible: don't drive this car at night if you don't have to. There are black spots throughout, and even on bright, the lights aren't great.
The interior design is fantastic, it's very easy to reach things, and it's no wonder that the interior hasn't changed much on the latest 9-5's. The Saab body design is also very good, the older 9000 series still looks reasonably modern when compared to other cars on the road.
As you can tell from the mileage, this car doesn't get a lot of use. In fact, most of the things that have gone wrong were probably from lack of use rather than overuse.
And for those looking at a used Saab 9000T, don't let the Saab name fool you- the 9000 is absolutely nothing like the 99, or 900 series when it comes to ride and performance, and it lacks some of the annoying Saab 'quirkiness' (ignition in the centre console, for example).
For relatively little money, you can get a fantastic car, that, like all of the other Saabs, will last for years. In fact, about 10 years ago my mom looked at a new Saab, and when she saw what they wanted for a model with similar features, she immediately decided that she'd hang on to this one instead. We were later told that if we keep driving this car like we have been, it'll last another 30 years, and I believe it.