1997 SAAB 9000 Aero 2.3 petrol turbo from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Rapid, reliable, comfortable and good value

Faults:

Front passenger wheel bearing wearing out at 111K (replaced under warranty).

Synchro worn on reverse gear.

Brake disks required replacing at 112K.

General Comments:

The car is a performance bargain, quick (0-60 in 6.5s) but still returns up to 35 mpg and is cheaper to insure than equivalent performance German cars (eg BMW 328i or 540i or AMG C43).

Cars are long lived - mine has done 114K and feels as good as new. I have seen some Aeros with >200K miles and still going strong.

Very comfortable - the heated leather Aero seats wrap around you and provides great support on long journeys.

The Air-con is not the best I've come across, but does keep you relatively cool in the summer (no mean feat in a black car with black leather seats).

Huge boot too under that hatchback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2006

1997 SAAB 9000 CSE Anniversary 2.3 Full Pressure turbo from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Genuine all-round performance car, more than enough to rival a Merc, BMW or AUDI

Faults:

Nothing to be concerned with other than one of the H1 headlight bulbs blowing.

General Comments:

This is a great all round family executive car. It may not be as controlled to drive as a BMW, but the quality of the finish is streets ahead.

For out and out speed it can still out-perform a Porsche 911 in 5th gear between 70mph and 90mph.

In luxury terms, this car has everything that a modern car should have including climate control/air-con, leather/suede seats, walnut veneer, loads of interior space for front and rear passengers.

If I wanted to change anything it would have to be:

1) Stiffer anti-roll bars both front and rear.

2) KONI adjustable shocks all round with stiffer lowering springs

3) Front engine mounted strut brace

4) Add the Aero spec seats with greater level of adjustment and memory system for three drivers.

The performance mods are only suggested since I've been driving a 309 GTI. Even for a 309 you don't feel any lean as you go around a roundabout quickly. this is more noticeable in the SAAB. However, you need to realise that the 9000 is 600kg heavier and has a higher centre of gravity than a 309. Role on the mods.

The one thing I can't change is the steering wheel height. I'd prefer it to be one inch higher, although I'm only 5'8". The wheel does get in the way of my thighs occasionally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2004

1997 SAAB 9000 Griffin 2.3 turbo, petrol, 200bhp from UK and Ireland

Summary:

The first car that puts a smile on my face every time I use it - and it's practical too!

Faults:

I bought new tyres, had the vehicle serviced (including ABS sensor replaced on the front offside) and installed new speakers after purchase.

The car has performed reliably since that date and, apart from a winter service (including battery replacement) at the local independent SAAB specialists (Bourne Motors (one of only two garages that I would ever recommend) ) it has outperformed all my expectations.

General Comments:

The combination of performance, comfort, reliability and safety is exceptional.

As one who has always shunned automatics, I was dubious at first. The 4-speed auto box and the 2.3 Turbo are well matched however, providing comfortable motorway cruising, civilised progression in town and phenomenal overtaking capacity on tap whenever required (do not worry about turbo lag).

Although the Griffin is only available in the saloon body, it is still capable of taking a family on holiday, push-chair and travel cot included, without resort to either filling the cabin or adding a roof box.

Would I buy another SAAB? Without a doubt.

Would I buy another 9000? Yes; I must confess that I would be tempted to go for the Aero (225bhp, manual & hatchback) but I think that the Griffin might still win through.

There are better, larger and faster cars out there; but the SAAB 9000 is arguably the best option if you are looking for the best combination at the best value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2004

23rd Mar 2004, 12:12

I whole-heartedly agree with your summary of the Griffin. What a GREAT car it is for all-round versatility. A great used car bargain.

20th Aug 2007, 23:49

Car is OK and has all the features you could want, but it is expensive to service and parts can almost bankrupt you and car is a little underpowered for its weight.