1973 SAAB 99 GL 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Saab 99. A heavy Swede


Clutch drive. Went twice, but not much else.

General Comments:

The 99 looks nice. No way these rust, they are made of real steel!

Heavy to drive; steering and clutch are weighty items. A 4 speed manual; perhaps an auto would be nicer? The heavy theme is extended to the instrumentation. No flimsy switchgear here. The interior is really well thought out, with such neat touches as the ignition key placement.

Mine had the much-maligned Triumph fuel injected engine, but it gave me no problems.

In Australia, parts for Saabs and therefore repairs are expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2015

1973 SAAB 99 EMS 2.0 from North America


One of the worst cars ever made


This remains the worst car I have ever owned.

- Clutch master & slave cylinder twice (18000 & 62000).

- Front brake pads 6500, 13500, 20,000. Finally found a harder compound, which made it all the way to 35000. Brake master cylinder twice.

- Engine mounts broke, entire drive train would move back and forth even before & after repair.

- Entire exhaust system 3 times. Exhaust manifold fell off the engine.

- Fuel injectors leaked. Windows fell off lifts, crank handle broke. Seat heater failed.

- Primary shaft to transmission and gear both failed at 41000. Waited 2 months for parts from Sweden.

- 2nd gear synchro 42000, had to shift 1-3 most of the time.

-Tach stopped at 23000, windshield wiper motor twice, other electrical problems.

General Comments:

This car was fun for a few minutes a month, then reality would slap me in the face. It only made it to 62K miles before it was finished. The only thing that worked decently was the Triumph engine.

SAAB made planes. I said I would never fly in one because of all the problems I had with this horrible car. I did fly on a SAAB/Fairchild turboprop years later and survived.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th August, 2010

11th Aug 2010, 11:12

1973 was a Swedish engine. 1970 was the last year of the Triumph.

11th Aug 2010, 18:17

And there are so many who accuse GM of mucking Saab up...

22nd Aug 2010, 00:46

SAAB had many problems long before GM. Most 72-74 99's were junk. The day I picked it up, the windshield wiper motor blew and it took 2 weeks to get a new one. A bad omen.

Another warranty repair got me a loaner model 96 with the Ford V4. It started on fire from the carb (a common problem, I was told by the dealer). Only a neighbor loaning me a fire extinguisher saved it from ruin. The French mechanic who worked at the dealer said "it is a piece of sh**" He knew because the dealer also sold Renault.

11th Feb 2014, 05:23

My 1973 Saab had the Triumph engine. The name "Stanpart" is on the block.

10th Dec 2015, 11:29

My 73 Saab, reviewed above, had "Stanpart" stamped all over the engine. What year a car is introduced into a local market may vary.

1976 SAAB 99 GL 2.0 from North America


One of the best cars ever made


The slave cylinder would go about every 25,000 miles. It was an easy fix that my dealer showed me how to do. No matter where I was, I could tell the mechanic how to change it even if he wasn't familiar with the vehicle.

General Comments:

Never had anything so reliable or comfortable to drive. Could (and did) drive it all day and never get tired.

Handling and safety were top notch. The cabin was roomy and the trunk space was awesome.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2009

1977 SAAB 99 ems 2.0 from North America


Make me one car. Make it that one


Previous owner replaced drive/spline shaft at 45-50k, suggested that I do the same before too long. Well, indeed. I limped home stuck in 2nd gear at 94k.

General Comments:

Engine/ drive train were not quick from dead stop, but what do you want for ~110hp and ~3400 lbs? (Hmmm. See above, and note that I was age 22, previous owner female and 55!) However, from 30 mph to 80 mph, this same little box would out-perform others handily.

And handling/road stability? Wow. The V-8 sleds with no sense of direction would be quite frustrated as I slipped away from them on back roads. Yes this was a fun car.

Way ahead of it's time with cab-forward design. And what ever happened to understated sophistication in cars? Simply everything was at-hand, with no silly schlock. What a joy.

Oh, and room for 4 with 25+ miles per gallon. 30 at times, back in 1977. Hello, Detroit, anyone listening???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2006