SAAB 99 Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1977 SAAB 99 EMS 2.0 from North America

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1988
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carSAAB 99

Summary:

Fun, nimble, quirky lovable car!

Faults:

Something in the gearbox suddenly locked up on the highway - the front wheels locked and it skidded for a while and then SNAP! Gearbox dead.

Dreaded water pump leakage.

General Comments:

I loved this car. Felt like it could really move. I think it had 121 hp. Nimble, comfortable, sporty. Loved the pull-open sunroof. The velour ems seats were a bit tattered. Not sure if the EMS version had anything special on it other than the wheels - I know the engine was the same.

Great engine - except for the design of the water pump. It was down inside the engine and driven by the idler shaft. If you didn't replace it properly, the gears on the idler shaft would get stripped.

Unfortunately they had a tendency for the back end to swing out unexpectedly and fishtail. It happened to me a couple of times before ultimately it happened to me on a snowy road and I ended up spinning and getting hit by a cop car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2006

29th Mar 2008, 10:20

Hello. to the above, if you might know of someone selling a 99 in vgc, could you let us know?

Thanks and happy spring.

James.

3rd Jun 2008, 23:16

Was it your first car? Mine was a rusted out '74 EMS which I used to make a running 71 4 door LE a sleeper. The EMS would spin out, on you if you did not know how to drive in the wet sloppy snow, as I did the one winter I drove it. But man was it a fun car. It would burn first, squeal second, chirp third and by fourth be doing 90 all in the hill on 125 coming out of middlebury college.

1980 SAAB 99 Turbo 2.0 8v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 8v Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance40000 miles

Summary:

A must-have classic!

Faults:

Exhaust is currently a combination of parts from 900's including a 9000 flexi pipe.

Loose wire to fan causing overheating.

Cylinder head threads for manifold have stripped, soon to be replaced.

New alternator.

General Comments:

An awesome machine!

Our 99T has led a sheltered life having lived on an old lady's drive for 15 years. It was purchased by a friend to restore who happens to own a garage. The car itself was bought from the said lady, brakes freed and then put in for an MOT for which it failed only on headlights.

Since we have bought it, not much has been done with regards to restoration due to lack of space (currently have a 900 T16S having a full rebuild and mods to take to around 300bhp, bye bye gearbox!). The car will then be lovingly restored with the addition of a stainless steel exhaust minus the huge backbox! After that, we have a 900T16S Convertible to go in.

Anyway, as for the 99T. This car never ceases to amaze me. Firstly, this car changed motoring history by utilising the full potential of a turbocharger for normal day use. Secondly it is such a beautiful machine! It is a 2 door in red (one of a approx. 400 in that colour I believe).

It is such a pleasure to drive, with the quirky offset steering wheel and the looks from other drivers and pedestrians. It has a commanding presence on the road, especially as those Inca alloys are mesmorising!

My only gripe is the seats. They are very comfortable, but they don't hold you so well when enthusiastic cornering takes place!

As for performance... what can I say? For an old car, this thing really moves. 145bhp and 174lbs ft of torque through a 4-speed gearbox is great fun. Around town it can be quite sluggish, however once at cruising speed this car can pull away from a lot of modern cars with ease. It can sit at 80mph all day although as the revs are high at this speed, I tend to sit at 60mph, enjoying the drive and knowing that I am driving piece of history.

Finally, I must justify my cost markings. Although this car hasn't cost much as far as parts go, it eats the petrol. Especially if you have an enthusiastic right foot, however on a long journey whilst taking it easy, I have managed approx 32-35mpg.

I love this car and it will take a lot of money to prise it away!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2005

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 10 reviews