View Full Version : SAAB 900 thoughts?

06-24-2004, 11:07 AM
I'm looking for an interesting family car to tide me over until I can properly look after an LBC. I was considering a SAAB 900 convertible. Any thoughts? They are certainly different and I enjoy top down driving. I'd love to go for something British, but I have a 70 mile (roundtrip) commute on interstates and kids to haul. Any other car suggestions would also be appreciated.

06-24-2004, 11:45 AM
How old of a Saab 900? I used to own Saabs, and I also sold them for a while. The original Saab 900 is a great car, quirky (such as the ignition being between the front seats and having to lock it in reverse before you can remove the ignition key) and fun to drive. The cars made under the ownership of GM have lost that edge, becoming more "bland" and generic as a result. Still not a bad car, but pricey!

If you are going for a convertible, 1993 or older, then you will not be disappointed. I drove one for a while, and loved it. The roof is snug in bad weather (drove it home through a blizzard, not a leak or a drip) and the glass rear window with de-fogger is a nice touch. Great in snow with the right tyres of course. Refinements such as heated front seats and fog lamps really help in bad weather too. The roof is power-operated, and works well.

A few things to bear in mind, the leather can be a little fragile, but I think that you can get replacement seat covers still from the aftermarket. Transmissions can be troublesome, but a lot depends on how they were treated of course. If you get a non-turbo car, then go for manual shift, the automatics are reliable, but dog-slow and only three ratios. Turbo with the automatic is fine, but with a five-speed stick shift is a hoot! The car is strong and safe, assuming no rust, and I have yet to see a rusty convertible! The covertible was designed as such from the ground up, so there was never any scuttle-shake when they were new, as opposed to cars such as the BMW convertibles of the same era.

I actually sold a turbo convertible with five-speed to a guy I know who still has it, twelve years old now and 170,000 miles later. It has been stone reliable, and he swears he will never part with it. Mind you, he has been meticulous about its upkeep and maintenance, and it still looks like a new car! Look for one with a service history and evidence of having been loved and you will not go far wrong.

Sorry to drone on a little, but I do love these cars.

06-26-2004, 05:25 PM
Good cars, I'm told but for one thing. The one 900 owner I know personally loved his car (a late 80's 900 Turbo coupe), except for the insane service costs. Apparently a regular service at his dealership was a $600 minimum. Being used to Hondas, that scared me.

06-27-2004, 10:15 AM
I've had two, both 80's, one turbo and one non - even before the 16 valver. Great cars. Built like tanks. As Steve said, great in snow with the right tires (Hakka Palitta's sp?). Easy peasy to change the clutch, can be done in less than an hour. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

06-28-2004, 05:27 PM
Thanks. Some posts on other sites made it look like pure financial suicide. I'm just hoping for an interesting four seater, but cannot go the Jag route (working in education and all /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif ).

I did consider a classic mini, but I'm afraid that if the commute doesn't kill it, the tractor trailers and SUVs will.