I bought this car in April 2015 with 131k miles. It ran GREAT for about 2k miles then one day I hopped in it while it was parked in my driveway and wouldnt start. I had no previous issues and the breakdown came as a total surprise. Turns out the starter had gone out due to an underlying key ignition issue. I have to physically turn they key back to the "on" position immediately after starting. I believe the previous owner did not know the importance of this issue. The starter had probably alot of stress on it due to the key not always being turned back and the starter constantly turning and grinding on other things in the car. After I replaced the starter which I got pretty cheap from eeuroparts.com, it ran good for about another thousand miles. Then while I was on the interstate the car just shut off completely while I was driving with no warning signs and was stuck on the side of the road. Turns out the fuel pump went out at 132k. My dad is a certified mechanic and does all my car repairs and he has consistently been very impressed with the overall mechanical design of the car. Replacing the fuel pump was a breeze because it is located right under the back seat! Nice and easy fix. I have had other issues with a squeaky serpentine belt. But the biggest problem so far has been the oil. I do not suggest running 10W-40 like the car initially recommends. 10 weight is entirely too thick for that car and caused some clogging problems. I kept getting an oil alert warning light and couldnt figure out why because my dip stick read that the oil level was fine. Then the lifters started to tick very loudly. Luckily my dad figured out the issue before it was too late. It ended up being a simple fix with cleaning out the oil pan and drilling some bigger holes in the screen to allow oil to pass through much easier. We plan to switch to synthetic at the next oil change, which is what everyone else recommends too. Still havent fixed the ignition switch but it will be fine if you just turn the key like it is supposed to be. Overall, I couldnt have asked for a better used car! I bought it for $3250 and have put about $800 and most likely will not need to spend much more. It is so fun to drive. Stylish and unique! I get compliments everywhere I go and the turbo is so nice. The manual transmission truly makes me feel like I own a jet. The interior is far ahead of its time in terms of its technology and design. Despite these problems, I love it and want to keep it forever. I have not minded putting out the money for these repairs because my father and I are convinced that as long as we keep up the maintenance that it will run till the wheels fall off. I would tell anyone to get a saab that has been taken car of.
So it's very safe, very comfortable, very fun to drive, pretty quick and all around enjoyable car to drive. However, it was designed poorly and is unreliable and puts a permanent pipeline from your wallet to the mechanic.
This car when running is great. But it breaks at the drop of a hat and it is a thousand here and a thousand there. Luckily I can wrench on it myself and save some money. Expect to replace and engine and expect GM to flip you off unless you live in Europe. They honor the warranty there.
Drives well. When it runs
Don't run the exhaust next to the oil pan. It sludges the oil.
We've had our 95 for 5 years now and love it to bits, the whole family loves it. It is a great alternative to a Toyota Camry (or similar) as it is much nicer, has more style and 'feels' much better than the standard Japanese plastic box. It isn't at the same level as a BMW 5 or Audi A6 but neither is the price so what you get is a lovely solid car that does everything reasonably well at a great price. People moan about how it doesn't have the performance of a BMW 5 etc but it doesn't have the price either so! If you want a solid well performing comfortable car look no further. Mine has been reliable but like all cars you can find owners who disagree.
Solid feel of the vehicle, mine is 10 yrs old, has 66,000 miles (110,000 km) and still feels like new. Everyone & I mean everyone who hops in it comments on how nice it feels.
I went with the 2.3 ltr which is ample for me - stay away from the American GM V6, lots of problems. Having said that parts are good to come by due to the GM connection.
Engine has been torn apart 3 times for misc oil leaks, turbo has been replaced, muffler replaced. Misc sensor and electrical systems failures. We are on a first name basis with our mechanic. We spend at least $1000-$1500 per year on maintenance. Much more than any other vehicle we've owned. Every part is amazingly proprietary and expensive. $300 plastic turn signal lights... $900 mufflers... etc. It was just crazy. The best thing that ever happened to us was that car getting nearly totally in an accident (and of course that no one was hurt) so that we can take the insurance money and run.
The car does have a lot of fancy features. Cup holder, sun roof, nice audio, heated seat. Lock up you checkbook should any of them fail.
In my opinion DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!!! I have never spent so much time with a mechanic. A visit to the shop for any repair is at least $700 and the car has a very low resale value. Perhaps this is related to GM taking SAAB over? We are done with SAAB for sure!