You get a highly intelligent package: a very reasonable dose of sport, a cozy but pleasant cabin, and a beautiful aerodynamic back end. One huge perk is the cargo room- it's basically a wagon. Aero, capacious, sporting, the back end has it all. The car has gotten more stylish with age. Socially it was the equivalent of the Prius in its day. Then newer cars came with stubby, blobular shapes, making the Saab look long, elegant, and clean cut. REPAIRS?? Yes you will need to do them. The cost is the same as generic cars of the era plus 30%. The car is not unstoppable, but it is unkillable. After any given repair, you could have thousands of miles before your next.
Driving experience will not blow away competition in objective tests, but it is very mechanically connected.
Handling is very smart because the body lean, tire whine, and mushiness in the steering wheel all set in gradually and at the same time, so it's easy to drive just as hard as you like.
Should you misestimate, just lay off the brakes and the car will sweep around with excellent grip.
The car is not about flat out performance, it just makes spirited driving fun and safe.
Engine power has a similar aesthetic:
it's lively but in no way a killer.
Beefy power lives from 2 to 4.5k rpm in gears 2 and 3.
The cable clutch requires long legs to reach and slips over a very small area, so driving takes a lot of concentration.
Without shoes you can easily find the spot where it slips, but you still can't modulate very much.
Due to this and the granny first gear you might chirp the tires a lot.
It's best to keep the engine just above idle when launching, and I find myself trying to conserve a slight amount of momentum at red lights.
Noisy at highway speeds. 60-65 mph is the worse.
Just above 75 mph the engine spins more freely at 3000 rpm and the wind probably forms a different pattern, so it seems less noisy.
stereo has 3.5" and 6x9 speakers, just bass in backseat and just treble up front
I bought this 5 speed 16v through the internet w/119,000 miles. I put a lot of money into it to get it back to life as the previous owner let the maintenance go. Expensive to fix if you do not have knowledge to repair minor things, or if you do not stay on top of general maintenance. The turbo's are sensitive and may not start if the oil is dirty. The cars do leak oil as they get older. It is important to keep the oil, antifreeze/coolant levels topped off too. Check cooling fans regularly or risk buying a new head gasket! Built with solid interior parts w/ a noise level next to nothing even as a convertible. The turbo whistle up is like listening to a symphony even @175,000 miles!
Looks like nothing else on the road. Last classic '94 convertible body style built in Sweden before GM took SAAB over and ruined it's reputation by using too much plastic, a malibu chassis, and bad GM engine designs that led to engine failures! Extremely FUN to drive especially with the top down!
Get rid of GM and give the quality back to the rightful people who don't compromise reliability and safety for the bottom line! Also we could use less expensive repairs!
This is a great car for any consumer. The handling needs improvement but the acceleration is great. I have the turbocharged version, and the acceleration is great. I just installed a manual boost controller to increase the boost up to about 14 psi and rear anti-roll bar to reduce body roll, and the car feels great. This is my favorite car to drive, by far, and I have more mods planned in the near future. I drive my Saab very hard which is why I recommend suspension upgrades.
Acceleration and luxury without the price tag.
Suspension upgrades; a rear anti roll bar, steering column brace, 6-pt sub-frame brace, and upgraded springs and shocks equate to about $1500 to have a Saab that could out handle just about any other car EVER made. I drive my Saab harder, which is why I recommend suspension upgrades.
I've had my Saab for almost 2 years now and although I've spent a few bucks on it I can't say it's any worse then other cars its age. Mine has the "dreaded" V6 engine; I did have to replace the timing belt and tensioner (a common problem/flaw of the engine). The timing belt will need to be replaced in about another 10K miles. All said, considering the overall comfort and performance of this car, I can't complain. The Traction Control System is amazing. We don't get much snow here in Portland but when we do it creates a mess. I got caught in our one big storm last winter and this car got me home safe and sound. If you want a comfortable winter driver, get a Saab.
Engine performance, TCS, heated seats, MPG 30+ on the highway, interior space, cool styling, people still thinking it's a new car even though it's 13 years old.
I know all of these were addressed in later models but I would suggest, cup holders, get rid of the Torx nuts and bolts, higher quality plastic inside, better stereo.
I paid $2300 for a very nice car. It has a lot of amenities I really enjoy and drives very well. The stick is not very forgiving so you kind of have to know how to drive a stick well before getting in this car. I drove a stick for about 5-6 years before this and I'm still not used to it. It's a good car though, feels strong and it doesn't appear to have any problems! Cheers!
Air conditioning (motorcycle before), stick, fuel economy, no apparent problems.
Lose some weight (both me and the car) and a sportier/tighter suspension options.