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1997 Saab 900 S 2dr Hatchback
While I've owned many European imports, this is my first experience with a Swede....so far I've found it to be one of the best automotive purchases I've made in 30 years of car ownership!! Compared to many other euro-rides (Renault, Audi etc) I've had, the Saab beats them in terms of reliability, ease of maintenance, comfort, parts cost and just general driving enjoyment. The NA 2.3 has enough power (150hp) to keep you from dozing off behind the wheel, although I would bet if mine were an automatic, I might have a different opinion...For the purchase price (400.00!!) and several months of hassle free ownership, I'd recommend a Saab to anyone!!!!
1997 Saab 900 S 2dr Hatchback
I have owned this car for 1 year now (bought for $2300 with 134k miles) and it has been one of the nicest experiences I have had. It is not the best on the wallet, considering needed maintenance, but given that I bought a 17 year old car, it is to be expected. I have not had many issues with this car and I can always count on it to start up in the morning. I was warned about Saabs being "money pits". They can be if you take it to the shop, but if you invest in a Haynes manual and some tools, DIY is not so bad. My model is the 2 Door 2.3L N/A 4 Speed Auto. Currently have 143000 and plan to keep going. The vehicle looks stunning. When I see a reflection of it, I can't believe it is mine.
- Leather seats are very comfortable and provide great support. - (AT Only) "Sport" and "Winter" mode makes the car versatile in different situations. - Ignition switch location. I think it is very quirky and has baffled many friends (except one that drives a Smart car where the ignition is also in the lower console) - The lines of the NG900 and Gen1 9-3 have always appealed to me. It is rare for me to see similar ones on the road these days, especially the 900. - MPG is high for it's age group. I get up to 29-31 on highway, with the AC on. - Brakes are firm and reliable - Lock out prevention. You cannot lock the car without using the key hole in door or remote, which has been useful.
- Saab engines are known for, sometimes fatal, oil sludge up inside. Using Synthetic oil and periodic engine flushes is great prevention. - SID (Saab Information Display) has periodic loss of pixels. Given the issue is common, there are fixes to band-aid the issue and the unit is easily removed for repair or replacement. - Automatic Transmission is a bit hesitant on shift from 3rd to 4th gear when going 45-55 miles an hour, at least on mine. - Components such as heated seats, headlight control relay, and coolant level sensor can fail over time (this causes a periodic false "Low Coolant" Message and chime. - No cup holder standard. - Centrally located switches activated by big keychains.
1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback
Mine was a great car when it was around! The turbo's power is really surprising for a 4-cylinder. 5-speed is a must to keep the in-town gas usage down. Brakes are firm and responsive and do their job well. Handling could be better, as it always felt kinda heavy around corners, especially for how fun and sporty the engine is. Mine was getting rusty but lasted until 165k. Engine seized, despite taking care of it. The car was extremely lovable and fun and I still miss it. It's unlike any other car ever, and you have to drive it to really get why. It just feels kinda raw and European. It can start falling apart on you as it ages, especially the interior, but you tend to shrug it off and smile.
The engine is this car's best trait. Not the smoothest, but it's designed well. Some lag, but the turbo gives it teeth starting even around 2.5k rpm. (Full disclosure: mine unexpectedly seized at 165k. I had to scrap it. Go figure.) Cargo space is second. I like the fact that it's got zillions of cargo space, some legit luxury features (climate control, heated seats & mirrors), and an efficient performance engine, all in one very unique package. The narrow wheelbase and cabin is nice and quaint, but somehow still seems large up front, probably due to a very low center console. I love that it's relatively rare to pass another one on the road. And the seats are unbeatable on long trips!
It's loud and clunky and not a smooth ride.. but, you know, that's Saab. The clutch is crappy: cable, heavy, kinda long and in need of a clutch-stop. And it seems to get heavier as the cable wears. Compared to the light-as-a-feather hydraulic deal in the classic 900, this one is rubbish. Handling, too: C900? No body roll, sticks to the road. This? Big and unwieldy in comparison. The interior is just odd. The feel is almost pre-cab forward. And it can get super rattly. The sound system is a joke. And despite the hatch, the rear seats don't fold flat, so it could have lots more space if it wanted. Shifter is a bit clunky and rubbery. Heated seats are guaranteed to have given out by now.
1997 Saab 900 S 2dr Convertible
It's been the hardest thing to let go simply because it continues to run and won't stop. The engine still has all it's pep, it's still fun to drive, got enough pep it not having a turbo, it's great on gas and if it wasn't for most of the perks failing -6 CD changer, auto locks stopped working in winter, antenna lost in a car wash and a few electronic gremlins- I would never look at another car. I bought it for 4,000K cash with 106K miles on it, and I must have known it was going to be worth it because I had to have it and I got more than my money's worth out of i. I always put premium in it, always changed the oil after 3K and send to a SAAB Dealer once a year for tests and recommendations
with the manual the ride is fun, aggressive, sporty, and well, before it was fashionable to get 33-34 miles to the gallon on the highway, SAAB was delivering in 94-98 Saab models. That 2.3l engine was beautiful and flawless
I wish Saab was still making cars...kinda felt lost after they went out of business.
1997 Saab 900 S 2dr Convertible
I bought this when, after 15 years and 235,000 miles, after my beloved E36 BMW died. Having not had a car payment since 1999 - and not wanting one - I bought this from its second owner. It had 106,000 miles on it when I bought it. I was expecting it to be a slow car but, while no rocket, the car has enough power to be safe and mildly entertaining. Interior is comfortable, but not as well laid out or as well built as my BMW was. Gas mileage is in the 23 MPG range. It has a nice factory stereo system, but the old school 6 disc changer in the trunk is a bit of a pain. So far, other than a few minor issues (dash light bulbs, etc.)
it has been reliable. Shifter is rubbery compared to the BMW.
Convertible top, heated seats. The price. Saab is an orphan. Resale value is low.
Kind of a moot point since Saab is out of business... The cupholder is awful. It takes a bit of time for the heat to get cranking in the winter.