We purchased this 14 year old car to replace a 1986 VW Golf diesel. The car had over 200,000 miles on it and needed a new head-gasket which we replaced 40,000 miles later. All in all this has been one of the best cars I've ever driven. The 2.3 L Turbo is a fast engine and has more than enough power for a college student, and surprisingly the power doesn't sacrifice efficiency. After a 12 hour drive to NY and back I got about 32 MPG which for a car that size with 3 people and a good bit of stuff loaded is amazing. It is an older car and has needed repairs that included, a new clutch, brakes, shocks, head-gasket, and serpentine belt. I'm hoping to take it over 300,000 miles.
The 2.3 L Turbo hands down. I've never had the pedal all the way to the floor but this car files and with reasonable efficiency too. The way the entertainment center is sculpted around the driver is nice.
It would be nice if the car could accommodate taller people a little better. I'm 6'3" and have the chair all the way back and often times find that my head is hitting the ceiling. The only other annoying thing is that repairs are expensive but its a European car so what are you going to do.
I love the car. It has been very reliable and has 320,000 miles on the original engine and transmission. Like all euro cars, it is not always the cheapest to fix, but it is worth it as it drives like a sports car with 200hp and a body weight of nearly a thousand pounds lighter than an Audi A8.
Turbo power, feels like you are on a roller coaster.
I really can't think of how you could improve on this car.
My 94 9000 CSE Turbo just gave up the ghost (i.e. transmission) at 136K but was still a great car which means it's just time to get another Saab. I've had several in the past, starting with an '84 900. They have treated me well for the most part, and I take into account the maintenance required. I do have a good specialized Saab mechanic which makes a huge difference. This one was bought with a little over 100K (only $5400!) and performed very well for a well-used machine. After 3 years and 30,000 miles, took it to the desert and had one of the most fun rides to date - fast and smooth with great handling on those long lone stretches. Replacing the tranny costs $$ so it's time to try the 9-5!
Kids loved the back seat airplane style reading lights! Hatchback, comfy seats, great handling and deceptive (turbo) power. Low resale value makes buying an old one easy.
Keep improving, hope they learn (faster) from their mistakes! With a little work these can be made to last much longer.
9000's are among the best deals out there right now. You can get a last-year of production (1998) or anything from the 90's and the car you get for the money paid makes it a superb deal. It's hard to understand the relatively low prices, as these Saabs are easily the equivalent of similarly aged BMWs or Audis, and even the base model (CS) has more features than the average German cars of the 90's. It is true that finding a servicing mechanic can be a challenge, and replacement parts are definitely not cheap, but there's nothing unexpected in that. Overall, I highly recommend any 90's Saab 9000 if you're looking for a (still) suberbly safe car.
Heated seats and mirrors even in the base model, sturdy construction, things work well if you take care of the car. Very impressive performance and almost incredible gas mileage (my average is 30 mpg combined highway/city). I looked long and hard, nothing of this value for this price.
Replacement part prices are a major headache. Servicing mechanics are not numerous, which means you can't shop around much in case you don't like the service. Relatively low resale value, obviously.