Let me start by saying that a Saab is not a car for everyone. If you don't know anything about them you shouldn't buy one.! I'll give you an example. When I first bought this car I went to do an oil change and realized for the first time in my life that I owned a car that was too low profile to put up on ramps. I called every auto parts store in the area and no one had any kind of ideas so I went to YouTube and found a solution by using two long boards. When I bought the car the entire audio system was not functioning. The dealership told me that the amp underneath the driver seat was damaged due to corrosion a common problem. Replacing was $1400 or rebuild $600. Again I went to YouTube and found that I could remove the entire amp and fuse the fiber optics together and solve the problem no cost just an hour's worth of work. Now I have a permanently fixed working radio and audio system. But those are not things that most people would want to do or could do. If you are good at doing things yourself this is a great car for you, if you're not you're going to get taken to the cleaners by people that overcharge and take you for a ride literally. It's good to do your research first to know what you're getting into and find some mechanics you can rely on and rely on yourself formost of the repairs that are small!
Few other things. It needs synthetic oil every 10,000 miles. Fresh battery every few years even a little bit off will make it run funny. Needs all fluids and filters checked frequently to make sure they are all clean and in good shape. If you do this the car will last pretty much forever! My old Saab has 209000 miles and I'm still driving it everyday. I bought the 93 and it's like a new car inside and out! Some people say the interior is cheap by comparison to other Saabs but I disagree. Although some plastic parts may appear a little bit cheaper they can be well maintained and look great. The seats and interior are great...very comfortable.... excellent gas mileage too. Most of these cars will have to have the suspension worked on by a hundred thousand miles. When I purchased it I put on some new sway bar links which typically wear out fast. They cost $18 apiece. I also put on a new flex pipe on the exhaust. Total of about $100.
Also had to clean the throttle body due to a rough idle issue because it was dirty and never before cleaned. Replaced the spark plugs and the air cleaner as well. All should be good now for the next hundred thousand miles except for oil changes. If you purchase one do yourself a favor and buy an OBD2 code reader so if a light pops on you can easily identify the problem rather than being ripped off by a dealership!
The car is reliable and rides great. Its fast and looks great. It's 11 years old and could not have run better when new.
have had some issues... but overall a good car with good MPG and fun to drive. if could go back in time would probably of gotten something else however.
written on 07-02-2012
I have had this car for a year now. I bought with 52k miles and have put 20k on it since. I have had a few issues with it so far
- drivers side mirror piece fell off and had to be glued back on
- back window wasn't working --> $200
-other back window stopped working
- have had to change bulbs in headlights 2x already
-error messages -> traction control/stability/immobilizer failure (after jumping battery it did not want to start and went haywire for a while before starting)
- A/C blower locked up and had to be released and oiled up
- Car wash knocked off antenna cover
However this car is pretty fun to drive and no major mechanical issues. Great MPG over 40 often. Lost 2k in value already.
Just bought my 2005 Linear 93 2.0t a month ago and it's the funnest car I've ever owned. The ride, the pick up on the highway is awesome. I have a automatic with the optional manual and it will definitely get you down the road in a hurry. I get 28 mpg so far. I paid 4k and it's the best money I've ever spent on a car.
We bought this car for my daughter and I now ask to borrow it. It is great fun to drive. We have the 5- speed manual and I was surprised by the level of performance. The quality is evident and I especially like the fact that the 2.0 L 4 cylinder has a timing CHAIN instead of a timing belt. We get 37 MPG on the highway at 70 MPH. Driving 60 MPH, I can get over 40 MPG (I did this on a 300 mile trip I took recently on back roads). About 26 MPG in the city. Good quality leather seats. Beware of trying to modify the radio. The whole electronics system in the car is controlled through fiber optic lines that also run the radio. It is expensive to repair the radio.
This isn't your typical 1990's and older Saab. You won't get the blazing midrange speed nor the amazing cabin view of the outside world, but you will get a decent family sedan that gets decent MPG and has top-of-the-line safety features.
In base form the 2.0 Linear Sports Sedan is a slow, safe family car with a little bit of Saab watered down into the GM-inspired plastic interior and bodywork. For the Saab purist, stay away from this car; you will despise it and all the GM parts that went into making it. If you can overlook that stained heritage and settle into the comfortable leather/vinyl seats, adjust the electric mirrors for best view, and get the steering wheel tilted and positioned to your liking, you'll find this car is quite tolerable and easy to drive. You just won't drive it very quick. The small turbo has enough boost to keep up with all but the fastest traffic, but it lacks the serious boost power to be entertaining. The handling is predictable and pleasant. This is a sedan you can toss into a corner and not really worry about, thanks to the generous traction control and the FWD handling. In wild weather that same traction control system helps keep you firmly planted on the road, and with a good set of winter tires you can go places that seem impossible.
I bought mine in Beige Metallic, used as a program car, with 120,000 miles on the odometer and have owned it almost exactly one year. In that year the most expensive repair has been replacing the pitted windshield, and the battery. I have repaired/replaced many items that were worn from age, including bumper inserts, windshield glass and rear glass surround, trim pieces, hoses, lamps, door seals, and misc fasteners. I have added a better sound system and upgraded the engine management computer as well as the turbo, but have not altered the body or interior. It now drives with a more sporty feel while still maintaining the overall factory look. I drive 98% city with very little open highway. My city MPG hovers around 21mpg while the best estimate I have for Highway is 38mpg.
That said, this car doesn't respond well to modifications. The Trionic8 computer system which controls the car prevents most quick-and-dirty bolt-on items from adding any significant improvement. The T8 system in the Linear is intended for daily-driver and economy, and does what it can to keep performance at that level. That T8 system can be upgraded (similar to "chipping" on other cars), and a few other items can be upgraded to help increase performance up to around the base Aero specs with minimal effort and expense, thus providing the Linear with a little bit more sportiness. Of course, as with any car, if you throw large amounts of money at it you can get it to perform to your budget, if you want.
As everything is run on a BUS computer system, and Saab having now gone out of business, locating a technician to work on the car can be a slight hassle. While the same TECHII diagnostics system for the same years of GM models can be used on these models of Saab, not many GM dealerships have the knowledge to repair Saab cars.
Oh, yes. The ignition is on the center console, there is a pop-n-swing-out cupholder on the dash, and the dashboard has a Night Mode which turns off all the interior illumination and gauges except for the most basic speedometer and management controls. This car has one of the highest safety and crash ratings for the model year.
Pros: Safe. Reliable. Great handling. Good view from the cabin with no blind spots. Good fuel economy. Inexpensive to repair (comparable to same years of GM vehicles for most repairs - lots of parts interchange to other makes and models). Good air conditioning system. Easy to maintain and repair if you are self-motivated.
Build quality is average. There is a lot of plastic and cheapness in the interior. Externally everything fits together well and feels solid. Sound system is good but not outstanding, lacking fidelity and power.
Cons: No performance from the economy engine and computer. Computer BUS system requires diagnostics equipment to diagnose car troubles. Lack of repair technician support. Difficult to upgrade performance using normal methods. Sound system upgrade is near impossible due to the use of fiber-optic system. Heating system could be better due to a very odd mix-control system which leaves cold spots by design. Climate control motors are prone to breaking gears.
Overall the Saab-ness of this car barely shines through the GM whitewashing, with excellent safety but sleep-inducing sportiness. It is an overall average family sedan with some interesting little twists to the common interior controls.