Used 1998 Saab 900
Pros & Cons
- Comfortable interior, cool exterior shape, pleasing ergonomics.
- Turbo-lag can be a real problem in SE models. All 900s suffer from excessive torque steer.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Saab has faced some pretty tough times lately. An inconsiderate parent company, General Motors, tries to make Saab fit into GM's large corporate game plan, which has been a longstanding sore spot with Saab defenders. They claim that the giant multi-national does not understand the Saab audience and the appeal of these cars. Lately, and more importantly, Saab has been faced with the difficulties associated with having only a two car lineup. The much-loved 9000 line has been a favorite of Saabophiles and the press corps, but has been showing its age of late. The Saab 900, a beautiful and comfortable car, was a hit upon introduction in 1994, but sales have slowed because of increased competition from BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, in addition to nagging consumer concerns about the 900's build quality.
Despite some obvious difficulties and shortcomings, we still like Saab and the cars that they make. The Saab 900 is a comfortable, equipment-laden, near-luxury car that competes against entries from Volvo, BMW and Mercedes. Prices start around $25,000 for the 900 S three-door model, and climb all the way to $42,500 for the Saab 900 SE convertible.
The 900 is fun to drive with either of the car's engine choices. The turbocharged 2.0-liter unit, however, produces rocket-like acceleration that will char the front tires into oblivion if the driver is not careful. Torque steer is also a problem for cars equipped with the turbocharged engine. Handling feels a bit light in the 900 because the car is so upright and the seats are high off the floor. This gives the car a wallowy feeling through some turns, and can make weak-stomached passengers plead for Dramamine. The reality, however, is that the Saab 900 can hold its own with most imports from Germany and Japan when the road turns curvy.
The 900 is a good car. Unfortunately for Saab, there are plenty of good cars in the 900's price class. If your tastes run to the eccentric, however, this may be a better choice for you than a BMW 323is or Mercedes C280. You'll certainly stand out more in a crowd.
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The least-expensive 1998 Saab 900 is the 1998 Saab 900 SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback. Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $0.
Other versions include: