After 135,000 miles I'm still on my original shocks & struts, brake discs, drivetrain and engine. The only complaints I've had from a repair stand point has been weird electrical problems and constant oil leaks.
I bought my mothers 1996 Se with a turbo and what I can say in the beginning,I bought the car mostly because it was all i could afford.At first i didn't want to touch it.Right now its going through some problems.I recently had to by an alternator belt to bypass the a/c compressor.I'm having to deal with lagging power due to broken exhaust studs(sad but true).My mom bought it with one hundred,sixty-seven thousand miles on a turned odometer from Plotty"s Auto Sales.Some miraculous sign.I have never seen the check engine light once.I have put a lot of time and money into her and I must say I'm hitched on this company.The reviews put me on the spot to show my gratitude.Saab's are very reliable.
Owned since 1998, I've had the LCD display and the radio head replaced once. Also, the heated seats have quit working. The biggest expense so far has been replacing the spark plug wires(about $300, yes $300) and another $450 for labor and the valve gasket that allowed oil to seep and damage the wires. Also, parts are OUTRAGEOUSLY priced, up there with BMW and Mercedes. The ride and handling are good and the car is generally fun to drive, and overall I like the car. However, if you are contemplating buying one of these, remember this is not a low-maintenance vehicle. Fortunately, as a used car they're generally (initially) cheap.
Great car, bought it in WI, and drove it 2500 miles back home with no problems at all, i bought it with 128k miles, this car will last forever as long as you maintain it, i do an oil change every other month, trans fluid change once a year, constantly check the fluids, coolant, oil level and brake fluid. I've also installed 18inch rims on it, and wow it looks great, i've installed a stereo system, with an amp and subs, i put a strait pipe, with a custom muffler in and got rid of all those stupid flex pipes, i recharged the ac, great car. the two bad things i've noticed are: the "check engine light is always on, and when i put it in reverse the front park lights come on.
I paid $4,600 for a non-turbo S with low (68K) miles. It was 8 years old, but thought it should go well. Uh-huh. Fun driver, but it's stranded me 3(!) times in one year driving only 8K miles. First a serpentine belt pulley failure two weeks after buying it. No warning - belt almost fell out of engine bay. Second was the alternator ($600 repair). Third was the clutch cable. Other probs: E-brake cable squeals, rust, aftermarket CD impossible. For an old car, it cruises effortlessly at 75mph. Decent mileage. Smoothest 4-cyl. I've ever had, but nothing like the 200hp turbo of 9-3. Takes slow turns like a drunken sailor.