1996 Saab 900 Review


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List Price Estimate
$1,287 - $3,105

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

When General Motors bought Saab several years ago, many thought that the unique and quirky characteristics that endeared Saabs to thousands of loyal owners would vanish as GM began redesigning and introducing new models to the public. When the new 900 arrived for 1994, those fears vanished. The 900 retained its Saabish styling and handling, and the fun-loving turbo reappeared with more power.

For 1996, the changes to the Saab 900 are mostly cosmetic. Revisions include: adjustable lumbar support for the driver's seat, a standard rear spoiler, alloy wheels and fat tires on all turbo models and the V6 convertible, as well as a reflective rear panel. The base coupe and sedan, both of which are actually cavernous hatchbacks, come with a twin-cam, 2.3-liter four cylinder good for 150 horsepower. A 170-horsepower GM V6 is standard on the SE five-door hatch, but it may be ordered this year with the awesome 185-horsepower turbo which really boosts this sedan into performance car territory. The SE Turbo three-door hatchback continues the trend, with the same engine that gets the 900 to 60 mph just one-tenth of a second slower than a Ford Mustang GT.

Inside, a traditionally high seating position in orthopedically correct seats gives a commanding view over the short hood. The windshield is fairly upright, contributing to the excellent forward visibility. The dash is logically laid out, with clearly marked analog gauges and cool knobs that the Swedish engineers know are more fun than buttons. With the seats folded, the Saab rivals many sport utilities and minivans with its cargo volume.

Yes, the Saab has retained its Saabishness. The ignition is still floor-mounted, and the shifter still must be in reverse to remove the key. These are the reasons a small contingent of consumers pays upwards of $21,000 for the 900 each year. From a practical standpoint, there are other cars that do what the Saab does, but none with such offbeat panache.

1996 Highlights

The popular Saab 900 SE five-door is available this year with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission is now optional on turbos. V6 models come only with an automatic. Adjustable driver's lumbar support is now standard on all 900 models.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Saab 900.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I am in love with a 19 year old!
S 2dr Convertible
I just bought a 1996 Saab 900 S convertible. I am in love with her. There are a few mechanical issues which need attention. But because the previous owner cared so much for this vehicle, those pale in comparison to the sheer fun. Riding down I-95 is a whole new experience. I wish someone would revive the make. There is nothing quite as sexy as a Saab convertible. Nothing.
Work horse
SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback
I have purchased this car from a private seller in Feb of 2008 for 2400.00, had 150000 miles on it, all I can say is this was the best used car I ever bought, I fill the tank and get about 425 miles at about 15 gallons, do the math, great on gas. I drive to work 75 miles round trip and the only thing I need to replace is the tires. My friends always say the car is so quiet when I idle at a red light. I am on the market for another one for my son.
900 se convertible trip
SE Turbo 2dr Convertible
I purchased my 1996 conv. in Divide Colorado to travel home. This was our 4th Saab. We drove south threw New Mexico, Texas,Louisiana, Arkansas, Mo. Ky. Va. And Pa. to Delaware. At times I cruised at 95-100 mph in 100 degree weather. The stability and handling at speed is better then my 2004 9-5. we've owned since new. Total repairs on the trip was 1 instrument light reostat in Sante Fe. since returning home I've replaced 1 Coil pack and the top has quit working. This is a great car for 1 or 2 people doing long distance touring. My daughter hit a concrete barrier at 70 after being run off the road in our 99 9-5. I will only trust my daughter to a Saab. Great cars with personality.
S 4dr Hatchback
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.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Saab 900

Used 1996 Saab 900 Overview

The Used 1996 Saab 900 is offered in the following submodels: 900 Hatchback, 900 Convertible. Available styles include SE Turbo 2dr Hatchback, SE Turbo 2dr Convertible, S 4dr Hatchback, SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback, S 2dr Convertible, S 2dr Hatchback, SE V6 4dr Hatchback, and SE V6 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Saab 900?

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Which used 1996 Saab 900s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Saab 900 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Saab 900.

Can't find a used 1996 Saab 900s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Saab 900 for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,226.

Find a used Saab for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $7,910.

Find a used certified pre-owned Saab 900 for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,379.

Find a used certified pre-owned Saab for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,728.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Saab 900?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Saab 900 lease specials