I have read quite a few bad reviews for this car. I only read them after I bought my second hand Saab. Needless to say, all those bad reviews are probably form drivers who have no clue on how to maintain a car!
This car is an excellent piece of work that gives the driver plenty of room for error with out biting off chunks from the drives wallet.
Parts for this car are cheap and easy to find.
DIY is also remarkably easy and straight forward those who are slightly mechanically inclined.
Bottom line is, an old car will show signs of wear and tear. Certain repairs should be expected. (spark plugs, o2 sensors)
From a Saab, you should never have to worry about major repairs ( except for timing belts) if you follow a regular maintenance plan. The car and the engine is a solid piece of swedish engineering.
I would definitely recommend this car to any buyer.
The car may be a little cramped. Especially the back seats. Children can fit in the with ease, but an adult may get a little restless after 20 min.
The handbrake ratchet system is a little hard but doable. The manual Gear box is a little rough, but bullet proof at the same time.
I live in the north east, and I don't drive this in the winters due to salt / rust issues. (My friends drive their similar vintage Saabs in the winter report good handling and decent salt resistance.) I plan to keep this for a long time, and I hate the losing proposition of rust on such a fine car. Only one issue so far (direct ignition module), but it didn't leave me stranded, and the repair has lasted.
Exterior design, driving fun, plus power and economy at the same time. Most friends like the convertible mechanism with the hinged hard boot.
Display over radio has lost minor portions of LCD readout.
I bought this car for $8,500 when it was 6 1/2 years old. It had 54k miles. I have almost replaced everything on it but the engine turbo and radiator: clutch and clutch cable, radiator fan, fuel pump (twice in 6 months), starter, alternator and water pump, cdriver's side door lock actuator, radiator hoses, direct ignition cassette, brake pads and rotors (all 4), one engine mount, sepertine belt, thermostat, flex pipe and muffler. Leather is trashed, poor quality. Heated seats don't work anymore. Cd changer broke, 4 speakers blew out so I replaced the system. There is a reason these cars depreciate 60-70% in 3 years. Spend the extra money and buy a beemer (which performs far better).
Convertible top. Turbo (once it kicks it.) Great paint job. Comfortable seats, but leather quality was very poor for 1997 models.
Reliability, turbo lag and handling. Also, coolant sensor was replaced. Don't be fooled by the styling as I was. Buy a Japanese or German car. SAAB is seeking bankruptcy protection will likely become extinct as it should. I am almost $30k into this piece of junk. One more repair and it's gone.
Bought it with 64,000 miles. Drove it 60,000 miles. The following required replacement: 2 sets of tires (it eats them), brakes, headlight bulbs, alternator, power steering pump, AC compressor, dryer, and expansion valve, torque converter lockup solenoid, fuel pump, spark plugs, heater hoses, serpentine belt, serpentine belt tensioner, crank position sensor, battery, convertible top microswitches and cables, rear window weatherstripping, coolant reservoir with level sensor, power window switch, alarm system module, ABS computer, struts, coil spring, climate control sensor. No room here to list the rest. I do 90% of my own repairs. It cost twice what I paid for it to keep it running for 4 years.
It's a convertible and it's a blast to drive. I was able to stick a dealer with it as a trade in.
I purchased this car in August 2007. This car is very dependable and comfortable. It rides extremely well with the top up or down. It is hard to tell at times how fast I'm going. Would recommend this car for anyone looking for a convertible sports car.
Six disc CD player, computer panel for mileage per gallon along with other features such as trip destination.