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  #1  
Old 02-11-2002, 11:33 PM
AAL
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Saab?

Anyone ever own a Saab? What do you think of them. I've had a lot of different makes of cars, but never a Saab; never even driven one. I'm thinking about getting one though. A neighbor had one and really liked it.

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  #2  
Old 02-12-2002, 12:07 AM
mbz380se
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Yeah.

I learned to drive a manual transmission on a 1983 900S. White with brown velour seats and a black dash.

PLUSES:
-Extremely safe.
-Some of the best ergonomics of any car I've driven. Switches fall more easily to hand than in the W126.
-Better interior materials than any Volvo of that period.
-A certain iconoclastic quirkiness that any Saab seems to have.
-With racks on top, and studded tires underneath, and a heated driver's seat, the perfect skiing car.
-Not as common as Mercedes-Benz by far!
-Turbos have guts. Drive a 900 Turbo manual and see what I mean.

MINUSES:
-Both manual and automatic transmissions aren't exactly paragons of durability (in the classic pre-94 Saab 900).
-Rubbery shift linkage on the manual. Not like a Getrag 5-speeder in an E30 Bimmer.
-Electrical quirks. My car attempted to start itself one day and backed out of our driveway solely on the power of the starter motor.
-Old Saab 900s are quite small in the interior. Pretty narrow.

Hmmm, that's all I can think of now.

Check out www.saabnet.com

-Sam
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2002, 12:12 AM
300EVIL's Avatar
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My first high speed cruse was in a Saab 93 twin turbo which was a rental. Wow,, I really liked this car. the air vents are cool looking and they worked good too! I had the thing up to 130MPH for about 2 minuites on a strait country road. If i had the chance to drive one of these cars again i would definately take it. But,,, Mercedes is still #1 in my book.
Adam
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PREVIOUSLY OWNED:83 300SD, 87 420SEL, 88 420SEL, 90 420SEL, 86 560SEL, 86 190E 2.3-16V AMG, 94 E320

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  #4  
Old 02-12-2002, 12:28 AM
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The new 9.5's are really nice cars, the 900's are nice but the 9.5 is superior. Since GM bought into them reliability has improved, especially transmissions. The biggest downfall of owning a Saab is they have terrible resale value.

The older ones have a cult following. The are fun to drive but parts are pricey and if you take it to a dealer, and in many areas, that's the only choice, the lay it on you $$$.

If you get serious, e-mail me as I have a web sight bookmarked on my other computer.

Bill
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2002, 07:35 AM
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I have had a SAAB 99 and a 900 model, and loved them with a passion.
They make more and more sense the longer you own them. Extremely comfy, though you wouldn't know it by casual glance. The driving positon is like sitting in a chair and this is a super way to drive! It seems like it is just easier to see things this way. And the wrap around windshield just adds to this most engaging experience. Heated seats and an interior you can actually carry a refridgerator in. Brilliant car.
Interior quality on a par with Volvo, not great.
Overheating caused by crummy connector to aux fan-change it to a Toyoto connector, the ones with an O-ring !

You won't know directional stability until you drive one of these.

Cheap to buy too, I mean reaaalllly cheap.
Easy to work on too.
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Ed
1981 300CD (Benzina)
1968 250 S (Gina) 266,000 miles!
1983 Alfa Romeo GTV6 (Guido)
1976 Jaguar XJS-saved a V-12 from the chevy curse, what a great engine!
1988 Cadillac Eldorado (better car than you might think!)
1988 Yamaha Venture (better than a Wing!)
1977 Suzuki GS750B
1976 Yamaha XS 650 (sold)
1991 Suzuki GSX1100G (Shafty Gixser)
1981 Yamaha VX920RH (Euro "Virago")
Solex Moped
1975 Dodge P/U camper


"Time spent in the company of a cat, a beer, and this forum, is not time wasted!"
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2002, 09:10 AM
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We are actually selling our 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon in favor of the Euro 300TD/T. The Saab is a great car, but not worth the cash, IMHO. If I were to do it all over in that price range, I would go for the E39 BMW. A 1999 528 would be about the same in terms of price, and the driving experience, well, no comparison. What I like about the Saab is that it feels very solid, and the seats are *terrific*. I also like the kitsch of the ignition switch placement, front and rear heated seats, and I really like the venerable 4-cyl turbo engine. I avoided the V6 if for no other reason than it is a GM/Opel design and not true to the Saab tradition.

All that said, there have been a few wierd electronic glitches, and it costs me $400 a month in payments. The diesel wagon is already paid for.

Now, if you're interested, I have a gorgeous Silver 9-5 LPT Wagon for sale in Northern Virginia...

My two cents.

-Reed
'84 300 D/T
'85 300 TD/T
'01 Saab 9-5 LPT Wagon
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2002, 09:31 AM
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My older brother is something of a Saab aficianado. However, he works in the auto industry in Detroit and buys his cars out of the Saab fleet at a very steep discount. As well, he has yet to keep a car more than two years.

Right now he's driving a 9-3 Viggen, which is a pretty serious sport sedan. I *think* the 9-3 is just an evolution of the old 900 platform - it's roots can be traced back almost 20 years. It's nice enough, but in my brief experience it does feel like a 20 year old car - a fast one, though. The body structure isn't very stiff compared to a Benz, so you can feel the flex, plus there are creaks and rattles that just don't happen in a Benz. A 9-3 is also a little bit tight inside - the wheelbase is ~103" - about the same as a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. That said, he really likes them and has not had any problems during his ownership tenure.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2002, 04:10 PM
longston's Avatar
Another View. . .
 
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Location: Mark West, CA
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Another SAAB Story...

I owned a 99EMS. Black, with all of the goodies including the "Soccer Ball" wheels. As Sam pointed out, the ergonomics are amazing, but that shouldn't be a surprise from a company that builds jet fighters for the Swedish Air Force. It was a great car. The most problematic issue was the transaxle and hydraulic clutch. It cost me almost $3,000 to rebuild them.

The bonus was when I crashed it into a fool in a Pinto who suddenly turned in front of me when I was driving at 35 MPH. His car was totalled. The passenger seat ended up in the rear seat, and the door was in the center console. I drove away with sheet metal that was bent.

I recently had a chance to drive a new SAAB sports sedan for several days. I loved it! It was fast, comfy, and felt like the designers had picked my brain on how I wanted the cockpit laid out. One of the coolest gizmos was the cupholder that is hidden in the dash. It looks like a vertical device, but when you push the "button", it deploys a damped horizontal cup holder. Very cool...

Go to a SAAB dealer and take a test drive.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2002, 07:31 PM
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jcyuhn

I think the 9-3 is based on an Opel chassis, which is another GM company in Germany. The big hint on these is the fact that the wrap around windshield is gone. They deliberately put the ignition switch on the center console because of consumer clinics results.
To GM's credit, they left the SAAB engineers and designers alone to persue the unique SAAB experience. Smart.

Saab is the only car I have deliberatly bought two of, except MB.
I love them, and might get another 900.
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Ed
1981 300CD (Benzina)
1968 250 S (Gina) 266,000 miles!
1983 Alfa Romeo GTV6 (Guido)
1976 Jaguar XJS-saved a V-12 from the chevy curse, what a great engine!
1988 Cadillac Eldorado (better car than you might think!)
1988 Yamaha Venture (better than a Wing!)
1977 Suzuki GS750B
1976 Yamaha XS 650 (sold)
1991 Suzuki GSX1100G (Shafty Gixser)
1981 Yamaha VX920RH (Euro "Virago")
Solex Moped
1975 Dodge P/U camper


"Time spent in the company of a cat, a beer, and this forum, is not time wasted!"
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2002, 07:34 PM
Clauser1
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Had a 86 SPG.I love the car.Outside visibility is excellent.
Very roomy.Fast but limited to 128.B%^&*ch to work
on the front brakes.1 min. idle before shutting off.(hate it)
Thieves loves the stereo(stolen 4 times).Rattles at the rear
hatch after a year of ownership.Problem on cruise control.
Ugly but grows on you.Chicks magnet(but that was then).
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2002, 08:57 PM
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I actually don't mind the saab 900 series and 9000 series. both are nice looking cars, and they drive nicely too.

a Friend had saab 900S Turbo. it was a quick car. One thing that I was always bothered by was the placement of the ignition key.. Other than that, I don't mind them.

For me I'd buy a benz before I'd buy a saab, but I personally love just about every benz since they came out. hehehe

Alon
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  #12  
Old 02-12-2002, 09:08 PM
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This post is a bit long, but it involves the crash-worthiness of Saab's as of 1993.
I read an article in an automotive trade magazine called "Automotive Industries" about Brian O'Neill, who is the head of the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Until the early 1980's, government regulations were the primary way safety features made it into vehicles. For automakers, that spawned a minimalist approach wherein they spent the least amount necessary to meet the minimum standards required by law. By the mid 1980's, safety minded companies like Saab, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz began cashing in on their reputation for crashworthiness. The IIHS wanted to do crash-testing to really see if the European cars were really crash-worthy. They decided to mimick their testing based on a crash test conceived by Mercedes Benz and already under development in Europe. This was the controversial offset 40 mph frontal crash into a deformed barrier. Mercedes research told them this was the kind of crash that most cars actually experienced. It was also viewed as a more real world alternative to flat barrier testing, which was and is the basis of today's Federal New Car Assessment Program standard.
In 1993, the facility was created to perform these crash tests in Virginia, and it put into action its plan to raise the bar on safety.

From the very first crash test program conducted, the results rattled automakers. Even O'Neill expressed surprise at their early findings. They first tested mid-sized cars, like the Ford Taurus. Of these cars, O'Neill says, "we expected the Saab 900 to do very well because of Saab's concern for safety. Well, it did terrible. It collapsed. We thought maybe our speed was too high, but then we did our second test, which was a Subaru Legacy. We didn't expect that car to do well at all and it did fine. At that point we knew we had a great program because we were as knowledgeable as anyone and we guessed completely wrong."

The article goes on to say how all of the domestic manufacturers cried foul because their cars generally did poorly. O'Neill says only one manufacturer actually came by to visit the facility to see how their cars were doing and how. Toyota. He says, "I admire Toyota because it actually sent engineers to us who asked, 'What are you doing and how are you doing it? We want to do well in these tests.' The company bought into these crash tests from the top down and now there isn't a single Toyota that doesn't get a "good" rating from us."

Based on these crash tests alone, I wouldn't buy an Saab 900.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2002, 08:59 AM
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Suginami

That is very interesting, and thank you for the long post!

I always thought Saab made strong cars, so these findings are a bit disturbing. Pre conceptions and all that.

A point to bear in mind though, is that cars are designed to collapse. If they didn't, the forces would be transferred directly into the persons body, accellerating it extremely quickly, much quicker than if the car body didn't take up some of the impact time to deform.
Saab always claimed to have a very strong roof structure, probably needed because of the huge hatch opening.
There was a famous picture from England, where a car transporter carrying new Saabs tried to go under an overpass, and the front Saab contacted the steel I-beam right in the middle of the windshield. It was apparently the only car on the top, and it was swept off the truck, but hung on the I-beam in the air, attached only by its front roof structure.
It was prominently displayed in a dealers showroom for quite a while. I hope I can find that picture.:p

Personally I am convinced that Toyota makes the best cars in the world. This is not to denigrate Mercedes or any other car. It is just that this company has raised the bar to perhaps unreasoning heights. Take a look at a Lexus LS 400 trunk hinge for example...

I remember when VW announced to the world that they would make better quality cars than any other German car company. This was when their products were very bad indeed.
And shazzam, take a look!
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Ed
1981 300CD (Benzina)
1968 250 S (Gina) 266,000 miles!
1983 Alfa Romeo GTV6 (Guido)
1976 Jaguar XJS-saved a V-12 from the chevy curse, what a great engine!
1988 Cadillac Eldorado (better car than you might think!)
1988 Yamaha Venture (better than a Wing!)
1977 Suzuki GS750B
1976 Yamaha XS 650 (sold)
1991 Suzuki GSX1100G (Shafty Gixser)
1981 Yamaha VX920RH (Euro "Virago")
Solex Moped
1975 Dodge P/U camper


"Time spent in the company of a cat, a beer, and this forum, is not time wasted!"
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2002, 09:38 AM
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Some second hand anecdotal experience on owning a Saab. Last year I found a very nice 1987 300E for a coworker. At the time he was driving a Saab - a 900 from the late 1980s. Though he is a reasonable doityerselfer the maintenance/repair costs of the Saab were eating him alive. He spent $5K keeping it on the road in 2000. There are no low cost parts vendors for the Saab market. (His claim, I wouldn't know.)

Anyways, he bought a nice 300E. Says it's a better car in almost every way - smoother, quieter, drives better, more comfortable, more reliable, cheaper to repair - you get the idea.

If you're looking at a brand new Saab under warranty, go for it. If you're talking about a 10 year old car, I think there are better choices.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2002, 08:36 PM
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Location: Upstate, NY
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I love my Saab. I'm not gonna repeat all the great things about it, but there all true. It was/is my first car, since my MB is not yet on the road. Great car, quirky, fast, the best seats ever, great sound system, very stylin, I got it cheap.

Did I mention FAST? I have the 1994 non-turbo 2.3L engine, and it has seen about 125MPH. I frequently burn the rice-poppers and muscle cars, although the clutch and tranny make it somewhat difficult.

Its a clutch cable (GM influence) and the shifter linkage is touchy. If you don't know the car, it is easy to grind gears.

As for repair costs, its the general consensious that you spend about $100 a month to keep a Saab on the road and running well. I have been lucky, and have only spent a couple hundred dolllars since about a year ago (when i bought it).

Anyways, I love it.
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2004 Saab 9-5 AERO 138k (for sale)
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