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914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/3/11 11:59 a.m.

I ran a 1986 900 for about 10 years. Couldn't kill it! I tried. I put 200,000 miles on it and the only major maintenence was a new clutch.

In '92 or so GM got involved and they looked like big Chevettes, they also started showing a lot of brake issues and niggly little fit & finish domestic nonsense. Now they are rebadged Subies.

If you had $10 - 20k for a 4 door every day car, would you buy one?

Why or why not? What years to stay away from.

Dan

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/3/11 12:04 p.m.

I'd buy either a Viggen, or the late 90s 93 H.O model.

Neither should cost you the full amount of your proposed budget.

The biggest issue i've heard out of those was the good old DI cassette.

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
2/3/11 12:09 p.m.

I have a soft spot for the 9-2X WRX-clone.

chuckles
chuckles Reader
2/3/11 12:10 p.m.

My wife had a 94 or 95 "GM" 900 V-6 which is not the same car as the pre-94 900. It rode like a truck, had terrible road noise, lots of electrical issues. FWIW.

Gearhead_42
Gearhead_42 Dork
2/3/11 12:11 p.m.

At the top end of your budget you can get an '08 or '09 with AWD (Haldex, good stuff) and a six speed manual. In '09 the AWD went into the 4 cylinder models as well as the V6 Aeros :)

pres589
pres589 HalfDork
2/3/11 12:15 p.m.

I wouldn't get the NG 900, the GM designed cars, because it seems like they were rushed to market. I would consider the first 9-3's because I like hatchbacks, and turbos, and it seems like these are heavily improved over the late 900's even though they look identical at a glance. They seem fairly reliable outside of little electrical stuff breaking which seems common in most luxury-oriented cars of that age, as well at the stupid DI cassette (Megasquirt + Ford EDIS? Carry a known good cassette in the back at all times?). I'd want the classic Saab motor and not the Ecotec because I want the classic Saab motor.

Once they left that body style and the 9-3 were only sedans I lost all interest. And they're wrong wheel drive. If you value a hatchback they seem wonderful, if you want a sedan why not get a Maxima or 3-series?

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/3/11 12:26 p.m.
pres589 wrote: If you value a hatchback they seem wonderful, if you want a sedan why not get a Maxima or 3-series?

The original plan was a brandy new car, wifey liked a high end Soul with big wheels and a stick. After my truck was blasted in a parking lot I decided not to spend that kind of money on a car only to have some fool drive into it. $10k of jelly bean boredom is just fine with me, but she's wearing me down.

I only ask about SAABs because of my previous experience, I'm actually partial to a Jetta or an A4. Subies never really turned my head but I am a weirdo.

Dan

mtn
mtn SuperDork
2/3/11 12:33 p.m.

Yes, I would. We still have ours. 2002 9-5. Fact is that with a 5-speed it is about as much fun as you will get in a DD when your drive consists of 5 straight roads for 5 miles and 1 windy road with a 25 mph speed limit for .5 miles. It holds four people very comfortably, 5 people as comfortable as a Crown Vic, and still gets 28 MPG if you drive like I did, or 24 like my brother did. Not to mention it was damn near impossible to get stuck as long as you don't have performance tires on it.

It had its engine replaced under warranty by GM because of the oil sludge problem. But overall its been a good car for us. My older brother said it was a piece of E36 M3, but for him, he treated it (and everything) like E36 M3. Nothing other than a GM/Ford/Dodge/Toyota truck would have held up to what he puts cars through. Thats why he's back into one of the above.

Will it survive thrashing after thrashing? Maybe not. But I'd have one as a DD in a second, especially for the winter.

Osterkraut
Osterkraut SuperDork
2/3/11 12:44 p.m.
914Driver wrote: Now they are rebadged Subies.

Minor point: Only the 9-2X is a rebadged Subaru.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
2/3/11 12:48 p.m.

I wouldn't own a GM Saab. Who knows about the new Saabs.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
2/3/11 12:48 p.m.

The "Cult" cars everyone seems to love leave me feeling left out because I just can't see what anyone else sees in them. The only one I'd consider buying for myself is something like a late 60's 96 in Rally trim.

minimac
minimac SuperDork
2/3/11 1:00 p.m.

I wouldn't take one on a dare, but that's me. I would do a pre 1993 900(non-turbo) and spend $$ having it gone through. I had a '86 and other than not getting any heat, never had a problem. Thank goodness for heated seats. BUT, if momma wants Soul, she better get Soul. If she ain't happy, no one is happy. Jettas and A4s are neat if you don't mind chasing electrical gremlins and tinkering, but there is a lot to be said for a 10 yr/100k powertrain and 5yr/60k basic warranty at our age. Besides, if someone clips it-that's why we have insurance.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/3/11 1:24 p.m.

I have had 3, a 89 900s, 99 9-3 SE and I currently DD an 03 9-5 Aero. Maybe I have gotten lucky but they have all been very reliable. Aside from the AC and a fuel pump in the 99 I have not spent any real money on things other than routine maint stuff.

In my mind SAABs are like a B student, well rounded and fun but there are others that do specific things better but as an over all package they are hard to beat.

I get 30mpg on my commute, about a 50/50 mixture of highway and city driving, the ride is firm but not harsh the seats are some of the best in the business and when I make the turbo do its thing I always smile.

The best thing to do is go out and test drive one but to answer your question, yes.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/3/11 2:03 p.m.
minimac wrote: I wouldn't take one on a dare, but that's me. I would do a pre 1993 900(non-turbo) and spend $$ having it gone through. I had a '86 and other than not getting any heat, never had a problem. Thank goodness for heated seats. BUT, if momma wants Soul, she better get Soul. If she ain't happy, no one is happy. Jettas and A4s are neat if you don't mind chasing electrical gremlins and tinkering, but there is a lot to be said for a 10 yr/100k powertrain and 5yr/60k basic warranty at our age. Besides, if someone clips it-that's why we have insurance.

She been talking to you?

subrew
subrew Reader
2/3/11 2:06 p.m.

I wouldn't spend $10-20k on a newish Saab. It will be worth 3k in a few years. Just scan craigslist for used Saabs, and realize most of them were sold for $30-40K new.

I would rock a 9000 Aero. Never liked the dynamics of the 9-3 or 9-5.

Chris H.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox HalfDork
2/3/11 2:12 p.m.

I wouldn't own one, but then again I am somewhat risk averse. Someone will always chime in and say that they've had great luck with any just about any car brought up. If their anecdotal evidence contradicts the preponderance of the data of other owners, I tend to disregard it. As much as enthusiasts seem to hate it, Consumer Reports is your friend here. It isn't perfect, but it is probably the best reliablity information widely available. And they say Saabs generally suck, particularly as they age.

digdug18
digdug18 HalfDork
2/3/11 2:24 p.m.

I'd buy one of the new saabs

failboat
failboat Reader
2/3/11 2:28 p.m.

I am sure Consumer Reports would say a lot of awesome cars suck, particularly as they age.

Consumers dont want to have to think about maintenance or repairs, they just want their appliance to work and do its job with little complaint.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/3/11 2:39 p.m.

CS did rate the 9-5 as a good used car buy, at least as o a couple of years ago.

The resale does suck on SAABs, but that is why I was able to get mine so cheap.

danilo
danilo
2/3/11 2:44 p.m.

Dunno.. I've been a Saab owner since '84 Current is a 97 Aero 9000. It has 100k miles. Drives/feels like a brand new car. These DO require maintenance approx $500 a year assuming nothing needs replacing. It's a nice comfy kinda bland car BUT it's err.. 'fast" Boost onset is like a huge sligshot releasing. Makes owning one worth it.. every single time :-) Darn few cars can match it's 50 to 100 mph acceleration.. true. Especially so with a reflashed ECU and 1.7 bar boost (diy 10 min adventure) I've pulled away from Turbo Carreras on the hiway... easily. Not for everybody I suppose, but spend a month or 2 owning one and they really do make you love 'em. NOT for anyone just looking for dumb daily transport though.. like a Hot Woman these require attention / patience, not to mention $$ to keep up. But when asked to perform .. ALL.. worth it, in spades.. Models to avoid like they are diseased: 94 to 99 900's, Early 9-5's (GM mid 2000's V6's were Yugo bad 2.3 genuine Saab engine was cheapened horribly by GM bean counters.. ruined it IMO). New generation Ecotek :-) motors? Laughable substitutes Too bad as I find the arc/linear a pretty car. Future purchases of a Saab ? Unlikely as IMO it's all now history. Maybe?? the new owners with reinstate the pieces that made them worth owning ? Until then no more new Saabs for me

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/3/11 2:45 p.m.

In reply to Otto Maddox:

Conversly, the only Honda I have owned has been the least reliable car I have ever owned, it left me stranded at least three times. That is coming from someone who DD an Alfa and a Spitfire. As with anything YMMV, you don't like something fine I have no problem at all with that but to disreguard the personal experience of someone seems a little disingenuous.

jstein77
jstein77 Dork
2/3/11 3:00 p.m.
digdug18 wrote: I'd buy one of the new saabs

The current Saabs are still GM-based. Independent models won't be out for another few years.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey HalfDork
2/3/11 3:15 p.m.

If the choice was walking or a GM Saab... Walking would likely win.

Chebbie_SB
Chebbie_SB HalfDork
2/3/11 3:34 p.m.

My daily driver is a '97 900 SE Convertible with the 2.0 Turbo. When I started looking at them, I was told to avoid the V6 and the gutless (by comparison) 2.3. I have added just over 50K to the odometer, it puked the DI cassette, and the idler/tensioner bearing chowed the serpentine belt. No big surprises there.... That 2.0 turbo pulls !!

procainestart
procainestart Dork
2/3/11 3:54 p.m.
Chebbie_SB wrote: I was told to avoid the V6 and the gutless (by comparison) 2.3. I have added just over 50K to the odometer, it puked the DI cassette, and the idler/tensioner bearing chowed the serpentine belt. No big surprises there.... That 2.0 turbo pulls !!

It's only the early (late-90s) V6s that are junk; later engines are fine.

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