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Saab (38 Reviews)
Overall
Turbo, limp home mode, leaky top, hard to start, dies at idle, convertible malfunction due to faulty leaky high pressure line, just to name a few issues. I can not believe that recalls are not on any of the obvious stated above. Crap.
I too love my Saab!!! I bought it in Feb of 14 & I've had to do some work on it. But like the other reviewer I too Google DIY projects, order my own parts & then tell the mechanic what to do. I can also always call Saab USA and their mechanics will help me as well Advanced Auto will help with diagnostics and using their own OBDII lets me know what codes are being thrown, if any and how to handle that problem. But even through all the work I still love that car! I feel safe it handles like nothing I've ever had before. Acceleration at 80 mph is sublime! Roll back the convertible top feel the sun on ur face, another beautiful moment. That is y we love our cars ... Till the next problem that needs to b solved!!!!
Let me start by saying that just before I picked up this car, many of my concerned friends warned me to stay away from such a potential "problem." I heard all about someone they knew who owned one that (fill in the problem/s here)and cost them (fill in amount here) Thank GOD I didn't listen to them! This car has been nothing short of a fun, solid and most importantly,a reliable car for me!

The engine is like nothing I've ever experienced before in a four cylinder and that's definitely because of the turbo. This car has more than enough "get up and go" to appeal to those with the highest of expectations. I'm a 37 year old male with 3 children, so racing is the furthest thing from my mind now. But with that said, it's extremely rare where I will find myself next to a car with more torque. Anything short of the high end BMW's (that cost 8 to 10 times what my car did) have absolutely nothing on this car!

The sound of the engine and turbo during acceleration is something that makes driving something that I actually look forward to. The car is a bit on the heavy side, but still handles well for it's size. It's roomy, comfortable, classy and there is definitely something to be said for the cabin design. The Swedes were definitely onto something when they built these things, which begs my questions as to why they stopped.

Here are my negatives.... With Saab no longer being in production, finding parts can be a bit troublesome and even expensive. I had to replace my shifter cable, but thankfully I found an aftermarket piece on e bay that was compatible. It ended up saving me a lot of money. (I believe the shift cable would have cost me around $300 not installed) I later came to find out that this was common with this type of car. The people on Saab forums are more than helpful with most common issues. You just have to be willing to put the time into it.

In the end I will say that these engines, as long as you update the oil pickup system ($90 conversion to prevent sludge) are as solid as any you will find. I've seen some with 260k miles on them that still run like a clock! It's like anything else... If you've never owned one yourself then definitely DON'T knock it! It's the closest thing to a BMW or Mercedes that you'll ever own for FAR less than $10k

I now have a hobby of looking at and purchasing them whenever I see a gem for a good price. Of course there are always bad ones in any bunch. You just have to be careful of which ones you buy. Here's a hint... If it ticks, smokes or has a bunch of leaks... Leave it alone. But that's any car, not just Saab. I just have to sit back and laugh whenever someone comments or says something stupid about my car. "So, you drive a Saab.. I hear those things are nothing but problems?" "Sure they are!" Then I throw them the keys! I love these things! As long as you're up to changing the oil and maintaining them when they're due. It's my belief that you can't really buy a more solid machine.
I purchased our 2005 9-3 Aero new, and have close to 180,000 miles on it now. Yes HID lights are expensive and it is hard to work on, just went through my first clutch. However, this has been the best little car I have ever owned, I plan on keeping it maintained and make a run at 500,000 miles. Still performs and looks great, I have had all makes and models Chevy to Ford to Volvo and this has been the best out of them all. Likely, because I bought it new, and baby it.
I purchased my Saab in February of 2014. I love it !! I named her "Spunky", because she is that and alot more. So far I've has to put front tires on her, and now an alternator bracket/pulley/belt. She has been well cared for and being a Michigan car her body has only just afew small rust spots on her. Her mileage was 129,728 when I purchased her. I Love my Saab !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love the car but man its so expensive to maintain especially now that saab do not make cars. parts are harder and harder to find which mean they are expensive. Engine is solid but leaks so much oil around the gaskets like valve cover, timing cover, oil seals, turbo gaskets. Primarily due to bad crankcase breathing system which was updated but did very little help. Still leaks. Transmission is good and engine is good i have over 230k miles on this and its still the stock engine and trans. Big repairs include timing cover gasket leak repair which includes replacement of head gasket. brake booster leaks, turbo charger, replaced alternator twice.

SID display goes blank and flickers a common problem. Antitheft module alarms on its own at times if you live in a rust belt like illinois. these items corrode faster with salt on the road.

but other than that i still love it and enjoy driving it. I spun out on the highway going 70mph during winter with my whole family in it and everyone walked away no one was hurt. even my saab wasnt hurt, well couple bruises on the bumpers but thats it.
All in all a great car! The car seems to "consume" light bulbs, however. Replacing a few of the same ones every 18-24 months. There were a few "engine recall" or modifications for ignition (DIC) and the oil sump (rerouting some oil lines) that need to be accomplished for oil sludge issues.
I am a SAAB lover there's not much I don't love about the CAR!!!
I have a 1992 Saab 900 Turbo with about 117,000. It has been a great car with only a few minor problems so far: front hood rust, passenger's front wheel well rusted out, water pump, cruise control, antenna motor, driver's head light wiper, rear brake calipers and automatic locks work inconsistently. Nothing too major yet... I love this car and it has overall held up very well. Especially considering this car has spend it's entire life in Upstate NY.
Just bought a '93 900S with 172,000 miles on it to supplement my '85 900S with 492,000 miles on it and still running strong. The '85 is getting the classic body rust on the left rear quarter panel, but it has been the best car I have ever had. I bought the '85 in 1993, it has only stranded me once when the ignition module failed. The newer 1993 900S has some minor issues, but is otherwise in excellent condition. It's just prior to the GM frames of later 1993, so I expect it will serve well.
This is the car I always wanted. Bought it in 2008 for $5,800, it had 88,000 miles on it. I knew I'd need to do repairs right away, and this was true: convertible top hydraulics needed replacing, that was $1,500 off the bat. The car has failed on me a few times and it's as distressing and expensive as you might expect. But by googling and researching I find that everything that's gone wrong with my car has happened to other 1999 Saab 9-3 owners too. By researching and diagnosing what I can, and then by ordering my own parts and then telling a local mechanic just what I want done, I'm saving an average of 50% in repair costs. Although I do get it wrong sometimes.
It's a wonderful convertible, it feels good and although it's getting ratty and old, I wish I could keep it forever.
very needy
our 2003 saab 9-5 has a rear left tire which is flat as a result of running over a nail. the logical thing to do would be of course, to temporarily put on the spare. however, the wheel in question, will not come off the car. the lugs nuts/bolts came off no problem, but the tire is stuck on. we have made many attempts to remove the tire and have been so far unsuccessful. how do you get the darn wheel off?? we are being hunted and in need of immediate service.
240000 miles. 300 horses(not stock). 32 mpgs. Not swayed at all by anything else. Very nice daily driver that will smoke evos,wrx's and mustangs all day long.
The selection does not include my year a 1986 900 model. Well built with few bells and whistles. Only a buzzer when key remains in ignition switch. Normal wear items replaced. Extremely solid construction. Door panels have screws that allow E-Z access of window regulator that will never fail because it is manual with hand crank. Glass sealed head lights that don't fade after years of driving. Not too many around though.
I have a 2003 Saab 9-5 ARC 3.0L Turbo. I absolutely love it! It is extremely quick and pulls hard through the entire power range. I have only had two problems with it. I had to replace 2 batteries and had one problem with starting which turned out to be a faulty crank shaft sensor. I really like the different modes you can run it in (Sport and economy). In sport it is super quick and the peddle is very responsive. When in economy mode the peddle is spongie but you get pretty good gas mileage (21 mpg highway). I love the interior and the styling of a Saab and after 105K miles it still runs great. I almost hate to trade it in but the new 9-5's are unbelievable and I will need to get one. Over 300 horsepower for the 6 cylinder turbo.
Model 5.3

*side curtain airbags went off by themselves, replaced by Saab
*windshield cracked by itself, replaced by Saab
*inoperative headlight lens wipers, repaired by Sabb
*driver's electric seat inoperative, repaired by Saab
*radio & navigation system, heating & A/C controls inoperative, replaced by Saab

Overall, a lemon, a piece of junk. Was on a 27 mo. lease was was glad to dump it.
I so wanted to like this car. It had all the storage space I could hope for short of buying a wagon or minivan, it got decent gas mileage but didn't sacrifice performance to get it, and it was comfortable in town and on the highway. The handling was adequate but it couldn't match the Acura Legend I eventually replaced it with.

The real problem was the reliability issues. I owned this car less then two months and eventually had to get a lawyer to make the dealer take it back. It had less then 50,000 miles on the odometer when I bought it but while I owned it, I had to replace a headlight fuse module that cost over $100 (for a glorified plug in fuse), had a check engine light that indicated imminent failure of the DIC (direct ignition cartridge), and worst of all complete implosion of the turbo due to a bearing failure. If the car had had over 150,000 miles I could have chalked it up to hard use and wear and tear, but not only did the car have under 50K, it was actually a previous long term lease car that was meticulously maintained by it's previous owner through the Saab dealership network. The car would have be just what I needed if it had actually run properly.
Had an '01 Lexus RX300 before this. I like the ride and handling in the Trollblazer much better. This is a really underrated vehicle. It's built on the GMT 360 platform like the Tailblazer and Envoy (and others), but the handling and ride were modified by Saab engineers. It sitts about 1 inch lower. The interior is excellent!

It has proven to be a very solid car. The only significant issue has been the power windows in sub zero temps. The don't like to come back up in really cold times at parking ramps and drive throughs.

Good in the snow.
I have owned my 2003 Saab Linear Turbo since 2005 and really have no complaints. A few years back it would hesitate when it got warm out when I gunned it, but they replaced some sensor under warranty from Maunifacturer and has been great ever since. Never have had any issues with it...fun to drive with the turbo!! Display works great and has a super cool cup holder that folds out or away with one simple touch!
Bought 1999 Saab 9-5SE used in 2000. Car was great for the first 3 years or so and then really started having various engine and electrical problems. Only had a little over 60,000 miles on it when I finally said enough is enough as the car had quit starting on a regular basis and I just spent $2,000 on repairs about 6 months earlier. Fun to drive but hard on the pocketbook.
this is my wifes dream convert and my headache manul trans replace at 135k lots and lots of ele issues alternator replaced at 90k 125k finally replace ground cable from alt to motor with over sized cable much better the shift lever broke off in my hand @140k design flaw with reverse pin caused failure. pron to over heat (do not add H2O to the system as this results in coolent system failure causing head to warp the A/C has never worked as it is a R12 system except for eletri the car is easy to work on and on a summer day with the top down the wife turns heads.
Owned the car for 9 months so far. Its a Saab 9-5 Linear, therefore its not exactly fast, but it does get the job done well. This is especially true considering I was only 19 when I acquired the vehicle. So far its been a real blast to own, only have two problems (one of which was definately my fault). Thecar has been efficient stylish and fun overall, the suspension handles well with not too much body roll, the interior has all the fun gadgets and nice sound system and the drivetrain and brakes have really been pretty well matched to the vehicles engine. Now I give the engine a rating of only 3 stars because I do indeed have the linear meaning its not the quickest ride out there; mind you its still faster than alot of other rides. But I sort of wished I could have acquired an "Aero" model of this car. But either way the ride has truly been something that has made me into a true SAAB fanatic. Born from jets, and Move your Mind.
good teenagers car
I have had my Saab 900 ( 1991 ) for about two years and have had a handful of issues with it. These cars seem to have a cult following behind them, everyone you see that drives one seems to nod or give a slight exchange of eye contact when in passing. Issues with the car have included--the cooling system ( i . e . hoses, thermostat, grounding sensors ) , The ignition system and alternator and more grounding issues. Considering I myself have only four years wisdom over this car I cannot complain about the small things, the 900 still drives fine, the check engine light is on, but mostly all areas have been checked for issues relating to the problem. I do nearly all of the work to the car by myself, its an alright ride though.
Sweet ride but LOTS of electrical problems--ignition coiled burned up and dashboard went bad. It also takes a long time to heat up (but the heated seats are "cool.")
Great car, awesome on gas, sport feel when you want / need it. Fuel savings when driver modestly. A few small electrical mysteries, that have come and gone by them selves. Plenty of 3rd party replacement parts available. This is my 3rd Saab, and loving it.
I love the way this car handles. I bought the car in 2009 with 137,000 miles on it and it still runs very well. The turbo is divine. I am now a convert and willing to purchase another 1996 Saab for my mother-in-law who is equally happy with the car.
I owned a 2000 SE convertible from 2003-2007. I loved this car. It was fun to drive - the torque steer was crazy but I liked it. The car was quirky - it had trouble starting if the gas in the tank was less than 1/8th of a tank and especially if the morning was cold. The brakes were squeaky. But this was a fun convertible. Too bad GM sucked the soul out of Saab. I'd buy another if it was still quirky Swedish.

Actually I now remember there was a weird clicking sound coming from under the automatic transmission lever. A couple guys couldn't figure it out but then there was a recall for something and it went away. The mechanic said it was a loose bolt or something.
I've owned this car since 2002 and have had nothing but problems with it. Let me just give you an idea: i've replaced the clutch cable THREE times, replaced the entire exhaust system (twice for some parts), gone through two clutches... amonst other problems. BUYER BEWARE! I will never buy a saab again after being a lifetime owner until this car.