Shop Job; Economic; Enjoyable
By PDX Snaab on Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I owned and sold this car
overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Reason: Downsized to a one-car family; Honda more reliable.
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Enjoyable; Economical; Unique/Quirky; Capacious"
Cons: "Upkeep; Cost of Parts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Caveat to this entire post: Saab was known for its enthusiasts (pejoratively called 'Snaabs'). I am a Snaab, yes; I am also a pragmatist and realist.
The reality is: Saab, as a company, is no more. This will likely translate to a drastically declining price of obtaining a Saab; this will likely translate as a drastically increasing price of upkeep on you Saab.
Bottom line: Saabs need work. Not major overhauls (driving chain in lieu of a belt; bullet-proof engines, turbos, and transmissions; sturdy, yet lightweight frame), mind, but they will still require upkeep. Comparable to any other European entry-level executive auto, Saabs were pioneers in engineering. They were highly fuel efficient: my 2002 9-3, 4-door, SE [non-Viggen] hatch-back boasted 27 commuting, 32-34 on long road. They were sporty: standard of 205hp, tight handling. They were well advanced: the internal computer communicates with you every step of the way.
This 'communication' is often done in the form of the check-engine light. The internal electrical system of most Saabs was such that the check-engine comes on. Often. Do not fool yourself: you will need to replace chips, electrical parts, and other parts. Because Saab is no longer in business, we have seen the nadir on prices; upkeep on your Saab will only get more expensive from here on out.
This is why I rated the car where I did, and why I would not likely recommend purchasing one – as a Snaab. If Saab were still in business, I would own no other platform of vehicle. Add to this that I would not own a post-2002, GM-owned/operated Saab (quality of parts, design, and reliability took a nose dive under GM oversight).
When you own a Saab, do NOT use/trust/listen to anyone who offers you non-OEM parts. Aftermarket parts are not worth your money, time, and potential upset to supporting devices. When you MAF goes – and it WILL go – spend the extra money to get an OEM piece. Your mechanic may say that there is an aftermarket piece that may work. If your mechanic suggests/strong-arms you into that choice: find a new mechanic."
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