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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have experience of these beasts? Turbo or not, would like to hear your comments. Are they really built like tanks, and how do they drive?

I've always admired the looks of them. I'm going to be looking at getting a place in the new year, so thought about selling the Alfa :)( ) and buying a cheap car like this which hopefully won't have much go wrong with it.

http://www.drive.ru/images/saab/saab-15-900-16s.jpg
 

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I have never really liked the looks of the 900, but I did have a test drive in a 9000 a few years back.

It handled very well (same chassis as Alfa 164) but is suffered from quite a lot of turbo lag, even though it was only 185bhp or so.

Turbo technology has moved on since.
It was quite a nice car other than that. The Pre-GM Saab build quaility was excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have never really liked the looks of the 900, but I did have a test drive in a 9000 a few years back.

It handled very well (same chassis as Alfa 164) but is suffered from quite a lot of turbo lag, even though it was only 185bhp or so.

Turbo technology has moved on since.
It was quite a nice car other than that. The Pre-GM Saab build quaility was excellent.
Not fussed whether it's a turbo or not, but I hear the build quality is second to none. They were built to last forever from day 1, and you see many around with 200,000 miles plus on the clock. Do you know if they are cheap to run, and if any old mechanic can work on them, or are they more speicalist?
 

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I am not sure about running costs TBH. I can't see them being too bad though, they don't have cambelts so thats a good thing.
They should be quite a bit cheaper than an Alfa.
 

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First generation 900 was developed from Saab 99. A SAAB 99 Turbo is an iconic car.

I think running costs (parts mainly) aren't cheap but in my opinion one of the few cars with as much character as an Alfa.

I would love one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Would definitley be the older 900, the newer ones that changed to the 9-3 are from the time when General Motors took over, which in turn is where the quality began to slip.

Hearing many positive comments so far which is great, reading various owners reports it seems that even the turbo models seem very reliable and low maintenance.

I love Alfas, but these old SAABs seem to fall in the same catogory as being a sort of left field choice. As much as I love my Alfa, I think it would be too expensive to maintain if I were to get my own place, so I think it most likely will have to go. Not making any rash decisions yet though.
 

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I have a friend who had two 900 turbos. They were built like tanks and he loved them - but they didn't like going round corners. They were also very heavy to drive (I looked at one too and the weight of the cojtrol put me off). Still - a car with character.
 

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I had a 1993 model 900 Turbo Convertible - had 115000 miles on it when I got it - was a great car, v well built (if a bit flexible in convertible form) until the hood mechanism went bust. Great fun so long as you plan for the turbo lag.

Very old fashioned inside and to drive - more of a sort of sit back and waft sort of car, not that great in corners. Great classic on a budget. Very characterful. Can be specced up nicely with Abbott Racing extras.
 

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We've got a 1995 900S, its coming up for 170K miles, reliable enough old tank. Really comfortable seats, nice heating, bit thirsty for its performance, feels very solid, feels a bit old fashioned to drive, although very honest. Gear change rubbish, handling solid and stable, very understeery. Parts pretty cheap from GSF, easy to work on, except that as with any 150K+ mile car, everything underneath is a bit rusty and seized :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All these comments sound pretty positive, definitley somethin I'll consider getting. Not too fussed about them being old fashioned to drive, it's more fun if anything. Do the turbos feel fast or do they offer just enough punch to get by?
 

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saab 95 v4 estate '74...my first saab..fond memories..daughter cried when i sold this...93/94?...owned good few years...
saab 96 v4 '76....bought fortuitously from perth auction for 150 quid or so......late ninties early noughties
saab 96 v4 '74...bought from storage unit up near montrose...owned coupla years....mid to late ninties
saab 99 gl 5sp '82..bought after rover sd1...good car but ran hot..all the time...mid ninties
saab 900i 3 dr '88...bought after 99...started long succesion of saabs..at one point i had 4 at once...
saab 900i 5 dr '84.....2001 ish..cracking car
saab 900i gls 5 dr '86...bought from auction again...with 64k miles and fsh..for 40 quid..yes 40!!...2002
saab 900 turbo 8v 3 dr '84....50 quid special bought from thompson and potter skoda in burrelton....2002/2003 or so..gave to saab mechanic for work done on other saabs!!
saab 900 turbo 16v lpt 5 dr '93...perth auction special...rotten tailgate, great to drive...2002/2003 ish
saab 900 turbo t16s 3dr '86...bought after 3 day binge..huge mistake..bad buy, lost a small fortune....2003/4
saab 9000 turbo lpt '92...crap car...head gasket totally knackered...bodged up and passed on rapidly....2004
saab 900 turbo 8v 2 dr '88...one of best saabs i owned...150 quid, fsh 80k miles, one owner...2003
saab 900 se auto '92...2006...perth auction again..happy hunting ground for saabs....nicest saab ever to drive....thirsty bugger tho


reckon iv owned most itterations of the c900..id disagree with the poster who said they dont like the corners though..iv always found that c900s handle much better than the later gm90s and even the 9000s..(which are great cheaop fast cars in aero or carlsson spec..hell, even in any fpt spec...but i just dont lie em!!)...

these cars, the c900s are the last great saabs, the last classic ones...buy wisely, enjoy..watch for rust..yup, rust..built lie tanks or not, they rust like any older car..gearboxes on turbos can be weak, partu=iculalry on fpt turbos, headlinings do sag...my 900s averaged 28-35mpg with no problems and were extremey=ly praxctical and huge fun...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've gotta say biggbn.... you're a Saab nut :D Can I ask, do you find the non turbo models slow, or are they adequate enough? I'd imagine they're not as powerful as my GTV but I don't know.
 

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the 8v n/a cars are no balls of fire, but are certainly comfy old cruisers...a nice 16v n/a has around 130hp and is certainly lively enough..the best turbo saab i owned was a 2dm 8v turbo intercooled version...steel wheels, wind up windows, no sunroof....enough mid range torque to pull down a giant redwood...very rel;axed fast car, rarey had to drop from 5th gear to dispatch dawdlers.....but wholly incapable of returning more than 23mpg!!..the 8v turbos are thirsty!!

id only buy a very nice 16v fpt if i was after one..not a cheapo...abused cars just arent worth it...my aero was very, very quick..mid range, top end, you name it..it may have been modded in the past but it was pronounced the quickest one my tame saab mechanic had ever driven!!...but it was a chore keeping it right...cos it wasnt right to start with!!..good mpg, easy mid thirties on runs..watch the gearboxes though...

16v lpt are a good compromise..they arent as sought after, wont have been driven as hard, are swift rather than quick but are easily and cheaply turned into fpt as far as im aware....

whichever model you pick you will be driving an almost wholly unique car, a ver seprerate driving experience...and saabs are owned by a nice bunch of guys....!!
 

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I have owned eight Saab C900's my second last one was a 1990 Aero...without doubt the best car I have ever owned...powerful, practical, handled great and lots of character.

I would buy the same car again in a heartbeat......In the UK watch out for rust..walk away if any...check bottom of doors etc....gearboxes can be a weak spot but you will know if one has been looked after.

I never ever found them to be more expensive to maintain than any other make either, the good ones that are still running around have usually been looked after, it is worth paying a bit extra to get the pick of the crop so to speak then all you have to do is maintain.
 

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My best mate has a 900 "P" reg, used it a few times!
2.3 non turbo, very quick for a big car, very well built had is 5 years never spent more than £150 to get it through an MOT!
Quirky little things though! Cant take the keys out unless left in reverse and if you take the keys out you must set then unset the immobiliser(door locks) to start it! Keep forgetting this when I use it!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
the 8v n/a cars are no balls of fire, but are certainly comfy old cruisers...a nice 16v n/a has around 130hp and is certainly lively enough..the best turbo saab i owned was a 2dm 8v turbo intercooled version...steel wheels, wind up windows, no sunroof....enough mid range torque to pull down a giant redwood...very rel;axed fast car, rarey had to drop from 5th gear to dispatch dawdlers.....but wholly incapable of returning more than 23mpg!!..the 8v turbos are thirsty!!

id only buy a very nice 16v fpt if i was after one..not a cheapo...abused cars just arent worth it...my aero was very, very quick..mid range, top end, you name it..it may have been modded in the past but it was pronounced the quickest one my tame saab mechanic had ever driven!!...but it was a chore keeping it right...cos it wasnt right to start with!!..good mpg, easy mid thirties on runs..watch the gearboxes though...

16v lpt are a good compromise..they arent as sought after, wont have been driven as hard, are swift rather than quick but are easily and cheaply turned into fpt as far as im aware....

whichever model you pick you will be driving an almost wholly unique car, a ver seprerate driving experience...and saabs are owned by a nice bunch of guys....!!
Thanks for all that info, I'll keep this page bookmarked for when I go and have a look at some. I don't want to spend much on it as the purpose of is will be a cheap car to free up some money for my house/flat, so the 16v lpt version seems my best bet, as although it needs to be cheap it would be good to have something interesting.
 

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"No, youre spider is the best car you've ever owned!"

Well I actually loved my Aero and to this day it is still the best car I have ever owned, not the thing to say on this forum I guess but I may still fall in love with the Spider...

I have missed mine so much that next week I going down to Victoria to buy a 1989 900 Aero, can not wait, they are the bee's....

To the original poster, get a turbo if you can and avoid any rust like the plague, if body is good you can do all your own maintenance and it will last forever and be extremely practical.
 
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