AS fdw201 said, some of those things are wear and tear, others, I agree could be less finicky and toyota/honda are maybe more reliable for some of that stuff. There are pros/cons to all cars, and quite frankly I have about as much interest in driving toyotas/hondas as I would like to drive a refrigerator...
Old volvos... 1990, well yeah, we all say the same about old SAABs (I still have 2 c900s)... older cars had fewer, simpler electronics. They were much more easily maintained DIY and by mechanics who don't like electrical diagnosis. All modern cars are becoming increasingly loaded with electronics (self-driving cars are coming even!!) so this is something we will all have to deal with unfortunately.
I've got 2 9-5's and with good maintenance, they have been good cars. I've fixed a number of things like you have (though never a starter or ignition switch in a 9-5, so see my comments re charging system in the message above - may all be related), but that's not been a big concern. I would say the suspension durability is more the issue I would complain about if anything... we haul a lot in them, and like some other modern brands, they are kind of set up for handling rather than being used as pickup trucks. I find the older SAABs (c900, 9000) were a little better at hauling stuff. The symptoms for me with the 9-5 appears in the tires before anything else (scalloping, inside edge wear etc), so we seem to be buying tires fairly quickly!
Other than that, I have zero interest in trading ours in for a toyota or honda blandmobile, but I know lots of others value appliance like reliability over all else, and that is perfectly reasonable. I'm ok with dealing with a few standard issues with these cars as they are fun to drive, and fortunately SAABnet is a great resource. Normally I can nip issues in the bud, but not always.
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