Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 20:17:52 -0500
From: (David R. Kuipers)
Subject: Re: SAAB 95  Reliability

I was looking very seriously to buy this car too, but I chickened out for four reasons that may be important for you as well. 1. Saab cars have very poor long-term reliability. I don't know about you, but I lead a very busy lifestyle, and I don't have time to repeatedly take my car into the shop, whether it's covered by warranty and the service dept is "friendly" and knows what they're doing, or not. 2. Saab consistently ranks near the bottom in JD Power Initial Quality surveys, if that's important to you. Except for 1996, which appears to be an anomaly, Saab has ranked 24th or lower (out of 33 manufacturers) in owner satisfaction surveys. The company Saab keeps in this area? Kia, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Hyundai, et al. Not exactly encouraging when you're thinking of buying a $38,000 car, is it? FWIW, Volvo consistently ranks in the top 10 in these same rankings. 3. Relative to point#1 above, another very serious and practical concern is the small size of the Saab dealer network. Unless you live in the Northeast, Saab dealers are few and far between. Which leads to the obvious question: if you move to a small or medium-sized town somewhere in America, how are you ever going to get your car serviced under warranty? Doh!! 4. If you're waiting on the 9-5 V6, as I was, things seem ominous. The car has been delayed in production because of unspecified engine troubles on line, and will not reach US showrooms until November (at the earliest). Do you really want to be a guinea pig and take one of these cars? If you need a car in the near future, can you wait four months to get one? Of course, if you're looking at the LPT 4-cylinder, this issue is irrelevant. On the plus side, the Saab does have the best interior, by far, in the under $40,000 sedan market (IMO), and it is very fun to drive. Plus, the feeling of individuality you would get by owning a car that very few other people do would be nice. The "square peg in a round hole" thing and all that. And, Saab is very aggresive in providing manufacturer-subsidized loans and lease financing on their cars, as they are under extreme pressure from General Motors (the majority owner of Saab nowadays) to increase sales substantially in the next couple of years or else GM will pull the plug on Saab forever. For example, Saab is currently offering subsidized leases on the LPT 4 9-5s that is quite attractive; something like $430/month for 39 months on a car with leather, sunroof, and automatic transmission. A similar lease deal exists on the 9-3 convertible. IMHO, the concerns above outweigh the benefits in a car as expensive as Saabs. Maybe I'd accept these concerns with a $15,000 Hyundai, but not in a $38,000 9-5. Of course, YMMV, and a used Saab might not raise as many concerns for you as the depreciation in the cars has already largely occured. FWIW, I ended up buying a new BMW 328 sedan just because it's a proven product with a (relatively) large national dealer network (I tend to move every couple of years). Sorry to be a sour-sport; please keep the flames to a minimum..............DK In article <6oqar0$>, "Michael Baum" <> wrote: > We are interested in purchasing a Saab 95 (1999). We've also seen lousy > reports of prior Saab's electrical systems (such as in Consumer Reports). > Can anyone point us to objective information regarding reliability (in > general) and with regard to its electrical system (specifically)? > > Also, anyone with personal experience as an owner? > > Thanks. -- (remove nospam for email)

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