Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 21:20:47 -0700
From: Justin VanAbrahams <jvanabranopsamnet>
Subject: Re: I need experienced advice!

Jakub wrote: > > Everyone, > > I am seriously considering buying a 1995 Saab 900 5 speed with about > 40,000 miles on it. I have heard conflicting reports from friends and > co-workers about the dependability of Saabs and related ownership > costs. I would like input on the following: Of certain year Saabs, the most you can say is "unpredictable." I don't own a newer Saab (my newest has been a pair of '90s) but from what I have seen experience on the '94/'95 900s has been mostly erratic. I'd owe this to the fact that the '94 900 was a new platform and it took a couple years to get the bugs worked out. Additionally, you must consider what the factory workers were going through - after building essentially the same car for over a decade (over two if you count the 99s) they suddenly switched over to something completely different. At any rate, if you're going to purchase this car, I'd spend a thousand or so extra and buy one of those super-duper extended warranties. You may never use (likely not, IMHO) but if something serious happens it'd be good piece of mind. > - Are Saabs more expensive to repair and maintain? Depends on who you take it to. I spend less in an average year maintaining a given Saab than my sister spends on her '93 Prelude. I take my car to an independant mechanic, she sees a dealer. On average, parts run a little more but repair proceedures do not take longer on a Saab than any other car, so any expense incurred here will likely be a result of a) high dealer labor rates or b) "by the book" mechanics, who go by book time rather than actual time done. > - Generally, how reliable are they compared to, say, a Toyota Camry? Less, I'd say. But not significantly. You're getting a higher performance car and you'll pay for that. But, you'll probably end up with a car that'll last twice as long. So while you may pay a little more up front, when 100k rolls around you can look forward to another 100k without major repairs. > - Are Saabs a good winter car? Excellent. > - What's this 'Saab mystique' I hear so much about? I dunno. :) I've owned more Saabs than I can count (that is actually an exaggeration :) and there is something about them. My dad had two back in the '80s and I loved them too. Part of it is owning a car you don't see everywhere and part of it is owning a car that surprises people in terms of its performance and utility. It's a mystique, so it's not exactly quantifiable... :) > - Should I buy it? Seems like it's in perfect condition, and at a > great price. ($15,500 CDN) That sounds about right. Get the warranty. Make sure it's not a V6 - they are more "unpredictable" than the four cylinders by an order of magnitude. Try and get repair history - I suppose at 40k it's just out of warranty, so everything should be accounted for. > Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Good luck! -Justin

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