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Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 21:17:26 -0500
From: Four Weis <mweinopsamcom>
Subject: Re: Buying a Saab recommendations

JMEL5 wrote: > Hey all. I am looking into buying a Saab and wanted to get feedback from people > that actually own the cars. I would like to keep it a long time, like all my > cars and would like a manual tranny, too. If you like to keep your cars for a long time, get a simpler, older car. They are less expensive to start with and they are easier to maintain. Less expensive is a relative term, I found Volvos cost less to maintain than Saabs of the same year. I can do most of the work myself on the Classic Saab and Volvos, but the newer cars are too complex for me to maintain because of all of the electronics. > > > I would like to get a newer one....1997 or newer, though I do like the older > styles, too. I love the 9-3's and the 9-5's. I test drove an Aero not too long > ago and absolutely loved it, nice size, quality feel, hatchback practicality > and a great interior. > > Any recommendations on years to avoid? Avoid anything made after 1994. Sort of kidding on that, but since you like a manual transmission you should know that from 1995 to 1997(?) Saab used a clutch cable instead of a hydraulic clutch. There were problems and they went back to the hydraulic clutch. Test drive both a Classic Saab hatchback and a NG Saab. The one thing you should notice right a way is the visibility from the driver seat. The Classic has thinner pillars and a lower back window. The blind spots are much smaller in the Classic Saab. The only car that comes close to the Classic Saab in visibility is a 245 or 745. The engine in the Classic Saab 900 is mounted front to back, which has been credited with making it handle better in the snow than the 9000 or newer Saabs. It is not mounted transverse as are most front wheel drives. The belts are against the firewall and the clutch is just behind the radiator. This makes it very easy to work on the clutch. Not that you would buy a 1986 or older 900, maybe you would, but the parking/emergency brake is on the front wheels. In 1987 it was moved to the rear wheels. This has led to interesting emission tests when the technician put the front wheels on the rollers and yanked up on the parking brake - promptly stalling the car. The look on their faces was priceless as they repeated this over and over again. One reason for avoiding the newer hatchbacks is if you have a back problem. The older Saabs do not have lip on the floor, so you can SLIDE a large or heavy load in or out of the car. Saab offers an optional feature available only on the 9-5 wagon that matches this ability. The 9-3s and 1995 and newer 900s have a substantial lip that requires bending over and lifting any large or heavy object over the lip. If you are young, healthy and never intend on putting anything large or heavy in the back of the Saab, this is not an issue. > > > Thanks in advance. > > JJ > Boston, MA, USA

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