Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 09:21:02 +0000 (UTC)
From: "Richard McBride" <>
Subject: Re: Best built recent Saab?

Hi Sigurd Build quality is determined by engineers, not stylists, accountants or marketing folk, and is all about details that most users never see: things like steel thickness, weld spacing, structural design, manufacturing QA, and hundreds of 'little' things that don't look like much, but make a big difference to long-term reliability. The early Saabs, from the first 2-stroke models right through to the 'Classic' 900, and even the 9000, were designed from the ground up by Saab engineers. An individualistic lot, not swayed by fashion, they built cars that were always slightly quirky, but which generally had good build quality, and have lasted well, (maybe even too well, since many Saab fans, myself included, have stuck to these earlier models, and avoided the newer ones!) Some people claim to spot differences between the various manufacturing plants in Sweden and Finland. On reliability, these older Saabs were never the most reliable cars, mainly, I think, because they pioneered so many new auto systems, such as APC, Fuel Injection, ABS, etc. Despite this, these cars are still around today, often with very high mileages. When GM took over Saab, the engineers were no longer able to build their designs from the ground up, but had to use GM platforms, such as the European small sedans, (UK Vectra), and this has continued to the present 9-3 and 9-5 line-up. Any difference in build quality was now a function of detailed differences in fitment, and manufacturing quailty. In my opinion, Saab have managed to build very good cars indeed from the GM base, but they do not have that engineering quality that made the 'Classic' Saabs so nice to own. So my vote would be for a 1989-1992 900, (convertible continued up to 1994 in UK), or any of the later 9000's, (up to 1998 in the UK). The post-92 900's, and the 9-5 replacement for the 9000, were based on the GM platform, and don't seem to have lasted so well, either physically or as design icons. (Btw, I have had 4 900s since 1982, and now own a 1990 3-door 900 T16S.) "Sigurd Kallhovde" <> wrote in message news:5AXy9.1754$ > I am looking to buy a Saab, and has not owned one since a 96 V4 I owned in > the '70's. > > Which is the best built (assembly quality, reliability, durability) recent > Saab model - pre-1995 900, post-95 900, or 9-3? Throw in the 9000 and 9-5, > as well, if you'd like. > > I know this subject is very subjective, and probably highly contentious, > and don't intend to start a flame-war. Just interested in this > level-headed group's "aggregate opinions"! > > Thanks, > > -- > Sigurd, California > N 32 48' > W 117 14' > > >

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