Date: 22 May 2003 12:41:29 -0700
From: (Rob)
Subject: Re: Starting to shop

"Kenneth S." <> wrote in message news:<>... > Joe Gugliemino wrote: > > > > I've started to think about a new car, as I don't think my Explorer > > ('93, 200k mi) will pass inspection in September. There's not a lot out > > there that really interests me. We've got a mini-van now, so I don't > > need another utility vehicle. I also don't want a big car payment so > > I'm thinking about buying used. > > > > The cars on the short list (so far) include the VW Passat and Jetta, > > Subaru Impreza, and the Saab 900. I'm wondering how you think the 900 > > matches up against these. I think the Saab has the best lines, and from > > what I've read it has solid reliability. It also seems to be the > > roomiest. But I don't have experience with any of these cars so I'd > > like to collect some data points - even biased ones. My hypothetical > > Saab would be a 900 S/SE 5-speed. I live in New England at the top of a > > significant hill, so snow traction is important to me. Last year's > > snows gave our Odessey some trouble before the plows got to us. > > > > As for the S/SE, I like the idea of a turbo for performance, but I'm > > leary of repair costs. Have the turbos proven themselves to be as solid > > as the engine they're bolted on to? Does a non-turbo have enough zip to > > make it fun to drive? > > > > It seems like I've got 2 options for buying used. I can either buy an > > off-lease for $10-15k (or more), or an older model for $5 - 10k. I > > really don't want to spend over $10k if I don't have to, but I don't > > want to buy a problem child either. What are some things to look out > > for in '96-'98 models? What would be a good price for an SE? Can I get > > one for $6k that would last? > > > > The few Saab dealers I've called don't carry older models. Does anybody > > know reputable used car dealers in the > > Worcester/Framingham/Milford/Westford area? I've been checking Ebay to > > get an idea of prices and there have been 900SEs listed that are within > > driving distance, so I could check them out in person. I wouldn't bid > > sight unseen, but if I could give it a good once-over and have a > > mechanic check it out I'd be alright with that. > > > > Thanks in advance for any comments, > > > > - Joe > > (To reply directly, remove the 'deleteme' from my address Interesting coincidence, I had a 93 Explorer too, which I traded in a couple of years ago on a used 2000 Explorer Ltd. Both were better reliabitity-wise than my Saab. I also have a 1997 SE turbo convertible, and I must say I would not buy it again given the chance. I would go Japanese, personally. The Saab's a great car as far as mileage, performance, features, looks, and price. Unfortunately, they depreciate like hell (which you actually would be taking advantage of now buying a 1997-era; it's the new to late-model zone where it drops about 4-5000 per year); they get creaky and loose, and fixes come frequently and expensively. I've dropped 600 into the damned ignition cassette and another grand into a blown head gasket just this year. My turbo boost gauge and tach don't work (not bothering to fix those). I've had numerous problems with the a/c system and the cd changer's communication with the stereo head (both systems worked on or completely replaced numerous times -- fortunately this stuff was under warranty and seems now to finally be fixed for good). That said, I believe for under $10k you could have a great car. From what I've read, the engine/turbo/trannies are pretty bulletproof in general -- the problems are more with electrical and hvac. If yer gonna get a saab, get a turbo. Just check all the lights/gauges/etc. before you buy. Don't pay much...the Edmunds prices are even too high...look at what they go for on ebay. Saabs are good in snow ONLY if you put on winter tires. Rob

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