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9000 Survey Part 3


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Survey compiled by Brett F. Martin (martinb@nosc.mil)

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PART III

COMMENTS BY OWNERS:

	I have included as many of the respondent's comments as possible in
the following anthology.  My criteria for publishing these comments are the
following:  a)  personal experience must be involved; b) it must be of
interest to people interested in Saab 9!
 000s; c) it must be coherent.  I have done editing and splicing where
necessary to create paragraphs out of the survey responses, but I have left
the text as close to the original as I could.  The respondents are
identified only by the year and model of !
 their car.  I added additional information where necessary for
comprehension.  The comments are in order of model year.

'86 9000T, '87 9000T, '94 9000CSE & '95 9000 CSE:  Buy it!

'86 9000T:  If only Toyota built this car...

'86 9000T:  What an incredible blend of performance, comfort, economy,
utility, safety, beauty, space, etc., etc... I look forward to getting in
and driving every day, nearly every time!!

'86 9000T:  The engine is great, but all of the parts surrounding it are
unreliable...Learn how to fix your own car if you buy a Saab

'87 9000T:  Avoid the automatic transmission, but otherwise great...The
handling and comfort of the 9000, especially for being a larger car, is
phenomenal.  The power is also great, in the turbo model.

'87 9000T: Definitely prefer hatchback to notchback (sedan). Looking forward
to trading up to a used 9000 CS/CSE with a 2.3 liter turbo (less lag, more
power, stiffer body), though I prefer the original 9000's styling.

'88 9000S (UK): I happen to work for the FORD motor co. and come in for a
lot of trouble for driving a Saab.  However, having survived a 70MPH head-on
smash in a 900 GLs I would not consider any other make of vehicle.

'88 9000SPG(Canada): If you are prepared for the aggravating glitches, you
may be ready for perhaps the world's most fun yet practical luxury car.

'88 9000S: The size and hatch utility are BIG items to me.  The general
handling and performance have been fine (wish I had a Turbo).  It worries me
that the local dealers are not on a higher plane, and I'm very concerned
that SAAB/GM don't realize the ha!
 tch/space/utility and safety issues are the only trump cards they have in
the price ranges they now are in.

'88 9000T (has owned 3 other Saabs):  The company (particularly after the GM
deal) doesn't seem to properly value, police, and support the dealer
channel.  They make great products but one's satisfaction can be most
directly affected by the dealer, not th!
 e car, per se. We have been very consistently buying Saabs for more than
ten years, and the major reason (see above) has been that we have had an
excellent, service-oriented dealer.  Unfortunately, our dealer has lost some
of the people who had that attitude, so, when I trade in my Aero next year,
I may buy anoth!
 er marque.

'88 9000T:  [Saab isn't] as concerned as they used to be. Back in '82, when
I bought my first Saab, it was rare to even SEE another one on the road.
Everything from Saab USA on down seemed more personal and more attuned to
customer satisfaction...[If you !
 want to buy a used 9000] proceed at your own risk. Know what you are
buying. Saabs are not for everyone. A used 9000 is a FANTASTIC deal if you
can find the right car at the right price...If Saab removes the hatch
feature from future 9000's I would have !
 to seriously think about finding a different brand of car to buy. IMHO, the
hatch is crucial to the appeal of the car, at least for me.

'88 9000T:  "What would you tell a prospective buyer of a new or used 9000?"
I'd just take him or her for a ride in mine.  I've gotten a few Saab
converts already!!!  Even someone who wants to trade their Buick for one!

'88 9000T:  Generally I have been extremely satisfied with my car (what
other car can you carry a washing machine in at 100 mph for hours?).  The
hatchback design is a must keep.  The handling balance is a little too
biased toward understeer for summer dr!
 iving (this can be fixed somewhat by adjusting the tire pressures ).
However, for the winter it's excellent.   The general fit and finish of the
car is excellent, except for the headliner (which has dropped, and this is
not acceptable.  Even my cheapo p!
 ontiac's headliner is still up and it is the same age.  Hopefully Saab will
benefit from the General's experience in this.) and the carpet in the rear
hatch has faded (my car was in San Diego for its first 6 years, so this may
explain it).  Still, this i!
 s pretty bad in a car that costs 42 grand new.  The upholstery looks great
after 120k (only the drivers seat shows signs of wear, and it only a
little).  The body is great, no rust, paint looks great, even the glass is
relatively un scratched.  The car could feel a little tighter (as in,
stiffness of the structure to prevent squeaks).

'89 9000 CD turbo:  ALREADY OWN 2 BMW'S, THIS IS MY WINTER/WIFE'S CAR...SHOP
AROUND, THEY DEPRECIATE FAIRLY RAPIDLY, AND  PROBLEMS CAN BE EXPENSIVE TO
FIX.  IN GENERAL A VERY RELIABLE CAR.  IT IS A CAR THAT A PERSON DOESN'T
HAVE TO BABY, BUT IT ALSO IS A !
 CAR THAT DOESN'T HAVE MUCH PERSONALITY.  IT DOESN'T ELICIT A PASSION FOR
RIVING.  UNDERSTEERING FRONT WHEEL DRIVE CARS ARE NO FUN TO HORSE AROUND IN
A POWERFUL CAR.  AS MY BMW FRIENDS TOLD ME SAAB STANDS FOR SURE AIN'T A
BMW".  THEY ARE RIGHT ON THAT ANA!
 LYSIS.  EACH HAS THEIR PLUS AND MINUS PONTS.  THAT IS WHY I OWN TOP OF THE
LINE MODELS OF BOTH CAR COMPANIES.  I'M ALWAYS AMAZED AT THE POT SHOTS TAKEN
BY THE SAAB FANATICS AT BMW OWNERS.  IT IS LIKE "THEY GET NO RESPECT" FROM
BMW OWNERS AND THEY FEEL TH!
 EY DESERVE MORE. I DON'T SEE THE SAME LEVEL OF CONTEMPT FROM MY FELLOW BMW
OWNWERS TOWARD SAAB OWNERS THAT SAAB OWNERS MUST PERCEIVE EXISTS.  ONE
GENERAL CRITICISM THAT SAAB SHOULD  AKE SERIOUSLY IS THE FEEL OF THE CAR.
BMW'S FEEL LIKE THEY ARE AS SOLID AS A ROCK (IE NO CREAKING/RATTLES).
SAAB'S ARE SAFER CARS WHICH HOWS THEY ARE DESIGNED WELL, BUT LACK THE
FEELING OF BEING A SOLID CAR THAT JUST ISN'T THERE.

'90 9000T:   EVERY one of my new cars -- this is #5 -- was designed at
Giugilario Design . EVERY new car I've bought has been a hatch. My next car
will be a hatch!  I *ONLY* buy hatches!...A friend of mine is quite large
and the seat belt is too small.  S!
 aab doesn't offer an "extender" but will permit me to upgrade [sic] to a
large belt for SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS! (That's doing it the hard way,
Trolls! {sigh})

'91 9000(base) & another '91 9000(base):  Good used value.

'91 9000T (manual):  I have mixed feelings about this car.  I love the
performance, comfort, and the way it handles in bad weather.  The complex
electronics and $4500 ABS stories scare me, and the gearshift is one of the
balkiest I have ever experienced..!
 .The quality of service from the dealer is very variable.  When I was
negotiating for the car and noted that it was due for its 65K service, the
sales manager told me that oil changes and routine service were "nice but
not really necessary."  I walked ou!
 t of the door, and only bought the car after they chased after me as I was
pulling out of the parking lot and offered to have the service done as part
of the deal.  I have also had the car in three times for the balky shifter,
and was given three differe!
 nt answers, from "nothing is wrong" to "you need a new clutch @ $1100."  A
new master cylinder seems to have fixed the worst of the problem.  I don't
have confidence in their diagnostic abilities or interest in cost-effective
quality service. '91 9000T: I think the 9000 is a wonderful car...[My advice
is:] 1.  Shop around, find an owner who was meticulous about care 2.  Don't
buy any years prior to 1991 3.  The depreciation is high, so for the best
value don't buy new. 4.  Get a full turbo model

'91 9000S:  I bought the car w/ 9,000 miles for $18,000 -- good deal.  Not a
good deal at $30K+

'92 9000CD Turbo:  I am a VERY satisfied 9000 owner/operator...it's the best
car I've ever driven...and I recommend that if they find a clean one at a
reasonable price, they should buy it.

'92 9000 (owned 5 other Saabs):  If you want a car that will never break,
buy a Honda.  If you want a car that will be fast, comfortable, will carry
major appliances in a pinch, and will probably save your life, buy a Saab.
Just expect you'll have to fix!
  things.  Then again, you'll probably be fixing things long after the Honda
has been recycled.

'92 9000 (owned 3 other Saabs):  Amazing car for sheer versatility,
performance, huge interior and comfort...extremely reliable...I think we
were very lucky and got possibly the best 9000 off the production line for
'92.  Pleasantly surprised at how troub!
 le-free as it's been.  Other 9000 owners we know of have not been as
fortunate.

'92 9000 (base)(has owned 2 other Saabs):  [I'd like] a bit more head room
(I'm 6'4"); all other interior parameters never cease to amaze/please me,
especially when I load furniture or whatever in the hatch at a store/loading
dock/Christmas tree lot.  Giv!
 e it a good bit of care and you'll have a terrific highway cruiser/sports
sedan/kid ferry boat/cargo hauler/head-turner/snowmobile ... all without
having to buy a silly SUV truck or a damnable minivan. I've been a happy
Saaber for 18 years; my wife drive!
 s the 9000 most of the time and loves it; our teen-age daughter will
probably use the `85 900 when she gets her license in the spring, so it'll
be my turn to get someone new.  I'd like to see what the new 9000 looks like
before I decide what to do.

'92 9000T (has owned 2 other Saabs): The biggest reason we'd consider
another brand of car next time (probably keeping the current 9000 until the
fenders fall off); once you get above 200 HP front-wheel drive just can't
handle it, traction control or not.!
   The first-generation (I'll include up through '92) 9000 hatch is as
perfect a shape and size of car as anyone's yet built.  There's very few
other cars that can carry as much, as fast, as a 9000 Turbo...The 200/225HP
turbo models suffer from the same t!
 raction limitations as all high-HP FWD cars.

'92 9000T:  go for it, but do your homework first and be careful.
Definitely go for the 2.3 over the 2.0 Turbo...Every time I walk up to the
car on the street or in a parking lot, I can't help telling myself what a
cool car I have.

'92 9000T:  "What would you look for in a vehicle to replace your 9000?"
Another used 9000.  [Prospective buyers should buy a used one] - they're way
over-valued when new. And avoid buying parts from Saab unless it is
absolutely necessary.

'93 9000CDE (has owned 4 other Saabs):  I bought the car based on extremely
good experience with a series of Saabs...My 9000 CDE has been a major
disappointment - it has had numerous problems - most of which were covered
during the warranty period, althou!
 gh the major problem, a cracked engine block was poorly handled and has led
to additional problems...Also, because the car is so unreliable, I cannot
seriously consider using it other than short distance away from home at
times when a problem can be fixe!
 d without causing undue stress to my plans and schedule. Thus, I am clearly
planning to dump this car as quickly as I can! (preferably over a
cliff!)...The engine block cracked, causing oil system and water system to
merge. The dealer (and I !) contacted!
  Saab Cars USA and they had the dealer place a sealant in the system to
plug the crack. This happened at about 20,000 miles - the sealant failed at
40,000 miles causing the water pump and radiator to be repaired along with
the resealing of the engine.  R!
 eseali

ng took 3 times to work properly! ..The dealer is mostly a GM dealer - he
has tried to deal with the problems with the car - he does things when he
says he will. Still, I do not get the feeling that he really understands the
car or how to maintain it. He !
 is doing his best to apply GM mentality to a non-GM product. I felt that
Saab Cars USA was
 doing its best to avoid replacing the engine block which I think clearly
should have been replaced. They outright refused to do that.  Because of
this, they have incurred additional warranty work that would not have been
required, and they have made me a!
  very unhappy customer who will never buy another Saab (or GM!) product
again...[Don't buy a 9000!]  Look at something else, depending on your
interests, e.g., BMW, Mercedes, maybe a Volvo station wagon, or an SUV.  BMW
5 series - although it is more mon!
 ey, it appears to be a much better car for the money than a Saab would ever
think of being...Also, we live in a winter area where roads can be icy and
our steep driveway difficult. I understand the new traction control on the
BMWs (standard!) makes them !
 competitive with SUVs. We have an Explorer for the worst of the winter, and
we would probably find a BMW a much better luxury car to offset the
Explorer.

'93 9000CSE Turbo (has owned 3 other Saabs - including two new 900s):  I'm a
professional tuba player, so I need to be able to stow my horns, but don't
want them out in the open in a van/station wagon)... I'm not interested in a
4-door 9000...[A 9000 is a!
 ] good used value, providing car is sound...I have always had what I
consider to be good experiences with Saabs.  I was impressed with my first
900 as a "sporty" 5-door car, and that's what I still am looking for; a car
that can provide me with that much!
  utility, yet drive decently well.  This is my first 9000 after several
900s, and I have not been disappointed.  I might mention that I am not put
off by some of the more "conventional" details of the car, of course I wish
it had some of the engineering !
 character of the 900's.  Having dealt with many of the other "EuroLux"
companies, including working for M-B, I don't think Saabs are any better or
worse as regards reliability and maintenance based on my experience.  I do
think it is a well-designed (OK,!
  not p

erfect, but then what is?) practical car.

'93 9000CS Turbo auto: Good if you need the hatch back/storage - otherwise,
can get better performance for less $$ elsewhere.  I wouldn't recommend a
9000CD...[It would be better if] the turbo V4 [was replaced ] with modern V8
(more consistent torque acro!
 ss RPMs, better match for auto).  Optional V6 isn't competitive.

93' 9000CDE & '96 Aero (has owned 3 other Saabs; Aero was IDS purchase --
took initial delivery in Sweden and then had shipped to USA):   The cars are
great, but most dealers stink (in my experience) and Saab need to improve
their customer relations + on !
 the corporate level...Saab need to get rid of all the bad dealerships that
are giving the brand a bad reputation.   Saab need to establish a network of
good, reputable dealers that understand the importance of quality service
and the concept of customer !
 satisfaction.  Saab need to either get rid of all the incompetent people
working  for Saab (both in Norcross and in Sweden and at many dealerships)
or spend large efforts on training them (both technically and in customer
relations).

'93 9000CD (has owned one other Saab; head gasket failed on this one at
35k):  NO - no more SAABS - safety is topnotch, mechanical implementation is
bottom notch, parts are unbelievably expensive... head design - head and
associated gasket design is NOT R!
 OCKET SCIENCE - Saab has had this problem since late 70-'s - when the head
gasket goes - major domino effect of things that go poof!...[Prospective
buyers should] BE CAREFUL, consider alternatives....expensive to
maintain..."do you like to work on your car a lot- or drive it a lot????"

'93 9000CD auto:  Make the auto transmission more responsive in low-speed.
My 115hp Honda Accord weighted 100 lb. less but it's much more responsive.
I'm sure the 5-speed Aero is a blaster but my wife and the insurance company
won't let me buy one :-(...B!
 e aware of the fast depreciation, and plan on keeping it for long time.

'94 9000CSE Turbo:  I would not have bought a non-hatchback 9000. I too
think Saab is erring in eliminating the 9000 5-door.  Before buying my '94 I
also looked at the Volvo 850 Turbo wagon.  Had Saab not offered the 9000
hatchback, I would have bought th!
 e Volvo.

'94 9000CS (has owned 4 other Saabs):  The 9000CS is a wonderful automobile.
In my opinion, it is the last of the 'true' Saabs. I find it much more
similar to my old 96s than the new 900. Hopefully, the new 9000 will
continue the Saab tradition of practic!
 ality, efficiency, and excellent design.

'94 9000 Aero:  Get the turbo 4.  Unless you aggressively drive the curves
and have smooth roads to drive on, buy the CS, not the hard riding
Aero...I've enjoyed each of my 5 Saabs.  The '96 900 is my least favorite.
Getting too old to chase 273 miles to!
  the dealer.  Probably my last Saabs.

'95 9000 Aero:  It's an Aero, what can I say, I look forward to just getting
in it and ENJOY driving to work

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