Buy a Saab?

Does anyone have a SAAB 2.0 Turbo?

Considering on buying a sedan or a convertible. It is a beautiful automobile.

An article in Kiplinger magazine rated the SAAB second to poorest car choice in America concerning dependability and repair record.

Any advice?

Thank you.

Keith Miller.

Get a Consumer Reports New Car Preview issue at the local bookstore. If you still feel that’s what you want, get one. My perspective is that you should feel free to get what you want and not need to justify it to anybody. Making the choice in an informed manner serves to help you be comfortable with the choice you make.

We just had a fairly extensive post on Saabs. Posters concluded that Saabs are special and informed owners like them well enough to give them the care they need. I own several exquisitely designed slik shirts and put up with the extra care and frequent ironing they require.

To be totally fair, the difference between the best and the worse is far less than most people seem to think, or the magazines suggest. That said there are some real differences. So it is still your choice.

Excellent analogy Doc. Personally, I just replace my shirts every few years or so when Sears has their $9 per shirt sale!

I have an extremely low mileage iron. Extremely low mileage.

Agree Joseph; Consumer Reports tracks the number of cars having problems over the years. Thirty years ago a bad car was a dismal car, such as the Yugo, English sports cars, the Russian Lada, etc. A good car was a Mercedes or Volvo. The gap between the best and worst was enormous. We now have a situation where the worst North American or Japanese car is actually quite good compared to “worse than average” of 20 years ago. The difference between good and bad may only be 4-8 cars per hundred (4-8%)having problems, whereas the infamous 1957 Chrysler cars (Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, etc) had almost 100% with serious problems. A Chevy pickup truck has below average reliability, but it will likely still be on the road 15 years from now. Total industry quality has risen over the years with the result that there are very few real “dogs” left out there. has a feature called True Cost to Own. They report estimated repair costs based on extended warranty costs. Edmunds figures that if you dived the extended warranty cost by 2 or so, you have the estimated repair cost. Saab 9-3 2.0T estimated repairs are about 2.5 times higher than the Lexus IS250, Acura TL, or Infiniti G35 over the first 5 years. But the maintenance cost is so low that the total of repairs and maintenance is about the same for all four cars. A real loss-leader in both maintenance and repairs is the Jaguar X-Type. Repairs should be about 5 times higher than the IS250 et. al., and the maintenance is a little higher than theirs, too. Despite the higher repair costs, the Saab 9-3 still rates very low in total operating costs. Sounds like a buy to me!

I’ve actually owned a 2.0 SAAB (good car and reliable) and currently own 2 SAABs; one with the naturally aspirated 2.0 16 Valve and the other a Turbocharged 2.0 8 Valve. Those are also good and reliable cars.

NEVER put any credence into crap from Kiplinger, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, etc. Those are opinions that generally are in the “half baked” category.
You should check in with or and talk to the people who actually own and drive the cars on a daily basis.
(For what it’s worth, Power got caught some years back taking money in exchange for a “favorable” rating. This involved Subaru.)

I’ve often said that SAAB engines and transmissions are bulletproof and here’s one example of many I could provide.

We’ve owned two Saabs, a 1984 900T and a 1989 9000CD. Both were Toyota-like in reliability with the added bonus of lots of miles between brake work. Both were sold with 160,000 miles on them, both had all orgiginal suspension and exhaust systems, and both were always a true pleasure to drive.

I too believe that much of what shows up in print regarding “Ratings” has the sole purpose of selling magazines. I too recommend going to places such as and look for some owner comments; you’ll get much more from these comments than any kind of rating magazine.

Another immeasurable feature in Saabs is that you’ll really enjoy getting inside and driving each and every time.

Finding any ratings on the internet is a loaded ordeal. People are very willing to complain and vent on the internet while few actually compliment in my experience.

Having owned a couple of SAABs, I agree totally that the difference in reliability is not as great as it use to be. The only thing I would add; are the problem areas those that could leave you standed ? Some electrical problems can sour your opinion on a car pretty quickly. For that reason, the types of problems would be a bigger concern than an overall rating.

Hello OK4450
Thank you for the fine response and the reference article that certainly is newsworthy.

Keith Miller