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  1. #1
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    03 Aug 2010
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    Saab(s)
    1999 9-3SE 5 door, (used to have a 2005 9-3 from 2005-2013)
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    What's the best Saab ever made?

    I think the answer is that there isn't one specific model.

    I've had three classic 900 3 door hatchbacks and currently have a 1999 9-3 and 2005 9-3 (9-3SS). The 1999 was bought used and with high mileage so it might not be a good car for comparison. Every Saab that I've had had pluses and minuses.

    As far as driving fast and negotiating a curve, the 9-3SS is the best. In terms of practicality, I think the classic 900 was the best, particularly the latest 900 that I had, a 1990.

    I haven't even thought it through carefully. Maybe some deep thought, a comparison chart, etc.

  2. #2
    Frank Wulfers
    Netherlander Wulf's Avatar
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    30 Jul 2010
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    6,797
    Saab(s)
    '05 Saab 9-5 Aero
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    13
    Best in design, quality, driving experience, engineering, fuel economy, engine, value for money, ease of repairs or parts cost? Best for towing, off-roading, racing, cruising, highway travel or back roads? So many variables and it is impossible to have one best Saab. Or any car for that matter. Even though my 2005 9-5 Aero comes pretty close.

    Classic 900 best in terms of practicality? I have never owned a 900 but the 9-3 SC and 9-5 SC or 9-4X are very practical.
    Motor Gearheads - automobiles, motorcycles, road adventures, general motor forum

  3. #3
    arthur franklin
    New Member Artorious's Avatar
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    07 Jun 2013
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    Dayton, United States
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    30
    Saab(s)
    99GLE 78/ 2 900 3DOOR 87/900S 87
    I've a 99GLE 78 handled like a dream built like a tank took a beating my first car did nothing to it still kept going over heated. And the car responded every time I turned the key. I got older smarter and now I know just how well built it truly was..900 has always had my heart I've owned three and has been my dream car since owning my 99 and I looked at a new one in 86 for me the 900 was the real SAAB everything unique that made a SAAB A SAAB. I received SAAB Soundings the first several years for free just came in the mail never owned any SAAB newer than a 87 but looking to buy a 9-3 aero or 9-7x but I will always own a 900S or 900 Turbo and looking for a 99 GLE.

  4. #4
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE 5 door, (used to have a 2005 9-3 from 2005-2013)
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    Saabs usually have comfortable seats. In the 1980's and before, it was common for American cars to have plush, soft seats. However, the firmer seats of a Saab 900 were far better for the back. Some people reported sitting in a Saab just to get rid of a backache. The 900 often came with cloth seats. This provided more traction than slippery leather seats. The 9-3 seats are good but don't seem to be quite as good as the classic 900. However, the newer models have adjustable lumbar support. They also have seat pockets on the front edge.

    Saab used to make their own seats but sold the operation to Lear in 1990 and bought seats from them. The Lear factory in Trollhattan closed after Saab ceased production in 2011. Lear still makes seats for other car companies at its other factories around the world.
    Last edited by Dave T; 12 June 2013 at 23:09.

  5. #5
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    24 Jul 2011
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    Saab(s)
    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Easy answer: mine. Because it's mine. Your experience may vary.
    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone:
    '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  6. #6
    Prominent Member tunnanxwd's Avatar
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    10 Mar 2011
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    new jersey usa
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    752
    Saab(s)
    08/280/xwd & 09/210/xwd
    This is a tough one. Of the 3 "classics" none were "fun" but very practical which is why I bought them. The 1989 9000s would have been in the running for fun driving but it spent more time in the shop racking up huge bills. Later Wifey's ng900 got the trophy for durability and lasted from 1995 to 2009 but like her doctor taking notes into a tape recorder after a female type exam, he reported "nothing remarkable". The 9-5 didn't seem to last long before the sludge demon got it. My Aero with the Vtune XWD is perhaps the best balanced and handling of the lot.
    Semper ubi sububi in caput tuum

  7. #7
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE 5 door, (used to have a 2005 9-3 from 2005-2013)
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    Even though some say the 9-3SS was not a full blooded Saab, it was the best for me. I'd change very few things about it. I am probably going to send the car away soon.

  8. #8
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
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    Burlington, VT
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    692
    Saab(s)
    '86 c900 S N/A 110hp, '98 9000CSE 270hp
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    1
    I'm torn between classic 900 and late 9000. The 9000 I have is a '98. It's like riding on a cloud. It's very drivable and very low-maintenance, because by then they had all the kinks worked out. All the automatic, power things and creature comforts seem pretty reliable! Its manual transmission is geared perfectly. But it's not assertive or soulful, just pleasant and perfect. I feel very insulated from the road.

    The 900 is a CAR. It does not let you forget you're driving. The engine roars in your face, the wind whistles over the rain gutters. The metal fender liners ring as they are pelted by stones or snow or slush. Even the power windows are loud and raw-sounding. Most 900 transmissions were geared too low, automatics especially. I have a manual with the highest ratios possible, and I still wish I had higher, even with my asthmatic non-turbo. But the 900 never lets your attention drift. It is so connected to the road. A good driver can use the cacophony of noises to his advantage, parsing information on the state of traction, the load on the engine, even the next maintenance concerns. Seriously, my favorite way to diagnose a 900 is to take it for a drive. I can tell the difference between ball-joint clunk, tie rod end clunk, shock clunk, trailing arm clunk, and control arm bushing clunk, just based on noise. And a 900 doesn't need ABS, because the driver can usually sense impending wheel lockup. The chassis design is just genius. Forgiving, yet direct.

    If I wanted to Get Somewhere in adverse conditions, classic 900 all the way. It's just more intuitive to drive, because of all the stimuli that so easily permeate its thin, unpadded metal walls, fostering a connection with the road below. Sometimes, you need that rally sense to make it. Sometimes, the going is easy and you want to just relax. If I wanted to arrive well-rested, I'd take the 9000. For example, if I'm going to visit friends two hours away, and I take the 900, the drive there and back would consume my mind for hours after the fact. If I am preoccupied with the drive, I am not good company. But if I take the 9000, I might not be able to adequately feel the road on the twisty mountain pass in the snow, so I might take it slower and be a little late.
    Dave T and rpiereck like this.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  9. #9
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    24 Jul 2011
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    Saab(s)
    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Such a great car indeed.
    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone:
    '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  10. #10
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    1999 9-3SE 5 door, (used to have a 2005 9-3 from 2005-2013)
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post
    Such a great car indeed.
    I agree. The classic 900 was a great car. I had the pleasure of driving them as my only car for about 18 years.

 

 
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