Saab 900 II: six - are two too many?

Reader's article by Gerhard

"I heard from an acquaintance that her friend is selling a Saab". That's how it started just before Easter in the year 2011. With these words, my wife told me that somebody is selling some Saab. Actually, we did not need one, because we are well equipped with an 901 and a 9-5.

Nice rear, right? Saab 900 II

It happened the way it had to. There was a phone number, so you called, then you visited and because it was an offer that you simply can not refuse was on the Holy Thursday of the year 2011 the proud owner of a Saab 900, built 1997, five-door, six-cylinder, automatic, approx. 195.000km run.

This was a member of the automotive fringe group of an automotive fringe. Especially popular was the GM idea to install an Opel V6 engine in a Saab never among Saab drivers. The V6 with its 175 PS also has the 10 PS respect distance to its turbo-driven brothers.

In Germany are in the version V6, automatic, five-door just 41 vehicles approved. Exclusivity is guaranteed.

Power from six pots. V6 in the Saab 900 II

My copy was not particularly well maintained. There had to be reason first. The oil cooler had to be replaced, a wheel bearing was over and the interior was a bit worn. Although SE equipment is not available leather, but you can still retrofit in the future. The plastic landscape on the dashboard you get pretty homely with the original wooden ingredients and a nasty phone console is also flown out.

Only the rust at the rear wheel arch, a serial rust point of the 902, really causes stomach aches.

The body shape of the 902 still looks fresh and modern, the car is considered younger than it actually is, especially as this body shape experienced a certain renaissance in the Audi A5 and in the BMW GT.

Saab typical cockpit, luckily only the leather interior is missing

Practically, the car is definitely, the trunk is huge and makes its predecessor, the legendary 901 sure competition. Unfortunately, the cargo space is not completely flat, you fold the back seat, you can see the edge in the amount of wheel arches. Nevertheless - enough space for the bulk purchase in the Swedish furniture store or for the family vacation.

The interior is suitable for four people, but of course it can not be as generous as in the 9-5. You are sitting comfortably, but as a driver you can not be too tall. Since you sit quite high, the roof is not too far away. The velor upholstery is robust and shows no signs of wear after 195.000 km. A trade with leather would be made only for the look and the feel, but not because it is urgently necessary.

The dashboard is tidy and you know - not only as a Saab driver - immediately where everything is (apart from the ignition). A nice detail - the small analogue clock that showed us the time in the 901 still exists. She just walked close to the SID.

Timelessly beautiful: Saab 900 II

An automatic climate control is available and because of the huge windows actually required. Without it is not in the summer. But once you have set it to 21 ° C you can easily forget its buttons. A sensitive electronics with interior and sun sensor knows what to do and ensures a great climate. And that in the fifteenth year without any problems.

Safety is ensured with two airbags. A flaw is found in the rear seats. The seats are not really wide. Once you install a child seat, this covers the buckle and it is quite a fumble to get the belt into the lock. That's why the car is not so popular with my daughter.

The workmanship is good. After 15 years, nothing rattles. You can tell that the 902 was a mature car in the year 1997.

Ignition on and from the front stops working on the six cylinders. It's not the typical Saab engine sound, of course, but do not be uncomfortable. Selector lever on "D", walk off the brake and off you go.

Driving V6 is fun when you get into the car. The combination of engine and automatic make the car a perfect glider. A long journey on the highway - no problem. You set the cruise control to 150 km / h and drive relaxed to the destination. A perfect freeway car. Even after several hours, you can relax. The chassis is designed for comfort and cushions the bumps on the highways well. Gradients are not noticeable, power is - if the car has momentum - always plenty there.

In the lower speed range of the power is not quite as much to feel, only from 3000 revolutions / min really happens. When entering the highway, you should switch the automatic already on the sports mode to get off the spot, but then it is vehemently to the point.

Saab 900 with V6

Winding serpentine road or fast-driven country roads are not really the thing of our V6. Only with persuasion, you force him into the curve. The somewhat comfort-designed suspension, the heavy engine and the unfavorable weight distribution make him no Kurvenräuber. You are certainly not in the border area, but you realize that the car is not fun.

In the city, the 902 of course no problems, with a little practice you know when parking also where it ends at the back. Parking sensors are not necessary (they did not exist at the time).

If you move the V6 exclusively in city traffic, you have to count on the consumption of course with a V6 surcharge. 2,5 liters of displacement want to be filled. If you keep on the highway on the highway in the bridle, then the 8 is already in front of the comma.

New to Saab drivers is that this engine has a timing belt that should occasionally be swapped. This can of course hit the budget bad, if the supposed bargain then produces quite high workshop costs.

The debut in the V6 world is favorable. The 902 does not achieve top prices and the V6 is avoided much more. If you tap the purchase candidate on some quirks (rust, timing belt, TCS, oil cooler), then you can buy a really fine and comfortable car for little money.

Now I have this superfluous car already much longer than a year and would like to relinquish it. Many ideas that were already in the 901 were developed here and implemented in a modern and safe car. And you can drive Saab without turbo, completely relaxed, so to speak. This Saab is at home on long journeys.

11 thoughts on "Saab 900 II: six - are two too many?"

  • Moin Gerhard,
    really a nice report.
    When we bought our 902 convertible 11 years ago more by chance, due to the (Opel) prejudices, I first had a strange feeling in the stomach area. This is also a 97 and everything is fine, it runs without any problems and we have already traveled a long way with it. The design is timeless. Non-SAAB drivers cannot even estimate the age. A work colleague once asked me in the parking lot about the age of the car and then said: "You don't buy a SAAB as a car, it's a family member." - That's the way it is…
    Greetings from the North

  • Dear Gerhard,

    I've been riding 41 for almost two years and can only smile at every word you write. You hit it to the point. I love this car like none before. The quirks I like to put up with, I had on the highway 50 meter behind trucks over 300 kilometers already a six before the decimal point. But if you release the dear wolf, it will quickly be very expensive, but you have a lot of fun. Especially on big climbs he accelerates in sports mode like no other. From 3000 rpm, it gets going. Even though we all know what drives him, SAAB stands on the engine. It is a SAAB even if it has an artificial heart. You can not judge him for that.
    Greetings to all, Thorsten

  • Dear Gerhard and dear Saab community,

    something similar happened to my wife and me a year ago, in October 2011. We have our first Saab, a 9-3 anniversary 2,0 t (150 PS), 2-door, black with light leather and wood inside, which I bought in 2001, in the www. found again. It was actually not just the same, but the same car that we were on our honeymoon in Norway! A few phone calls and a visit to Etehad (thanks to the local workshop for friendliness, fairness and understanding) in Halstenbek later, where I was confirmed that the vehicle was in very good condition, and it was ours again. We were very happy about it, because we cried tears for him when he left our farm - to make way for a 9-3 station wagon from 2007. However, we really enjoyed driving it.

    We have had to invest a lot in the car ever since, but believe that it is for a good cause.

    In the meantime we have a 9-5 Bj. 2010 (probably one of the last newly registered in Germany of the 1st generation) and the above-mentioned beautiful copy that we do not want to give back. With a few exceptions, it is only driven in good weather and has its own garage!

    Greetings from the peculiar contemporaries who greet all the oncoming Saab drivers!

  • Really a good report. Too bad that I had to give away my 902 in the spring.

  • "This made you a member of the automotive fringe group of an automotive fringe group." Aptly worded.

    And congratulations on this high level of suffering - how is it tolerable with the “six instead of four”?

    I wish you a good and relaxed journey and always a little Fertan on your shirt ...: oD

  • Had a 1999 SAAB 9-5 SE V6 LPT Sport Combi which I bought with 132 tkm.
    The car was fully equipped with all imaginable Schnik- Schnack.

    I used the car for about a year in the field and sold it again with 176 tkm, which was a huge mistake, because apart from the engine sound that reminded something of the Popel Vectra, the SAAB was simply perfect.

  • PS: No, six are not two too many

    PPS: Impressive intake tract

  • Yuck, an OPEL SAAB. That you dare to come here!

    No, seriously - great article about a great car and an underrated SAAB model. A really nice body, with a great rear section. This is still the most praised on the 900-II because it is actually only the time-adjusted variant of the SAAB hatchback classic.

    The inner workings are impressive ... Compliments to you for the revision. Maybe at some point there will be an item of matching SAAB leather seats and upholstery, although the fabric also looks good.

    The other compliment goes to the - cough! - Opel engineers. My heart opens up when I see that - oil filler neck where it should be installed in a mechanic / customer-friendly way: at the front and within reach even for people under 1,90 m. Plus the separately attached dipstick ... on my 9-5 (1999, with 2,3 l engine) filling is a skill exercise, especially with the 5 l canisters that always hit the hood so far back in the engine compartment. And if you don't aim exactly ... well, there has to be a big funnel.

    So - big compliments, and have fun with your rarity.

  • The 902 is a dying breed. At work one stands around the corner, I pass it every day. A picture of misery, unkempt, rust, the griffin is off

  • ... i like the shape of the 902, nice that someone is in good hands!

    On the weekend at the Saab meeting there were also some and the shape doesn't seem a bit old-fashioned, only from behind he's a pettiness for today's conditions - but you don't want to play the fat max with a saab! 😉

  • Class that someone dares to this difficult topic. The 900 II is such an unloved SAAB, probably wrongly. Thanks for the article!

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