Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - mad_scientist

can anyone give me any idea as to what a Saab 9000 auto is like to live with ??

I would maybe purchasing about an "N" reg vehicle, probably the 2.0eco with autobox.

I have noticed that most of the vehicles on the 2ndhand market have done enormous mileages. Is this a problem with these cars ??

The depreciation also seems quite steep on them. Does this mean they just become money-pits once they are 4 or 5 yrs old, or are they good value 2nd hand and generally reliable ?

I have had japanese cars for the last few years so am used to trouble-free motoring......

I have also heard that the auto-boxes can be problematic, some bush wears moving and starving the rest of the box of fluid. Is auto-box failure actually common and if so what are the symptoms and how can this be prevented ??

A saab specialist told me later vehicles are not prone to the auto-box failure... is this really true or just sales talk to get me to buy one ??

Can anyone give me an idea as to the fuel consumption of these vehicles ??? I do a lot of driving in London (hence I need an auto) and then occaisional trips tomid-wales (motorway and single A road).

If these cars are indeed trouble can anyone recommend an alternative ?? Must be auto, good legroom as I am very tall, hatchback or estate and decent spec. And reliable and not horrific fuel consumption (ie. not V6 or V8s)!!!!!

Many Thanks !!

Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Aprilia
Personally I think an old 9000 auto would be a money pit.

I don't know if you've driven one of these, but they are not particularly nice (quite noisy).
The autobox is the ZF4HP18 - 4-speed with 66/33 split drive on 3rd and 100% mechanical lock-up in 4th. These ZF 'boxes are not especially reliable and you would be looking at a rebuild anytime after 100k miles (assuming the 'box has been properly serviced and not used for towing - otherwise it could be much earlier). Rebuilding a 'box would be expensive (min £1000 for a proper job).

Other faults include prematurely failed engine mounts and leaky heater matrix. I'm also not a fan of the DI coil packs either.

I would stay with the Japanese. Their autoboxes are designed for the US market and tend to be very reliable (with few exceptions - like the Ford designed CD4E on the Mazda 626). How about a Nissan Primera 2 litre Auto (NOT CVT) - quite roomy, very reliable and good handling. Parts aren't too dear either.
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - dodo
Don't do it!! Moneypit is too complimentary. My 9000 auto cost over £1400 in repairs in its first week. Never again !
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - lordwoody
I can't comment about autos but I've had 2 9000s, last one i sold at 180000 miles. They're cheap second hand because they don't have prestige of BMWs etc but I think they're great cars. I never had any major problems, they're built like tanks and are very comfortable. In my mind they're one of the graet used bargains. I used to get about 30 mpg, so less for an auto.
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Burnout2
We have a \'95 N-reg 9000 auto in the family (2.3 turbo), and it\'s been totally reliable over 75k miles. It\'s a very dated design now, of course, but Saab refined this car a great deal over it\'s life and they still make fine motorway cruisers. They\'re also not remotely \"noisy\" unless thrashed, which is never necessary with the mid-range torque of the turbo unit. The four-speed auto has never given problems, but definitely feels a ratio short at times.

The seats are superbly comfortable, and boot space massive. Build integrity still feels high. The handling and brakes are no more than adequate in a modern context, but this is a car that promotes a relaxed driving style anyway.

Specialist servicing (and a full history) is essential, and not cheap, but it ensures good long-term reliability. The high depreciation makes the car a good value second hand buy, and there\'s no particular reason to think that a late 9000 of this age will be a \"money pit\". Fuel economy around town is noticeably better than a larger capacity naturally aspirated unit, but highly dependent on driving style - wake the turbo and it will drink more heavily.
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - SG
Couldn't agree more Burnout2. I've got a '96 P-Reg 9000 auto (2.0 lpt) and at the risk of tempting fate its been totally reliable. Yes, dealer servicing can be expensive compared to other makes but I was prepared to accept that in exchange for a reliable car - and to be honest its not THAT much more expensive to service than SWMBO's Suzuki.

I do about 15,000 miles a year and average about 32 mpg - slightly more on a motorway run. Clealy it isn't a car which is going to turn heads but it does its job well and even the 2-litre has enough get up and go to get you out of the tightest spots. Ok, so in a really tight spot when you kick down and the revs go sailing past the 5,000 mark the engine can become a little loud (!) but in normal driving its usually hard to hear any engine noise.

From my experience over the past 4 years I'd say, if you can find a good one at a fair price, go for it.
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Aprilia
I agree that the SAAB has a strong body and comfortable seats - but you could never realistically call it a quiet car. There is a lot of tyre noise and certain amount of wind noise - the engine gets thrashy too at high RPM. This opinion is based on driving a few, not just one.
Cars after 1996 were improved, so go for one of those if you must.

Do a web search and look at some of the "consumer reports" type of information available on US websites - they will indicate potential faults.

The auto transmission on these cars is the ZF 4HP18. This is basically a heavy duty version of the 4HP14 (there's a set of alphanumerics that will strike fear into the heart of many!). The 4HP18 was made in transveerse and longitudinal variants and used in cars like the Cit. XM, Pug. 607, Audi A6. Later versions have electronic control (indicated by a 'sport' and 'ice' switch in the car).
I don't think these transmissions were built for the long haul - many being repaired prior to 60k miles. Don't take my word for it though, ring a FATE rebuilder - most will be happy to give a bit of advice of this nature.
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Burnout2
The 9000 is hardly a Lexus LS400, but driven in the optimum powerband (below 4000 rpm), the balancer-shaft engine remains quiet and smooth, and the turbo is unobtrusive.

Motorway refinement is certainly not on a par with contemporary large execs, but comparable with a modern 3-series or A4. Pretty much what you would have expected from executive cars ten years ago.

Wind noise in particular is remarkably well suppressed considering the bluff shape, and it remains a completely untiring car to drive over long distances, with plenty of on-tap torque for easy high-speed passing.

Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Aprilia
I guess people believe what they want to believe. Just did a quick \'google\' and pulled this off the \'\' website on the 9000 at

\"Interior room is generous for four large adults. But, like the 900, there is too much road and tire noise.\"

The road roar on a 9000 gets on my nerves after about 5 miles.

I also found this webite which lists typical 9000 faults:
Saab 9000 Auto.. Buying advice ??? - Burnout2
Just giving an owner\'s perspective - what it\'s like to actually live with the car - which I believe is what the original poster was asking for.

Value my car