Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - lordwoody
I've just bought a 99 T Saab 9-5 with 56k miles at Manheim Auctions at Colchester for £5250 and can't believe what great cars they are at a knockdown price. It's smooth, safe and quick but why are they so cheap? I sold my Punto HGT last night as I was fed up with the hard ride and the Saab is a revelation after the Fiat-build quality miles better too.
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Jonathan {p}
I bought one of these about 6 months ago. I sold it within a month because of a catalogue of small niggly problems which I was concerned would become large expensive problems.

the displays are usually knackered, but you can buy new ones for about £170 each from a specialist in Reading, the sid is the main one to go, but the climate control one goes too.

The problem I found was it is all vauxhall technology with saab prices. Find a good independent saab garage to service your car, and you can get discount parts by mail order too. I recommend that you join as a very useful self help website for enthusiasts.

The reverse gears are notorious on these for losing the synchromesh, this means you cannot get it into gear, which means that not only can you go backwards, you cannot get the key out of the ignition.

I wasn't too happy with the car, but I know other people who swear by them. I think the main problem is lack of demand, which just makes price plummet.

Which engine did you go for? I hope it was the aero! I had the 2.0 lpt and it was a little too slow for me, I maybe would prefer the 2.3 (170bhp), but I would recommend the aero as a complete hoot.
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Aprilia
Cheap s/hand because underpinnings are Vauxhall and running costs are quite high (SAAB parts not cheap). Not particularly reliable.
A friend bought one in the Spring (S-reg. with about 70k miles), I think he paid about £6k for it privately, but within a month he'd spent another £1000 (turbo went and then he had some problem with the gearbox).
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - lordwoody
OK, my initial euphoria is now wearing a bit thin! However I've had 3 previous Saabs and never had any problems, all reaching around 200K mark when I sold them, and I've got a good Saab independent garage I use so keep your fingers crossed for me!
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Jonathan {p}
Fingers crossed for you.

"Here is a bit of a thread from the link I provided before though, just to reassure you.

I believe I must have a Friday afternoon car.
I have a 9-5 saloon 2.0 LPT 1998 reg < 80K miles full service history and have had the following parts replaced since purchasing 15 months ago:
Power steering pump
Throttle body
Air conditioning blower motor
Air conditioning control
Air flow meter

And now the ultimate, while on holiday in France the car broke down with a loud clunking sound. This has now proved to be 2 burnt piston, big ends gone, crankshaft damaged, cracked block and some bent valves.
Car was running OK directly before breakdown, temp fine, no oil warning light.
ie. I need a new motor!!!Very, very expensive.
No idea why fault occured, suspect oil pump failure.
My local dealer is being as helpful as they can but I have spoken to SAAB customer relations several times to no effect. They accept the reasonableness of my comments regarding a car of this quality and mileage should not have such problems but are not prepared to provide support of any kind.
Currently looking at 2nd hand & recon options.
Is this the worst ever car or can someone beat this?
Thoughts on minimising cost also welcome? "


StewB really sorry to hear of your problems . My 1998 2.0 LPT needed a new engine after 36 hrs of ownership and I suspect oil pump failure previously caused the problem. Fortunately the "sale of goods act" rescued me and a replacement engine was fitted by However I cannot say the car has been reliable since. (not due to Neo's but other problems, which you may well have already dealt with, ECU etc) I do not know the cost of repair since the trader begrudgingly had to pay the bill, but I assume it was around £1500 - £1800 . Mine had a full history too and had one owner, Saab! Best of luck with the repairs let us know how you get on, Chris

Reply 2

Had my '99 2.3se LPT a few months (100K, FSH, one old company director owner). No.3 big end bearing went due to apparent oil starvation (clogged pipes and oil runs).

As I personally believe an engine is never the same once stripped and put back together I decided to buy a new engine. Managed to find an aero engine with turbo (10K - opened it up and I could eat my dinner of the internals it was that clean/new). Took old engine out (5hours) and chucked in new engine (6 hours) with the help of a mate who owns a garage.

Engine cost me £1500, plus I fitted a clutch, water pump etc etc just to be on the safe side. Worth spending if you are planning on keeping the car a while.

Reply 3

I have owned my 9-5 2.0 LPT for 18 months and I must say that I am not impressed the the reliability. This is my 1st Saab and will be my last, I was told that most Saab owners once owning a Saab will contine to buy Saabs but not in my case. So far I have had a new turbo, lambder sensor, ignition switch and now the ACC has stopped working. All in all a very expensive 18 months worth of motoring, I have previously owned Audi's and they have proved to be reliable and I will go back to Audi's when I finaly stop throwing money at my 9-5.
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Burnout2
No need to be other than euphoric. You've got a hell of a lot of very good car for not much money. Spacious, very safe, extremely comfortable and a fine motorway cruiser.

The 9-5 (even pre-2001 facelift) shouldn't be dismissed as just a tarted-up Vauxhall, despite using a (quite heavily) modified Vectra platform. It drives nothing like a previous-gen Vectra - and doesn't share suspension components, engines or any cabin fitments.

Heavy depreciation on large Saabs - which was equally pronounced on the 9000 - has little to do with component sharing or reliability issues, and a great deal to do with the lack of prestige associated with the brand in this sector when compared with Merc or BMW.

In some ways, this doesn't make sense. The 9-5 isn't really a competitor to the E-class or 5-series; it clearly doesn't possess their all-round abilities, because Saab can't invest remotely comparable sums in model development. What it does offer is far more performance, equipment and space for considerably less money. Second-hand, I'd take a fully-loaded Aero over a boring slow, spartan 520i any day!

Like any large, complex car the 9-5 can give trouble, but generally is reliable. Neither Merc or BMW can exactly boast Japanese levels of fault-free running either.

Incidentally, we've had large Saabs in our family for fifteen years and never had any problems beyond routine wear-and-tear. You should find your own previous cars a better guide than those without first-hand ownership experience.
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - lordwoody
Thanks Burnout2, I was starting to sink into a slough of despond!
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Nsar
The problems in Jonathon's first post are very familiar but I'd recommend them for cheap and effortless mile-eating, safety and comfort. A display going after 3 years is the wrong side of a poor show but not if you've only paid £5k for the whole package and whilst it's a personal view only, SAAB has as much as prestige at 5 years old as the corresponding BMW/AUDI/Merc because of the latter three's constant model updates and facelifts which aren't so apparent on SAAB's.

I'd go for it it'll take a lot of miles before it's a shed worth fourpence.
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - Aprilia
Sorry, I didn't mean to dampen your spirits, Lordwoody. I agree that they are a nice car to ride in and the do have a 'certain class'.
You got yours at a good price, so I would put a little money aside for its upkeep.
The SAAB specilist who repaired my friend's turbo reckoned that they nearly all need a either a turbo or a gearbox repair by 80k miles - so if you budget for that you'll be OK. Put some money aside in the building society and if yours proves to be a reliable one you'll have a nice little sum of money to put towards the next car in a few years' time!
Saab 9-5, Secondhand bargains? - dom grimes
I,ve just handed back my 9-5 2.3 vector estate company car and cried all the way to the garage. Top car, very quick, superb seats and massive storage. also very classy car - supposed to signify intellignece, and authourity - lots of architects, vets etc drive them. now in a merc 220cdi - rubbish compared to the saab.


Value my car