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Saab Reviews

Swedish aeronautics company Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget began building cars in 1949 in response to the need to diversify away from aircraft manufacture. It went under the acronym SAAB and soon established itself as a maker of innovative cars, thanks to the splash made by the UR-SAAB, the 92. This car made great use of aviation principles in its design and was very advanced for its era.

Subsequent developments built on the foundations of the 92 and kept much of its styling, up until the 1968 launch of the 99, which in turn grew into the 900. These cars brought Saab much acclaim thanks to their innovative use of turbocharging - but also little profit. Following the firm's 1980s partnership with Fiat General Motors took over in 1989, unfortunately managing to destroy much of Saab’s quirky character in the following years. The company ended up by Spyker after GM pulled out, and ceased car manufacure in 2011.

Good: Superb roadholding and charismatic two-stroke rasp
Bad: Busy at speed
Good: More power and performance than the two-stroke
Bad: ...but less refinement
Good: Great styling, excellent dynamics and performance for its engine capacity
Bad: Freewheel is a bit disconcerting to the unintiated, V4 is rough
Good: Quirky, solid, rational and interesting saloon
Bad: Heavy to drive without PAS, tricky to repair structural corrosion
Good: Turbo punch, excellent roadholding, chunky looks
Bad: Getting rare now
Good: Tough mechanicals, great build quality, superb seating and interior
Bad: Hidden and structural rust now a major concern
Good: Quirky styling, smooth punchy performance, exceptional build quality, happily used all year round, cheap parts and good specialist back-up
Bad: They can rot savagely in some pretty inaccessible places
Good: Roomy, well-made, refined, fast in 2.3-litre turbo form
Bad: Expensive repairs rendered far too many to the scrap yard
Good: A slightly better drive than previous Cavalier based 900. Stacks of safety kit and a good reliability record.
Bad: Reports of bulkheads fracturing. Diesels can be heavy on the oil. Convertible suffers from scuttle shake.
Good: Practical hatch with a large boot and first-class safety features.
Bad: Problem with cracked bulkheads. Disappointingly soggy to drive. Saab 4-cylinder engines should have an oil change every 5k miles.