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A uniquely fast, modifiable and reliable economic four door Euro sleeper! by Flying under the radar in San Diego and Rosarito Beach Mexico! on 09/06/2009. Trim: 1998 Saab 900 SE Turbo sedan, Owned less than 1 year.
Pros: 31.4 MPH freeway, 22.3 city, 25.8 combined. Has all the necessary luxury things I really like/need: heated&memory seats, sunroof, strong long lasting leather, trip computer, rear wiper. It has cool unique items that I love about SAABs: ignition in the center (This totally makes sense! Have you ever had an ignition switch break due to heavy keys?) Black Panel that allows you to darken the dash except for the Speedo at night; an ECU that lets you to run the Turbo even on 87 octane, important for me since I also drive my car in Mexico. Sport and Winter modes. Power is sufficient, but it is easily and cheaply upgradeable for more performance. (I will have 255 HP, up from 185 for less than $1K!)
Cons: The power seats don't move up as far as other vehichles, so if you are under 5 foot like my mom, good luck! Torque steer when the turbo comes alive. If you start the car too quickly and don't let it do it's check, it may think you are stealing the car and the will immobilize itself. No indash CD player. No cupholders up front. No armrest. (Both can be added however.) The automatic transmission has 20 ft-lbs less torque than the 5 speed manual. Turbo lag and really peaky power delivery. (Easily cured with aftermarket ECU upgrades however). Vague steering on center. Little aftermarket support. Only 1 button in center to unlock power doors. Poor interior storage space!
Overall review: I love four cylider turbo cars that are unique. I own a 95 Eagle Talon Tsi (Same as Eclipse GSX) and a 90 Lotus Esprit SE turbo, both highly modified. The SAAB is understated, but very Euro and will be very fast when the mods I ordered are installed. I find the car fairly comfortable and though not quite luxe like my English or past German cars, you don't feel like you are driving some cheap econo box or some upgraded Asian import. The car is a great trade-off between performance and fuel economy. These cars are reliable and stout and I look forward to years of service from my 4 door sleeper. I bought the car really cheap so even with maintenance and mods I will be ahead of budget. I like this car so much with only a month of ownership, that I am already planning on getting a 9-3 two door Viggen and a clean 9000 manual CSE to modify. I am now a certifiable SAAB enthusiast! I love European cars, and though not a fan of FWD, this Saab has not disappointed!
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