Saab 95 estate – opinions please

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  • Saab 95 estate – opinions please
  • Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Following on from my little accident last month, I’m beginning to look around seriously for new (to me) cars. I had a Mondeo before which was ace for swallowing vast amounts of kit and I’d quite like another but I’m put off by the fact that most of them seem very high mileage and my local garage said not to touch any over 100k miles and went on about very expensive problems with the fuel pumps on the common rail diesels.

    I’ve always like Saabs but equally I’ve heard horror stories about them too, the fact that they’re ludicrously expensive to service, it’s just an expensive Vauxhall etc etc. On the other hand, the people who own Saabs seem to look after them reasonably well, they’re less thrashed than most of the Mondeo/Vectra ex-rep-mobiles…

    Anyway, I’ve seen a nice looking Saab, low mileage etc, the insurance quote on it was surprisingly low so before I take the plunge, are there any Saab owners on here with their opinions. Ideally based on actual experience rather than a story about your mates Dad having one in 1972 and hating it.



    You just need to shop around for the Mondeo to get the spec and mileage you want. You can get the low mileage ones but you might just have to wait a little longer.

    Honest John doesnt say any problems with fuel pumps.

    Otherwise just get a Vauxhall Vectra, same as the Saab and just as dull to drive.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    My dad had a Saab 95 from 1978 to 1982, found it was a great car all round but the rearward facing extra seats were a scary place to sit crawling up the Wrynose pass with 7 on board, a bit underpowered for that.

    More relevant, one of the family staying with us over chrimbo had a newish 9-3 estate. Very low and sleek, but not really that much room in the boot. A big bike would struggle with wheels off and back seats up and though there was good load area with back seats down the tailgate opening would be limiting for big stuff, much bigger opening on Mondeo, Citroen C5 and Honda Accord.


    I had a 9-5 estate it was great. Had it for 2 years did a fair few miles.

    Servicing was not that expensive I used a independent specialist. It was completely reliable, very comfortable and quite nippy, a nice place to be.

    As a motorway cruiser they are excellent. Boot was a cavern and there are few if any cars with seats as good.

    Front tyres can wear if you are heavy on the gas otherwise no issues.


    Try something different:

    Volvo V70
    Honda Accord estate
    Subaru Legacy
    New shape Mondeo

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Just re-read OP and it does say 95, the one I was using recently was 9-3. I am a fool.


    My wife and I have had 7 Saabs over the last 18 years. We changed to other makes a couple of time but have come back to Saabs. Our last was a ’56 plate 95 estate 2.0 LPT Sport and was the most comfortable car I’ve ever been in and that includes BMW, Audi etc. The low pressure turbo means that while it wasn’t silly fast it was more than quick enough to scare the wife when I booted it.

    The estate has soooo much room and I could easily get three bike in the back with the seats down.

    The down side? They can be a bit thirsty around town but get it in the motorway and it’s not too bad. Servicing can be pricey, but there are Saab approved service centres that charge a lot less then main dealers such as

    The 95 was based around the Vectra platform, but Saab made significant improvements to the chassis and there no comparison between the two cars when driving.

    We sold the 95 when my midlife crisis kicked and bought a sports coupe. My wife decided we didn’t need to big cars so part exed the Saab on a Mini Cooper.

    There’s going to be some haters on here, so best go to a Saab dealer and try a couple. No doubt we’ll go back to Saab at some point. Probably a nice Aero convertible 🙂


    Definitely not a hater here. I’d love one however I am abit worried by the online reviews on the downsides 🙁

    Premier Icon brassneck

    A friend has had 9 5 estates as company cars (chosen by him via car allowance) for years – never had any issues with them and he is a super obsessive IT nerd – trust me, if there were the slightest problem with it he’d be back in the garage with it whining.

    I’ve been passenger in it many times and I preferred it to other friends Audis, BMWs etc. – felt as or more solid, looked better turned in decent economy and performance (it was some sport variant of the diesel). Really comfy for long hauls, best seats I’ve sat in.

    He’s not a biker though, or particularly outdoorsy – so I’ve no idea how it handles that kind of loading or if it’s particularly spacious for luggage.

    In short, if one came in budget for me I’d buy it.

    You’d pay a badge tax over a Mondeo though I’d have thought, and the choice would be more limited.. probably wise not to get set on one or the other – see whats out there.


    I’ve had three 9-5 estates, loved them to bits. 2 of them blew up. I still think they’re great cars for the money but make sure they have good history and keep the service schedule.

    Premier Icon gbichan

    Just bought a 56 plate 95 estate for the wife in November. I had low expectations of how it would drive being an old Vectra chassis but absolutely love it. Its not overtly sporty but you can make good progress with no fuss and its a very nice place to be. Can’t comment on servicing yet but so far its never missed a beat and I feel like we got a lot of car for the money. The only real downside is its thirst and £420 a year road tax.


    I have a 9-3 Vector Sport TTiD estate on a 57 plate, love it. bigger boot than my previous car, a 320d Touring. Fuel economy is about the same as the beemer was, maybe a little better; servicing gets done at an independant so is no more expensive than the beemer was at the same place. Being diesel the road tax is significantly less than £420 – about a third of that IIRC

    The leather seats are well comfy too, and being heated are a distinct bonus in this weather.

    9-5 is bigger all round than the 9-3

    Oh and another thing: mine would have been £27k to buy new, but as I bought it at 2 years old it cost me about half that. So depreciation is a bit steep at first – might be something to watch out for if you’re buying new or nearly new


    You do need to be religious about the oil changes. A few (not loads but a few) have had an issue where the oil gunks up in the sump over time leading to bigger problems however with a full service history it won’t be a problem.

    You should be able to get a good one with a full Saab history for not much VFM is excellent with Saabs.


    I love my 9-3.
    But be carefull if your looking at a diesel (and this is the same with the VAG and even worse with Fords) listen/feel for any noise or ‘cluncking’ when depressing the clutch. As it could mean a DMF failure which will cost just short of £1k to replace. Unless it’s warranted

    I’ve had a ’01 9-5 estate for a few years and I love it, we have the monstrous 3 litre diesel V6. The rest of the car is great, all to a very high standard and great for bikes too. Not much height in the boot but I can get two large bikes in the boot without folding seats and the boot lid is a perfect rain shelter with floodlights! As said by others I haven’t been in anything more comfortable.
    The only thing which is annoying is they have their own stereo-amps-speakers setup so nothing can be changed without ripping everything out and starting again. Hopefully this has changed on the newer ones.

    Premier Icon steveh

    My brother has my dad’s old 95 saloon. It’s a 2000 w reg with 160k on the clock now, 2.3 lpt engine, leather interior etc. It was my dad’s company car and then my brother bought it when it was due to go back. In all the time we’re had it in the family it’s not been any trouble. A couple of expensive mot’s when suspension bushes needed changing once and 2 shocks another time but generally very good.

    I used to commute around 50 miles each way in one. Brilliant. Comfy, reliable cheap (hatch though, not estate). Then moved into town and most of my driving became town driving and I remember looking to see if there was a leak from the petrol tank. Thirsty bugger in town, brilliant apart from that
    I am not a petrolhead or image concious driver, I just want to get from A to B in comfort and cheaply amd sometimes with a load of crap (bikes, kayaks, camping stuff, whatever)


    Saab petrol engines (or at least the older ones) are quite literally bomb proof and pretty quick (bad turbo lag, but 3rd and 4th gear acceleration over 1700rpm is awesome) Not sure on the newer ones, and think the diesels are Vauxhall. It’s not unheard of for older Saabs to go on for hundreds of thousands of miles if properly serviced.

    Oil changes on the petrol are 6000miles to save the turbo from an untimely death, but mine was always a great car for not a lot of moneys. Not as expensive as you’d imagine on the insurance despite the rapid performance of some. If you go for a petrol version make sure it’s the HOT version.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    The one I’m interested in is a 2.2TiD, full service history (at least, that’s what it says, I haven’t actually seen the history yet), I’ve only seen the outside of the car but it looked immaculate.

    Hopefully sorting a test drive this week. Thanks for the info, any more for any more?

    Premier Icon MartynS

    I’ve got a petrol 2.0lpt. Its on a Y plate with a very low mileage for the year. The only problem I’ve had in 6ish (? can’t remember how long I’ve had it!!) years was a replacement turbo, I won’t lie that was expensive..!

    Don’t listen to all the rubbish about it being a Vectra with a suit on, they are old chassis, so don’t expect sports car handling, but they are great mile munchers. I did Stockport to the North of Glasgow and back in a day last year and it was a very comfy ride.

    Don’t know a lot about the diesel engine, try the Saab forums for good advice, and what to look for. Servicing at a main dealer can be expensive. I use Saabtec in Padfield for my servicing, really good chaps who know their stuff.

    Premier Icon cheshirecat

    I had a succession of Saabs (900, 93 and 95 estate). Sadly the 95 was the least reliable of the three, mostly related to the petrol engine and auto box, so not relevant to the diesel you’re thinking of buying. Oily bits just seemed a bit fragile compared to the 900 and 93 (old hatch version).

    Having said that, I really liked the car. Massive boot, really comfortable for long journeys. Fast enough without being silly (2L low pressure turbo). Servicing wasn’t too bad at independent specialists. I’d probably still have one if my needs hadn’t changed.


    I’ve had a 93 with that 2.2 engine. The engine is a bit agricultural compared with some of the more refined stuff but is plenty gutsy and I used to get over 42mpg combined.

    The only problem with it is the injector seals aere a bit of a known problem. When they ‘go’, the engine doesn’t. Mine stood for a while before I bought it and was OK initially then refuced to start. Took the garage a few days to resolve. After it was fixed – bombproof. Wished I’d never sold it.

    If your buying from a dealer/garage, make sure this type of fault is covered by their warranty.

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