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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to turn 15 on December 27th, which means I will be needing a car in about a year and a half. Now, my parents feel that I should have to buy my first car because they had to buy their first cars. I am fine with that, however, it does mean that I will probably be on a pretty tight budget. I have looked all over the place for something that is preferably FWD (figure insurance will be a bit cheaper), has 4 doors (insurance again), has a little power, is available with a stick, and handles pretty well. I also like the idea of having some luxury features, but my most important criteria is the price. Naturally, I first looked at the Honda Accords of the early 90s, well, not only are the sticks rare but they are also very overpriced. Then came the 3rd gen Nissan Maxima, once again the sticks are pretty rare, but I just really don't like how the car looks. At that point I decided to look on ebay. The first brand I clicked on was SAAB. After doing a little looking I found a '95 9000 CSE Turbo at $2500 with about 36 hours left. That got me more than a little excited. I then check bluebook, a reasonable $4200 or so for a car with 120,000 miles. Next came autotrader, all of them were either overpriced or really worn down. So, I think that the only way I will be able to get on is from ebay. But, anyway, back to the reason I came to this forum. I am wondering about a few things having to do with the 1994-1996 9000 turbo hatchbacks. First, how reliable are they? Second, is turbo lag apparant? Third, how about torquesteer? Fourth, how bad is insurance (in relation to other cars, I live in the USA so giving me an amount won't help)? Thanks for the help, I really hope that the answers to my questions are positive because I really like the way the 1994 and later hatchs look as well as their prices and especially their numbers(it even has good gas mileage!)
 

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my first car was a Saab 900, non turbo, 8 valve. after 2 years of driving that, i then bought an '87 9000 Turbo. goes well. insurance wise - i dont insure more than compulsory 3rd party, because comprehensive is more per year than i bought the car for!
I will be getting a '95-'97 9000 Aero next. once you get a 9000 i think you will be hooked (especially if you get a turbo)
Torque steer - i dont have a problem with that except in the real wet, and on gravel roads. i cured the wet problem with better tyres!


BTW - Welcome to Saabscene!!!
 

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lol they grow up so fast these days

if this is your first car, you won't anything to compare the driving experience to - so things like turbo lag and torque steer are all relative and therefore difficult to quantify. I own a 96 cse full turbo auto and neither are huge problems. Noticeable but certainly manageable. Not trying to be funny or condescending either but my personal opinion would be that for a first car, the full turbos would just be too powerful. I am 25, have about 160,000 miles of driving experience since passing my test (thanks to some loooong commutes), and still this car can scare me. if you are careless with the throttle round a corner, it honestly can bite you. especially in the wet.

that said, I would gladly have had one at 16 a) had it been legal and B) if I'd have had a few thousand quid lying around!!!

Jules
 

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You might find that insurance really puts you off. I'd suggest getting some quotes before you get too emotionally attached to the Saab you don't yet own!

My first Saab was a 9000 CDXS bought when I was 25. It was a 2 litre non-turbo, and even then some insurance companies wouldn't insure me. When I was 28 I traded it for a 9000 Aero and my insurance was extortionate.

Torque-steer.... never heard of it! (Agree with comments about wet roads and gravel, but anyone who tries to drive an Aero round a wet gravelly bend on full throttle needs their head examining!).

Good luck in your search.
 

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Gotta agree with the fellas here TBR, check out insurance before you buy, the car may be affordable but insurance could cripple you. Another consideration is maintenance, 9000's are reliable but when they do go wrong they can cost an arm and a leg to repair, typically $2k for a gearbox etc. If you can afford these costs then just be careful, they are big powerful cars and with very little driving experience you could find yourself in a situation you can't handle, BOL
Andy
 

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At least you will learn to drive a car properly. My early cars were small and cheap. You drive them full throttle or full stop. Then you get to drive a powerful car.......
 

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Welcome to Saabscene mate.

If it's any help, I'm 24 and I've just got my first Saab and after driving various other makes for close to 7 years, the 2.0 lpt on my 9-5 still manages to scare the bejesus out of me once in a while. Puts a massive grin on my face the rest of the time


I made the mistake of getting a stupidly high powered Peugeot 306 when I was a couple of years older that you are now and managed to roll it a few times with my little sister in it one winters evening. I hit some black ice and didn't have the driving experience/road sense/whatever you want to call it to get the car back under control before I hit an earth bank and flipped the thing. Thankfully everyone in the car walked away unhurt, but it put my insurance premiums up through the roof and they've only just come down to a reasonable level.

If I were you, I'd go for something like a Mk 4 VW Golf. I had a decent one that had all my female colleagues at work drooling over it, it looked amazing and it was one of the cheapest cars I've ever had to insure. It was only an insurance group 4 which once you've built up a no claims bonus could probably be insured fully comp for about £300-£400 per year. Fuel economy was great, I only had to fill it up once a month and the stereo was almost as good as my 9-5's. You're surrounded by just as many airbags as the Saab, so you'll be well protected incase the worse does happen. The other nice thing is that now VW have started selling the, IMHO, terrible looking Mk 5, the Mk 4's that are for sale are dropping in price round where I live!

I hated hearing how I shouldn't get a high powered car when I was a new driver, but it's true unfortunately. I know now that I definately didn't have the driving experience to handle the Peugeot. Go for something with a smaller engine at first.

Hope this hasn't been a post that rambles on aimlessly. I'm a new member myself so forgive me if I've gone off track a bit
 

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My first car was my 9000S and in terms of value for money it's the best Saab I've owned. In two years of ownership the entire servicing/MOT/Repair costs were c£420. I replaced it with a Carlsson that cost me c£2.5K per year to maintain and then a 2.3T that was cheap in the first 12 months (<£100) but has been a bit of a moneypit in the last 12.


So my recommendation would be to go for a fairlt basic LPT or a NA 9000, they may not be massively quick but they are (usually) less costly to maintain.
 

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I love my SAAB and im not giving it up, but I would not suggest a SAAB to a new driver. Im sorry, the cars are excellent, but they are so integrated that every month, something else breaks and you have to fix it. Im not saying thier bad cars, mines old so its understandable, but alot of things break. I would however suggest a Chevy Caprice Classic with a V8 350 in it(add a mod to stick if you prefer). Its a sensible car, will never leave you stranded and is alot of fun taking off from street lights next to "pimped out" hondas and kicking thier butt. Sure, Saabs can do that too..but can a 15yr old really afford such costly and not uncommon repairs?

Just my input,
Aaron
 

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The insurance issue is a curious one. A youngster at work who is presently 17 wants something more nippy than his Peugot. I said "hey, get an Aero!". He assumed that the insurance would be silly but his quote for him when he's 18 is just over £1000.

Not too bad when you compare that to say a 3 year old Fiesta which for a 17 year old with no discount can easily be nearly £1500.

If he gets a cheap Aero (one went on ebay for £1550 last night) then what he would have saved over the Fiesta purchase can easily go on the Saab insurance.

David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not too worried about the power because I will rarely actually use it (very rarely, for pracitcal reasons: not only does it use more gas but even if I just get a ticket the insurance will practically double), more than anything I just can't find a na 9000 with a stick. I will probably go with the LPT. I am a bit worried about the repair costs, so I am going to continue looking. Since this is Swedish car message board, how reliable is a 1995 or later Volvo 850 GLT? I figure insurance will be a little cheaper because it is a Volvo (known as boring cars in the USA) and I can actually find one in my area (would have to travel way out of the way to get a 9000 with a manual).
 

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Well the wife's car is a Volvo 850 estate (wagon to you )

We bought it @ 60,000 miles, have now more than doubled that, still sounds the same as it did then and has been a stonking good car. Hasn't let us down but I will add that it has always been serviced at a dealer.

The most expensive service was 100,000 if I recall, timing belt and a few other bits and I've done new brake discs and pads all round which came to a bit but that's routine stuff for the age.

My Saabs have been bought at 112,000 and 138,000 and without full service history so I'm effectively playing catch up on some maintenance so it's a little unfair to draw direct comparisons but as long as you're sensible about where to get parts from I don't see a huge problem. Labour is always going to be the most expensive element.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Regarding maintenance on either of the Swedes, I am willing to do the work myself when possible. There is no way I can get it repaired by a SAAB specalist anyway (there aren't too many foreign car specalists in a Texas town with a population of 5,000), so that would probably be the best thing to do except for big things that would require lifts or any other special equipment. As long as the parts are too expensive it'll probably be fine.
 

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I would highly recommend not getting a Saab off of Ebay and rather getting from a private party. YOu should have it checked over by a mechanic and you should definitely have all if not most of the service records. If your are going to get the car off Ebay check it out before you buy it.

Saabs are fun, practical, modable [ ] and great cars, but you can get screwed if your not careful. Oh ya, and ideally the previous owner would have already changed out the DI cassette.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The problem is that I probably won't be able to afford one if I don't buy off ebay. Oh yeah, I have added another car to my growing list, a 1991 BMW 318is.
 

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Rob I guess many of us had 10 year old cars as first cars and that's where 9000's are these days.

Personally I think all under 25's should be restricted to 25BHP and no passengers but then I must be getting old to say that.

Somebody please help me when my children get to 17 and want cars.
 
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