SAAB Reviews

The Enduring Allure of the Classic Saab 900: Reflections from a Saab Enthusiast

Why the Saab 900 remains the ultimate classic car for enthusiasts and freethinkers alike.

Saab 900 Turbo

The Classic Saab 900 is more than just a car; it’s a statement of individuality and innovation. Dyler’s recent article, These Seven Reasons Are Why The Classic SAAB 900 Should Be All The Classic Car You Ever Want or Need,” profoundly captures the essence of why the Saab 900 remains a beloved classic. As a Saab enthusiasts from, We couldn’t agree more. Let’s delve deeper into the seven reasons highlighted by Dyler and explore why the Saab 900 continues to enchant car lovers around the world.

Born from Jets: A Legacy of Aviation Excellence

Saab’s roots in aviation are well-known among enthusiasts. The company’s full name, Svenska Aeroplan AktieBolaget, hints at its aeronautical origins. The influence of aircraft design is evident in the Saab 900’s cabin ergonomics. Chief Designer Björn Envall ensured that the 900’s interior was driver-focused, with all controls within easy reach.

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Capturing the sleek lines and distinctive silhouette, this image showcases the 1993 Saab 900 Turbo Commemorative Edition from the rear right angle, highlighting its elegant design and unique heritage.
Capturing the sleek lines and distinctive silhouette, this image showcases the 1993 Saab 900 Turbo Commemorative Edition from the rear right angle, highlighting its elegant design and unique heritage.

The deeply curved, fighter jet-inspired windscreen offers unparalleled visibility, creating an immersive driving experience. The Night Panel feature, inspired by aircraft cockpits, allowed drivers to switch off all interior lights except the speedometer, reducing distractions during night driving. This unique blend of automotive and aviation engineering makes driving a Saab 900 a distinctive pleasure.

Impressive Aerodynamics: Ahead of Its Time

When the Saab 900 was launched in 1978, its aerodynamic design set it apart from contemporaries like the Mercedes-Benz 190E and BMW E30. Saab’s commitment to aerodynamics, rooted in its aviation heritage, resulted in a car with a remarkably low drag coefficient. The original design boasted a Cd of 0.36 for the hatch and 0.37 for the coupe. Even after the 1987 facelift, which added more aerodynamic features, the Cd dropped to 0.35. This attention to aerodynamic efficiency not only enhanced performance but also improved fuel efficiency, a testament to Saab’s forward-thinking approach.

Saab 900 Turbo Cabriolet '1986–87

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Turbocharged Innovation: Power and Efficiency

Saab pioneered turbocharging for the masses with the 99 Turbo, and the Saab 900 continued this legacy. The 2.0L four-cylinder engine, turbocharged with a Garrett T3, delivered impressive power and smooth performance. The unique ‘slant’ engine configuration, with the gearbox mounted underneath, provided better weight distribution and handling. This innovative engineering solution, combined with front-wheel drive, ensured that the Saab 900 offered an exhilarating driving experience. The forward-opening clamshell bonnet is not only a visual delight but also a nod to Saab’s unconventional and practical design philosophy.

Per Gillbrand Introduces the Cutting-Edge Turbo APC in the Saab 900, 1981
Per Gillbrand Introduces the Cutting-Edge Turbo APC in the Saab 900, 1981

Unparalleled Build Quality: Quirky Yet Functional

The Saab 900 is renowned for its robust build quality and quirky engineering features. Every component, from buttons to doors, operates with a satisfying clunk, reflecting the meticulous craftsmanship. The ignition switch, placed by the transmission, is a distinctive feature designed to prevent injury in case of an accident. The double wishbone front suspension and beam axle design with a Panhard rod at the rear contribute to the car’s exceptional handling and performance. These unconventional engineering choices exemplify Saab’s commitment to creating thoughtful and innovative cars.

Saab 900 turbo

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Rarity and Exclusivity: A Treat to See in the Wild

With only 900,000 classic Saab 900s produced, spotting one on the road today is a rare treat. In the UK, the number of these cars has dwindled significantly, making each sighting a special event. Enthusiasts and collectors cherish their Saab 900s, preserving these icons of automotive history. The scarcity of Saab 900s, combined with the fact that Saab no longer exists as a car manufacturer, adds to the allure and exclusivity of owning one.

Intellect and Individuality: The Saab Driver Profile

Saab drivers have long been associated with intellectualism and individuality. Studies have shown that a high percentage of Saab owners are university graduates, often with advanced degrees. This stereotype is supported by anecdotes of prestigious academic communities, such as Harvard University, where Saabs were a common sight. The Saab 900’s appeal to freethinkers and non-conformists is part of what makes it a beloved classic among those who appreciate thoughtful design and engineering.

Saab 900 Turbo

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Cool and Practical: The Ultimate Classic Car

The Saab 900’s unique combination of coolness and practicality makes it an ideal classic car. Saab’s refusal to conform to mainstream automotive trends resulted in cars that were innovative, safe, and fun to drive. Despite the company’s eventual demise, Saab’s legacy lives on through the dedicated community of enthusiasts who continue to celebrate and preserve these remarkable vehicles. The classic Saab 900 is not only a testament to Saab’s pioneering spirit but also a reminder of the brand’s significant contributions to the automotive world.

The Saab Enthusiast Community: Keeping the Legacy Alive

The passion and dedication of Saab enthusiasts play a crucial role in keeping the brand’s legacy alive. Events, gatherings, and online communities provide platforms for fans to share their love for Saab and their experiences with these unique cars. This collective enthusiasm ensures that the stories and innovations of Saab continue to be celebrated and remembered. For many, owning a Saab 900 is not just about having a classic car; it’s about being part of a larger, passionate community.

Saab 900 Turbo for Oman Police
Saab 900 Turbo for Oman Police

Why the Saab 900 is the Classic Car You Need

The classic Saab 900 encapsulates everything that makes Saab a legendary name in the automotive world. From its aviation-inspired design and impressive aerodynamics to its innovative engineering and robust build quality, the Saab 900 offers a unique driving experience that few cars can match.

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Its rarity and the intellectual profile of its drivers add to its charm, making it a standout choice for classic car enthusiasts. As a Saab aficionados, We wholeheartedly agree with Dyler’s assessment: the classic Saab 900 truly is all the classic car you will ever want or need. So, why not join the Saab community and experience the magic of driving a piece of automotive history?

Frozen Saab 900 Turbo
Frozen Saab 900 Turbo

By reflecting on Dyler’s article and adding insights from the Saab enthusiast perspective, this piece aims to highlight the timeless appeal and enduring legacy of the classic Saab 900. Whether you’re a seasoned Saab fan or new to the brand, there’s no denying the unique allure of this iconic car.

Konstantin Jokić
an automotive journalist and dedicated Saab enthusiast hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia, is a valuable contributor to With a wealth of experience in the automotive industry and a strong affinity for Saab cars, Konstantin brings a unique perspective to the blog's content. His in-depth knowledge, engaging writing style, and passion for Saab automobiles enrich the platform, catering to both local and global Saab enthusiasts. Through his articles and insights, Konstantin strengthens the sense of community among Saab lovers and helps elevate as a trusted source for Saab-related information.


  • I have owned nine SAABs and if they were around now, I’d still be driving them. Best car to drive and experience in the world by some margin. I really miss them.

  • I’ve had quite a few of these.

    First was a 4 door 145bhp turbo auto. Not a great car.

    Then I had PYL50Y, a pre APC 1981 3 door turbo in black. It had been prepared for a Saab circuit day, so was “run in” around Silverstone. It would go off the end of the speedo, but fun driving gave 15 mpg and tyre wear was rather rapid !

    I treated myself to another black 185 bhp 3 door as the end of the line in 1993.

  • A write up on my 900. Still own the car!

    1989 SAAB 900 (200,000 miles) 2.0 Liter 5-speed 3-door hatch.
    VIN: YS3AR35DXK3014943

    Original Owner IDS (International Diplomatic Sales) order from Naples Italy (Mid Dec. ’88) Manufactured (Late Feb. ’89) Arlov, Sweden, Vessel “Madam Butterfly” delivery (Mid April ’89) North Florida. First year the base model had the 16V engine, sway bars, gas shocks and the Saab 9000 brakes for the US market. Center console,3 gauge kit , rear spoiler and metallic paint were options ordered from the factory. The BBS 15×7 Cross Spoke wheels (new) purchased from contacts at SOC 2016. Covercraft WeatherShield HP car covers since new. DOS program called Wheelbase
    (advertised in “Nines” magazine in the early 1990’s) for vehicle maintenance. Options added: Rain/Wind Defectors, Air Outlet Covers, Cargo Mat, Storage Bin, Spare Bulb Kit,
    Leather Gaiter Shift Boot, Wooden Shift Knob, Waste Basket (under passenger seat) Genuine
    Saab Accessories. Original Whip Antenna and factory Saab/Clarion Radio with upgraded
    40 watt front speakers.

  • Min sista SAAB efter 14 st ! 1999 ärs modell ! 235 sedan slog elekroniken av! Fantastisk på autobahn , smala grusvägar , ja i stort sett överallt. Sålde den 2014 ;; Saknar den !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I was lucky to get to see and listen to Per Gillbrand at a guest lecture at my university. A very energetic man!

  • Had 7 of these lovliws …….. from unreliable to England to Belgium and straight back …. good1s were good bad 1s broke your heart and wallet

  • A good, but not great car. Not especially reliable, but very functional & comfy, and good to drive.

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