1997 Saab 900

  • 1997 Saab 900 S Convertible
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      150/154
    • ENGINE
      2.3L I4
    • MSRP
      $35,670
  • 1997 Saab 900 SE Convertible
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      185/194
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $41,995
  • 1997 Saab 900 SE Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      28
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      185/194
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $31,995
  • 1997 Saab 900 S Hatchback
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      150/154
    • ENGINE
      2.3L I4
    • MSRP
      $26,470
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1997 Saab 900 Review

Quirky, unique, and offbeat.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1997 Saab 900 is a second generation vehicle manufactured by the Swedish carmaker. It's based on the Opel Vectra platform by GM and was first introduced in 1992 as a replacement for the classic first-generation 900.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible, hatchback
Engines: 2.3-liter I-4, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Saab 900 SE, Saab 900 S, Saab 900 Talladega, Saab 900 SE V-6

What's New

The 1997 Saab 900 remains unchanged from last year when it received reflective rear panels, adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and other exterior changes.

Exterior

The 1997 Saab 900 retains the exterior changes that were introduced last year, which includes a standard rear spoiler, fat tires for the V-6 convertible and turbo models, and alloy wheels. The convertible version is especially commendable. The soft-top is suitable for all climatic conditions. For one, the body of the convertible is reinforced at the right stress points, which makes it 73 percent stiffer than its previous versions.

Interior

The 1997 Saab 900 hatchback has an upright stance that gives it some of the most cavernous interiors in its class. Legroom and headroom are generously distributed for all occupants, and it has a lot of cargo space for a compact car. Despite the positives, the interior may seem too narrow, and the key position may be too disorienting for some. However, the floor-mounted ignition and key removal system are unique characteristics and actually attract Saab fans and others who prefer an offbeat experience. The dashboard is well organized with most controls being easily accessible. The real drawback here is the power window buttons, which are placed between the seats when they could have been placed on the door panels.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Saab 900 is powered by a 2.3-liter, twin cam, straight-four engine, which delivers 150 horsepower. An optional GM V-6 engine is also available with the SE hatch, providing 170 horsepower. However, consumers who want peak performance should consider the turbocharged V-6. With 185 horsepower, the engine actually takes the SE Turbo hatchback from standstill to 60 mph in only a tenth of a second after a Ford Mustang GT. In fact, both V-6 engines run smoothly and mate well with the automatic transmission.

The 1997 Saab 900's straight-four engine feels a little underpowered when mated with the automatic transmission, although it offers adequate acceleration with the manual transmission. Regardless of the engine choice, body lean is prevalent, especially while turning at high speeds. Nevertheless, steering is precise and road grip is very good, and it offers an enjoyable, sporty driving experience. The strong controls can be attributed to the taut suspension system, but this causes a choppy ride. The ride quality is compromised further by high wind and road noise, which gets annoying at highway speeds.

Safety

The 1997 Saab 900 has standard safety features, including anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, daytime running lights, five-mph self-restoring bumpers, side-impact restoration, and safety cage construction. It receives four out of five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal impact collision tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

EPA Fuel Economy

Saab 900: 18/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of interior space
  • Fun to ride
  • Good acceleration with turbo V-6
  • Responsive steering and handling

You Won't Like

  • Noisy cabin
  • Interior design may not appeal to some

Sum Up

Quirky, unique, and offbeat.

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