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1997 Saab 9000 Review
Ready for a makeover.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Saab 9000 has been in production since 1986. The launch represented the Swedish automaker's entry into the executive car market. The 9000 is based on the Type Four platform, and it was designed by Italy-based Fiat Automobiles.
Engines: 2.3-liter I-4, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Saab 9000 Aero, Saab 9000 CS, Saab 9000 CSE, Saab 9000 CSE Anniversary, Saab 9000 CSE V6
The 1997 Saab 9000 debuts unchanged from the previous year.
The 1997 Saab 9000 still holds on to the same identifiable exterior features as the 1986 model and has changed little over the years. The design, which was considered modern before, seems outdated at present. Saab always prioritizes functionality over style, and its stale exterior design is a classic example of this approach. The 9000 has a wheelbase of 105.2 inches and an overall length that ranges from 181.9 inches to 183.7 inches. The overall height is 55.9 inches, and the width is 69.4 inches.
Although the 1997 Saab 9000 is a compact car, its interior is roomy and spacious. The gauges and instruments in the front are bunched close together so that the driver can locate and read them easily. However, some of them are not as user friendly as newer competitors’. The stereo system works well, but the control system tends to get confusing with its myriad of little buttons and unreadable markings. The interior veers more toward luxury rather than functionality, and it shows. The rear seat is comfortable, but it takes some effort to fold down the back seat since the bottom seat cushion needs to be moved forward, and the headrests need to be removed beforehand. The power window buttons are placed between the front seats, which is standard in Europe but can be problematic for U.S. consumers.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Saab 9000 comes with four engine options. Three of them are 2.3-liter, turbocharged, straight-four engines that offer anywhere between 170 and 225 horsepower, and the fourth option is the three-liter, V-6 engine that is rated at 210 horsepower. The 1997 Saab 9000 Turbo runs just like a good sports sedan, offering sharp and precise handling and superb performance.
The 1997 Saab 9000's base engine may seem a little underpowered, but it improves with the selection of more powerful engines. The V-6 engine is particularly refined and quiet and offers strong and ready acceleration for brisk passing. However, the engine lacks zest and energy. It mates well with the four-speed automatic transmission, allowing for swift and smooth downshifts. Its hallmark is the firm but compliant ride as it offers a smooth ride quality, but the stiff suspension of the 9000 Turbo tends to give a shaky ride. Like it's sibling, the 900, it also suffers from a lot of tire and road noise.
The 1997 Saab 9000 comes with standard safety features, such as child safety door locks, anti-lock brakes, and front airbags. There are no crash test results available.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lots of passenger and cargo space
- Good handling
- Powerful turbo engine
- Effective anti-lock brakes
You Won't Like
- Outdated design
- Cabin noise
- Poor ride quality
Ready for a makeover.
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