Most Reliable Cars in History
Model years: 19791993,Lets just get this out of the way: The Saab 900 is no Swedish cousin to the Volvo 240, at least not in terms of inherent reliability or simplicity of design. Weak transmissions are among their problems, says import expert Bredesen.
That said, this other Scandinavian has its own cultlike following that keeps a good number on the road, particularly in New England and Colorado, where the frontwheeldrive Saabs were popular for their great handling in snow, back before allwheeldrive became a common option.
We do see a lot of them through the shop, says Chris Campbell, a technician at Swedish Solution, in Westbrook, Maine. Their owners are pretty fanatical about their cars. We have one who drives her 1983 900 Turbo across the country twice each year, and the last time we did service on her car, a routine brake job, her car had over 435,000 miles and was still running like a top. The Wisconsin Automotive Museum near Milwaukee features a 1989 Saab 900 SPG that was driven more than a million miles before being donated.
The irony, of course, is that some of these cars have outlived Saab itself. These 900s were the last models designed by the car manufacturer before it was bought by GM, which in turn unloaded the brand in 2010 as part of its bankruptcy recovery. Saab as we knew it died shortly thereafter, though efforts continue in Sweden to revive the brand.