1995 Saab 900

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1995 Saab 900

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Available in 8 styles:  900 5dr Hatchback shown
Asking Price Range
$1,923–$5,123
Estimated MPG

18–21 city / 25–29 hwy

Expert Reviews

By 

IndyStar.com
Saab Automobile, AB, has joined the parade of automakers getting 1995 products into the Indianapolis market.

The latest arrival from the Swedish manufacturer is the 1995 Saab 900 convertible. It may be a little tardy for the waning summer season, but that isn't regarded as a problem, since the new softtop has been designed as an all-season car.

3Coming from a land where winters make our temperatures seem like Palm Beach, Fla., the convertible has been created to provide complete comfort in any weather conditions.

The colder, the merrier. The 900's upper structure consists of a snug, weatherproof cabin with a fully lined top, a glass rear window that prevents cold-air transfer into the passenger compartment and power-window and glass-sealing componentry that turn the car into a virtual cocoon .

All it takes for fun-in-the- sun motoring is the push of a button for electronic genies to make the top disappear quickly and completely under a cover behind the rear seats. While the predecessor Saab convertible utilized a hydraulically operated soft top, the 1995 top is lowered and raised by four computer-controlled electric motors that are synchronized by two additional motors in the rear boot and a latching system.

The convertible is an entirely new creation from the A- pillars rearward, sharing the front-end design and lower door assemblies with the equally new 1995 Saab 900 three-door coupe.

"It (the convertible) is on a limited-availability basis," said Bob Falcone, president of Indy Saab. "And that availability is based strictly on allocation.

"We have received one, but expect four more by the end of the month."

Styling follows an aerodynamic theme, with the car's wedge-shaped profile producing a drag coefficient of 0.36 with the top up. That's low for a convertible.

Since the body is subject to torsional twisting without a steel roof, the softtop is 70 percent stiffer in torsional resistance, even though it's 27 pounds lighter than the previous Saab convertible.

Convertibles carry a premium price tag, and the new 900 softtop is no exception. Base pricing runs from $32,450 for a base four-cylinder model to $38,450 for a 900 Turbo version.

For a 900 SE with the new optional V6 with traction control and a four-speed automatic, you're looking at a sticker that is just a tick under $40,000. However, about everything a driver could want is standard equipment.

The 2.5-liter (152 cubic inch) V6 isn't the most powerful engine. That's the province of the 2.2-liter (121 cubic inch) four-cylinder, which produces 185 horsepower to the V6's 170.

But from a marketing standpoint, the V6 with automatic is being projected as the major seller, since the Turbo is available in manual five-speed form only.

"It (the V6) will account for 50 percent of our sales," Falcone said. "The rest will be split up among the base four-cylinder, the Turbo and five-speed and four- speed automatic transmissions."

This V6 is a high-tech four-cam, four- valve s-per-cylinder engine that can make the open-bodied Saab really get up and go. With 3,230 pounds of automobile, it translates into a power-to-weight ratio that can light some fire under the front driving wheels.

The traction control that is part of the V6 package gives the front-drive a smooth, straight-line launch, something not always present with front-wheel- drive automobiles. On full-throttle acceleration off the line, weight transfers rearward away from the driving wheels, a situation prone to promote torque steer.

The four-speed automatic is an all-new unit offering three electronically controlled shift modes. These run the range of sport, normal or winter driving, a mode that works in conjunction with the traction control for maximum tractive effort.

The convertible has accounted for more than 20 percent of sales by Saab Cars USA. With the new four-passenger 900 series softtop, the automaker projects a further expansion.

"The four cars we have coming are sold," Falcone said. "The one we have we've put into demo service so we would have something to show our customers. That should tell you how popular they are."

1995 Saab 900 SE Base price: $37,990.As tested: $39,845.Type: Front-engine, front-drive, four-passenger convertible.Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC V6, 24 valves, 170 horsepower, 167 foot-pounds of torque.Transmission: Four-speed automatic.Mileage: 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.Wheelbase: 102.4 inches.Length: 182.6 inches.Width: 67.4 inches.Height: 56.9 inches.Curb weight: 3,190 pounds.Options: Four-speed automatic transmission, V6 with traction control, burled walnut dash.

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