Chris B was kind enough to pass this clipping from the Toronto Star, in which our writer wants to pass on his recommendations for good used car buying.
This is obviously written from a minimal-cost-ho-hum point of view, rather an even a mild enthusiast’s point of view, as the list of recommended cars includes the Chevy Aveo, Suzuki Aerio and Kia Sorrento. It also includes the Cadillac CTS if you want something an enthusiast might drive, though personally I’d rather have the Aveo (sue me, I’m feeling argumentative).
The OG Saab 9-3 was mentioned as one of the bad vehicles. Being a Viggen owner, I naturally took immediate offence, and I’m sure many of the Month-of-Saab-9-3-and-NG900-Lovin owners would too. But reading into it further, this is just another instance of someone not knowing what they’re on about – which probably qualifies me to be an automotive journo par-excellence.
It was motivated by a light-pressure turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder making 185 hp, while high-output SE models made 200 hp.
Trouble is, Saab’s turbo fours are notorious for seizing, especially those made between 1999 and 2002. With the hot catalytic converter positioned under the oil pan, it would cook the oil and produce sludge, clogging the engine with all the efficacy of a triple cheeseburger.
Shop with care.
Now……In nearly three years of Saab blogging I am yet to hear of a single 2.0 engine from a Saab 9-3 having a sludge problem. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but I’m yet to hear of it.
The 2.3 litre engine in the early Saab 9-5 – that’s another story. Even then, if you pick up a Saab 9-5 with a good service history, or a Viggen with a B235 engine in it, then you can still be getting a heck of a lot of good car for the money. The trick is to do your homework, verify the service history and current condition of the engine to your own satisfaction.
Homework – something this guy didn’t do, and something not enough journos do when it comes to Saabs.
Read with care.