2001 Viggen 5 Door-is it an ok car? - SaabCentral Forums
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NG900 & OG9-3 Workshop NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 11th November 2007
Aviator Aviator is offline
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Question 2001 Viggen 5 Door-is it an ok car?

Hi guys,I found a car that appeals to me and I will have to use it all year around up here in Canada,which means in the snow.

The car is:

2001 Manual Viggen 5 Door with 109,000 kilometres in grey.

Asking $12,995 Canadian

Is there anything that would make a person not want to own this car maintenance wise?Are the Viggens reliable cars long term?When should I replace the timing belt as well?What size is the fuel tank?

Is a 3 door a more sporty option,I kinda want a 3 door but the 5 door is kinda growing on me?

thanks for your time guys,


DD

ps- What does Viggen and Saab stand for again anyway?
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  #2  
Old 11th November 2007
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Viggens have more horsepower i believe. it means Thunderbolt in swedish i think.
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  #3  
Old 11th November 2007
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Saab began as Svenska Aeroplane Acktiebologet (sp?) AB is an appreviation for Ackt... like Inc. is an appreviation for incorporated. Hence SAAB.

Viggen is thunderbolt and the car's name came from an earlier made aircraft, which Saab has had around in some form since the 60's. The Viggen aircraft was featured in a Saab commercial in the 80's--When the Aerospace company still owned the automobile wing.

Most saabs in the 900 9-3 range (but not all) run timing chains. The Viggen does...I'm trying to remember if the recommendation was circa 150k kilometers or miles.

If the car has been taken care of it shouldn't be any more breakdown prone than any other car. It'll give you a fair amount of performance and it relatively sturdy. The front wheel drive things might be annoying, but this means you can drive it as irresponsibly bad weather as in good.

If you've never put synthetic oil in your car before, oil changes will cost a bit more. You may be running higher grade gasoline with the Viggen as well--there is an almost constant back and forth discussion on this.
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Old 12th November 2007
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,...ah very interesting thankyou guys!


DD
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  #5  
Old 12th November 2007
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The timing chain is only a problem on a small percentage of cars (unfortunately including mine), 900, 9-3 and Viggen, no difference. You can determine the condition fo the chain and chain guides very easily, by removing the timing chain tensioner (back of the block) and measuring the extension. Easy as it is, few people do it.

The Viggen has a 2.3L engine, compared to 2.0L in the NG900 and 9-3. Larger displacement = more horsepower. The engine block is similar to the 2.3L engine in the Saab 9-5.

The early Viggen had a more fragile engine, due to having different pistons, and a few other part issues. The engine is prone to being over-revved when something does go wrong, turning it into a bucket of scrap before the typical driver can reach for the ignition key.

Not sure to what extent this was fixed on later models. For a while, Saab replaced quite a few engines under warranty, in the case of one dealer I heard of, 5 out of six cars sold in one model year. The rule of thumb is to buy a later model, or one with the warranty engine swap. There are lots of threads about Viggen engines on the SN boards.

The Viggen also has larger brakes, nice seats, and a few other cosmetic goodies. It looks pretty cool next to a 900 or 9-3.
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Old 12th November 2007
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Question Model Years

...so the Viggen was made begining in 1999 correct and then done in 2002?

When was the 5 door introduced?

Is there a problem with the clusters not working as well?


DD
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  #7  
Old 12th November 2007
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Correct about the 1999 to 2002, so 2001 would definitely be a later model. Can't remember off the top of my head, but I think the 5-door, coupe, and vert were all available from beginning to end. Never heard of a specific cluster problem, with Viggens or Saabs in general. Though I know an occasional question has been asked about things related to that.
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  #8  
Old 12th November 2007
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Clusters ?

As in instrument ?

These are made in an island Oriental country, same with the automatic - which some Cadillacs use.
Good for them(the far east people), not so good for us...
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  #9  
Old 12th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm
Clusters ?

As in instrument ?

These are made in an island Oriental country, same with the automatic - which some Cadillacs use.
Good for them(the far east people), not so good for us...
Actually the Viggen is made in Finland
I think he means they didn't have a bunch of chronic problems. But that's not true. They have sludge problems and transmission problems.

The transmission synchros going bas is mostly related to the driving style and how the driver shifts and uses the clutch.

The sludge problem is related to the earlier version of the PCV system. You need to upgreade to the PCV system version 6.

Those are great, fast, solid and reliable cars if pampered and well taken care of. They're powerfull cars with fast performing engines and they go through a lot. By not taking care of them properly, the repair bills down the line will be amaizing. Check the car's history and get all the maintenance bills.

Those cars have crappy handeling for the power they have. It's advisable to upgrade the suspension and the rear arb and so since the car is almost 6 years old and it's probably getting even softer. That's an easy upgrade

And yes Viggen means thunderbolt
SAAB is an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan Aktie(B)olaget"
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Old 24th December 2008
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Question I found another Viggen for sale!

2001 5 Door in Black
$8900.00 Canadian, Certified or best offer
126,000 kms

Ad says never winter driven and is dealer serviced with recent tune up.


Hi guys,good to be back.I can't kick the Saab bug for some reason.I think I should try one out to own but I am a little worried about repairs and reliability.

The last Viggen I saw was a nice grey colour.I now found a black one.These cars are pretty rare I'd say,but I haven't been looking full-time!

I think this car should be ok in winter with snow tires,just have to start out in 2nd gear often maybe.

If I call about this car for sale which is a private ad,what types of questions do you think I should ask the guy as far as cars maitenance history?

thanks for your time guys and thanks for answering all the above replies on here,very interesting!


DD

ps-Is this car being a 2001 much more reliable than the 9-3 Sedan in 2003;I heard the 2003 sedans are really bad?
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  #11  
Old 24th December 2008
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if you have money and desire to drive a newer-look car, go with the 9-3

if you want to pop with the stock-custom look of a viggen, plus plenty of power, go for it.

as for questions:

- Direct Ignition Cassette - ask how many times, if it was, replaced so far.

- Check if it's dripping oil, coolant. Ask if water and P/S pump were replaced.

Did you drive a viggen yet?

as for a size, i know few 5 door viggen owners who wish they had a 3 door. last time i checked craigslist and some guy was selling his 5door because... he bought a 3 door.

good luck with buying!
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  #12  
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc89pl
as for a size, i know few 5 door viggen owners who wish they had a 3 door. last time i checked craigslist and some guy was selling his 5door because... he bought a 3 door.
Personally, I would never trade my 5-door for a 3-door. It's much easier for rear-seat passengers to get in and out of the 5-door, of course, and even when I don't have passengers, it's easier for me to get my own stuff out of the back seat. The 5-door is also a bit more rigid than the 3-door.

And personally, I just don't like the longer, heavier doors on the 3-door cars.

So this question is largely a matter of personal preference.

As to expensive repairs, the AC compressor is one that is common and also pretty expensive, so a car with a recent AC compressor would be a plus. Same thing for the clutch, the longevity of which depends on the driver.

Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 24th December 2008
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I would not buy the car until you have someone drop the oil pan and remove the cam cover to check for sludge. Get the maintenance records if possible.

Other then that I think your are going to run into standard repair items, just as a heads up though...the Viggen parts compared to regular 9-3 parts are much more expensive. If I were you I see if I could find a '99 9-3 SE personally, but if all checks out owning a Viggen would be sweet.
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  #14  
Old 24th December 2008
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I've owned my Viggen for 7 years and 100K miles. It has been very reliable. I've done scheduled services and synthetic oil changes every 5K miles. The only non-maintenance repair I've had was the AC compressor this past summer. As Viggen Dave said, those are common and expensive.

I take care of the car, but I don't baby it. It is a year round, do everything, all weather car. It has been a terrific car, I love it. It drives pretty much just like any other FWD 9-3 in the winter, so it's stable and trucks through most anything provided you have good tires.

In my experience, I don't think maintaining a Viggen is that much more expensive than a regular 9-3. The exceptions are brakes (a little more $), wheels (very expensive, heavy, and easily bent), and any part of the Viggen body kit which gets lost or broken.

5 door Viggens are more practical, 3 doors are very slightly lighter and arguably better looking. I almost sold my 3 door to get a 5 door a few years back, now I like what I have again. So I go back and forth on that.

Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 24th December 2008
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That price is very very cheap I'd buy it if the engine isn't sludged. Inspect that car for sludge by dropping the oil pan.
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  #16  
Old 24th December 2008
Castor Troy Castor Troy is offline
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What is wrong with you people. 5 door NG900/9-3's look like mommy and daddy are also brother and sister, and dropped their down syndrome baby on his face. Their proportions are all wrong and they look goofy as hell.

To sum things up, 5 doors is 2 too many. Although, the gray is definitely the best looking color on a 5 door.
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  #17  
Old 24th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castor Troy
To sum things up, 5 doors is 2 too many.
Quoted for truth. I didn't buy my car to drive passengers around in.

900/9-3 5 Sedan = pretty





900/9-3 Coupe = SEXY

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  #18  
Old 24th December 2008
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Very subjective. Not only do I prefer the utility of having rear doors, I also believe the car is much better proportioned in 5-door trim.

Aviator, Viggens are very rare. Depending on where you obtain your information, data suggest that worldwide production over the entire four year Viggen lifespan was fewer than 4000 vehicles. 5-doors were first produced in 2000.

I'd say, find an independent mechanic (Saab specialist) in the area and arrange a prepurchase inspection. They usually cost $100USD or less, and that will tell you what you should be paying for the car.

If it's in decent shape, DO NOT miss out on the opportunity to own a Viggen! It's an incredibly rewarding experience!

EDIT:

CleveSaab, I challenge you to a sexy-off!



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Last edited by RITmusic2k; 24th December 2008 at 12:21 PM.
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  #19  
Old 24th December 2008
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Lots of good info here in these posts and although all Viggens were created equal, at this age you will find that they will not be based on usage. Some of these cars were abused, so drive as many as you can. Took me 5 tries before setttling on mine. Of course all things can be repaired and all it takes is $$$....just how much risk are you willing to take?

Most people buy a Viggen to use it, but how they used it is very important. I wouldn't, and didn't, go as far as dropping the oil pan before buying mine because the service records and milleage indicated a well maintained car. The car also felt very powerful and tight.

I ended up with a 3 door. It looks better but is a HUGE pain with respect to rear seat acecss....the seat bolsters prevent sufficient foward movement and the rear footwell is very small to step in, but with my daughters growing up into their teens it's less of an issue. Also, the rear windows do NOT OPEN. So how important is it to you to carry people in the rear? I agree that the 3 door is sexier, not just because I have one....just cleaner lines.

The Viggen is great in the winter with snow tires...a must, and I would only consider really good ones by Hakka, Gislaved and Conti. the carjust ahs to much power to mess around with.

Viggens, by the design of their engine, are also known more for their torque then the HP and any bracing, suspensiion upgrades, etc. help immensly to minimize torque steer.....Genuine Saab will be your friend.

Last point, the car can be modified safely for even more power but only recommended once the chassis is braced. As with any such modifications, be aware of other faults showing up, including as in my case, a blown transmission. Despite that I LOVE my Viggen....best car I've ever owned and now while it's in the shop and I'm forced to drive other cars, I love the Viggen even more.....it is REALLY FUN to drive and has a HATCH!!!
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  #20  
Old 24th December 2008
Viggen Dave Viggen Dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castor Troy
What is wrong with you people. 5 door NG900/9-3's look like mommy and daddy are also brother and sister, and dropped their down syndrome baby on his face. Their proportions are all wrong and they look goofy as hell.
As I said, this is a matter of personal taste. And if someone can think of no better way to express his opinion than to make fun of a Down syndrome baby, I give very little weight to his opinion.

But that's just me.
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