Vintage R&T Review: Saab 99E 1.85 – Better, But Still A Ways To Go

It’s interesting to read this review of a Saab 99, from a time before it morphed into the more mature 900. The 99 had a lot of positives: a roomy yet compact body, comfortable seats with heating even, something that was highly unusual at the time, and safety features well ahead of the times. One of the more unusual things is that it already had 5 mph bumpers, in advance of the regulations that started in 1973. R&T doesn’t state the model year, but this magazine is from February 1972, and there was some lead time, so presumably Saab decided to get a head start.

That added some 200lbs, so the new larger 1.85L version of the Triumph-designed engine was a good call. With fuel injection, it ran well, but it was certainly not a fast car, with a 12.7 second 0-60 time. And there were a few other shortcomings, such as quite heavy steering (something that power assist soon mitigated).

note: images are of a European Saab 99