Saab 9-3 Luxury

9-3

The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan, or luxury sports sedan, available in 4 trims, ranging from the 2.0T FWD to the Aero XWD.

The 2.0T FWD is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 210-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 21-mpg in the city and 31-mpg on the highway. The Aero XWD is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 210-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway.

User Reviews (87)

Showing 1-10 of 87  
moeman   [Apr 07, 2009]
Model Reviewed: 9-3 Convertible Aero
Strength:

*power of v6

*handling-rock solid at any speed and road condition

*Very good front seats even for big guys
*safest convertible out there--side air bags and pop up roll bars

Weakness:

If you stick your foot in it the gas mileage is not so great on the V6. Then again, it is a heavy car due to high build quality of the chassis and safety features.

Stereo is so-so considering its claim of 300 watts

My 3rd SAAB all have served me well...

My first V6 Turbo... For me I think the 2.0 turbo works well so I don't know if I'd spend the $ for the V6 again. Don't get me wrong it is a strong engine.

The convertibles w/ the optional wind screen are quiet and not drafty w/ windows up and top down up to 100mph (as fast I've taken it).

Aero's handling is very stable and secure. Turbo is great in the mountains and high altitude--way better than naturally aspirated engines.

Brakes are awesome.

Seats are very good. climate control excellent and cruise control holds set speed no matter how steep a hill is.

A lot of little things make the car enjoyable. for example, you cant leave a dome light on and run down the battery the computer shuts it down. It even knows if a bulb burns out.

My SAAB dealer in Santa Ana Ca. treats me very good.

I buy low mileage used SAABs and the vaule is awesome.

BTW: Strange first post on this site--person complained about transmission repair cost that is covered under 5yr-100,000 power train warranty. Something fishy.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Boston BS   [Dec 17, 2008]
Model Reviewed: 9-3 2.0t
Strength:

-Performance, transmission, pick up, endurance, turbo charge, gas mileage (i go about 310 miles before a fill up)

Weakness:

-Interior room (back seat in 04-05 model)Stereo system with aux IPOD connector.

I bought my Saab 9-3 2.0t 1.5 years used with 31,000 miles on it. I have had this car now for almost three years and I have had no problems at all with the exception of the CEL gas cap issue which was fully covered by Saab. I have put 22,000 miloes on the car and drive in both city and highway, I use the techtronic shift and utilize the full capacity of this car (I esentially beat the crap out the turbo and engine, still not a single problem! The stereo does suck, I have the aux IPOD connector and it works crappy....very tinny sound, the CD player does not paly MP3's that well but regular CD's are fine. The tires/breaking system, transmission, engine, turbo, mechanics, have all functioned well above expectations. I have driven Volvo S-40's, and BMW 325's and the 9-3 is very comprable with 10g's less in cost.

Similar Products Used: BMW 325, Volvo S-40
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
EzyGlider   [May 14, 2008]
Model Reviewed: 9-3 Aero Coupe
Strength:

Very strong and rigid chassis, produces a remarkably smooth ride. Smooth as silk at 98 mph. Might be owned by GM, but this car is definitely a european Bahn Burner. Turbo makes it as much fun to drive as an M3, but you still get 30 mpg on the highway! Great seats and steering wheel, nothing like quality hides for an interior.

Weakness:

Ever so slight Turbo lag. Although it looks great, the front spoiler on my Aero is only about 3" from the ground. I fear that it is only a matter of time before the worst happens....

Don't believe the negative hype. If maintained properly, these are fantastic cars, and will run forever. I am amazed by the stupidity of some of these reviewers. Here's a newsflash, if you buy a 12 year old car with no documented service history chances are great it is not going to perform like a brand new one. One guy on here trashed Saab, and by his own review he kept this "unreliable" car for 7 solid years!

Similar Products Used: Mercedes CLK 430, BMW 528i
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Khottle   [Nov 14, 2007]
Model Reviewed: 9-3 2.0T
Strength:

Looks, Gas mileage, seats, trunk space, passenger space, AC, quickness between 50-90 mph

Weakness:

Somewhat nit picking
-Terrible Stereo!! I had the 7 speaker system and it was brutal. Anyone who really enjoys their music will not like the factory system. I recently replaced the front 6.5's with Alpine comps, added a JLw1 sub and an Alpine amp to power it. The improvement is ten-fold.
-slow off the line
-repairs/maintence(oil changes) are expensive.
-has some rattles....
-...very stiff suspension which could go either way
-Integrated console, there's a million buttons and the layout can be complicated. The use of fiber optics as well as a fully integrated headunit makes for changing it up nearly impossible.
-

Bought my '06 2.0T in May with 20k miles on it. This was my first car i bought so i wanted something nice for my money. When i was looking for a car i wanted something roomy, fun to drive (looks), good on gas and had creature comforts. After doing a lot of research i narrowed my choices to 3. I liked the Accords but with the options i liked it was V6 or bust. The Legacy's were nice but the interior was "ehh" and then i checked out the Saab . My father works for a Swedish comany so i was familiar the cars and the uniqueness. After the test drive i feel in love with it. It was the car that best met my criteria. The was bought from a Saab dealer so i came certified and warranted until 100k or 5/2012. I've always babied my cars since i started driving so the maintence/care for Saab's is somewhat of a welcomed challenge.

Similar Products Used: 2002 Chevy Cavalier car the surived my time in college in North Philly. Car was nothing flashy but ran/looked great.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
fffl   [Aug 20, 2007]
Model Reviewed: SAAB 93
Strength:

just comfort and look

Weakness:

2006 SAAB 93 2.0T - 20000miles.

"Gear box malfunction" message came on. I took the car to the dealer, paid $105 for the diagnostics. They said it just needs software updates. They did that, I took the car from there. Went with it 2 miles, the same message came on. Took the car back to the dealer. Now they say is the transmission and the estimate for replacing it is $ 3300 (even though, when I called the same dealer they told me the transmission is $1565 and labor is $1005)....weirdddd. Ohh...and when I asked the service guy from the dealer how about the warranty on the new transmission, he told me laughing: 12000 miles. at the question: " Does that mean that the new one will break at 13000 miles?", the dealer guy just answered "Maybe".

Anyways, I never thought a transmission can go down at 20000 miles.

One thing is for sure: I'll never buy another saab in my life. Not only the car broke, but both the dealer and the central Saab don't want to talk about the problem (they say they do not know the cause....weird...specially because I paid for a diagnostics)

so, do you still want to buy a saab?

unbelievably unreliable car

thought SAABs are good cars but I was really really wrong

Similar Products Used: acura TL (200000 miles - no major problems)
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Moopoo   [Aug 21, 2006]
Model Reviewed: 9-3
Strength:

Style. Performance. Comfort.

Weakness:

Cupholder. It's minor, but it irritates me every time I drive. What I HATE is the problems I've been having. Bought the car with 42000 miles, with what's left of a 50,000 mile warranty. Within 2 weeks, the starter died. And the back hatch was really really hard to open. Got these fixed while I was still under warranty. Then the rear rotors needed replaced. It's in the shop right now to fix the emergency brake and the passenger door, which won't open from the outside. The compressor for the air conditioner also died, but that's another $800 I don't want to throw away right now. I'm still driving in hot summer weather with no air conditioner. I love this car, but I hate this car. Will probably sell it before I go broke.

I've always wanted this car. I love almost everything about it. It's small, stylish, understated, smooth, and FAST. When I step on the gas, it goes. BUT... (see weaknesses)

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Bathory   [Aug 11, 2006]
Model Reviewed: 9-3 SE
Strength:

Turbo is fun! Smooth ride, night panel control for optimum focused driving during the night. I have all the maintenance records on this vehicle and it is very clean. This Saab is reliable and has been well-taken cared of. Beutiful design, handling, fuel-efficiency and acceleration.

Weakness:

Bumpy roads can sometimes be annoying because the car is low to the ground.

I love this car! I was shopping around for used Saabs from private sellers for over a month and this baby was the one I took based on the advice of an independant Saab mechanic, in which I trust, who described it as practically mint condition inside and out (and it is). The car is so strong and smooth which makes me feel very safe.
My friends are very loyal Saab drivers which influenced me to get a Saab in the first place. One thing I can definantly say about SAAB is that they are highly under-rated and be weary of biased criticism. I also get confused when people try to compare Volvo to SAAB as if there is even a comparison...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tophedwards   [Apr 13, 2006]
Model Reviewed: SE
Strength:

Handles great, a dream to drive, looks great, good power.

Weakness:

Exceedingly unreliable thank God that it still had factory warranty to cover most of the problems, unfortunately 2 weeks after warranty ran out the fuel module needed replacement costing $1000.00 – problem was that it didn’t register fuel level correctly. Have had for 9 months and has been in the shop 6 times. Purchased an extended warranty…was recommended by the local Saab dealer – Mike Shaw…which I have to say does not have the best service, this is in comparison to Tynan’s. Have called Saab USA, getting cold shoulder.

Problems:
Power antenna went out
Front ball bearings were replaced
Anti-lock brake wiring harness bad - has been replaced
Radiator fan housing replaced
Fuel gauge reading inaccurately, replaced fuel module
Pain chipped in motor and hatch compartment areas, spot repainted
Front brakes replaced today

What’s in store for the next 4,000 miles??

This is a very stylish car and it’s _great_to_ look_at and drive. Handles great, good power for a 4 cylinder turbo. Car looks to be in excellent condition, thought we were getting a gem of a car. We bought this car with 28,000 miles on it. Pristine condition. Now has 34,000 miles.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
kuzbayne   [Feb 20, 2006]
Model Reviewed: saab 9-3SE 5 door
Strength:

-Nice appearance. Certainly nice to have a car that stands out from all of the trunk-backed sedans. Unlike Japanese cars, Saabs (as with many other European cars) tend to look more 'vintage' as they age instead of just plain outdated. -Stands out as an 'upscale' car without presenting an overly pretentious image. -Huge cargo capacity is the main draw of this car. It's like one of those circus cars where you wonder how they got everything fit into it. I read somewhere that this car has more luggage capacity than an A4 and a BMW 3 series COMBINED, and that's with the rear seat up. Too bad they don't make the hatchback any more. I would not have even considered this car without this feature (there's far better choices out there). -It's pretty fast, and with the automatic the dreadded turbo lag and torque steer that some describe are fairly nonexistant. -Comfortable front seats; the back seats aren't bad but they're a bit cramped (though not as bad as the aforementioned 3 series). Plus, all seats are heated! -Handles corners pretty well on pool table-smooth roads.

Weakness:

-Endless string of mechanical and electrical problems. Never went for more than a few months without something going wrong. Most things were covered under an extended warranty. Left us stranded once due to a fried computer. Digital dash display died. It needed an additional computer module later when the 'check engine' light illuminated. On a trip a few weeks later the A/C compressor went south and took the entire drive belt system with it, requiring a 150 mile tow and a plane ticket to get home (plus another trip to pick it up a week later). Blown head gasket a month later. Next month, oil started leaking on the exhaust header, stinking up the cabin with smoke. The following month the light switch ....why go on? Without a warranty these problems would have set me back close to $5000, which was a few bucks less than it's trade-in value! Totally unacceptable for a five year old car with under 80,000 miles on it. How do all of these Saabs I see on the road stay running?? -Terrible engine insulation. Does it have motor mounts? Everything vibrates, and it gets worse as miles pile on. -Awful road noise, at essentially any speed. -Horrendous ride. With the 50 series tires you brace yourself for even moderate road imperfections; no wonder this thing rattles and the doors are sagging. Again, it's a perfect example of why you can't make a sport sedan by taking a family car and throwing on wide tires and removing almost all suspension travel. -Awful in the snow with the stock tires. You really need an extra set of snow tires to run this thing in the winter. It's obvious that this car was initially designed to run on skinnier 15" all-season tires and would probably perform much better without the oversized boy racer 'shoes'. -Wheels are as durable as a potato chip- replaced several wheels when they were bent out of round by potholes. -Horrible resale value. Hard to believe that these things listed for over 30 grand new.

It may look like the Saabs from the years past, but under the skin it is a sub-par GM sedan with a hatchback and strangly-placed controls attempting to hide it's roots. A marvel of clever space utilization and big performance out of a small motor, let down by horrendous reliability and quality. It also represents a futile attempt to compete with contemporary BMWs, Audis, and the like by hot-rodding what is essentially a 1994 design. A real shame that the direct descendant of cars that could go over 200,000 miles feels essentially shot by 80,000.

Similar Products Used: Mercedes 420sel (180,000 miles) Toyota Celica(60,000 miles without a problem)
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Dakota   [Jul 26, 2005]
Model Reviewed: Saab 9-3 Hatchback
Strength:

Turbo is standard Comfortable to ride in, fun to drive Great storage--seats fold down to provide as much room as a station wagon. Plus, thoughtful "ski hatch" between the back seats. Good mileage (around 30 MPG in SF)

Weakness:

Dings in paint--this may be a "black" car thing, but every time I touch another bumper there's a ding Resale value--duly noted

My '02 lease is ending and I'm so happy with the car that I'm about to buy a used '02 or '03. Saab's resale value is notoriously poor--this is bad news for new car owners but good news for used car buyers, as I can buy a used 9-3 with the same or fewer miles than my leased vehicle for around $15K vs. $18K+ residual value. The car has been essentially problem free for 36K miles (AC knob broke but was fixed free by SAAB). Good acceleration, especially in 3rd gear for the manual which is where the turbo really kicks in. Solid, dependable and a kick in the pants to drive. Remarkable that it's in the same price class as a VW Passat or Toyota yet feels and looks like a BMW/Audi/Infinity class car. I've owned a Volvo previously and like the Saab better. Previously I owned an '87 900S and had a ton of mechanical problems, as Saabs were notorious for at that time. I went through two turbos, had the engine rebuilt, two clutches, etc all in 80K miles. I'd heard that since GM bought Saab they'd become much more reliable--and indeed they have. I've been pleasantly surprised by every aspect of owning the car. Somebody else pointed out the dorky placement of the cupholder and I agree, but other than that I highly recommend the 9-3.

Similar Products Used: '87 Saab 900S Volvo 960SE VW Golf (terrible mechanically)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 87  

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