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Saab 9-3 Coupe (2002 and earlier)



  • sweeney5sweeney5 Posts: 9
    Saab 9-3 2002. Lease based on 3 yrs, 15k per year, everything rolled in (Virginia tax, tags, bank fee, no down payment) also includes all of your lease loyalty (apparently $500).

    9-3 SE with premium package, automatic and metallic paint
    $393. per month
    $393. due at lease (1st payment only!)sale price will be $28184.

    9-3 SE no premium pack, including automatic and metallic paint
    $369.08 per month
    $369.08 due at lease, sale price of $26430

    Please advise if anyone is doing better than this specifically?

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    Sounds like a good deal to me. I pay $398 per month on a 36 month 12K per year lease on a 2000 base 9-3 with Slushbox, Leather, Moonroof, CD, & Metallic Paint.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • agentzukagentzuk Posts: 5
    I'm extremely upset with our local dealers. After 2 weeks of dealing with these people I wouldn't buy a saab if you paid me. Think twice before you buy this car... and then think one more time if you're still considering it. thanks for all yr info. zuk
  • What happened?
  • jas28jas28 Posts: 50
    I agree with you, but my issues are car related - my latest (in a looonnnggg string of warrany repais over the last 32 months) is having the driver info center replacted (for the second time), new bushings on the sway bar for loud suspension creaking and the muffler replaced after developing a leak (on a car with 27k miles -according to the dealer, this is not uncommon due to condensate build-up in the muffler).

    Just like you zuk, I'd say be vary careful before getting one of these (especially if you don't like your dealer) because you'll be spending a whole lot of time in the service department of your dealer.
  • 22sub22sub Posts: 9
    I've been considering the new 9-3 for my wife - are the serious mechanical issues that some of you are describing the norm?? Or do you think you got some bad cars out of a good bunch? What about your experience nycarguy? You're looking at BMW's now right? Is that b/c of the unreliability? I'm totally new to SAAB's, so any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
  • jas28jas28 Posts: 50
    the "normal" ones (ie many other people I know have had them) are: A/C controls breaking; suspension creaking; Saab logo/badge on hood wearing off/falling off; radio reception on AM failing due to bad antenna; weak wheels (had to replace rims 3 times at $250/wheel) and numerous rattles on the vehicle interior.

    Other ones I have had (which I have not seen duplicated on other cars) include failed side airbag (fortunately not in an accident); bad driver's sear; poor A/C performance; bad power locks; failed driver info center; failed side mirror motor; bad sun roof seals.

    Just a warning from an admittedly disgrunted Saab 9-3 owner.
  • hppypaulhppypaul Posts: 43
    I don't want to jinx myself, but other than an errant airbag light on in week 2 (easly fixed by reinersten motors in denville, nj) , i've run 38K without a hitch. Just regular maintenance checks and oil changes. Did a solo run from nj to miami and back (2800 miles) with 34mpg and fun all the way.

    Guess I got a good one. Probably because it's a lease and will go back in a year. If I owned it, I'm sure it would be a mess.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    My Saab was sold earlier this month. I generally enjoyed the time I owned it, except for all of the teeth gnashing that occurred every time the car's poor mechanical design caused a failure. And over the time I had it, it failed me far too frequently for it to be considered an acceptable ownership.

    Saabs are notorious for having poor mufflers. I found this out in my 2nd year, when I had both my middle & rear ones replaced while the car was still under warranty. My recommendation here is to wait as long as possible towards the end of your warranty period, so as to more likely have a better muffler after your warranty has expired. A coworker who used to own nothing but Saabs has moved on to VW's/Audi's and his advice on mufflers was that the aftermarket cheapies tended to last barely a year, so they can be more expensive in the long run - - but they'll last long enough to pass State vehicle inspection and to sell the car to someone else, he advised :-)

    I also had my "driver info center" replaced while under warranty. Shortly after, it stopped providing the "time for service" reminders, so it was obviously broken again. It was by this time out of warranty, so I wasn't about to pay for that repair.

    I also had the AM radio reception problem. It never really was fixed to my satisfaction. Also had the flimsy headlights switch break because I actually dared to use the switch.

    I apparently got lucky on serpentine belt failures in that I only had one of them. These fail due to seized bearings on idler pullies. You won't get that many miles/hours worth of warning before the end comes: figure less than a single day/100 miles from the first hint of a 'squeaky' from under the hood.

    Continuing, I'd have to say that my engine rebuild was the "fluke". Of course, this was due to a blocked oil line that the oil pressure transducer wasn't able to detect. I was lucky in that I caught it very early: "only" $2500 for a rebuild of the timing chains, instead of three times that for the whole engine.

    Finally, another poor bearing/bushing design is in the older manual transmission. My first one failed catastrophically at 36K miles (requiring the car to be towed in), and because they claimed it was part of the "wearing parts" of the transmission, was NOT covered by warranty. The second was an immanent failure, less than a year and less than 12K miles later, and I absolutely demanded that they pay for this one. Boy, was I livid, and that was pretty much the final straw.

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350

    You're using the same dealership I bought from & used... wished I would have known, as I just sold off my second set of wheels. I still have a nearly virgin Evolution IV car cover, if you're interested.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    I feel the same way you do about your car. I've been lucky (knock on wood) because my car is a lease. I think to own, I would have chosen another make from the get go. Mine is a 2000 Base 9-3 with a slushbox. My car had the suspension creaking (as jas pointed out) from about 2 weeks after I took delivery. When I brought the car in for the "free" 1000 mile service, they replaced the front right strut. Other than the 1000 mile service, I brought the car in for an oil change at 5K, 10K, the 20K service which I had the same strut (broken) and thrust bearing (cracked) along with a right front wheel (cracked on both sides) replaced because of a pot hole that swallowed my car in Harlem when I got off the FDR drive to get around some Saturday night traffic (luckily $20 got the service advisor to cover those under warranty), and I just completed the 30K service. There is a rattle in the dash that happens on cold starts when I have my foot letting off the brake. The front pads will probably have to be replaced before I turn the car in. While I do love my Saab, part of what I love is that it is leased and in a little over 8 months I'll give the car back. definitely got a lemon...your car is at the dealer at least once a month! A Sob story!

    huntzinger...You've posted your problems that you've had with your Saab and every timer I read them I still can't believe my eyes! Another Sob Story.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    huntzinger...You've posted your problems that you've had with your Saab and every timer I read them I still can't believe my eyes!

    If there's any unbelievers out there, I guess I can grab my big pile of repair receipts, scan them in as PDF's and put them up on a directory on my website. :-)

    The real lesson I learned was to use Saab's Customer Assurance 800# and to be very firm when calling them.

    Another Sob Story.

    Agreed. The thing I know today that I didn't know before was that the 900, 9-3, 9000 and 9-5 are all platformed off of GM's Opel Vectra.

    And if that wasn't scary enough, you can then add in "engineering contributions" from Fiat.

  • manny17manny17 Posts: 2
    Just came back from the dealer. They are offering me a 36 month lease 15k, premium package, 2002 9-3 SE for $2,112 at signing and $375/m. Is this a good deal or do I have room to negotiate?
  • Both Patrick Saab in Schaumburg and Saab Exchange gave me the best quotes (I sent email to them). I got my Saab from Saab Exchange in Highland Park because the manager replied my email with the lowest price (invoice price). Also, they sold only Saabs (they just started to sell Prosche). They have much better service too.

    C230 seems to be a more up-to-date car but I won't buy it because people may think I cannot afford the "real" Mercedes. I like hatchbacks. I like the front of the C230 but I found its rear area is ugly. It's liked being cut off by someone. Its sunroof and ABS are better though.
    I think it is suitable in snow. Although Kompassor may be more efficient but it got turned on once you start the engine. It probably have a shorter life than turbo. Since MB didn't develop too much standard transmission, many people suggested to buy a MB auto.

    These are just my opinion. If I am buy a Mercedes, I would save more money and buy an CLK or SLK. After you put leather and the sunroof to the C230, it could be expensive. (It think it would be strange if you don't have leather in a MB or a BMW and the sunroof is a MUST HAVE because it is one of the selling points of C230 !)
    For the same price, I would buy a 9-3 SE/Viggen (more powerful - 205hp & 230hp), A4 (at least quattro is available) or a 325i.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In addition to the feedback here, you may also want to post (copy/paste) your question in this FWI Leasing discussion. Our host (Car_man) has a lot of knowledge on what the different manufacturers are offering. Btw, weekends are a little slow around here so give it a day or two for additional feedback. Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Hi stupideagles- 9-3 vs C230. You may also want to share (copy/paste) your thoughts in our new our new Mercedes-Benz C230 vs. Saab 9-3 discussion. Thanks for your participation. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    Hi stupideagles- 9-3 vs C230. You may also want to share (copy/paste) your thoughts in our new our new Mercedes-Benz C230 vs. Saab 9-3 discussion. Thanks for your participation. ;-)

    That's where I'll be posting my comment.

  • Hello everyone: I would just like to say that I am relatively new to this room having only been in the Sabb-buying market for the last 2 weeks.
    However, during that time I have visited this forum numerous times to read differing opinions regarding the advantages - and more often then not!- disadvantages of buying or leasing a new 2002 Saab. With that that said - I have found this site to to be very useful and extremely informative in my car-shopping endeavor and I would just like to give you all a collective "thank you" for all your help

    Here's the offer that has been given to me:
    2002 Saab 9-3 SE fully loaded premium package
    The dealership I went to has offered me the following lease package: 3 year lease, 15k mile/yr, $361 lease/month, no money down, money factor of ZERO. To buy the car outright, they are offering me this car at $26,702 or to lease a cap cost of $27,702. No matter what - we are looking to lease. Personally - I think this is a sweet deal - as long as the "complete premium package" is worth buying it.

    What do you think?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    Sounds like a good deal to me to lease. $361/ month for a 15K per year lease is great. I pay $399/month for a 12K per year lease on a 2000 Base 9-3. Definitely lease, and don't buy!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • 22sub22sub Posts: 9
    thanks to all for their insights on potential problems with SAABs. I must admit I am now feeling fairly aprehensive about purchasing or leasing one. Nevertheless, if I do decide to proceed, I'd like your thoughts on lease vs. balloon financing (nycarguy?)...

    At least in Texas there is a personal property tax that is imposed when leasing a car, which can amount to several hundred dollars (my secretary has a pathfinder, and her assessment this year was for $420). I have been told that a much better option is the "balloon financing" option, that has a clause allowing you to simply return the car to the dealer at the balloon if you don't want to keep it. This acheives the same low-monthly-payment effect, without the tax at year-end.

    Does anyone have any specific experience with these two scenarios and can shed light on which is better?? Thanks,

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    I'm not sure how baloon financing works, but I think you don't just turn the car back to the dealer if you "don't want to pay the balloon." You can finance the balloon for another couple of years I believe. So what if you have to pay $400 a year for 3 years? It will be offset by the fact that the SE with Premuim Package comes with Free Maintenance for 3 years. A Saab is a great car to lease. If you balloon it and then finance the balloon after 3 years, Saab will be 2 years into a new body style and you'll be clobbered by depreciation. But agian, I'm really not sure how it works!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

This discussion has been closed.