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Saab 9-3 Coupe (2002 and earlier)



  • jas3rdjas3rd Posts: 2
    The incentives for 9-3's in the Boston area for April are:$4,300 for base car and $5,000 for SE down from $4,700 and $5,500 last month. These were confirmed at two different dealers.
  • jas3rdjas3rd Posts: 2
    The Edmund's TMV now listed for 9-3 options is WAY below invoice. For a 9-3 5 spd base with leather, sunroof, heated seats and metallic paint the TMV on these is about $1,000 below invoice. Give this, the TMV for a base 9-3 5 spd and these options is $23,595. Has anyone been quoted a price like this?
  • I purchased a 2001 9-3 SE just about a month ago and I was able to buy it for below TMV. The car I bought was a service loaner with 1000 miles on it but was offered to me at more than $2000 below TMV including the options. I'm sure that even with the rumored reduced incentives that you can buy one of these at TMV or maybe even a little below. Great car... if you want o buy one in arizona I can give you the name of the transaction three ring circus acts or games.
  • vigorous1vigorous1 Posts: 15
    I'll double up on an earlier poster's view that those considering purchasing a Saab 9-3 ought to go fishing for comprehensive information on Saabs at

    Sabbers are the highest users of the internet of all car owners at 86% connected (last count).

    Sabbers also run one of the oldest, finest car forums of any, rated by the National Post of Canada as one of the best of any car sites. It's been going since 1988. Check it out before you get wrong or misleading information.

  • ckenedickenedi Posts: 16
    Thoughts on Accessories for the 9-3.

    Purchased a red manual 9-3 5dr w heated seats and roof two weeks ago and have put 1300 miles on it.

    My wife and I absolutely love it. It is a classy, fun car that exhibits well-controlled power and really rewards driving as opposed to just providing transportation. The more time I spend with it on different types of roads, the more I appreciate and am able to push/ take advantage of its power and handling.

    Accessories that I got with the car - I negotiated them into the price and got them at cost: all-weather mats, roof bars, the side cargo net and the sliding armrest. I also put in new 3.5" dash speakers and stoneguard on the lights.

    The all-weather mats are good for us because we sometimes wear hiking boots and track in mud and water that turn to slush or ice overnight. Otherwise I would not bother and definitely not "Saab" mats for $100.

    The side cargo net is also, IMHO not worth $100. There are lots of aftermarket versions available. Saab makes a big deal about dealer installation, and my dealer installed it for free to be nice, but it looks pretty easy to do. Moderately useful for grocieries, especially if you buy wine.

    The sliding armest is great. I can adjust it for long drives and put it away. Loss of the rear cupholder is no great loss, unless you have kids I guess. I highly recommend it and its worth every penny of retail.

    The roof rack is phenonomal and for a serious biker, skier or kayaker should be a significant selling point. At $100 retail it is the best buy in the catalog. It is a joy compared to the Thule we had on our corolla. The rack lived on the car for the spring/summer/ fall it was such a pain to put-on/ remove.

    The speakers were well worth the upgrade. Crutchfield has infinity kappas on sale for $65 or so and for us non-audiophiles they made a difference. We put one in and played with the balance between it and the factory speaker and loved the new ones. We probably will not put in door speakers or upgrade the amp.

    My wife commutes 40 miles 2-3 x week and shares the highway (rt 23 in MI) with trucks and her VW bug has had her share of rocks so we put on the stoneguard. Easy to do, although a few air bubbles. It does not interfere with the wipers and looks fine. Just put it against the wiper rests so they don?t get caught. Seems like it will be thick enough to avoid the foglight replacement syndrome.

    I am thinking of trying to fiddle with the resistor/ thermometer in the seats to turn it into a 9-5 style adjustable butt warmer. I may also replace the drivers side mirror w the european aspherical (but $125, ouch for a piece of glass).

    Despite any gripes it is a great car, and I am very happy I choose it over the V40, Audi A4 1.8t and the Passat, all of which are fine cars that I looked at extensively and have driven.
  • srs5srs5 Posts: 1
    According to a dealer I spoke with in the Boston area, the factory to dealer incentive is different based upon whether I pay "cash", take advantage of the Saab lease incentive or the 0% financing. Is this true?

    For example, he said when leasing, Saab offers a very low money factor (interest rate) and a $2000 discounted cap cost for the $339/month instead of the $4000-ish incentive if I financed it myself.

    Should I be able to get a comparable lease for less than $339 (9-3, heated seats, sunroof, metallic paint, no leather)? What is a good price if I want the 0% financing on that same vehicle?
  • gotnadsgotnads Posts: 19
    I am just about to sell or trade my beloved 2000 VW Golf TDI 5 speed. My back was injured by my 5 year old son. Seems we were wrestling, and I thought we had stopped. He thought we hadn't. So when I laid face down on the bed he jumped on the middle of my back and herniated a disk. So, sitting and driving my Golf has become an excruciating experience. I can't comfortably shift gears anymore, and the shape of the seat does my back no good. I am wanting to get a Saab 9-3 (never owned a Saab before, but I have been a fan since the 70's) since I have found their seats to be comfortable. My question is, how do the base 9-3 drive with an automatic? Is it slow? Does it shift smoothly? What kind of gas mileage can I expect with mostly highway driving? Needles to say I have been spoiled with my Golf's mpg, which has hit over 65 mpg at times.

    Thanks for the help.
  • Since Edmunds Rebates and Incentives part of the website no longer works, I was wondering if anyone really knows what the current incentives on the 9-3 SE are. I am looking to purchase one, and would like to know if the TMV of edmunds is still correct. I live in the DC market. Thanks for everyones help.
  • VOB just got a brand new shipment in. I asked if they could go to invoice like the other SAAB dealers in the market. He said they are bargaining and will basically do anything but lose money to make a deal. His name is Dennis Hughes at VOB. Tell him I referred you, and maybe he will give us both a good deal. I plan on going this weekend to check out the SAAB. I plan on targeting the 27,500 for an SE with Auto and Metallic Paint. I would be really glad to get a $36, 000 auto for 28,000. Let me know if you talk with Dennis. THanks.
  • ahflawahflaw Posts: 1
    I was about to buy an audi a4 1.8t, until i drove a saab. The sticker is much higher than the TMV. I also could not find info on rebates. If the TMV is true, I might be buying a saab. I was also wanting to know about European Delivery Program. I hadn't really considered a saab until I noticed the Vail Police driving them. I could use any information please. Thanks
  • ckenedickenedi Posts: 16
    gotnads: The seats are great, the warmers also help. I have a manual 9-3, but tested an auto as well and it was good. Others have praised the auto as well. The S (sport) and W (winter) mode seem to actually make a difference. Our mileage has been around 28 with mixed driving. It improves with premium.

    Edmunds says they don't post rebates because they are not being universally offered, only in markets where there is excess inventory. I beleive this includes the midwest MI/OH that I know of. Saab is also offering a 0% APR and a subisidized lease on its website This also has info on euro delivery. For more info see BB.

    AHFLAW: Euro delivery, I believe, includes a 5% discount and plane tickets and some lodging but NOT the current incentives. I was able to do slightly better than the TMV in Michigan, so it is possible.

    Thoughts to others mentioning prices and salesmen, you should know that many dealers read edwards BBs.
  • shenbyshenby Posts: 1
    I'm in Atlanta however I will drive for that kind of discount. Who is VOB in Boston
  • ryman2ryman2 Posts: 7
    VOB: Thanks for info. I live in DC area also and have been regularly checking VOB and International Saab in Falls Church to keep tabs on inventory. We are looking to buy in Sept/Oct but might consider earlier if great deal. Let me know if they are willing to do SE for around 28,000 and if that includes 0% financing. If you can get that it sounds awesome. I am keeping my eyes peeled for dark blue/ beige leather interior. When I visited VOB this week it seemed like sunburst green and silver were the two most popular colors on lot. I hope you find one you like.

    We are also thinking of doing European delivery, although I want to make sure it's not huge price difference. If anyone has done Euro delivery, could you let me know how your experience was and if any hidden charges.

    Thanks to everyone for all the great info on site!
  • saabgcfsaabgcf Posts: 3
    We also went to vob this week looking for a 9-3 convertible and spoke to James Walton. We love the car and we are willing to share information to get the best deal for all. We have not gotten into really sitting down to crunch numbers yet. He says the couldn't possibly sell it for less than 500 over invoice. That's as far as we've gotten. We plan to check out International tomorrow. Do you have any more information? Would love to here from you.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    Sometimes when I started the car, I heard some "boiling water" noise (similar to the engine noise of a small boat). Is it normal ? Is it actually the nosie from the turbo/turbo cooler ?

    Also, I saw a small amount of grey smoke coming out of the exhaust when my wife started the engine.

    My car is only 850 miles.....
  • vigorous1vigorous1 Posts: 15
    Starting the car will not activate the turbo. You can tell when your turbo "spools up" from your turbo guage, at speed.

    I cannot identify with your noise. Check it out when you replace your oil after the break-in period. At that time, the dealership will look things over.

    Alternatively, take your inquiry to and ask around. There, you will find the single most tuned-in Saab (or any auto) community online. Saabers are the most inclined to use the net of any auto owner at 86% when last measured. This is a very tight community of interest. Many have owned Saabs for years and are just getting used to the 9-3/9-5. Saabers are among the most loyal car owners anywhere, with a super-high re-purchase rate. (Second most loyal of the Euro-car owners after Porsche according to Cartalk.)

    Our '99 9-3 puffs out a very thin cloud on start-up. This is supposed to be one of the cleanest-burning engines on the market.

    This car works like a charm after 47K km (30K miles) and still "puffs" at startup. I have to think it has something to do with the clean-burning system this car has.
  • ryman2ryman2 Posts: 7
    Test drove a base 9-3 at International Saab today in Falls Church, VA. Had not driven a Saab since 900 series. What a wonderful car the 9-3 is. I have read a lot of reviews on different websites and discussion groups about the turbo lag problem. While I respect everyone's different opinion, I have to say that I found it unnoticable. To anyone who is scared off by reading such posts discussing turbo lag, don't be scared off. Go test drive one. I think the only people who may have a problem are the extreme high end sport car junkies for whom every split millisecond counts. For the average person who wants a fun, quick, responsive car, I think the car satisfies all those needs.

    The amazing thing about the 9-3 is its practicability and versatility. I also read some web sites that complained about having to live with Saab's unique features day in and day out. On the contrary, I found Saab's unique features to be its strongest selling point. The hatchback rocks and provides as much if not more USEFUL capacity than my Jeep Cherokee. The seats- aaahhh!- what to say- they are the most comfortable and most beautiful looking seats I ever have sat in. Better than the Audi A-4 and Mercedes C Class in my opinion. And for the cost conscious, you get all the adjustment variety in the manual seats of a Base model without the added cost of power seats. Finally is interior space. For a car with relatively small outer dimensions, it feels quite spacious and roomy inside. The headspace is amazing due to Saab's "older" design, and the backseat has an amazing amount of room. I'm 5-10 and 195 and the car fit me like a glove. With the driver's seat adjusted for me, I still had room to sit comfortably behind the driver's seat. And because of the deep footwell on passenger side, you can bring the seat up pretty far to allow a very tall person to sit in back and still have plenty of leg room up front. I have to admit though, the stereo speakers are pretty bad. They do an adequate job for listening to the radio/CD, but try to crank them and they get very staticy. If you want to play music loud and cruise, upgrade the speakers- $500 to upgrade to SE speakers in Saab's catalogue. Last thing, for those who like center armrests, oddly there is one in back seat but not in front seat on base model. BUT, Saab catalogue has two different kinds for 43 and 75 bucks which dealer can install.

    Re price- I dealt with Ron at International Saab near DC. Real nice guy- try to deal with him if you go. We didn't get down to nitty gritty, but the factory to dealer incentive is still available in DC and is $4000. There is also 0% financing, but you can't use both dealer incentive and financing- one or the other kids. Still, either one is good price. It pays to work your numbers on Edmunds monthly calculator to find out which is the better route- for me I think if they still have the dealer incentives when ready to buy, they will be way to go since interest rates are so low right now and my wife has a credit union. Do your homework before you buy and I think you can get this car for a real steal. Good luck to everyone.
  • saabgcfsaabgcf Posts: 3
    you'll probably say we could have done better, but we got the convertible at invoice with the o% financing and a few extras. saab is allowing a 2.2% holdback, which allows the dealer to go straight to invoice. the 0% is over 5 years -- you really can't do any better than that anywhere! (we could have bargained for a bit more--couple of hundred maybe, but over 60 mths, the difference would have been negligible. anyhow, i believe the dealer's allowed to make a few bucks too.) servicing through 30,000 is free. bob martin was very easy to deal with. this is the third saab we've gotten at international and they always seemed easier to deal with than VOB. they do replacement cars for repairs and servicings.
  • saabgcfsaabgcf Posts: 3
    by the way, the break even on the 0% vs the $5,000 credit (with 7.5%) on the car is about a $4,000 down payment (0%) vs a $10,000 down payment $5,000 credit). just depends how much you want to put down on which is the better deal.
  • ryman2ryman2 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info. It will help me a lot when my time comes. I think you got a good deal. I agree with you, International has seemed much more friendly and helpful. I am glad you mentioned the loaner cars for repairs- I didn't know about that but it is a really nice perk, especially when you only own one car.
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