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2003 Saab 9-3



  • GM gave saab the outline and the underpinnings. Saab developed the chassis, engine, safety and handling characteristics itself. The trionic 8 system is simply superb.

    Saab's Reaxs rear wheel steering system is appealing too. It ensures good handling.

    Also, the car has very little "electrical wires"; actually it uses optic fibers extensively. I think it is more reliable.

    Based on the newest platform, and modified it to ensure saab like quality--fun to drive, safe, and unique.
    A superb car!
  • dl7265, I'll post the link when the transcript is ready. It usually takes about a week. If I don't see it in the next couple of days, I'll chase it down.


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  • Just a quick heads-up ... is offering 9-3s at below MSRP until 10/31.

    Now, all we need is for GM to include it in its 0-0-0 event.
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    GM is already giving dealer incentives for the 9-3.
    Market must be really bad.
  • I know the stickers are a bit more for S60/A4/325. That is a given. Saab gives you a very nice car for its price. But, other factors do add in.

    Traditionally, a Saab does not hold resale nearly as well as the other 3 mentioned cars. They also tend to be offered at good discounts at the end of MY, which is a big reason why the resale is poor...the more you subvent leases and offer huge incentives to clear out YE (year-end) inventory, the more trouble a car will have holding resale.

    I would rather own a Saab 9-3 then an S40, given some of the reliability issues the S40 is reported to have (brakes being a big one, changing pads every 10k miles? ouch!). Still, reliability has never been a huge selling point for Saab. My personal history was not blessed either, but I blame it on the previous owner and my youthful exuberance as I do on the car itself.

    I think the strong points for Saab ownership have been fun to drive turbo 4s with plenty of luxury features, a quirky but very stylish interior, complete with an Aviation dash and the key on the hump instead of dangling from the steering column. I think Saabs have always had a very distinctive look, which has worked to its benefit and detriment, as the hatchback look is a polarizing thing. Now that they are moving to middle ground with a more traditonal sedan look, it will be interesting to see how the US market reacts.

    Personally, Saab's copious carrying capacities has always been a great selling point, and I used that as one of my pillars when I sold them for a short time back in 1991.

    So, from a car as depreciation expense formula for the average consumer who keeps a car 3-4 years, an S60/A4/325 may cost a few more dollars a month to rent, but when you trade up, the retained value should even the equation back in favor of the three versus a Saab...with that in mind, a $25k Saab is still going to "cost" the average consumer as much as a $28-$30k car from one of the other more traditionally desired makers.

    So, the car has to be appealing to make it worth that trade off. Will the Saab succeed in that equation? It looks good so far. I am excited to take one down the road and see how much the new design improves on an old favorite.
  • is to clear out remaining 2002 stock. Wish I had the money right now, as I still love the looks of the old-model Hatchbacks. :)

    Saab has traditionally been offered at YE with a significant reduction in MSRP. This coming model year may be the first in many (if European demand is any indication) that Saab has so few cars left at YE as to make a rebate not necessary.

    It is an easy enough formula.

    You plan to sell 30k cars, but hope to sell 35k.

    The market has sold 27k cars with two months left to go in model year, you don't need to offer much incentive...your model is moving well enough without. Maybe you add a few options, or a low rate financing deal to make sure that when the new models are on the lot, the lots are empty of old models. Or you add in a big incentive and up production to turn out 32-33k cars, which lowers the per car costs a little. (Overhead gets divided by 33k instead of 30k.) The additional benefit comes down the road with parts.

    If the market instead has only sold 20k car with 2 months left to go...oh man, you need to move the 10k cars you have surplus produced to keep your factory at capacity. You hammer out a rebate/incentive package and start force-feeding the cars into the market to move out the left over is no good to head into the new year with a 20-30 car inventory (per lot) of last years model on the lots...looks bad to the early-bird buyers, non?

    Witness a $4000 incentive on Volvo S40s, and a similar incentive on Mercedes C230 SportCoupes. On the other hand, BMW and Audi are offering no cash incentives that I am aware of.

    We all sort of know this, right?
  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    According to, they are getting
    dealer incentive for the 2003 9-3, not the 02 ones.
    Not much, but enough to bring price down to about
    $500 above invoice (difference between invoice and MSRP is only about $1000 though).
    This is in lieu of the 1.9% 36 months financing.
  • rgc2200rgc2200 Posts: 37
    As 9-3's arrive in showrooms, the radio waves and newspapers are mysteriously silent about the car. The real Saab fans know all about the car, but otherwise all is quiet. Audi lease deals, Saab 9-5 deals etc. are everywhere. I've ordered one, and am being pushed by the dealer to pick it up tomorrow. I called one other good reputation dealer tonight, who quoted me a similiar lease but quietly recommended I wait until 11/1 if possible. He suspected a advertising blitz, with a Saab lease incentive plan. While no one (I suspect) knows for sure, and since my leased 9-3 is cool until mid November I'm going to wait a week. I'd feel like a sucker to lease 10/25, and lose a potential opportunity to save $$ on 11/1.
    Anyone hear anything along these lines, or just wishful thinking?
  • Deals tend to vary from place to place. For example, I just used the incentive & rebate page:

    and did a ZIP code search. In my area, there's nothing offered on any Saabs. However, in the Washington, DC area, there's special financing. I doubt that page shows upcoming deals, but it might be worth a check, plugging in your own ZIP code or a nearby one.


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  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    My understanding is that the supply of 03 9-3 is pretty tight right now. Saab is blitzing the 9-5 because it has excess product to move. Obviously, the same is true with the A4.

    Once Saab moves old inventory and gets the production of the 9-3 in line with demand, you will see more advertising.
  • I presently own a 1996 Saab 900 Se V6 auto and am happy with the way that it drives considering what I payed for it. Fortunately for used car buyers Saab is owned by GM and the price depreciates quite drastically compared to its competitors in the near luxury sport sedan segment. Unfortunately for new car buyers is that Saab is owned by GM. I purchased my Saab used and got a great deal. Unless you have the money to buy a BMW or loaded Audi A4 quattro i don't think there are many cars to compete with the new 93 for the money. If the new cars suspention and performance have indead improved as much as I read then I think this car is indeed a winner.

    My local SSI dealer no longer sells Saab (not a big market in my area) so I have to travel to see one.

    Hope to get more information from real owners soon.
  • I just recently took delivery of a 03 9-3..see sedan board..Kristie..why still in future board?
  • shades80, I'll be closing this one in a few days... I'm just leaving it open until I can post a link to the chat for anyone who missed it.


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  • HI,
    A Saab is the ONLY car my wife has ever looked at and liked. I mean, she never thinks about or notices any cars, but she does like the Saabs. So, after my 25 year old 320i died recently, I've been looking for a replacement. As it happens, one of the people I know haas been a Saab mechanic for many years. He told me that they are great cars to drive and very practical, BUT he said there is a flaw with the spark plugs and how they are engineered in the ingition and firing system. He said that they always cause problems when the cars aren't that old, and it's expensive to fix it. I can't remember exactly what he said it was about the system, but he said it happens to most of them and I would regret getting it. They're great "when you get to drive them" and they aren't in the shop.
    my wife still likes them, so I ask, has anyone had lots of problems like this with their Saabs?
    I always read that the 9-5 is the best car they ever about the new 9-3?
    cdn driver
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    I believe he's referring to the direct ignition cassette (I think that's the name). It's the module that goes on top of the spark plugs--no spark plug wires on a Saab. These are problematic and expensive to fix.

    I'm 99% certain, though, that this was one of the major fixes on the new 9-3s--each plug has its own DIC. You only have to replace one if it goes bad instead of the whole bank.

    Other more knowledgable users may jump in to give you better info, but I'm pretty sure the above is correct.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Ok where are those transcipts ?:)
  • allegedly coming tomorrow...

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  • As promised...
    Saab 9-3 Chat Transcript.

    Countdown -- this topic will close on Monday, 11/04.


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  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Thank you very much. I am very impressed with the guests! This has been a good forum. It is almost too bad to see it go. Time waits for no one, and all that. Thanks again.
This discussion has been closed.