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SAAB 9-3

1356710

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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    More news from Saab USA web address:

    A new 2.3L high-output turbocharged engine, tuned
    sport chassis, superior aerodynamics and an
    aggressive lower stance earns this new Saab the
    right to bear the name of the revered Saab 37
    Viggen jet fighter. Just as the Viggen jet fighter
    defines agility and versatility in the air, the
    superior handling and torque of the Saab 9-3 Viggen
    sets a new standard for high performance Saabs.

    The Viggen name, Swedish for "Thunderbolt", aptly
    describes this new model, which combines a
    fully-aspirated turbo, wider tires and reduced
    aerodynamic drag for a Saab driving experience like
    no other. The Saab 9-3 Viggen honors its heritage
    with an aircraft-inspired cockpit designed for
    enhanced driver positioning and support.
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    I wonder how long my license would last should I acquire such a beast?
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    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    with SUV utility" should be the slogan for SAAB. Maybe they can create a new rage.
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    I have been shopping for several months, now ready to purchase a 9-3/4D/stick. Any comments on "value" issues of SE vs Basic. I want a sunroof, leaning toward leather seats.
    Regarding final price - @invoice? or 2% over? less destination charges? (575) and holdback @ 2.2%? Has anyone paid less than Edmonds invoice for a 9-3?The salesmen have been polite. I am sure they have expected me to be an easy target. (I am female) Some of the BS they have given me makes me laugh inside. Now for the final day!
    Regards, Karin
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    EgospoonEgospoon Member Posts: 10
    Actually, I tend to notice even a little seat slippage during cornering because I'm inevitably comparing it to my Subaru. It's pathetically underpowered, but with AWD and cloth seats with more pronounced lateral support thingies, that little car corners like a freakin Carrera and you are GLUED in there. You'll black out from the G's before you move an inch side to side.

    Okay, I exaggerate.

    Slightly.

    Anyway, I've since driven a 9-3 with the cheapo fur stuff and felt much more comfortable and in control, much more connected to the car. So, despite being WAY enamored of the miscellaneous SE baubles, I'm a-gonna go with the Base.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    We got the base 9-3 without leather and I'm pretty sure we made the right decission. The thigh bolster on the Saabs is a little flat for my liking and so you probably slip more in the leather seats especially if your small framed.

    My wife is very petite but we got into several Acuras before she decided on the Saab and we definitly noticed the difference in how snuggly the different seats felt. My wife actually felt rather claustrophobic in the Acuras mostly due to their very firm and snug seats.

    Seat comfort is a very objective feeling but it very implortant to your feeling of secrity and comfort when driving the car. Saab has the best ergonomics in the industry but you need to choose the proper seat material for your own particualr preference.

    Both my wife and I are of very body types and the infinitly adjustible drivers seat has been very usefull for the both of us both. When you think about what kind of upholstery you want in you car leather is not always the best choice. The grade and finishing on the leather makes a big difference and in my humble opinion Saab's leather finish is just too smooth.

    If you plan to own your car past the lease date non-leather is the way to go unless you have the stamina to keep up with the cleaning and conditioning requirments of leather. I own several older leather upholstered cars and it becomes absolutley aparant when a leather upholsterty has been well maintained and when it has not. This is diefinitly not the case with cloth.
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    EgospoonEgospoon Member Posts: 10
    Totally, Freddy. The sales dude (cool guy, actually) spoke in terms of Saab not "nickel-and-diming you" in terms of options in that they offer these two relatively strictly defined trim levels, but that's spin city, baby. I'm actually disappointed that I can't do the mix-and-match thing with the SE doodads.

    Their loss, 'cause I'da gotten the subwoofer and the High-Zoot Thermostat Thing and the HOT.

    I'm sure I'll be happy anyway.
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    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    They took out the incentives on the 9-3 SE 5DRs recently. I think that's because SE's have HOT engine and made them slightly more popular. You should expect to pay 30,500 for SE and 27,000 for base with leather and sunroof. I personally think that, if you are buying, base with just the sunroof is the best way to go for about 26K. Also, I think there's a chance that incentives might come back.
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    Egospoon,
    Make a wish list of all the extras you would like and have the salesperson look for the car at other dealers. During my shopping around I found base 9-3's with many extra (SE)features, including the winter package.
    Regards, Karin
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    I test drove a 9-3 in Phoenix last week. The salesperson said- last year, in Jan. they sold 4 Saabs, this year 33 Saabs. The lot is full of 9-3 and 9-5's.
    Karin
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    If true, those are truly amzing numbers. Hopefully Saab like VW can really garner marketshare by producing a better product that is priced to undercut competitors. Honestly, I can't understand why anyone considering a v-6 Camry or Accord would not consider a 9-3, but then I already own one. The real trick for Saab is to get these loyal Honda and Toyota owners to test drive the 9-3 and upsell them. To do this Saab must allay all fears of unreliability and service access by offering an extended warranty and expanding its geographic service market.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    rfellman-

    Right on with the need for Saab to undercut the competition and provide RELIABLE SERVICE AND QUALITY. My wife, who is Japanese, was very taken by Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Accura but I think she really didn't want just accept the known reliability of these cars over the utilitarian and unique aspects of the Saab design.

    I wanted a sport station wagon but the available choices in the market at the time were beyond what we wanted to spend and Toyota and Honda discontinued selling their wagon offerings in the U.S. The 9-3 Saab turned out to be a very acceptible compromise and it fun to drive too!
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Today I saw two 9-3s. Only the third and fourth sighting in three monthss. Also saw a 9000. I saw a red sedan and a white convertible. On the convertible I had to veiw the rear end to verify the 9-3 tag as I can't seem to tell a 2nd generation 900 from a 9-3 convertible.
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    Has anyone read the Feb. Consumer Report? Comments?
    Karin
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    Saab sightings in South Bay L.A. are definitly growing. They are hard to sight because the late model 900's had the rear spoiler too. I'm not a big fan of this kind of accessory because more often than not they lead to reduced top speed and are only visual additions.

    The one reliable way that I've found to spot a new 9-3 is by its wheel rims. Saab has continued to update it rims throughout the model year and this seems to be the best way to differentiate Saab models although it is not precise because some older Saab owners can easily update their cars with the use of "new" rims. This however seems to a minority of your typical Saab owner.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    eener-

    Paraphrase the report for us so that we can have some point of reference outside looking up and reading it for ourselves!
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    See the Sedan Forum under Saab Lovers for synopsis and opinions on the source of the review. You will need to scroll back a few entires.
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    see Forum #211 in Sedans and begin reading at entry 240 forward for discussion of CU's review.
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    rfellman,
    Thanks for the directions to the Sedan site, re; CU story. I enjoyed the "Saab" talk.
    Today I am calling Dealers to start the buying process. The information here has been very helpful.
    Karin
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Yeah, the fact that CU was not enamored with the Saab 9-3 comes as no surprise. They tend to favor comfort anf familiarity over performance and uniqueness. Hence their love affair with the more main stream 9-5 and all Toyotas, Honda etc.
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    mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    I'm glad we've been of help, Karin.

    carlady/host
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    eenereener Member Posts: 12
    Visited the Saab dealer today. They have several
    "used 9-3's (5-6 thousand miles on them).
    They have been used as demo cars. Any comments about the advisability of purchasing one of these?
    How mych should they be discounted?
    Thanks,
    Karin
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    treat such demos as last years model and ask for deals similar to those offered by SAAB USA on closeouts on the 98 900s. You might not get $4000 off of invoice, but you will get one hell of a deal on a 9-3 anyway you slice it. Take the discount off of invoice and then negotiate a new lower price with the dealer with the goal being to pay no more than 2% over the new invoice price. Its a used car, there are no rules and there are no Kelley blue book values for 99 9-3s as yet so be creative.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    Karin-

    I think I'd buy a Saab dealer's car over Budget's if only because there is a more direct responsibilty by the dealer to at least help you to maintain your car. With the dealer there is at least the hope that they care whether you ever return again for a subsequent visit for your next replacement Saab.

    A word of wisdom though is that you cannot expect your Saab dealer to do much more than refer you to reputable service people int hteir area. Our own Los Angeles based dealer doesn't have much more than the most rdimentary of facilities and sends out most work brought to them to local "specialist" shops.

    One last comment, we have a auto Saab and its acceration and performance is really very acceptable. I'd have a little intrepidation about a used stick shift turbo Saab because the turbos take some getting used to and I'd be very weary about burt clutch plates on rental Saabs.
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    shiftGearshiftGear Member Posts: 1
    I test drove a 9-3/M/5Dr yesterday.

    I liked it *a lot*. Handling, acceleration, ride. I was somewhat off course in high speed curves, probably due to the Saab's torque steer and the fact that I used to driving a RWD. The sale guy told me "this is a tight curve, a good way to see how the car handles." I down shifted and floored it, and did not let go much until until seeing the end of the curve. The poor sales guy peed in his pants.

    I have three questions:
    (1) Integrated Child Seat. The dealer (Saab exclusive, at least 50+ Saab inventory) had no car with Integrated rear child and seemed lukewarm at the idea of getting it. Is this an option nobody cares about? Hey, my kid is turning 4 this spring, I intend to use it. He said he might have to special order THE CAR which would take a few month. Can't he just special order the seat? Any idea?

    (2) There was some turbo lag. I suspect the SE model would have less turbo lag since it is a more powerful turbo. Yes/no? I have not tried the SE.

    (3) Price. I view the hold back as money going to run the business. $500 above invoice to pay for the sales staff seems reasonable to me. Any body out there paid a few hundreds above invoice?

    Thanks
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    SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    I looked at it the same way. in recent shopping I have been dealing for around $500.00 over invoice which I tell them is a reasonable profit. If they start whining about not making enough money, I then let them know that I know about the additional $XXX.00 that they will get from the holdback. This usually shuts them up. Plus, I figure I will also need to pay destination. No dealer of any make has ever moved on the destination charge.
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    From "Saab Soundings", the PR blurb that Saab sends to owners:

    The designer of the "integrated child safety seat" has two young children of his own, and the design was tested extensively for "user acceptance" as well as lab-tested for safety.

    This is a very useful option if you need it, and Saab is one of just a few builders who realize that someone who needs *one* child seat is very likely to need *two* of them. If your dealer is cold to the idea of finding what you want, an polite but firm note to customer service at http://www.saabusa.com (or a phone call to their 800 number) is very likely to bring him some "customer relations counselling." The president of SaabUSA is from Saturn, where customer service and showroom accomodation to the customer (except in price) is THE way of doing business.
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    It was my understanding that the Budget Rental Fleet is being liquidated through direct customer response via SaabUSA's website http://www.saabusa.com/preowned/. Customers check off the vehicle(s) they are interested in, and the dealer of their choice. The dealer then calls back with the price. Perhaps only some of the fleet is on the web site, but when they turned over the fleet last summer, Saab reported that the internet marketing was clearing the inventory at 4 times the rate as the previous "dealer auction" method.
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    One would expect the HOT turbo to have a tiny bit more lag than the "regular" full-turbo. Usually what gives more peak power from a Saab turbo is a larger turbine inlet nozzel, which allows more flow without "choking". This also has the effect of reducing the exhaust gas velocity at low engine output, which means the turbine takes longer to get "spun up".

    The cure for "turbo lag" in the 9-3, and to be sure, the amount of lag in normal spirited driving is inconsquential (and much less annoying than the time it takes a high performance N/A motor to get "on the cam"), is the 2.3 liter Viggen model, to be released in May. Even with turbo motors, "there's no substitute for cubic inches," and the 2.3 turbos hauled the heavier 9000 Aero remarkably well.
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    The "Saab Lovers" topic in "SEDANS" has been buzzing, well, murmuring, with talk about the Viggen, a high performance version of the 9-3 and the spiritual successor to the 900 SPG, the 99 Turbo, and the 93 "Monte Carlo". Tuned by Watkins Racing in England and assembled along side the Porsche Boxter and the more prosaic 9-3 convertibles by Valmet of Finland, this is the "M3" of Saabdom. "Viggen," which translates from the Swedish as "Thunder", is the name of the Saab J-37 series of jet fighters and has been the "given" name of many Saab automobiles over the years. Apparently it will be available in the 5-door and convertible body styles, as well as the 3-door coupe, providing some excitement to well heeled families and sun lovers as well as the "hard core".
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    What kind of tires will the Viggen come with? Will they be wide low profile high performance tires which are ideal on dry roadway but not fun under less ideal conditions.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    rfellman-

    I have a bit of a beef about the tires that Saab chose for its 9-3 series. We had to replace one of the tires, due to a unreparable puncture, a couple of months after we bought the car and I ended up having to search all over L.A. to find it. I drove 55 minutes from my house into the Valley to get my replacement tire from a dealer recommended tire shop and we paid $$$$$ for it. I called three local tire shops and was unable to locate the correct tire without accepting a several day wait.

    We're digressing here! The Viggen will be HOT but lets find out about anyone whose driven their current 9-3 at 100+ MPH and how was your experience?
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    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    Don't worry. Car prices in the U.K are notoriously more expensive than the rest of Europe and rest of the world for that matter. Sometimes their prices are 20% higher. I expect the Viggin to cost at least couple of thousand less than an M3. This is pure speculation but I am guessing $38,000 for a 9-3 Viggin and I am sure one can be had for around $36K after a little haggling. After all, it doesn't take that much to turn a 9-3 into a "Viggin" I think. 2.3 full-turbo motor from the 9000 Aero, stiffer suspension, sports seats, 17" wheels and free-flow exhaust. Except for the motor you can get the rest done on your existing 9-3.
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    bill42bill42 Member Posts: 29
    The press release does not specify the tires. All it says is 7.5 by 17 inch wheels. To me that says Z rated rubber and 4 dedicated snow tires on steel wheels for the Winter.
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    wkimeswkimes Member Posts: 3
    I don't think SAAB will sell many convertibles at a price above $45,000.
    I have been vacillating between a BMW and SAAB for months now, and have put off my purchase till the Viggen comes out.
    SAAB is very attractive at 15% to20% less than a comparably equipped BMW and factory subsidized lease deals. At 10% less, it becomes more difficult to justify. In the balance the BMW is probably a better car with much better resale value and longer lasting styling.
    My eye is on an M3, the resale on the M3's are tremendous! It does appear that the two convertibles will be almost the same price. It’s also possible that the M3 will more available than the Viggen convertible. I’m not found of the Bimmer folks, their service, or the image, but that’s a lot of $$! When you pay that kind of money, it’s hard to take chances.
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    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    Well, I took the plunge sooner than I thought. Pick up my new 9-3 tomorrow. Opted for the more versatile, and passenger friendly, 4 door over the more sporty coupe. Equipped with 5-spd, sunroof, heated seats, leather and CD. Had to press the salesman to come down to $800 over invoice from the standard $900 over. But was able to get Chase, the lease company, to waive the security deposit ($325) and cut $200 off of the acquisition fee (down to $250).

    rfellman - Do you remember the coffee question? My 9-3 has a beverage holder that I don't remember being on previous models I looked at. Very similar to the pop-out holder on the 9-5, except located horizontally above the CD slot. Blocks the CD slot when out, but an improvement I think.

    My wife will now drive our A4 2.8 auto. I should be able to provide comment to those folks comparing the 9-3 to the A4.

    Happy & SAFE motoring. (Recent posts on one of the Saab topics referring to high speeds (100+) made me throw that in.)

    rfe
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Yes my 99 9-3 coffee holder swivels out of the dash. I have this feature but seldom use it as I drink espresso every morning and there is no power adapter and dash mounting kit available for my espresso machine in the Saab catalogue. The center counsel cup holder really is usable only by back seat denizens. You are quite right that the when used, the cup holder with cup blocks the radio, CD and computer. Again, the Swedes don't want messy Americans eating hamburgers and drinking cokes in their SAABs. I think the idea is that with a fast 9-3 you can drive fast enough to keep to a schedule and still enjoy a sit down Happy Meal at McDonalds.
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Does anyone know of a Saab Catalogue offering for a driver's seat center armrest attachment that connects to the center counsel over the unusable center cup holder?

    Also I am beginning to see 9-3s tooling around the nicer neighborhoods of St Louis County, MO.
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    SAAB is advertising a 39 mo lease for $299 which is comparable to the BMW 323i leases available. Ha sanyone done better on a 9-3 lease? Is this for the base model? When I see Camry lease ads on the tele for $219, I have to say the 9-3 four door for $80 more per months seems like a tremendous value! Lots more room, safety, performance and personality for just $80 per month! This is the future of SAAB 9-3 sales. Hit the market niche between 24K and 30K cars with an outstanding value. Winning over 6 cylinder Camry LE purchases as well as Accord V-6 buyers. Anyone who can afford one and test drives a 9-3 will not settle for a Camry or Accord after driving a SAAB unless they are souless. Again, SAAB must expand its service area and improve quality by impacting perceptions. Time for an extended warranty and improved parts delivery times!
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    I would be very interested t read your comments concerning you inevitable bonding process and love affair with your new 9-3 turbo. Oh, be careful to keep your eyes glued to the speedometer. I will be drib=ving down the thruway and the next thing I know, I'm passing someone and doing 90 plus. The car is deceptively fast at highway speeds. It handles well at 90 and if you are not running up somebody's butt, you are liable lose your sense of speed and face some unpleasant encounters with the local constabulary.
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    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    Is available for about $40 (the last time I checked). The parts dept. may not have them in stock. It'll take few days. Installation is a two minute job.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    I must admit that although I value the Saab's spaciously adaptable cargo room over the Japanese competition I am not entirely pleased with Saab's micky mouse idea of a single cup holder inset. It is rediculous to me that a car at $30+K is without a decent arm rest or cup holder. Come on you can't pull that quirky "Its a Saab" bs on American's forever.

    You ever listen to American auto manufacturers [non-permissible content removed] and moan about how meager their sales are in Japan? Well guess what if they'd move the steering wheel to the opposite side of the car they'd sell a lot more vehichles in Japan!

    Give the consumer what they want and don't come up with rediculous platitudes for why your product doesn't include those desired attributes.

    If it wasn't for the spirited acceleration and volumous trunk space I'd mostly consider our Saab a joke of a car. I still hate its interior materials and want a functional cup holder and arm rest!
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    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    "Joke of a car" seems a little harsh, but as long as you brought up what should be expected out of a 30K+ car: I agree that a functional cup holder and arm rest are to be expected, but also auto climate control. With the price of computing power what it is these days I can't believe that a chip to control temp and fan speed can't be included for very small $s.
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    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    SE's come with automatic climate control. But I prefer to use the manual controls for following reasons: 1) 70 degrees or a fixed temperature setting is not always the most comfortable setting. I usually vary the temperature + or - 4 degrees. 2) The automatic climate control can't do much more than keeping the temperature at fixed level. Everything else (defrost/vent/foot/etc..) is still done manually. 3)the computer adjusts the fan speed too often and that's annoying sometimes. It would blow the fan at max speed when I don't want so much hot/cold air blowing.

    As for the cup holders, I am sure they are working on it. Even Mercedes took years before adding cup holders. As Saab sees that US is a major market for them (and it isn't yet), they'll accomodate our needs/wants.
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    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    Actually, maybe I should have titled this response "For $29600". That was the MSRP on my 9-3. Anyway, yes the SE comes with auto climate control, but so does a much higher price tag for other options/amenities I don't want. I happen to like auto climate though, at least the unit on my Audi. If Saab were to offer auto climate as a separate option, we're both happy.
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    EgospoonEgospoon Member Posts: 10
    Picked up my 4-door 5-speed base 9-3 (with sunroof) Saturday. Woohoo! Rfellguy is right, the thing is deceptively fast. Had occasion to drive 90 miles to the family homestead the day after, and was careful to use cruise control instead of letting my foot do the talking, until I get a sense of the thing. I'm sorta used to shifting by sound, and my radar is all goofed up by this, for the moment. Eminently comfortable for long drives, though, except for that dead pedal. Gotta admit Wardlaw was right. It's obnoxiously close.

    Oh and it's sooooooooo pretty in cayenne red.

    Okay, question: can anyone provide insight as to aftermarket subwoofer selection and placement?
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    The "SE" model includes woofers in the door panels, and in my experience it made very sasisfying music for my half-a-century-old ears. Saab 9000 owners with quarter-century-old-ears have been known to use the spare-tire-well as a mounting point for a large woofer, the cone basket nesting into the offset of the "upside down mounted" spare.

    As for your "shift-by-sound" radar, you are experiencing the benefit of Saab's balance shaft design. Originally offered by Mitsubishi eons ago, a pair of balance shafts spinning in opposite directions at twice the engines speed can be used to offset the "second order shaking forces" which every in-line 4 produces. Saab's implementation is relatively unique in that the balancing shaft locations are cast into the block, rather than being bolted into the crankcase (as is done by Chrysler in their 2.4 motor and GM in their "Quad 4" and their European TDI diesel). Together with the short-stroke design of the Saab 2.0, it makes for a very smooth and quiet powerplant.
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    goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    According to their press release, Saab will be building 3000 Viggens per year, with the US getting the largest share. But with production just starting, and with the 2000 model year production slated to begin in June or so, 300 Coupes bearing the "1999" designation seems about right. Will the limited numbers and the "First of its Kind" chachet translate into collectibility? I don't think that the first year Convertibles are particularly collectible as compared to the final year of production, despite the vast difference in production numbers.
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    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    See road and track for comparison of sedans that think they are sports cars. Interesting article. Lets discuss Saabites.
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    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    See my response to R&T in the Sedans "Saab lovers" section. The review by these people really are unrealistic and not true to all factors in a car buying decission. If they'd stick to pure technical analysis I'd trust them more but when ever they get into their asthetic valuations they're totally bias and I don't believe it for one moment.
This discussion has been closed.