Options

SAAB 9-3

1457910

Comments

  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    I also find the 9-3 looks much better to me at least in silver or white than any other color. Light colors tend to make you focus on the lines of the car. The 9-3 has very sharp lines which tease the eyes and make your gaze caress the car's shape rather than fixate on the totality of the mass. Darker colors diminish this effect and seem to make the car appear more stubby and rounded. Just my impressions as a erstwhile artist.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    A conventional trunk doesn't give you any time to remember your coat. At least you get 10 seconds or so with the 9-3. And there is that fob (large and cumbersome though it is).

    If you're already longing for 3 yrs. from now and the end of your lease, what are you longing for? Something not yet built that will provide some thrills or back to Audi?
    Just curious.
  • Options
    algiealgie Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone out there driven a 93 Viggen. I'm really interested in one and would like to know if it's as good as advertised.
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    See page 123 of the June 1999 edition of Road & Track for a very realistic of the 9-3 Viggen's attributes and limitations.

    Compare this article with Car and Driver's subjective nonsense piece entitled "Comparison Test: Little Big Fun in which they incredulously accuse the base 9-3 of lousy braking and sloppy handling attributes. Obviously, letting a commoner review a SAAB is like letting a burger and fries guy do a review of continental cuisine. After reading this piece, I quit reading "Crap and Driver" because of the inherent bias in all of their so called reporting.
  • Options
    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    I did as rfellman suggested and read the Car and Driver piece "Comparison Test: Little Big Fun". IMO the piece was much more balanced and positive than I would have thought possible after reading rfellman's post. Yeh, the negative comments about braking and handling were there. Is that where you stopped reading rfellman?
  • Options
    woj1woj1 Member Posts: 48
    rfellman...I would offer that the UK rags tend to have a better and greater assortment of vehicles to compare to when they pass judgement. Nobody is denying that the Viggen would be fun to drive, it's just in comparison to what. All vehicles are a compromise and the Viggen is no exception.
  • Options
    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    "Something not yet built that will provide some thrills or back to Audi?" I hope your not saying that Audi can't provide some thrills. hey hey

    In the 'not yet built category', if BMW would make a 3 series sport wagon, I'd have to take a look. Same goes for MB and the C class. Would also consider looking at used BMW 5 series wagon or used MB E class sedan. New Audis or used A6 wagon also. And who knows what Saab will be offering in 3 years.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    Don't get your four circles in knot!
    Of course Audi provides thrills, but since you evidently walked away from one, I assumed you were looking something different.
    Oh, watch out, your hatch just locked on you :-)
  • Options
    swedeswede Member Posts: 12
    Vanity plates....geek or chic??

    I have never had vanity (personalized) license plates before. I am thinking of getting them for my new 9-3SE. Thought something like "Swede1" would be sort of cool.

    Any thoughts...pro or con welcome.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    I've never understood the attraction of vanity plates, unless you happen to drive a Saturn and go to the big hoedown in Tenn. where you have to search out your car without the aid of a remote key fob.
    In my part of the world, they cost $100, so whenever I see someone with some clever saying, I translate it to mean: "I had $100 to burn and couldn't think of anything else to do with it."
    They're only one step up from bumper stickers, a half-step really.
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Most security protocols and experts strongly recommend against such unless you make a living by drawing attention to yourself. Just by driving a different vehicle, you have drawn some attention to yourself and I suppose a canary yellow paint job with the plate "BigBucks" should attract the requisite attention from 16 year old gang members, psychos, cops and career criminals and other anti-social roadway denizens.
  • Options
    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    Walk away from my A4, NOT. What we walked away from was a 1989 Camry with 126,000 miles. My wife went from the Camry to the A4, while I went from the A4 to the 9-3. Have been having a hard time keeping both cars clean ... can you spell 'brake dust'? Have to complain about something.

    No comments on the 3 series sport wagon or C class wagon ideas?
  • Options
    woj1woj1 Member Posts: 48
    Speaking of brake dust on the 9-3...any helpful ideas? After 17K miles, I am finding that the dust is getting really hard to get off despite weekly washings through the life of the vehicle.
  • Options
    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    I've seen folks on the A4.org web site talk about fixing this problem by changing the brake pads. One brand name I recall being recommended as eliminating the problem was Raybestos. I believe another was "Red Box"? I little uncertain on that one. I'd also be interested in a solution short of a brake pad change.
  • Options
    swedeswede Member Posts: 12
    Try waxing your wheels. This will not prevent the brake dust but will aid in cleaning it from the wheels. Whatever you do, DO NOT use wheel cleaners or brushes. Treat your wheels just as you would any other painted surface on your Saab. Also, check out the Waxes and Polishes topic under Care and Maintenance here at Edmund's for more advice on wheel and finish care.
  • Options
    dskidski Member Posts: 414
    If your debating vanity plates, spend some time in Illinios were they are free to anyone whos wants them. They are everywhere and you'll be so annoyed by the stupidity of them that you'll never consider getting them.

    As far as removing brake dust, I have to agree with Swedes comment. I have my vehicles professionally detail about 4 time a year and I notice that what ever wax or sealer they use really makes the dust removal easy. Our 9-5 has not been done yet and removing the dust is very difficult. Also, I find that a natural citrus cleaner or Simple Green works very well.

    Drew S.
  • Options
    woj1woj1 Member Posts: 48
    The point about the brake dust issue should be that in this day and age there is no excuse for a car manufacturer to put us through this nonsense. Our 9-3 is the only vehicle in recent history that has made cleaning the wheels such a chore. If everybody else can utilize pads that don't leave much residue, why not SAAB?
  • Options
    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    Brake dust problem is not just Saab's problem. Audis and M-Bs have the same problem. M-B owners might clean their cars more often. I read somewhere that brake pads that produce a lot of dust are the ones that does well in stopping the car. It's a compromise I guess. I would opt for dirtier wheels that stop much better. I rarely wash my car and the dust is not bothering me very much. Maybe it's because my car is black.
  • Options
    swedeswede Member Posts: 12
    Bo Chung is right. The amount of brake dust is related to the type of pads used. Less expensive or less performance-oriented cars will very likely not generate much brake dust, perhaps none at all. This is because the materials used in the brake pads are designed for longevity not stopping power.

    Saab, BMW, MB, Volvo, and the like all use high carbon content pads which dissipate heat better and allow much more effective braking. They also do not "fade" under extreme use. This increased performance comes at a price, though - brake dust and shorter life span.
  • Options
    dskidski Member Posts: 414
    Absolutely correct on the brake dust issue. All the cars I've had in the past 15 years has had the it, NOT just Saab. If you don't like it then get an old beater with drums all around or a car that has steel wheels with "hub caps" instead of alloys or painted wheels. With hub caps the dust tends to stay between the wheel and cover.

    Also not just European cars have the problem. My Durango and old mini van had brake dust as well. It's the price we have to pay for superior braking.

    Drew S.
  • Options
    woj1woj1 Member Posts: 48
    Hmmm, my SVT Cobra generates nil dust and takes a lot of use without complaining. My Silverado has a lot of weight to haul down from relatively high speeds and ditto. I just don't buy it guys. Think price and the effect of bean counters in big corporations.
    Old compounds were notorious for dust equated with stopping power, I beg to differ with modern compounds. It just ain't so...perhaps SAAB just needs bigger rotors than they are using, instead of the current crop.
  • Options
    swedeswede Member Posts: 12
    Don't want to get into a peeing contest with you Woj, but there is hardly much comparison between the brakes on a pickup and the brakes on a Saab. Have you ever been to an Indy or Formula I event? Even after just a few laps between tire changes the wheels are covered with dust. This is from the carbon in the pads, and in some cases with FI, the disks themselves.
    Not all performance cars, including many made here in the States, use carbon fiber in their pads. These manufacturers use various metals and some polymer compounds which do not generate much dust. The high carbon content pads are still a Euro thing although they are making a bit of a comeback here.

    Swede
  • Options
    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    9-3 takes 126 ft to stop from 60mph. Compare that to the Silverado. You might see 5 car lengths.
    Cobra is a rear-wheel drive and thus the front wheels/brakes are less taxed. And I don't think the Cobra stops shorter than the 9-3.
  • Options
    woj1woj1 Member Posts: 48
    Look at the situation, you don't need to use high carbon pads to achieve good stopping distances. And yes, BC, my cobra stops in a shorter distance than the 9-3 and with its front end heaviness, the front discs take the brunt of the fall...the rear discs in both the Siverado and Cobra are there just for the ride most of the time.
    Swede, you hit it on the nail, it's a european thing and that isn't necessarily good.
    The 9-3 is no indy car and it isn't even that highly stressed, like my previous Audi, the brake dust is plain annoying and it doesn't have to be that way.
    No need to be soooo defensive folks, I drive one too you know and happen to think it's a good vehicle...it just could be better.
  • Options
    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    I've been monitoring this forum for the past several weeks just to see what is up with my old "friends". I've endured endless discussions on the intricacy of the sterio system in Saabs and now we're dronning on about brake dust.

    Must be a dull experience owning a Saab these days which is not an all bad thing.

    woj1- don't be put off by these guys they're a little rabid for the brand. They love their cars and mostly seem to want to talk up all the good things about Saabs, of which there are many, and stiffle any criticism. Viciously attacking criticism seems to be the Saab forum form of the day.

    So guys what is there to dislike about your Saab ownership? Outside of the new Viggen and old Aero can I suggest maybe its handling!
  • Options
    bo_chungbo_chung Member Posts: 61
    Aren't we on the other side of the fence now? :)
    We just feel that Saabs are generally misunderstood by the mass. Saab's shortcomings are generally well known. It's strengths are not so much a public knowledge. As far as the handling is concerned, the 9-3's reflexes are not "razor sharp" but that makes it very stable. Or should we say that it is unflappable but the feel might be a little vague.
  • Options
    dskidski Member Posts: 414
    Well I don't really consider myself a Saabite but I have to say that I've seen many comments here and in the Sedan Topic that clearly point out some Saab short comings. As far as the stereos are concerned, comments are fairly accurate, they are okay but improvements with after market upgrades are well worth it. No resounding comments of approval on them. Brake dust? This is a pointless argument. Some vehicles have more of it than others. Yes Saabs, Audis, Mercedes, BMW etc. seem to have more but my Durango is just as bad. Lots of reasons why. Yes they have higher quality pads and some wheel designs let more dust thru but that's also to let air thru for efficient cooling. Woji, your cobra is a great car but don't be fooled into thinking that the design and equipment quality is top notch. Sorry it just isn't that's why it's affordable. There's nothing in the world wrong with that I'd love to have one myself, I bet it's more fun to drive than a Viggen actually.

    Drew S.
  • Options
    eckdareckdar Member Posts: 30
    Lots of info and personal experience on the a4.org site re brake dust and brake pad replacement. Replacement brake pad manufacturer names that kept coming up were raybestos, rofren and red box by mintex. Posts I read seem quite satisfied with brake performance, and very satisifed with deacresed dust. Lots of serious enthusiasts on the A4.org site, don't think most would be interested in sacrificing too much brake performance in exchange for less dust. They're not a big ticket item either. My A4 will probable get one of these low-dust pads this fall, and if I buy my 9-3 at lease end, it will also.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    When I started reading this stuff, I believe YOU accounted for about half the postings: My wife and I went up the coast this weekend, yadda yadda yadda.
    I guess it's hard for a site to rack up hundreds of postings without venturing into somewhat arcane topics such as brake dust and stereos.
    BTW, with what did you replace your crumpled 9-3?
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Stifling criticism? Are you referring to the SAAB sucks postings of one Patentcad? You want a criticism of SAAB. I take it to the dealer for oil changes (price neutral but geographically inconvenient) because I can't trust the mass merchant oil changers to work on "unique" and "quirky" SAAB. Also, the 9-3 has poor rearwood visibility when backing up.
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Need some more coffee, rearwood? Meant rearward. Better see if I can spell "world" backwards. (Neurologist joke for you MDs) Bottomline is SAABites tend to be overachievers in at least one area of their lives and they therefore tend to be less than modest in dispensing their "expert" opinions. I frankly enjoy such arcane "cafe" dialectics. I did not know so many of us were experts on brake dust. I learned quite a bit.
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    frederick: can we speak of your search for a new car? What did you end up buying. Also, I recall you were displeased the safety performance of your 9-3 after the night in the desert. I would enjoy hearing about people who have been involved or have seen SAABs take it on the chin in accidents. Comments on whether SAAB is as safe as we hope?
  • Options
    FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    I'm mostly kidding, but post accident posting in this forum did get a bit machabre

    $3,500 lighter in the wallet for the medical insurance company, $2k for the ambulance service alone. $26k+ lighter for my auto insurance company and 20 plus stitches between the nose and above the right eyebrow. Lacerations and a puncture wounds to the right arm.

    I'm mostly healed now although I now look a bit like one of those alien characters on Deep Space 9. The car flipped over out in the Nevada/California desert when I fell asleep at the wheel. Certainly not the Saab's fault and I did actually crawl away from the accident with my life relatively in tack.


    So all in all I guess I didn't come out much the worse for wear although my wife may beg to differ.


    What did we get this time? Well we bought a Volvo wagon. Stiff as a board and not nearly as hairy/ fun to drive, but they do have a guaranteed known depreciation factor. My wife would have accepted a sedan but there was no way I was going to go from the hatchback compromise of the Saab to a sedan. I don't really know what the hell they make sedans for anyway. They're almost completely useless unless all you carry in your car are people.

    I liked the Saab 9-3 and was amazed at its capacity to swallow everything I cared to throw into it. Great accelleration with speed ticketing ease. With the automatic this car was an ease to drive. I did not like the quality of the interior although for practicality I don't think I'd ever choose leather over cloth. If you only lease your cars this isn't so much a concern but with age the lighter Saab leathers are going to look like @#*%. The velour seats had the added benefit that they kept you in the seats when the g's hit you laterally.

    I feel that Saab's price is a little dear for the unknown factor of Saab's notoriously steep depreciation. The relatively sketchy recent reliability history of Saab has clobbered older Saabs in the used car market.

    When we went looking for a replacement for the totaled Saab the first place we went was Volvo. My wife considered an SUV but I wouldn't hear of it. God the last thing I need after my expereince is being stuck behind a pig of an SUV.

    I like Swedish cars and if Saab some day comes out with an Aero version of its new 9-5 wagoon I'd be drooling. The new Viggen is interesting but still an unknown for the money. The ride of our Saab was definitly softer than the Volvo's but it did not have the really crisp bolted together feel of the Volvo either.

    My one regret was from this whole affair is that I never did find my right foot Birchenstock I lost during the accident. That was my favorite pair too!
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Is the Volvo Wagon the turbo 5 cylinder? The cross Country AWD? or the base model. Personally, I never considered a Volvo. Think I'd go to the far right with a Mercedes before I left BMW-Audi-SAAB country.
  • Options
    tcw506tcw506 Member Posts: 1
    Interested on those of you who have leased a 9-3. I see that the national program right now is $289/mo. with $2000 down, which seems pretty good. I'm wondering if anyone was able to do better than this with a specific dealer. I'm interested in the program car: 9-3 5-speed, w/ sunroof and cd. 12k/yr. Possible Leather if the deal is good. How have you guys been able to do? Would I have the best luck at the very end of the 1999 model year in august? Thanks... -Todd
  • Options
    rooster3rooster3 Member Posts: 4
    Sounds like a good deal. My purchase was

    3700 trade
    319 month
    15500 residual
    leather, sunroof, heated seats, tint
  • Options
    curtisjocurtisjo Member Posts: 1
    Up until this morning, I was ready to order a Passat Wagon, but then saw that incredible lease on the 9.3! After all those leases I've been through, this one is really tremendous--a $29,000 car for less than $300/month and an option to buy! I don't recall seeing much better (EVER) on any car. Leases (in this price range) don't come along for near-luxury cars often. If you want to get down to brass-tax on pricing, CHECK-OUT CARORDER.COM--they sell AT invoice, but then you have to arrange financing.
  • Options
    aarond2aarond2 Member Posts: 1
    My wife is looking to buy a SAAB 9-3 base model automatic. It seems like all the SAABs we've seen come with sun-roofs ($1075 option). Does anybody know what a good price for this car would be??
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    300 over dealer invoice would be a good deal if you can get it. The base 9-3 is an exceptional value when compared to a BMW or Audi which climb in price when optioned out as a base 9-3 with auto. What is standard on a 9-3 costs several grand extra on these competitors. Look at the lease deals offered as these may be the best bargain.
  • Options
    lightbulblightbulb Member Posts: 5
    The 9-3 is on my shortlist; anyone living in Ontario who can provide purchase / lease prices or recommend a dealer would be appreciated.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    Sadly, Saabs are sold through Saturn dealers in Canada, so there is no dickering on the price. I have not been able to get the kind of invoice information readily available from Edmund's for U.S. buyers.
    The Automobile Protection Assoc. offers invoices costs for Cdn. buyers but told me they don't have any Saab info.
    So the purchase/lease prices a dealer gives you are the best you're going to get. The only wiggle room is a trade-in.
  • Options
    sisofersisofer Member Posts: 3
    Am canadian and replacing a 1989 honda accord with only 50k miles on it. Am considering a 9-3, formerlly rented out by a rent-a-car company( 18k miles ), now being sold by the saab dealer. It's leather and automatic, and am considering adding a sunroof and cd changer. i dont drive often and i drive really slowly. i am thinking about the 9-3 because i love the large storage space, especially when you fold down only part of the back seat. l have concerns on how it would handle in the snow and rain. safety is a big concern. my personality is obviously volvo over saab, but i like the way the saab looks.

    am i wasting my money or is it fun when driven slow as well?
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    sisofer:
    The car handles great in snow and rain and is fun to drive at any speed.
    Buying a car that's been driven as a rental for a year or so is a big risk. Was it a corporate lease or a basic renter? Is the warranty extended to compensate?
    Good luck.
  • Options
    sisofersisofer Member Posts: 3
    thanks for the info bluejays1.

    the car was a basic rental offered at airports by tilden. they say that the car, new, would retail for 35,505 plus it has leather seats (1675 option ? ) and they are offering it for 29000. the car still has three years left on the warranty.

    the other cars which i am considering are another honda or a subaru.

    any advice would be appreciated.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    From what you wrote earlier, I assume you won't hit the 80,000 km mark in three years, so you really will get a warranty for that long.
    If I were you, I'd have the car checked by a mechanic somewhere other than the dealership where you're buying it.
    Things like brake pads, suspension and tires are usually punished by rental car drivers, and none of them is covered by the warranty.
    If, for example, an independent mechanic told you the brake pads only had 10,000 km left, you should be able to get new ones included or pay less for the car.
    As for the discount, it seems a little low, given that it has almost 30,000 km on it. Hard to say though.
    Which dealer are you talking to and is he taking your Honda as a trade?
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    I just noticed you said you're looking at Hondas too. Can't you get a new Accord for around $29,000? And wouldn't the Honda dealer look more favourably on your trade-in?
    Just wondering.
  • Options
    prachalprachal Member Posts: 3
    I'm seriously considering purchasing the Saab 9-3, over the A4 and 328. I've heard that in years past, the reliability has been less than stellar. Has anyone out there purchased a 9-3 over 6 months ago? Have you had any problems with reliability or service? What should I look out for in the negotiation process? Did you lease, or buy? Any thoughts from folks who chose NOT to buy the 9-3 are also appreciated.
  • Options
    bluejays1bluejays1 Member Posts: 40
    Check out saabnet.com for more information than you'll get here.
  • Options
    rfellmanrfellman Member Posts: 109
    Unless you plan to purchase a Viggen 9-3, a comparison of a 9-3 to a 328 will likely be unfavorable. As for value, the 9-3 Se and base models are a better value if you lease. If you buy, then you are betting that SAABs will continue to exude quality and exhibit higher resale values than has been the case historically.

    The 9-3 is a vast improvement over the 900. Don't be fooled by appearances. My 9-3 never fails to impress or deliver. It causes the driver to form an emotional bond with the car. I can;t say that about every care I have driven.
  • Options
    lightbulblightbulb Member Posts: 5
    Like yourself, I'm interested in the 9-3. It's on my shortlist; I notice that "Midtown Saab" in Toronto has been advertising rental cars for sale at $28-30K, I wouldn't say they're giving them away.

    You should consider a Volvo (quite a variety of used available) good safety, reasonably reliable, extremely comfortable. I already own a wagon & love it.

    I used to have a Subaru also, a good choice, but not in the same league.

    Finally, different style of cars but consider the Acura TL: lots of car for $35K or 1999 Maxima, you will definitely get a good deal as the 2000 is now in.
This discussion has been closed.