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Saab Hatchbacks

marc25marc25 Posts: 6
Please advise me as to the bug up Saab Financial's -ss. They are busting my *0(=? though I'm pulling six figures.


  • Thanks carlady. I was beginning to wonder how this works. As the current owner of a '97 Saab 900S, I am lukewarm to the experience, although it's a blast to drive. So far, I have repeatedly had to take it in for the same problem --- "check engine" and "check gear box" indicator lights keep coming on. The manual gives these ominous warnings, so I take it in immediately. Now that I live in the city, I need a car I don't have to think about. Can anyone tell me whether the quality/reliability has improved on the Saab 9-3, because I am thinking about a trade-in, possibly returning to Honda or Acura? Advice/insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • I am interested in knowing the gas mileage of a 9-3 5 speed used for highway driving? Also, do you use regular or premium gas?
  • jycejyce Posts: 1
    I found 99 9-3 that had been taken back by the bank selling for used car price. Very good deal I think. My question is about the reliability of the car. Even Edmunds says, "spotty quality build" plus I have heard the horror stories from older Saabs. Can anyone re-assure me that I won't end up on the side of the road or paying big bucks later on. How much is average yearly service?
  • Marc-

    I don't know where you live but I suspect that you live in the North East and that some salesman/manager at the particular dealer your dealing with has some kind of bug up their *** against you. I highly doubt Saab Financing, which in our area is Chase, even has the slightest idea what that dealer is up to.

    I'd even bet that this particular dealer is just doing this to tweak you and they're lying through there teeth about your credit worthiness as far as Saab USA is concerned. I wouldn't believe the B.S. coming out of their mouths for a second.

    I certainly would feel the same way as you had we been treated similarly by our dealer here in L.A. I too would have raised hell but I'd never buy a car from that dealer knowing that I have at least three other dealers in my area I could take my business to. Hell, I'd even drive to to the other end of the state to buy a car from someone else if the same thing had happened to me.

    Come on Marc you know that these guys are probably just a bunch of hucksters who are having a ball over your response to this situation. Raise hell but go get your HOT 9-3 somewhere else. I guarantee Saab USA doesn't have a clue as to what these jokers are up to.
  • In response to jtoll, mileage so far on my new 9-3 5 sp. is surprising high--nearly 26 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving. This is for the first tank of gas and I can only assume that mileage will improve.
  • usually it is exacerbated by uneven or low front tire PSIs. Try adding some air after checking the PSIs. I curbed my tire and developed a leaky stem. You might want to keep a eye on your PSIs if the problem continues or have the tire schecked for uneven wear or bad tread, or a loose belt. If the alignment is OK, its the tires. Trust me, I took the car in and until I altered the PSIs I thought I was crazy.
  • I received a call from a dealer advising that SAAB is offering a $3500 cash incentive on 1999 models on Oct. 1. They say that the $1000 loyalty incentive is being replaced with the new program. Obviously it is only on 1999 models. Any one have any comments as i am seriously considering a SAAB purchase. I live in the northeast, and they will take the 3500 off the invoice price, and sell for under $28000. Any strong negative comments on the 9-3 SE auto? Thanks, Mike
  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    Great car but the OEM tire tread will need to be replaced with 16" snow tires in the NE. the 185 HP engine delivers plenty of performace.
  • I have a 9-3SE (HOT). I use only premium (93+)gas in it as specified by the manual. I have been averaging 22.5 MPG according to the computer in the car. On a related side note the Saab has a huge gas tank 19 gal... so I seem to need to fill up every 400 miles or so. Cheers, JD1.
  • I recently put a deposit on a S40...its on order now however, I keep coming back to the 9-3. The interior on the S40 seems better equipped and seats are more comfortable but engine noise is definitely louder than the 9-3. Small complaint on Saab - is there is no center arm rest; anything on the after market to install?? Anyone have any comments to add as a comparison??
  • gg16gg16 Posts: 1
    This is my first visit to Town Hall and I feel well educated already!
    I have a couple of questions that, depending on the answers, will help me make a final decision on buying a '99 Saab 9-3. My dealer has located a car that almost fits my request (I wanted leather interior, but he can only find cloth). I'm willing to go for it because the offer was so good. Here's the deal - last week I was told that, beginning Oct.1, Saab was offering an incentive to get the '99s off the lots. My dealer offered me the 3 door 9-3, with sunroof, heated seats and in-dash CD for $24,600! After locating the car for me, he told me my final cost would be $25,500 (this included a $189 registry/insurance/etc. fee). I know this is still a good deal, but when I asked why the price jumped $900, I was first told that it was because of the options (sunroof, heated seats, CD) and then because he had to charge me for going to get the car from the other dealership (which is located in another state). Does this sound legit?
    Also, I'm basically in a position where I'm buying the car "sight unseen." When I asked if my purchase would be based on my approval at delivery, I was told that the car was being purchased from the other dealership specifically for me and that I would indeed have to take delivery whether I liked what I saw or not. Again, is this legit? Thanks.
  • maynardf1maynardf1 Posts: 127
    Was the $24,600 price quoted with the same options as the $25,500 model? Or is the entire $900 being blamed on transporting the car across state.
    You shouldn't pay anything more because they have to get the car. And they shouldn't be driving it there, either. It should be shipped. Ask them why you are paying the hefty transporation charge, if not to pay for the car to get to their showroom.
    Furthermore, you absolutely should be able to walk away from the deal once the car arrives. They're asking you to sign for something you haven't seen? No way.
    Good luck.
    Saab 9-3's come with in dash CD and heated seats standard. The sunroof is a $1000 option. You probably being offered only cloth seats because that is all this dealer has or because its near the end of the year and that is mostly all that is left. Believe it or not a lot of people complained about how slippery their leather seats were with exuberant driving. I had cloth seats and they were very comfortable and grippy and not near as hot in the summer.

    I suspect this dealer/sales person your talking with is not being completely forthright with you and personally I'd take my business else where if you can. I went to three Saab dealers in my area and found exactly the car I wanted at one dealer even though the two others offered to do the we'll search and bring the car here for you for about $500. Turned out that the exact car I wanted was only 45 minutes away from the other two dealerships.

    There is no way in @#*^ I'd sign on the line for a car that I didn't completely check out before hand. They're obviously reluctant to bring in a car at the end of the year run but that is their risk not yours.

    I deeply recommend you use the pricing resource guied provided here at the Edmunds to carefully price all options on any car a dealer offers.
  • Local Suburu dealer has used 1999 Saab 9-3 auto w/ 9k miles for just under $20k. That sounds pretty cheap even for a base 9-3. Any comments? I'm seriously thinking of checking it out. Talk about rapid depreciation.
    That may be the Saab I tossed out in the desert. I mean I totalled our 99 9-3 w/ only 7K on it and numerious people have told me "oh yeh they'll rebuild it." A bargain on a rather new 9-3 is mostly likely to be a "bargain" on a 9-3.
  • Good advice. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is certainly true. I'll walk carefully.
  • peter41peter41 Posts: 15
    Here's a question I would appreciate input on:

    I can buy a new golf/GTI, or for about the same
    price (or even less) buy a two year old BMW 318ti
    or Saab 900. Obvious similarities are the
    hatchback and European engineering. Has anyone
    driven all three of these and therefore have
    real-world driving experience? Thanks.
  • jaws8jaws8 Posts: 2
    In August of 1999 I leased a base 9-3 during the end of year program. The car had terrible build quality and interior defects (B-Pillar Moldings were warped, Rattle by sunroof, Temp control knob broke, Driver Seat adjustments broke, Window went off track, etc..). After many complaints, Saab USA repurchased the car this week. I was then put into a 2000 SE for almost the exact same price. Roughly $340 per/month. I could not believe it. The 2000 has 205 hp and 209 lbs/torque. The Aero body treatment is great. The interior upgrades are amazing. The only negative is that the ride is much harsher because of the sport-tuned chassis and the larger tire set-up. It has been 2 days and this is one of the greatest cars I have owned. This is the Aero 9-3 from Europe.
    I must say that Saab USA and my dealer in NJ really took care of me and stood behind the product. I am impressed
  • maynardf1maynardf1 Posts: 127
    What are the specific upgrades to the interior vs. 1999?
    Glad to hear you got some saabisfaction.
  • jaws8jaws8 Posts: 2
    The 2000 9-3 SE compared to the 1999 base is like a different car. Obviously the dash layout is the same, but the upgrades to the comfort and Convenience items are very apparent. The 2 extra speakers and amp for the Radio/CD are great, plus the leather and Power Seats add comfort. In fact, the dual power seats offer more front leg room and steering wheel clearance because of the better adjustment controls. The Aero ground effects make it look like a much "richer" car, plus they are obviously functional during high speed driving. The engine is also a huge difference. The extra 20 hp and torque are obvious, as is the lighter clutch feel. The 16 inch wheels and michelin Pilots offer better grip, with the drawback of a harder ride. I will also take auto climate control anyday. Just to let you know, the 2000 Saab 9-3 SE 5 spd lists for $33,500.
  • That under $20k 9-3 was for real and had a deposit on it when I arrived. It was a base 4-door with auto and CD player. Nice car. No stories. Trade-in on Suburu. They sold it very quickly. Talk about depreciation though, ouch.
  • have a look at this of
    som tundup saabs
  • bostnwhalr-

    I don't know for sure about the car you were looking at but something just seems way out of whack. Why was a nearly new 99 9-3 traded in at a Subaru dealership? At $28,000+ new that 9-3 saw an incredible killer depreciation scale. I'm sorry but I'm still suspect the motives behind this deal. Personally I don't think that you missed one myself.
  • I live down the road in London, and I've never used snow tires on my 900 or current 9-3, for what it's worth.
  • You're right. I have all-season 195's on the 15" wheel. I don't know anything about the 205 Michelins.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    I just leased a 2000 9-3 SE and am very sorry I did. I test drove the car several times before getting the car. However, the test drives were all on reasonably smooth pavement in the suburbs of Wash. DC. I live in DC where the streets are not as smooth. This cars rides like a rollar skate, no exaggeration.

    The SAAB Sales Manager called today and asked how I like the car. I was very honest and said I wish I had purchased the 9-5 instead because of the 9-3's harsh ride. The sales mgr. offered to switch the wheel/tire combo. for me at no charge. Instead of the 16" wheel and low-profile tire, they would put on the 2000 9-3 coupe's 15" wheels with Michelin MXV tires.

    Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    Its a sorry state of affairs in DC, especially when rural logging roads in Sweeden are better maintained than the urban infrastucture in our nation's capital.

    Absent a move to a less corrupt and more efficient jurisdiction, I would say that you could probably keep the 16 alloy rims but ask investigate different tires. You can always store the Dunlops SPs until such time as you relocate or the DC government is cleansed of nepotism, corruption and incompetence.

    I pity you for having to pay property taxes in a such jurisdiction. Research some options for those 16" rims. Those low profile tires will make your kidneys bleed if have to traverse broken pavement.
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    Update to my SAAB 9-3 Harsh Ride Post:
    The dealer (Tischer SAAB in Laurel, MD) has been very helpful in trying to make me happy with the 9-3. They switched the wheel tire combo. to 15" wheels with Michelin 60 series tires. It helped although I still wasn't totally satisfied so I asked them if they would take the 9-3 back and lease me a 9-5. Since my car had less than 500 miles on it the sales manager said ok. I drove the 9-5 with the 4 cyl. engine. It definitely rode better but the engine wasn't that great. So, I decided to keep the 9-3. I miss the look of the SE's 16" wheels, but the better ride is worth it. (They took the wheels off a 2000 Base 9-3 Coupe which are actually nice looking 5-spoke alloys.)

    Also, I was told that you cannot put 60 series tires on 16" wheels on the 9-3. The wheel/tire size has to be within certain specs.

    Now regarding rfellman's comments on the District of Columbia, let me just say we have our problems (like most large urban areas), but the city is coming back. Real estate in DC is skyrocketing, there's new development everywhere, the roads are being rebuilt (although just to be dug up again for fiber-optic cables but that's not the city's fault), and crime is down. What city doesn't have a problem with potholes and streets being dug up for water main breaks and construction?
  • rfellmanrfellman Posts: 109
    This is a fascinating subject. Can you explicate as to why one can not out 60 series tires on the 16 rims? I have never heard that before. Maybe the dealer was referring to the availability of OEM tires (Dunlops). Are you telling me that you could not take the 16" Michelins found on the 9-5 which have a nice ride but lack grip onto a 9-3?
    I never investigated the compatibility of tires and rims between the 9-5 and the 9-3 so this is indeed interesting especially since I own one of each model and have though about switching from alloy rims to steel tires for winter driving.

    Who can expound upon OEM and aftermarket tire and rim combos for 9-3s and 9-5s?
  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    It was explained to me that putting 60 series tires on 16" wheels on a 9-3 would be "out of spec" for the 9-3. The suspension system, speedometer, etc. are tuned for a wheel/tire combination within a certain range.

    I did call a tire store, and indeed the specs. for the 9-3 with 16" wheels called for 50 series tires.

    You have to remember that the 9-3 comes with either 15" or 16" wheels depending upon model (base vs. SE). The 9-5 only comes in 16", unless you get the Aero, which I believe has 17" wheels with low profile tires.
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