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Saab 9-3 Coupe (2002 and earlier)

1356711

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    vigorous1vigorous1 Member Posts: 15
    You hit the sweet spot.

    Those "quirky features" are selling points. Just look at the phenomenal success of the starter button in the Honda 2000 and you get some measure of how satisfying the motoring public finds it to have something "different" about their car.

    In an age of increasing standardization and jelly-bean cars, daring to be "different" in a safe, tough, fast, utilitarian car like a Saab is a safe bet.

    The Saab is an engineer's car; the Hondas and Toyotas are accountant's cars.

    Damn the price. Who gives a rat's butt? The car is all.
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    huntzingerhuntzinger Member Posts: 356
    As an Engineer, the Saab has some very good design concepts, but they fail to follow through on the hardware reliability of the design...because of its Incomplete Engineering, I'd call it a "Mechanic's Car". I have a '95 900S with a mere 50K miles and it has had more failures than my wife's recently departed 1990 Audi 80 that had twice the mileage.

    Sure, the 9-3 is vastly improved over the 900, but that can also mean had a lot of opportunities for improvement. I've found plenty of deficiencies, from too-easily broken headlight switches, to pain-in-the-*** foglight bulb servicing, to 3 major "drop the motor" repairs.

    Sure, the 9-3 is fairly unique in its practicality & versatility, but that's mostly because of its hatchback design, not its brand. Good highway cruiser, yes. Good interior room, yes. Flexibility from its huge hatchback, yes. Ridiculous markup on CD player and speakers, yes :-). Never leaves you stranded on the side of the road, no.

    And therein lies the rub. Overall, I've loved the design of my Saab and what I can haul around with it, but I've been dissatisfied with the car's mechanical reliability. As such, I'm willing to forgo that utility for something that I can once again trust to take on my ~400 mile/day business roadtrips.

    -hh
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    vigorous1vigorous1 Member Posts: 15
    You can buy one of these fast, stylish, comfortable, utilitarian weather-beater cars at something far less than the MSRP.

    GM is definitely running a price penetration marketing plan in a heavily competitve market with 9-3s that are building a reputation for Maytag repairman/Toyota reliability.

    Then, the Epsilon chassis will come out with SVC engines, a variety of body styles, GM parts availablity and make those damn autowriters write something other than "hoary" or "dated" about the car. For too long it has languished behind the Bimmer and never had the capital of the Volvo.

    Watch and see what GM does with the car. My bet is it's in for a long run with $3.8B committed.

    I was stranded once with my '79 900T so I know all about that. My damn windshield wipers didn't work and I needed a long tow in the snow. Once, with my '71 144S Volvo, I dropped a U-joint at 75mph finishing a cross-Canada (Halifax-Edmonton) run so I didn't mind that too much.
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    joshuah1joshuah1 Member Posts: 22
    One of the messages below desribes the experience of a pleasant test drive. From personal experience I can tell you that SAAB's slogan "People who test drive a SAAB usually drive one" rings true for me. I had a Jetta and was set on either a Passat, A4, or 323i. I decided to give the Volvo S70 and 9.3 a test drive too. I was blown away by the uniquness and power of the 9.3. I would never argue that it is a "better" car than any of the oother I mentioned, or better than a Maxima, at least on paper. But there are many intangibles that make the SAAB a pleasant surprise. Go test drive one and see what I mean. jtsjl@yahoo.com
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    ryman2ryman2 Member Posts: 7
    Huntzinger- Sorry to hear you had so many problems. Thanks for sharing them. I think you bought 900 just at the year that Saab for whatever reason seemed to have the most complaints about the car. I did some research in Consumer Report and since 1998 on 9-3 got very good marks for quality in all but electric systems category. It looks like they fixed the problems in the 99 remodel.

    Joshuah 1- Thanks for info on test drive. I have written Volvo S60 off- not even test driving it- it has essentially a nonexistent back seat- worse than the old Audi A4- which is pretty small. Volvo's redesign was a real shame in my opinion. Although I don't have kids yet I need a back seat that I can at least transport 4 adults on a short trip with me driving- and with the S 60 I could not do that. I literally could not fit behind the drivers seat with the front seat adjusted for me. My father in law has an S70 and while a fine car I agree it definitely does not have the fun factor that Saab has. Do you have any comments on reliability- I would love know. Emails like Huntzinger's can make a car shopper nervous.

    Has anyone out there heard about factory to dealer incentives or financing deals for May? Saabusa.com does not have info yet.
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    cbaccuscbaccus Member Posts: 2
    Is it possible to get both the 0% financing deal and the full incentive. I agree that sounds like a horrible deal for the dealership, but am wondering if anyone has bought a 9-3 s or se with both offers applied?

    I am looking at the 9-3s for about $24. The 0% would just be a nice to have :-)

    Thanks.
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    gb16gb16 Member Posts: 12
    Here in NYC you get 0% but not incentive. Or lease a loaded 9-3 is $389 with no down/bankfees/etc. I've been debating a preowned bimmer but will go test drive this today due to this offer.
    The 9-3 I see here is around 30K (auto/leather/heatedseats/etc)
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    mlc5mlc5 Member Posts: 20
    I just test drove the 9-3 SE yesterday... the dealer said the incentive was $5K for the SE...and $4k for the base version....
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    4banging4banging Member Posts: 3
    '01 9-3 SE 5-door auto, bought new for $28K in Feb. .....

    I wish the illumination fairy had visited the power side-mirror control switch and the power-seat memory button. The latter you can do by feel, but the mirror switch needs some visual cue.

    Oh, I guess a one-button "all up/all down" feature would be nice for the sunroof and windows, but not too much of a bother.

    Otherwise it's all good. Spent $100 for the rubber floor mat for the hatch area--now its basically a small truck bed. VERY comfortable seats (I'm 6' 2"), I don't miss the arm rest cuz I usually have two hands on the wheel.

    And how much fun is it to drive? I'm seriously considering selling my '69 Mustang ragtop I've had since 1982.
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    setopsetop Member Posts: 1
    which dealership has the $389 month lease in NYC for no money down? Is this for auto?
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    ryman2ryman2 Member Posts: 7
    Setop

    I just bought a base 9-3 with everything for 430/month- 5 year loan at 0%. I don't know your situation so maybe leasing is better for you, but if you're looking at monthly payments as determining factor, you can get a pretty good deal till end of May due to 0% financing. We were able to put quite a bit down however, or else our payments would have been higher. I leased my last vehicle and was not too thrilled with leasing- didn't like mileage restrictions and got kind of screwed on residual value. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
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    driver36driver36 Member Posts: 57
    I would be in market for a new car in two months, I wonder if the incentive still there :(
    Coz I am selling my house right now and it might take as long as two, three months to close the deal. After I have read many posts on this site about the Saab 9-3, I finally convert myself
    from Audi A4 to a Saab 9-3.
    Would love to hear more post about Saab 9-3!!

    Thanks guys!
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    tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    The 0% financing and lease deals are the only things out there right now. I'm expecting that the incentives will come back in the next couple of months. $31k for an SE is just too much, in my opinion. If they brought back the $4700, then I'd consider it. I'm still kind of pissed that they reduced the paint options, to tell you the truth. They're mostly washed-out colors now.
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    I test drove a 9-3 two weeks ago. The dealer told me a $4300 incentive currently exists, down from $4700 a month ago and $5000 a few months back. I easily negotiated a $24,000 price on a new 2001 9-3 four door five speed manual with leather, sunroof and heated seats. I would have bought the car that day, however, the dealer wouldn't give me what I needed on my trade in. As it turns out I'm glad I didn't buy on impulse. Although it's a fun car to drive, the 9-3 just doesn't have the rear seat room that my family requires. I ended up buying a more practical Toyota Avalon for $2400 more than the Saab. The Avalon has more power, better workmanship, tons of room, much better reliability and will retain its value better than the Saab. It may not handle as well as the Saab, but it's a more practical choice if you're looking for a family sedan.
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    bill_1bill_1 Member Posts: 97
    Well maybe if it is a question of rear seat room. Even the base Saab 9-3 has plenty of power for a family car and hatchback configurations are always better than sedans when it comes to hauling stuff. Also I would look carefully at both cars comparing depreciation. From what I understand (rumor though) Avalons don't hold their value nearly as well as other Toyotas (its a question of competition, if people are going to buy a used near luxury car they are more likely to go for a Lexus, MB or BMW than an over sized camry.
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    edanie31edanie31 Member Posts: 1
    According to the saleman at my local dealership, the 0% financing or $4300 rebate still exists. This is what they call "alternative merchandising", so you will not see it listed as a rebate.
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    ryman2ryman2 Member Posts: 7
    Rebate of 4300 available on Base Saab 9-3 until the end of May according to International Saab in Falls Church, VA. You will not see it listed anywhere b/c it is a factory to dealer incentive- you have to find out about it from sites like this one or Edmunds or some other auto pricing site.

    Avalon- Can you even compare it to a Saab? If you were looking at a Saab and wound up with an Avalon, it sounds like you were not sure what kind of car you wanted or needed in the first place. They are two completely different cars. Probably the closest comparison for the Avalon would be the VW Passat. The Passat has a cavernous back seat but is nowhere near as fun as a Saab. While the 9-3 has in my opinion the most back seat room in the sports sedan class, it is a SPORTS sedan, NOT a FAMILY sedan. If you need to fit two teenagers in the back seat on long trips, its not for you. I can comfortably fit three average size adults on a long trip VERY comfortably, but if you need to fit four it si tight. That is typical of this class of cars. ALthough with the Saab you get a huge trunk- somehting no other car in its class can match. Also, before I ever bought an Avalon I would have checked out the 9-5.

    Also, while Avalon may have more power in terms of HP you also have to look at power to weight ratio, amount of torque and number of RPMs that torque kicks in and how the torque powerband works- is it even, does it peak at high RPMs? And I'm sorry, there is NO match in terms of handling, which without good handling power is useless. Everyone talks about superior workmanship and reliability of japanese cars- I'm not sure what the talk is about. I personally think that japanese cars just have never rid themselves of the 70's econobox feel, no matter how pricy they make them. And they seem to have the same reliability as any other car that is properly maintained. I know lots of people who own japanese cars, lots who own European, and lots who own American. Everyone seems to have some problems and everyone seems to have good experiences. I think that aside from the few models out there that have documented histories of problems, most people base their beliefs on quality and reliabilty on impressions rather than facts. You want facts- check out Consumer Reports latest ratings for reliability of 9-3 since 1999. It has been well above average. I am glad that the Avalon works for you, but it sounds like the Saab did not work more because it is not the right type of car for your needs, rather than b/c of any inherent problem with the Saab itself. When the kids grow up and you're not comparing cars based on the back seat, try the Saab again- I'll bet you won't buy an Avalon then.
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    For anyone that looks at Consumer Reports regarding reliabilty, the Saab 9-3 is rated as having barely average reliability since 1999 and far below average reliability prior to that. Sadly, those are the facts.

    As for handling, I totally agree that the Saabs are far superior to an Avalon or other similar vehicle.
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    tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    I just took a test drive, and was pretty impressed. I drove a base with a manny. It reminded me of my old '83 900S in some ways, mostly good. My 6'1" brother-in-law sat in the back seat with no problems, as did I, and I can't see why anyone would have any complaints about the room back there.

    On the base, the incentive is $4300 or 0%, as others have said already. It ends on 5/31, and my salesdude wouldn't comment on whether it was going to be around after. The incentive has come down in recent months, so I'm not too sure if it's worth the chance of it falling more, or them cancelling the 0% rate.

    One thing that I was kind of upset about was that they don't make the 3-door with the pop-out rear windows anymore. That was a really great feature of my old car, and really helped with airing out the car (for reasons that I won't go into here).

    Has anyone installed aftermarket leather? I'm thinking of that, as the color options don't seem too exciting, especially with a steel gray exterior. My concern is Saab honoring the warranty on the side air bags with aftermarket seat covers, though I talked to an aftermarket leather place, and they said that their covers use the same kind of tear-away seams as the factories.

    I realize that the reliability isn't the best overall, but I hope that most people realize that they're not getting Toyota reliability when they get these. If they want it, they should get a Toyota, though buying an Avalon seems a little extreme. Guess it's a tradeoff, though I'd like to see Saab make more of a concerted effort to improve.
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    I would venture to guess that the Saab incentives will continue until the dealers sell off all the remaining 2001 and 2002 9-3s. I beleive that the 9-3 is going to be replaced by a new model in 2002/2003. Therefore, although the incentive may continue to go down, as it has from $5000 in January to $4300 in May, it is likely to continue as long as the 9-3s are on the dealer lots.

    One more thing, I would also venture to guess that none of you Saab enthusiasts have ever test driven a 2001 Toyota Avalon, which I ended up purchasing over the Saab. Therefore, you really aren't qualified to compare the vehicles. I on the other hand have driven both vehicles and can assert that they are both excellent cars in their own right. I certainly do not judge someone for choosing the vehicle that is right for them. If you look at my original posting, #115, its intent was to provide pricing and incentive information on the Saab. I have accomplished that mission and now, I will bid you all farewell.
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    starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Hatchback only model not listed as having incentives. Great if you want a sedan but looking for hatchback and just came across the Saab in a computer search based on features wanted. Probably drive one anyway, just to see.
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    Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    ...but I'm here to announce the new Saab Owners Club now available on Edmunds.com Owner's Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Hatchbacks.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    KarenS
    Host
    Owner's Clubs
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    tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    It's just a quirk in the writing of the details. You can go to a Saab dealer, and they'll verify this.
    In case you didn't know, www.saabnet.com is a great source for this kind of info.
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    declanwdeclanw Member Posts: 1
    Marshall1: How did you manage to get from ~32K down to 24K with the rebate of 4,300. Was the balance a trade in? Thanks
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    No, the $24K did not include a trade in price. The $24K sales price was based on the invoice, not the sticker, minus the $4,300 incentive. Here's the breakdown for a 2001 9-3 four door with a manual transmission.

    Invoice = $25,170
    Leather = $ 1,175
    Sunroof = $ 1,001
    Heated-
    Seats = $ 392
    Dest. = $ 575

    Total = $28,313
    Minus - $ 4,300 Incentive
    My Price= $24,013

    Just a tip, never negotiate a sales price based on the sticker price. Always negotiate based on the invoice price minus any rebates or incentives. Good luck.
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    dstraudstrau Member Posts: 17
    Did some research on CarsDirect.Com and Edmunds. The rebate was still in effect. Got a price of $28545 from Cars Direct.Com. went into the dealer, spoke with them, made the offer,.and it was accepted. Hope I didn't get too destroyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    You got a great price. Based on your numbers you got the SE for less than invoice minus the incentive. It doesn't get much better than that. The Saab dealers must be really anxious to move out the remaining 2001 models since it appears they are willing to eat into their holdback to sell them. Good luck with the car.
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    spence530spence530 Member Posts: 2
    Help!

    I am leasing a 99 9-3 and a few days ago I suddenly had serious difficulty getting from one gear to another. Within minutes, it became impossible to change gears at all. I pulled over and restarted the car and drove home without a problem. The next day, I barely got the car out of my driveway before it got stuck in reverse, lost power, and died.

    Yikes.

    I had the car towed to my local dealer, Saab of Charlotte, and they later told me that the problem was a master cylinder. Today, they told me that the problem was the clutch itself, and this was not covered by warranty. They would check it for "hot spots" to see if te problem was my driving or a defective clutch. If it turns out to be my fault, the new clutch will be 700.00.

    Yikes, yikes.

    Truth: I don't drive aggressively and I've been driving a stick shift for more than a decade and have NEVER had to replace a clutch. Anyone have some advice? This is certainly disheartening! The car has only 15000 miles!
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    marshal1marshal1 Member Posts: 68
    Welcome to the world of Saab reliability! Seriously, if it is the clutch, I don't see how Saab can articulate that you destroyed it in only 15,000 miles. Demand that it be covered under the warranty. Don't take no for an answer.
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    tommyp13tommyp13 Member Posts: 146
    I don't know what kind of position you can be in with wear items, but I would think from a PR standpoint, they'd see that it's in their best interest to fix it for you.

    I used to own a '83 900s, so I know how unreliable Saabs were. From reading recent reviews, they have cleaned up their act (of course, the chassis is from the period when dinosaurs ruled the earth!), so I wouldn't get the "I bought a lemon" paranoia.

    If it is the clutch, I think you should at least get the labor free, or a % reduction in the charges. Of course, I don't think that the dealership would be legally liable for anything, but they should want you to be a happy customer. Good luck with it.
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    nsolanonsolano Member Posts: 11
    According to the Saab US web site, Saab warrants wear items for 16,000 miles. This should cover a clutch that failed within 15,000 miles. If the dealership won't cover it, I would appeal to Saab Corporation.
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    dstraudstrau Member Posts: 17
    My CarsDirect.com price included the incentive. Too bad the dealer wouldn't help me out with either of my lease payments. Oh well.guess I'll have to seel my 98 Accord EX within 2 months.
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    dstraudstrau Member Posts: 17
    Bought a 9-3 SE 4 door hatch w/auto, metallic paint, and heated seats, including the rebate, in new york for $28545.tax and tags extra.......After all..who knows about all the hiden dealer profit anyway!!!!!!!!!!
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    marc43marc43 Member Posts: 1
    Took delivery on 9-3 4door SE manual trans with heated seats in May from dealer in New Jersey. Paid $27,300 plus tax/tags. Found only 1 defect (drivers door handle loose) which dealer fixed at 30 day service. After 3k miles no other problems. Really like the car........fun to drive.
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    snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    Sorry Dstrau...I got a 2001 9-3 SE with automatic, metallic paint and heated seats that was a service loaner with only 1100 miles for $25498!!! Got it back in March when the incentives were higher..but I still have no idea how they sold the car at this price. Sales manager was not happy that the salesman quoted this price but offered it to me at this price if I bought it in 24 hours. SOLD!!! Even after the incentive and dealer holdback..they sold the car for another $1030 below invoice...an astounding $9772 off the list price of $35270. I understand that incentives are down so I still think you did pretty well Dstrau..let me know how you like your SE..I love mine
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    rkuehnrkuehn Member Posts: 120
    Here's a look at the '03 9-3. Anyone know if & when the coupe is due?


    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=3853&sid=178&n=158

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    dnirenbergdnirenberg Member Posts: 3
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    dstraudstrau Member Posts: 17
    What a deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!My price of 28545 was the price I saw on CarsDirect.com which included the incentive. .excluded tax and tags. The dealer didn't even counter my offer.they must have made a fortune!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S.-My car is great and the dealer promised me a free detailing on my 30 day checkup because there were 2 scratches on the rear bumper. I have thuis in writing.they'll fix it, repaint it, then detail the car.and I'm getting a loaner to boot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(they have to do that!!!)
    P.S.S.-they didn't take my leased car back as a trade, wouldn't help with last 2 payments. Ubfirtunately, I have wear and tear damage which needs to be fixed before handing it back to the leasing company...........Any ideas on how to get it done as cheaply as possible.or how to get a dealer to do it.after all.they'll keep the car anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    godskindgodskind Member Posts: 4
    haven't found any published info on the dealer incentive, but heard from dealers that there is a $5000 incentive on all 9-3s at this point in time. can anybody confirm if that is accurate or is it even larger than $5k. read somewhere that someone was talking about a $9,000 incentive on 9-3 convertibles last year. was wondering if anyone thought the incentive would get larger as Saab will be delivering the new 9-3 platform in Summer 2002. any input would be appreciated.
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    godeacsgodeacs Member Posts: 481
    Just got back from the local Saab dealer. Have several 9-3s marked down $4K. Not many to choose from so have to act fast!
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    godeacsgodeacs Member Posts: 481
    Edmunds.com shows "Dealer Cash" of $4,300 thru 7/31.....on all 9-3s......
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    snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    No idea what to do about your lease....everyone i know gets screwed when they turn it back in..I never lease. From what I understand there was a invoice price increase of about $400 at the end of march and the incentives are down about $1200 from when I bought..so i don't think you did so bad..I also got a break cause it was a service loaner. You probably could have got them to go lower...but hind sight is 20/20. I was not even planning on buying a car..I was messing with the salesman at two dealers seeing who would go lower and was offered a price i couldn't refuse. Although I have to say the test drive is what did me in....according to their research 70% of people who test drive a Saab buy one
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    ealtizerealtizer Member Posts: 3
    Moved my '99 9-3 from VA to CA... gas mileage cut in half, power steering fluid line "ruptured" and all leaked out while on interstate, battery went dead immediately in the heat. I understand that it's brutal on cars in the Summer desert heat, but what's normal? THE CLOSEST SAAB DEALER TO PALM SPRINGS IS 125 MILES!
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    ealtizerealtizer Member Posts: 3
    I have broken 5 or 6 "cable" mechanisms that are used to change the air from defrost, to vent, or to floor. I think the design is flawed. The dealer has replaced it several times. The last time after removing the center console, I have problems getting the automatic transmission out or "PARK". I have to use a pen to "mechanically" override the safety catch. Anyone else have this problem? Either the air diverter breaking or the gearshift sticking?
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    danielb3danielb3 Member Posts: 2
    Hello, again. I posted a message here back in March when I first purchased my "service loaner" 2001 9-3 and thought I would give the Edmunds.com readers an update.

    I have put about 10,000 miles on the car so far, almost all of them on the highway, but have had many more problems than I care to admit.

    In a word, I would sum up my Saab experience as "disappointing". Here is a list of items to date that have been repaired/replaced:

    1) CD player. (replaced twice). Once for excessive skipping, second time for failure to eject CD's.

    2) Horn stuck in "on" position. This was due to the cover over the horn expanding when the car interior was hot causing the horn leads to make contact. (Very annoying driving down the street in 90 degree weather at rush hour with your horn blaring away).

    3) AC compressor replaced at the beginning of the summer.

    4) AC fan resistor replaced last week. (AC would not turn on and fan only ran at high speed).

    5) Automatic locks froze up on driver side. Locks were programed at the dealer to lock automatically when the car was in "Drive" then unlock the passenger door only when the key was removed from ignition. Driver door would not unlock, could use the electronic lock to open the other doors but could not open the driver's side. Had to crawl out of my car through the passenger side until I was able to get the problem repaired.

    Add to this list the wind noise, sharp pulling to the left at highway speeds, hatch cover that holds water and then drains out all over the sides and rear speakers of the car when opened, etc. and you may understand why I long for the reliability and quality of my Acura Integra again.

    My only hope is that I never will be in a situation where I will need the safety features of the vehicle, (air bags, ABS, etc.) First of all I never want to be in that situation and secondly I worry in the back of my mind if those components of the car will be as unreliable as some of the others.

    My personal advice after owning (2) new Acura Integras and putting almost 200,000 miles on each of them without a single mechanical issue: Think very long and hard before considering a Saab.

    Thanks and let me know if you have any comments to share/add to mine.

    Dan
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    pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Just came across this article in today's News/Auto Headlines that I thought some of you might find interesting: Take a test drive of a Mercedes or Saab without going to the dealer. Happy Motoring!


    Pocahontas
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

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    ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    E-Your post says it all, you're 125 miles from the dealer. If you're still in warranty and not 'upside down', I'd get rid of the car, seriously.
    If you are out of warranty, time to find a mechanic (I have such a command of the obvious, no?). As far as the heat reasoning goes, this car is TWO years old, and it's not as though it's cold in Virginia, right? I couldn't put up with this crap, I don't know how any of you do. I've had Saabs (older, from the 80s) that I really liked and were reliable transportation, as long as you could put up with other things not working (I remember clearly driving in 95 degree heat in my 3 door black 900 tubro, no a/c, left window and idiot power sunroof wouldn't open--lots of fun). This is understandable in a ten year old car, but not in a $30k car that's two years old. Amazing that a marque with a less than stellar reputation gets bought by GM, who also has a somewhat different, but still less than stellar reputation, would make a lousy car, eh?
    I'd say ditch it.
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    blackcat019blackcat019 Member Posts: 1
    I am currently looking at two 1997 5-door Saabs.
    From my reading of the posts a good mechanic is key in the upkeep of these cars. Anyone out there know of any mechanics you would recommend in New England? I am new to Western Massachusetts, and I am willing to traveling a little ways if the service is worth it.
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    ealtizerealtizer Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice on my sad Saab situation here in the desert. I've arrived at the same conclusion, however I haven't found another car that I want (within my $ range). I had 2 Honda's in the past with absolutely no mechanical problems. I don't really like the look of the new Honda's though. Any suggestions on a dependable, reasonably priced car with a little more character than a Honda?

    Also - How can I ditch the 9-3 when it isn't popular out here? And to boot, I took it to a local mechanic to have it serviced for a whopping $500 bucks. The check engine light now illuminates. Go figure. It is still under warranty for another 5k miles, but where can I have warranty work done? I called up a service only Saab establishment (80 miles from here. The service dept was so rude that I was ready to drive the car through his service shop and leave it.

    I'm a little frustrated and am running out of warranty time. Any advice on getting rid of the 9-3 and/or what I should get next would be great.

    Thanks
    E
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    snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    I'm getting the idea from your last post that you are not quite yet willing to part with your 9-3. As far as cars that have character like the 9-3 the list is short..but depends on what exactly you are looking for in a car. The VW golf GTI turbo will have 180 hp for 2002 and was a blast to drive when it had 150hp but the freeway ride is much worse than the Saab. But trading your car in on anything is going to cost you more so here is another idea:
    If you don't mind driving...take the car to a reputable Saab dealer and leave it for a week and rent a car. It won't cost that much to rent a car and at least you will get the car repaired properly. I'm in Phoenix which is a 4 hour drive from palm springs and the best service in town is at Kachina Saab. The service advisor has 17 years experience with Saabs. I have had nothing wrong with my 2001 except for a few rattles which were found and corrected. I'm sure you can find some dealer in Ca that would be closer and treat you better..but if i were you I'd leave the car for a week and give them time to fix it....fixing your Saab will cost less than buying a new car.
    If you do want suggestions on what to look at if you do sell your 9-3...let me know what you look for in a car and I'll suggest some. Tell me what you like about your 9-3 and what you don't..best of luck
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