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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Who knows, if I like it and the price is right, it could replace our Intrigue in a few years.

    Luckily, GM points can even be used on Saab in Canada.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    GM now ties Saab in with its general advertising. Have to check to see whether GM points work with Saab in the US as well.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I think Saab in the US should go the way it does here and combine with Saturn and Isuzu. "SSI" dealers up here are all very clean and modern, very attractive for import type buyers.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    That would make a lot of sense. A kind of alternative trio to the Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers. Combining dealers not only makes sense to the consumer, it helps the manufacturer's bottom line.

    Some screwy state laws down here probably make it harder than in Canada. But with GM is combining the dealers in Canada, and GM already working the P/B/G combo, maybe that will be the future look here as well.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    GM is very structured here. Chev/Olds dealers are always together and Pontiac/Buick/GMC are as well. Cadillac is added to either, but never alone. SSI dealers are mostly very new looking and serve the import oriented market. You would never see a Chev / Mitsu dealer or something here. Perhaps there are laws down there though, every jurisdiction has some wierd ones.

    Any good sights with lots of new 9-3 pictures? I have only seen a few.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    So far the best pics I have seen are at

    Saab is probably a little conflicted here. I am sure they want to build a buzz for the new '03 9-3 launch. At the same time, they have a summer's worth of '02 9-3s. I figure they should err on the side of getting too much data out. But then, I do not make my living selling cars.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    From the Autoweek pictures I saw, I thought it looked like a downsized 9-5. But from km77 pics it has definite BMW overtones. Kool!
    More pictures and an article can be found at
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    wow...this new 9/3 is hot.....very BMWish....the rear deck is very A6, the window arch is very Passat, the stance is very BMW 3...all i can say is this is the first saab i really like to look at....
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Regfootball, you must be forgetting that new Saab 9-3 is a GM product, made on the GM Epsilon platform, using a Saab modified version of the Ecotec engine which is in my Saturn. I thought you have said ad-nauseum that GM does not make a car you are interested in.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I think regfootball did like the L-series and he has said the Ecotec is a good engine.

    Wonder if there may be good deals on the old models come August.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    dindak is right

    See I like GM as long as they put out decent product and stop trying to sell the same crap they sold in the 80's in terms of engines.

    The new Malibu/Vectra looks extrememly promising, as it has OHC technology and Euro engineering. That is, assuming Detroit doesn't pervert the basic car with its typical Michigan qualities......I am already upset to hear reports that the horizontal crossbar grille trim is slated for the Malibu, the Vectra beak should be kept in tact as it is. All they need to do with this car is swap the Opel badges with Chevy badges but I am sure they will find some way in Detroit to make it unattractive.....probably will put in a 3.4 pushrod motor or really cheap interior.

    For what its worth, I really do like the Alero and L-series, albeit with a small reservation or two. These are really two of GM's base current products.

    The new Ecotec motor is quite good and GM NA would do itself well to put this motor in as many cars as it could. I see they are finally starting to do so. But it shouldn't have taken GM till 2002 to put a decent four cylinder in any of its cars when Honda has put solid 4's in its cars basically since the beginning of time.

    I'm not against GM per se'. My family grew up on GM vehicles. What I am against about GM is overt signs of cheapness and unwillingness to match other companies in quality of driving hardware and technologies. Plus there has been that certain arrogance in their PR that has always suggested "buy us no matter what we sell" instead of just putting out product that folks want.

    Also, I am not a Saab fan. I do think GM's ownership of Saab saved them from the brink of ruin. Saab has to compete with BMW so they had better have the car part down. Or they will fade away.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    My bad.

    The 9-3 Sedan and its varients appear as though they may be what Saab has been looking for.

    If these cars match their looks, GM can have a nice fwd alternative to people who want to go upscale but do not want the rwd and brassiness of the CTS. Basically you will have GMs version of the Lexi Es300 IS300 brethren.
  • smu1976smu1976 Posts: 110
    Any stated date of release? I have a 99 9-5 coming off lease (great car). The new 9-3 looks great in pictures. I heard the same GM platform talk when I got the 9-5 in 99, a platform is just the steel base frame (which is very expensive to manufactur). From there the Sweedes take over. Your not going to find a Saab handling like a Malibu or Opel. Your not going to get the same torque out of your Saturn like a 9-3 Vector. Your not going to get the safety performance either. Fit and finish are completely different. The old 9000 was built off a Alfa platform. Platform sharing has been around for decades. The cars attributes are completely different regardless of the same platform.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I thought I saw something that said late August, early September, but the link is closed now.

    You are right about the different dynamics. Saab will share a platform with Opel and some US models. But it will have enough engineering leeway to make the car distinctive.

    From what I have seen so far, you will not be giving up too much interior space from your current 9-5 to the new 9-3.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    You will be seeing more and more of this over time as car companies push to cut costs and compete. Car business is so competitive that you just can't afford not to share as much as possible globally. I'm ok with that and I'm sure the 9-3 will be nothing like an Opel. GM's Ecotec is a good early example of some other world sharing that is coming to North America.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Here's a link with more information.

    It doesn't say the engine is Ecotec, but "all internal components are unique to Saab".
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Thanks for the link, Ambull. While Saab no doubt will extensively modify the engine, it is a varient of the European Ecotec.

    There is no way Saab could get enough sales to justify the expense of designing its own engine. Modifying, yes, designing from the ground up, no.

    Moreover, if GM decides to make the Solstice, most reports say the Saab engine will find its way into the car.

    The 9-3 looks promising. Any chance you might reconsider the G20 purchase Ambull?
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Logic, I had a 93.5 G20 and found it underpowered even with the 5-speed. I test drove a 99 or 00 G20 with automatic and found it handled much better, but that transmission was always in the wrong gear. Finding a newer 5-speed is hard to do.
    I gave up the 93.5 G20 for an old Saab 9000 turbo because it had more room and power. Would still be driving it if a careless driver hadn't caused me to total it.
    I don't know what I want yet, so that's why I'm keeping up with the new models, although I drive so little I can't really justify a new car.
    To keep on topic, I like what I've seen so far of the new 9-3. The current one doesn't appeal to me as much as the 9-5, but they're too much money for me.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    The interesting thing about the new 9-3 is how close the interior and cargo dimensions are to the 9-5. There will be a new 9-5 following a little later. It will probably be a lot different than the current model.

    A recent change in titles has me traveling far less per year than before. I figured my current L-200 would be the kind of reliable car that I would not feel bad about driving 30k per year. Now I only drive on weekends or evenings when I go out. So it might be fun to go up a class. Maybe the 9-3 is where I want to go.
  • ambullambull Posts: 255
    Logic1, I must have missed something - where are you finding '03 Saab 9-3 interior dimensions?
  • soulpolesoulpole Posts: 3
    four doors with AT. I test drove a 99 Passat 4, with an AT and the turbo lag off the start was deplorable. It was alright after that but the start off was unacceptable in Atlanta traffic. What can you guys tell me about the 9-3 base in regard to this?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433

    The Image Gallery portion of the link you posted earlier has a schemata with the new 9-3 dimensions in metric. If you go to the British Saab cite they have a similar metric schemata for the current 9-5. The new 9-3 will not be as big as the current 9-5 but is closer than the old 9-3.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I like the current model 9-3, but could never get used to the torque steer. The forthcoming 9-3 reportedly has licked this problem, thus my renewed interest in the Saab.
  • soulpolesoulpole Posts: 3
    could you elaborate on the torque steer?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Sure -- with the caveat that I am not an engineer and have some difficulty explaining my experiences with mechanical things.

    Current model 9-3s are light, but relatively powerful fwd cars. The rods which transmit the power from a FWD car engine to the front tires are not the same length (in most if not all fwd cars). This creates torque steer, a phenomena where the front pulls to the side of the shorter power outtake rod on acceleration. This tendency is exagerated in the current 9-3 owing to the fact that it is a light but high powered car.

    This is not meant to be a complaint, per se, about the car. In fact, many Saab owners actually like the way the phenomena. I learned to drive on a rwd car and prefer oversteer (the back end sliding out in corners) to understeer.

    Understeer can be modified to some extent. Supposedly the new design 9-3 will have far less than the current model.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    My old 3.1L Cavalier had a lot of torque steer, I know exactly what you mean and I didn't care for it either. Newer FWD cars with a lot of HP seem to generally have this problem solved.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Yes. While the Dot-Com bust turned many off to computer technology, the real technology boom is finally starting to help improve things we use every day.

    And I imagine the Cavalier with GM's larger engine must have had a lot of torque steer. Can't wait to see what Chevrolet does with the Delta platform.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    Saab claims that they have virtually eliminated torque steer on the new 9-3 by lowering the steering rack. Sweet if it works. So, the new 9-3 weighs about the same as the model it replaces, yet the new engines seem less powerful than the old ones? So how will performance be? Saab claims that the performance will be as good as before.

    The 9-3 will have ESP, EBD, CBC, and TCS. The new Vectra GTS will also have these chassis systems. I wonder if the new Malibu will?

    There is a "Linear Launch Packag" that includes "lower body color matching trim". Is the lower trim standard? If it is not body color is it black?

    Give me your thoughts and as I said before, I can't wait to drive one.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    Yeah, but I want a viggen model with some nasty torque steer. Not everybody likes lemming cars, and for years, SAAB has catered to those people.

    Not anymore:(
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