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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • code7700code7700 Posts: 65
    Yes, I'm kidding. It is a joke. Read the post about the ½-turbo the sales guy was talking about.
  • radman12radman12 Posts: 15
    Thanks for the confirmation on the turbo. BTW I did seem to notice that the car was leaning to the left...

    On another note, has anyone spruced up their audio systems? I read the post about the 6x9's. I'm interested in whether I'd be able to put in an after-market amp and new speakers all around without major hassle.
  • wassalljwassallj Posts: 14
    Anyone have a picture of the Saab mudflaps on a 9-3ss? I was wondering what they look like.
  • whskvswhskvs Posts: 28
    I've read earlier in the board Saab residuals quoted as:

    54% @10,000 miles/year
    53% @12,000 miles/year
    52% @15,000 miles/year

    Today I was quoted:

    48% @ 15,000 miles/year
    49% @ 12,000 miles/year

    for a Vector. This is a big difference. Which one is right?
  • whskvswhskvs Posts: 28
    I was also quoted a 0.00128 money factor for a Vector lease which is higher than the .00057 listed here.

    Is this just different for a Vector as opposed to a Linear / Arc?
  • jackdarjackdar Posts: 2
    On March 17th, my wife and I leased our second 9-3. The first one was a 2000 9-3 SE 5 speed hatchback (which was why we leased it in the first place). Our lease was up the end of June, with the last payment due the end of May 2003. A month ago, Saab sent us a letter saying that we could return the car early and buy or lease a new one and they would waive the last 3 payments plus provide a $1,000 owner loyalty. That, on top of the $2,000 rebate currently going on, plus a subsidized lease rate produced a $347 per month lease for a Midnight Blue, with heated seats, sunroof, all-season mats and hand-painted pinstripes. Although we miss the utility of the hatchback, we are very pleased with how well the care drives (especially in comparison to the previous 9-3).

    A couple of impressions.

    On the Minus side:

    1) Although the seats generally have better side bolstering, there is still not quite enough in the Linear (but they are very comfortable).

    2) You either feel like you are sitting very low, or the doors seem to be quite too high.

    3) The cowl is also very high, making it virtually impossible to see the front corners of the car.

    4) The overall quality of materials seems to be downgraded somewhat from the previous car. Makes one wonder about wearability, creaks and rattles several years from now.

    5) Although the shifter feels better than the previous 9-3, it is still slightly isolated (in that cable linkage kind-of-way) in comparison to my WRX.

    6) The car comes with the basic On-Star system for the first year...but...for whatever reason, if you lock yourself out, it can't open the doors remotely on the 9-3 as it can on virtually every other car.

    7) There is no dead pedal.

    On the Plus side:

    1) The torque band is broad and quite useable. With 195 foot pounds of torque available at 2,500 rpm, the car seems faster than its 175 hp and 3,175 pounds would lead you to believe.

    2) Where the previous 9-3 SE had copious amounts of torque steer when pushed hard off the line, it has been virtually eliminated from this car.

    3) The car holds a corner well. The previous car's center of gravity was very high. This car is an overall much better driving car.

    4) The brakes are fantastic!!

    5) Although no hatchback, the rear seatbacks do fold down (60/40).

    6) You no longer have the put it in reverse when you shut it down and remove the key.

    7) More electronic controls and airbags should make it a safer car overall (although my insurance did not reflect any decrease in premium).

    8) This engine requires unleaded fuel vs. the premium of my previous 9-3 SE.

    9) The first three year's routine maintenance costs are included. Given that I just spent $175 for a 15K service on my WRX, it can make this car very inexpensive to own.

    10) Generally a lot more fun to drive than the previous 9-3. We like the fact that this is a "sport sedan" vs. some pseudo-luxury mobile. I would say that it has 80% of the sensation of driving a 3 series (who knows, maybe the Vector would be a better match).

    11) They did a great job on re-styling the car. It is truly one of the best looking cars on the road today.


    Very satisfied so far. Our dealer was General Sales in West Chester, PA. A very nice experience, the 82 year old owner even gave my wife a bouquet of flowers when we picked up the car.
  • shafjacshafjac Posts: 5

    The Saab dealer I'm working with faxed me SFSC's "March 2003 Saab Promotional Lease Program for 2003 Models" since I kept hearing so many different numbers on money factors and residuals. I'll outline what that document says about the 2003 9-3 Vector.

    For a 15k mile / year lease, the residuals are as follows: 24 mos, 54%; 30 mos, 49%; 36 mos, 48%; 42 mos, 44%; 48 mos, 41%; 60 mos, 33%.

    My understanding (for the Linear at least) is that these numbers are increased by 1 percentage point if the mileage per year is decreased to 12k.

    As far as money factors are concerned, this says that for 24, 30, and 36 month terms, the MF is .00108. For 42 and 48 month terms, the MF is .00140. For 60 months, the MF is .00288.

    The document also states that the maximum dealer markup for promotional rates (all the ones that aren't .00288) is .00040, and .00167 on the standard rate.

    And the last pertinent thing I notice here is that waiving the security deposit requires an increase of .00015 to the money factor.

    Bear in mind that all of this is only valid through the end of March.

    Hope that helps!
  • whskvswhskvs Posts: 28
    I'm trying to get the $2000 cash back off the invoice price, plus another $1000 cash back off the invoice price (for GM owner loyalty), but then offering back $200 for dealer profit (in addition to their holdback profit). I will then use this number as the cap cost of the lease.

    Are you finding that they will apply the $2000 cash back to go "below" the invoice price of the car as the cap cost?
  • shafjacshafjac Posts: 5

    I'm pretty sure that's true. When I've asked my dealer to give me quotes, I've told him to not include the lease support numbers, and he's quoted me numbers that were not $2k over invoice. So I'm assuming I can negotiate him to a few hundred over invoice and then get the $2k off.

    He wants to make $500 off the deal, and I noticed there's a $195 "Administration Fee", but my goal is to get him to $200 over invoice, total. We'll see how that goes. :)

    FYI, I'm actually ordering a 9-3 Linear sedan.

    - Shafjac
  • Hi to all.

       I have been all over the place as far as test driving cars the last few months. I am currently driving an Audi TT but the practical reality of being with child has made my beloved vehicle untenable. Finances aren't as great lately either, so I had narrowed my research down to a Mazda 6 and a VW Passat GLX V6. Actually, I ordered the 6, but they called 6 weeks later to tell me my order had disappeared--and I felt somewhat relieved. The 6 drives great, but it felt a bit tinny and the lack of safety reviews worried me. Meanwhile, the Passat has a great looking interior and handled very well. But the low residual value on my TT has embittered me towards VWs in general.

       So I have negotiated a lease deal on the Saab 9-3 Linear. The car handled great. My only wish is that the interior were a bit nicer (we also had a 325XI that we recently sold due to those financial downswings and I really liked the BMW's interior). The safety ratings of the Saab, however, were a powerfully favorable benefit.

       My deal:

       9-3 Linear Manual (Black).

        Driver's Pkg.
        Touring Pkg.
        Wheel Sport Pkg.
        Heated Seats.

    MSRP: $31,340. (it may be a bit higher--not seen car's sticker).

    Invoice: $29,744.

    Cap Cost: $28,244.

    $2,000 down payment, including 4% sales tax (VA).

    Net Cap Cost: $26,244.

    Money factor: .00072 (a bit higher than the adv. .00057 b/c 12,000 mi/ year).

    Residual: 51%.
    36 m/12k mi/year.

    Monthly payment: $368.

       They have to dx the car, so I don't have it yet. Basically, I agreed to give them $500 over invoice, in return for all of the $2000 dealer incentive money, for a net $1500 under invoice. I wanted to get $200-300 over invoice, but there aren't a lot of Saab dealers around, and I didn't want to play a real hardball, high pressure game which would have required multiple trips to various dealerships. Instead, it took 10 minutes to negotiate the deal (name of dealership is VOB Saab in Rockville MD).

       Hope this helps.

       I noticed a post above asking about residual values--it's apparent that the dealers have a bit of room to negotiate on that. But they should give you the full $2000 dealer money.

  • whskvswhskvs Posts: 28
    Those numbers were very helpful in validating ones from my deal. Thanks much.
  • whskvswhskvs Posts: 28
    Dealer claims he has found the only black Vector in US with no touring package. Claims he can't pass along the $2000 on the cap cost because they don't have to discount Vectors. Claims he will give me the $1000 GM loyalty cash though.

    Keep in mind, I haven't seen the invoice yet and verified his numbers, but here's how it's looking based on what he is telling me is the MSRP and invoice:

    MSRP 36540 (online says 36065)
    Inovice 33375 (online says 33781)
    Invoice-1000=cap 32375
    Residual % 49.00%
    Residual 17904.6
    Depreciation 14470.4
    # of months 36
    Interest rate 2.592%
    Money Factor 0.00108

    Monthly Deprectiation
     Charge 401.96

    Monthly Finance
     Charge 54.30

    SubTotal 456.26

    Sales Tax % 5.00%
    Sales Tax per month 22.81

    Total per month 479.07

    Due at signing 479.07 + 42 tag fee = $521.07
    (no money down)

    Note, these are from my number crunching, not the dealer, so things will probably change when I go in tomorrow (they always try).

    Any thoughts on what kind of deal this is if I get something close to the above? I hate leaving $2000 on the table.
  • shafjacshafjac Posts: 5
    That actually sounds right about the $2k. I think it's only for Linears right now. Has anyone else used the $2k lease support for the Arc or Vector?

    Good luck in your negotiations, and let us know how it goes. I'm particularly interested to see what other kinds of "fees" the dealer decides to throw in there.
  • enzo03enzo03 Posts: 2
    I read in previous postings that some of you had some re programming done to your 9-3's. I am looking for:
    1)the alarm to Beep when armed/disarmed,
    2)Doors to Lock/Unlock Automatically,
    3)The ability to have the fog lights come on automatically.

    Can anyone tell me if any of these codes have been re programmed on there 2003 Saab 9-3.

    Also has anyone noticed a excessive wear in their front tires? I have noticed this clunking noise coming from the front, which the dealership can't pin point, and now with only 4500 miles the tires look like they have about 20K. Any help is always appreciated.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    That looks like a pretty decent deal on a Vector. My hope is to find an Arc with few or no(maybe heated seats) options and do a 36 month lease with 15K annually.
  • bbgunsbbguns Posts: 4
    I was in the local dealer today...they were willing to begin negotiation at invoice plus $300 minus incentives, currently $2500 factory to dealer plus $1000 GM loyalty bonus. Effectively $3200 under invoice. Based on how quickly they offered this deal, it is my guess that they have other incentives padding their profits. Maybe someone can get a good deal on Monday...
  • a98gibsona98gibson Posts: 21
    I can't speak to all of the programming features you're requesting, but the service manager at my local dealer said that he received a software update Thursday that included the auto door lock feature. They will be updating my Linear during its 30-day checkup on Tuesday.
  • wassalljwassallj Posts: 14
    Anyone have the Saab phone holder that mounts to the console? If so, how does it attach to the console and how do you like it?
  • blitzin1blitzin1 Posts: 53
    Where does the $2,000 discount everyone keeps talking about come from? I know about the $1,000 GM loyalty discount and the (probably near dead) $1,000 launch package discount- but the GM incentive list ( )shows a cash back incentive of $2,500, not $2,000 (at least through the end of the month. Is this what others are being told by their dealers?
  • jabeevajabeeva Posts: 15
    Haven't logged in in a while, but I've been watching from the sidelines. I picked up my new 9-3 this weekend.

    Here's what I got: Steel grey (love it) w/ grey interior, launch package, touring package (love the auto climate control) and the sport package. I took the many warnings throughout this discussion site to heart and got the dealer to put the 16" wheels on the car.

    I leased: $2823 down (includes, tax, title etc., a $1000 bank fee (gotta love NY), and first month's payment), monthly payment $324/month. I got the $2000 launch discount and the GM owner loyalty discount. If I recall correctly, my cost was $28,070.

    Everyone told me I'd never find steel grey w/ grey interior and I almost got merlot red from another dealer, but I looked around and found the car that I wanted; just had to get rid of those 17" wheels (no biggie). I am very pleased with the car, although I haven't driven much. I'm taking a road trip this weekend and will let you know how I like it.

    My favorite part of driving the 9-3 has been the stares I get from BMW drivers, and of course with so many of them out there, I got plenty of stares. It's a really good looking car. A friend of mine who recently purchased a 3-series was in town this weekend and after riding around in my car this weekend, she mentioned that she wished she'd at least looked at the 9-3.
  • glutz1glutz1 Posts: 20
    I just purchased a Linear on Sat w/the Launch, Touring and Sport Wheel package. While it's my 1st Saab, I'm very impressed so far.

    One question; I've been unable to get the mirror to program to accept the garage door opener functionality, despite following the instructions in the manual. The manual indicates that w/the car on, one needs to depress buttons 1&3 on then mirror until the LED blinks rapidly, indicating that the code has been cleared-out. Then you are supposed to simply hold the garage door opener 1-3 from the bottom of the mirror, while pushing the button that you want to assing the functionality to. I've gone through the process several times and it acts like it's accepting the code, but to no avail. Any suggestions (the garage opener in question is a 2.5 yr old Genie w/out the roving codes, so the car should be able to be programmed to accommodate it) ?

  • koho33koho33 Posts: 3
    hi everyone.. this is the best thread i have found on this car by far and you all seem very informed.

    i am down to the 9-3 linear and the passat gls. as far as performance and handling go, the saab blows it away. it is however on the very very edge of my budget. i've never owned a saab before and this would be my first new car purchase ever.

    i've driven it twice now and am very impressed with it. both times i believe it had the launch package with the 17" alloys and sport suspension. i'd like to go with the 16's and standard chassis. is the 'sport wheel' option really that much better in terms of handling? i would find out for myself but they didn't have any at the dealer without the sport suspension. i guess i'd expect it to be somewhat smoother riding with slight body roll but can't be sure.

    any other advice for a rookie considering this saab is welcome. thanks.
  • code7700code7700 Posts: 65
    enzo03: the dealer can set the alarm to beep when armed/disarmed. it beeps once when locked, twice when unlocked, and three times when you open the truck.

    i was told door lock/unlock is still not something that works (software bug) but that it would be fixed soon. we'll see.

    a98gibson: Who is your dealer? I want to have mine call him. I'm still being told that the door lock is not available.
  • a98gibsona98gibson Posts: 21
    My dealer is "Just Saab" in Dayton, OH. Great folks and normally right on the money when it comes to technical details. I go in tomorrow for my 30 day check and (I was told) auto-lock programming. I'll post another message tomorrow night to let everyone know if they really got the update or if we should continue to wait for Saab to get it right.
  • a98gibsona98gibson Posts: 21
    Has anyone read what the 9-3 owners manual says about washing our cars?

    "The body should be washed by hand using plain cold water and a clean, soft brush through which the water flows. Automatic carwashes should be avoided when the car is new. After 5-6 months the paintwork will have hardened. To facilitate cleaning, a suitable detergent can be added to the water which should be lukewarm."

    I zapped an email to Saab, they stand by the manual.

    I also sent a message to Meguiars, they said "I don't really understand why an auto maker would tell car owners to allow time for a curing period as a new cars paint finish does not require a curing period. All of our car wash soaps including the Gold Class are P. h. balanced to meet all paint needs both new and old so no need to worry."

    Any paint experts out there? I didn't think modern, baked paint finishes had curing requirements. Comments please.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    A lot of the differences are subjective, but some are real. You will notice some more precision in handling with the sports suspension, as well as some additional harshness in the ride. The normal suspension still handles quite well, with a moderately better ride.

    I can understand your situation because my second choice was a Passat GLS 1.8T Tiptronic. And the Saab was at the very top of my budget if not slightly over it. It was very close but I felt spending what netted to about an extra $2k was worth it.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    GM is offering 0% financing for 60 months on all 2003 models - that makes the 9-3 quite attractive.
  • koho33koho33 Posts: 3
    0% over 60 months??? how could that possibly be.. i just was told 3.9 / 60 on the 9-3's.. where did you get this info?
  • guustguust Posts: 10
    I purchased a 2003 Linear about a month ago.
    The dealer told me that the car has the sport wheel package and indeed it came with the 17 inch wheels. The dealer gave me the wheel package for free because it was not listed under the cars factory invoice.
    My doubt is whether I really have the sport wheel package with the suspension or did the dealer just take the 17 inch wheels out of a car with the package because the owner of that car did not want it (I have seen this happen in this discussion board)and just put them in my car and told that I had the full wheel package.

    Is there anyone who knows the difference between the heights of cars with and without the wheel package.
    If I try to shake my car it really doesn't shake at all (maybe because it is new, does that car without the package shake?)and if I stick my hand between the tire and the body the space is of 3 fingers.

    I would be glad if someone could me out. I just want to know if I was deceived or not.
  • tseisentseisen Posts: 2
    Press release from GM on the programs for 4-1 to 4-30

    General Motors Announces Most Sweeping Offer in its History

    Zero percent financing for 60 months across the board with no exceptions or exclusions

    DETROIT - General Motors Corp. today announced, "Zero to Sixty," the most sweeping retail marketing program in its history. Effective April 1 through April 30, GM is offering interest-free financing for 60 months on the purchase of any new 2003 GM model Cadillac, Chevrolet, Saab, Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC and Buick. Additionally, GM is offering very competitive cash rebates of up to $3,000 on most models.

    A national campaign including television, print and internet advertising will begin on April 1.

    Following are terms for GM's 2003 models (for qualified buyers) - April 1 through April 30, 2003:

    0.0/0.0/0.0% 36/48/60

    Or Customer Cash

    $3,000 cash on all other Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn passenger cars and trucks
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