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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    driven both the TSX and the 9-3 Linear and care to comment? MotorTrend seems to think the TSX is sportier than the Arc in their comparo and the TSX price is right.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Both are excellent vehicles. Each has its own individual strengths, so it may come down to what's important to you.

    FWIW, Motor Trend inexplicably tested the 9-3 Arc instead of the 9-3 Linear with the Sports Package or the 9-3 Vector. Both the TSX and C230K SS they tested both had the sports suspension package. Not exactly apples to apples.

    Test drive both and decide for yourself.
  • I had my search narrowed down to a 9-3 or an Audi A4 1.8t until I started seeing ads for the Mazda 6. All the car magazines raved about it and I though, "Great! A much cheaper option!" Overall, though, the 6 didn't impress me.

    Handling and power were fine. The interior looks nice in the pictures, but the "titanium" finish is just silver paint on plastic. All the little doors and panels felt thin and cheap, as did the steering wheel. Numerous fit/finish issues (fuse box door wouldn't close, sunglass holder jammed half-open, etc.). Not even in the same league with the eurosedans.

    On the other hand, I think the new Saab's a little too minimalist/teutonic in styling. And it's got so many buttons on the panel, it's like driving a computer down the road. I couldn't really feel the "virtual rear-wheel steering." Other than that, I like it a lot, and I don't think GM ruined it much. Of course the big question mark will be reliability.
  • tjclarotjclaro Posts: 4
    I am considering buying a Saab 9-3 that was bought back by Saab. The dealer tod me that this particular car was bought back because of stalling issues. They also informed me that the car has been fixed by Saab corporation and would still cary the balance of the warranty which would be 3.5 years and 47k miles. Does anyone have info. on buy backs and if dealers get special incentives to sell these cars?
  • I drove both cars before deciding on the 9-3. I really think I made the right decision. The ride of the TSX was a bit quieter, but too soft. I've owned Honda-built automobiles for years (both Hondas and Acuras), and nothing compares to the ride of this 9-3 Arc. Initially, the 6-speed manual felt a little too stiff, but after 4,000 miles, it shifts beautifully. The steering input is really where I feel the difference between the two cars: too much input for the Acura, perfect for the Saab. I drove the 2003 Audi A4 as well, but I didn't like the seats; they were much too hard (and uncomfortable). And there are already too many on the road; it's not distinctive enough.

    Needless to say, I'm really happy with my choice.
  • I am taking mine back again next week and will ask them to try the camper tape. Some days I don't hear it and then some days its so annoying I almost regret buying the car. However, the car is great in all other areas. It gets tons of compliments.
  • mumbhaimumbhai Posts: 11

    Thanks for replying about the door rattle. The dealers I have been to have been very uninterested in the problem too. They all claim that they can't reproduce the problem but I get it on my way home!

    The dealer who I bought the car from would probably fix the problem (or at least try to) but that excellent dealer (Saab Exchange, thanks for the tip Lou :) is in Chicago and I'm in Ann Arbor, MI.
    From mm experience it seems like some dealers are excellent (usually the guys who sell just Saabs or just imports) and most of the large all -encompassing GM dealers don't give 2 hoots about Saabs.

    Will try the tape thing and report back.

    Now if someone could chime in about the discolored door handles that someone asked about 2 posts up, I would be a happy happy man :)
  • I haven't noticed the door rattle on my 9-3 Arc. The car seems pretty solid. I do, however, notice a "clicking" sound when I depress the clutch pedal. I don't believe that this is the switch that the clutch pedal hits to indicate that it is fully depressed (when the car is started). That was the service manager's initial explanation at my 30-day chek-up when I pointed it out to him. It appears to happen before the pedal is fully it's a spring or something. I actually jumped into another car and found that it did the same thing. I've learned to live with it, but it's a little annoying. The dealer tried to pass it off as part of the Saab quirkiness.

    Has anybody else noticed this discoloration of the plastic door handles?
  • nojalopynojalopy Posts: 13
    I have noticed the discolored door handles on my 9-3 Arc, purchased in April. I plan to hit them with my Zaino tire dressing, although it will likely make them a little slick.
  • My car is only 3 weeks old, so I hope they aren't faded yet. My handles aren't really jet black, they seem a little lighter than the car itself which is black in my case. The dealer trying to pass off noises as quirky, is full of it. We should not have to accept defects as part of a car. There are too many other options for $33K to put up with noises coming from all over the place.
  • I wiped the handles with a cloth saturated with Maguires Vinyl/Rubber Protectant and it seems to have done the trick...for now. Don't misunderstand, I really love this car! It's just that I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I tend to notice every little thing. My one and only true complaint is that the car is very low in the front and you have to be very careful when entering/exiting parking lots to avoid scraping the front body-work (which I have done already...twice).

    Has anybody experienced this clutch pedal "clicking" sound that I described a few postings back?
  • bft4x4bft4x4 Posts: 12
    I do not know how Saab works their Buy Backs. However I work at a Chrysler Jeep store and Buy Backs go "Back" to Daimler Chrysler, they are never re-sold by the dealership. There are no additional incentives. A Buy back is essentially a lemon. What may have happened in this case is that the dealer may have taken the Saab back from the buyer because they complained. The dealer fixes the car and resells it as a used car. If it were me - I would not buy it - there is too much money on the table for a new one. Even a certified pre-owned would be better in my opinion than a "buy back".
  • I was told today that with a lease you can not use the incentives. Is there a seperate lease incentive out there?
  • I'm sorry, but I will never understand why people choose to lease an automobile {unless they are able to write it off for business purposes}.

    It just isn't worth it. By the time you've finished paying off the lease, you could have bought the car. Sure, at the end of the lease, you can buy the car, but at that point it just isn't worth it. And make sure that you're not going to go over the agreed-upon mileage and that the car is very good condition when the lease is up. Otherwise, you are going to get hit with all kinds of additional charges.

    In my opinion, most people lease cars because they really can't afford to buy them. You should really research the "leasing vs. buying" issue further. Live within your means.
  • hungshyhungshy Posts: 74
    Has anyone saw this article yet from Seems like it use the same platform as Saab 9-3.
    "The STS will be based on GM's Epsilon platform, and sports a Northstar V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive. It will have a significantly bigger cabin than the smaller CTS. "
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,637
    To answer your question, yes, there are incentives for leasing, only they are less than the purchase incentive. I believe the incentive is $2000 on Arc and Vector, and $1000 on Linear.
    Also, never take advice on leasing from someone who says they will never understand why people lease.



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • There are two reasons why people lease:

    (1) They can write it off as a business expense.

    (2) They want to impress people by getting a car that they couldn't really afford in the first place.

    There is no financial upside to leasing if you cannot deduct part or all of the costs from your income or business.

  • On this very Website, is an article that explains the financial differences between buying vs. leasing a new car. It's very informative. I've inserted the URL below:
  • sloanesqsloanesq Posts: 60
    I'm a little torn in trying to decide between the Arc and Linear. With the options I want and the current incentives, the price differential is about $1,100-$2,000 (depending on the options) more for an Arc. However, there are certain things you get with the Arc that you can't get with the Linear. Most notably, the more powerful engine. But also the wood and extra leather, the 300 watt sound system, memory seats, and power passenger seat. In your learned opinions, how much of a difference to the overall ownership experience do these items make? I am particularly interested in the differences between the engines.
    On a separate note, since the Arc and Vector came out later in the model year, does that mean that many of the problems which plagued the earlier 9-3's are less likely to be found on the Arcs and Vectors?
  • skysaabskysaab Posts: 32
    There are too many things I can think of it but I can't express them well. But I will try to point out something I found is good.
    First, Get the "bi-xenon" headlights is important to get better view for yourself also for others.
    second, Arc does has better engine performance for much quite road feeling. But Linear for my daily funtion commute is plenty from my experience. driving 80 mile everyday. got average 28 MPG is good for me now.
    Thierd, Saab USA already announced all program got updated completed. Once you send in for service either buying before April or after all got same bug free car.
    more, wood trim on ARc and plastic trim on Linear all bother me a lots. I like the metal trim from Vector more.
    for 300W or 150W sound system, I don't know why the audio system in my house only got 70W but perforamnce lots better than both of them. Must be the system set up problem not the output power.
    Hope this can help you. Wish you have buying experience.
  • sloanesqsloanesq Posts: 60
    there is a dealer who is offering me the following package: 2003 9-3 Linear: Cosmic Blue, Grey Leather, Automatic Transmission, Launch
    Package, Touring Package, Wheel Upgrade Package

    MSRP = $33,385 Invoice = $31,420 Sale Price = $27,420 + tax &

    For $27,680 I can get an auto Arc (the only thing the Linear has over the Arc is the sunroof and bi- xenon headlights) from Carsdirect.

    Decisions, decisions...

    Does anyone know how the 2004 models will deiffer from the 2003's?
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    The 05 STS will be based on the same platform as the CTS(sigma) only with a longer wheelbase. I don't think Cadillac has any plans for the Epislon platform as they have said there will not be a model below the CTS. The Epsilon will underpin the next generation Pontiac Gramd Am(which will be called something else) and the 04 Malibu.
  • The dealers are telling me that you can't get the linear with the color-keyed skirts anymore. Has anyone leased or bought that has them colored the same paint,recent?
  • sloanesqsloanesq Posts: 60
    You have to find a Linear with the launch package which essentially was supposed to be replaced by the Driver's package.
  • I am having a bit of difficulty determining exactly when the new 9-3 convertibles are coming out. It seems like the Arc's will be in sometime in October and the Aero's at the beginning of 2004. However, I have called Saab customer service about this several times and keep getting different answers. The dealership doesn't have a firm answer either. I am especially interested in the Aero.

    Other questions:
    Will the Arc and Aero's have the 300 watt stereo or the 150? I would assume the 300, but am getting some conflicting info on that too.
    Does anyone know what the MSRP and invoice prices will be for these cars? I have heard $39,995 for the Arc and $42,500 for the Aero.

    Non-related: I must have read through most of the posts on this board today and there does not seem to be any firm resolution as to whether there are additional Saab -> Dealership incentives other than the 2500-3500 for buying/financing on your own (ie w/o Saab Financial). My girlfriend is thinking about buying a 9-3 Arc this week and will probably be going for the 0% offer. She is getting a price that is about $300 over invoice (including dealer holdback of $652)but maybe she should be looking for another 2-3G off that price?
  • I've got an 9-3 Arc vert on order for Oct 15th delivery. This is the second vehicle to arrive at my preferred dealership. I could've taken the first one but it had the sport pkg installed, which I didn't want. Their delivery list didn't show any Aero's coming in so far. Therefore, you may be correct on the arrival of the aero to the States.

    This is the breakdown as I have it:
    9-3 Arc Vert (MSRP/Inv)
    Cold Pkg......500.............450
    Touring Pkd.1,195...........1,076
    Sprt Pkg.....????............????
    **The only price I can confirm is the base MSRP. All others are good estimates based on carsdirect pricing and other models.

    I have an order guide for both the 2004 convertible and sport sedan. You can download it here if you wish Bowellville Garage. They are in .pdf formats.
  • Does the drivers package give the color-keyed skirts on all newer linears?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I may have seen you in yout 9-3 exiting a garage Southbound onto Broadway Saturday evening. I was heading Northbound on Broadway in my Miata.

    The Red Linear caught my eye. As I thought about it, the driver could have been the person in the picture you linked way back when you first got the car.

    I am probably going to trade the Miata for the 9-3 Convertible later this year or early next.

    As for your car stereo, I would keep the base unit and add an amplifier and better speakers. I think the Linear has a spot in back for a subwoofer as well. I am partial to Alpine speakers myself. But there are a number of good choices out there.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    thanks guy for all the financial preaching. did you ever consider that by leasing in many states you are not paying the interest to finance all that sales tax for the length of the loan? Also, if you lease a car with good residuals and decent lease terms, you can buy at the end of the lease with a balloon for a lot less than retail value, i.e. get the vehicle much cheaper the first few years where you get the best miles out of the vehicle. Then if you choose to buy it you have a car you know the history on, cheaper than retail, or you can even sell it and make a profit on it. Or, you turn it in and are not upside down on a loan you spend many thousands just funding interest costs. Don't pay cash for a car, that's the worst financial decision you can ever make. Cash on a depreciating asset? DUMB!
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