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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • nsolanonsolano Posts: 11
    I checked out the new 9-3 both inside and out yesterday. It confirmed my first impression. It is a nicer car than the previous 9-3 in terms of asthetics and functionality. It came off a little on the small side...very similar to an Audi A4. I liked the vehicle a lot but it didn't really distinguish itself from anything else in the class. Unless you are interested in owning the first one in your neighborhood, I would wait a year for the Dealers to come off MSRP.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Did you test it?

    I have heard great things about the ride.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    I spent about an hour this a.m. with new 9-3 auto. I was impressed with ride, much smoother & quieter than old model. Nice pick up and very tight at 85 mph, dealer got a little nervous about pushing it higher as it was beginning to rain and they only have two on the lot for demo's only.

    I can't wait to see Arc and Vector this spring as that is more in line with what I will want but this was impressive none the less.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Drove by the local SSI dealer (Saturn Saab Isuzu). They had 2 fire engine red 03 9-3s sitting out front. No time for a test, maybe this weekend.

    The looked great though!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    did not drive them or get inside....but I will say this...


    That little manual shifter poking out of the console......the grab handles.....even the wierd center key location (a Saab tradition)........... DO ME!

    inside and out, very tasteful and stylish....cabin looks tight and comfy like a BMW3.

    My only styling gripe is that the side character line is a bit too pronounced IMHO. If the shape of this car is telegraphing the approximate shape and size of the upcoming epsilon cars like the Malibu, hey good job! "right size" cars. This size of car is just about right for most sedan users. Maybe a couple inches wider would be nice, or is it just a taller looking car that deceives the eye in terms of useful width.

    It looked like the back seat was maybe snug and also too low.....gauges are too small....otherwise, dash is fabulous.


    Interior plastics and layout looked FABULOUS through the looking glass.

    The base linear with 5 sp was priced around 26......good deal if you can live with a 4cyl. A good deal in comparison to some androgynous, confused looking Camry, which would cost more with the same equipment. This trim and equipment out Accord and Camry.

    The auto they had had the Launch pkg and other goodies and was around 32g's I think.

    VERY VERY NICE......good, now folks of German lineage like myself can drive a car that looks German instead of something woefully and undesirably SCANDINAVIAN. Imagine that....a Saab that looks more tasteful German rather than SWEDE.

    Let's see...9/3, Mazda 6, Maxima, ummm......

    Ultimately, the a4 is probably still a bit better looking but the new 9/3 is pretty much equal with the BMW3 now in terms of style.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    You may have noticed that Saab does have an extra read out light, front and center, giving the driver important information about the car. Wonder why Saab put that there?
  • New Saab 93 is appealing to me. Its Ecotec engine should be one of the best of its kind in the world. Smooth, and refined.

    Handling is truly great for a FWD. Actually better than Audi A4 FWD. Audi's 1.8T is also inferior than Saab's.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    Anyone own or seriously test drive the new 9-3 yet? I'll confess, I'm not a Saab loyalist as I never really cared for their previous styling, but from the pics I've seen, the 9-3 is a nice looking car inside and out. I've got a 2001 Intrigue which I absolutely love to drive, but seems to be turning out to be a lemon. First choice would be to ditch it for a Cadillac CTS, but CTSs are a bit out of my price range right now. And a new more powerful engine is a year away so that might be one worth waiting a year or so on and finding something else to fill the void for now. I'm curious on what you think of the new 9-3 and what kind of price folks are getting them for(both purchase and lease).
  • I went into buy my local VW/Saab dealer to look at the Passat. They didnt have a Passat on the floor, so as I waited around I saw the new 9-3 and really liked it. After I drove it , I really loved it. I have a BMW 328 and this was the closest drive to it. Sorry, nothing drives like the BMW. I dont mean to sound snobbish, but unless you've driven one, there is no equal.

    I was very impressed. I drove a fully loaded 9-3 with Launch Package and Touring Package (it basically had everything you can get at this time). First and most importantly I love the way it drove. Its got slightly more interior space than the BMW, the rear seats easily fold down, and its got an on board computer that's second to none. Its one of the safest cars, 8 airbags, great gas mileage, large trunk..and it looks good.

    Here's what I didnt like, when you include everything, i was quoted $33,285 (which the dealer tells me is $1500 over invoice. Knowing foreign cars usually dont go this low over invoice I was skeptical. After I learned GM bought Saab, it made more sense). Anyway, there is no memory seats, the passenger side seat is not automatic, the Linear is the only one availbe now with the smaller 175HP engine (which for me is fine, but the 210HP is coming in Jan for an additional $3k). There is a cheapy cloth armrest and doors (the rest of the car is leather), and the rear leg room is about the same as the BMW (which is not much). These are all minor things but they really bug me. The Infiniti G35 is the sam price and has all of that stuff...but it doesnt dirve as well.
    I think its worth a test drive, because how a car drives is strickly personal. You can basically pay for all the other bells and whistles.
    Ive never owned a Saab, can anyone comment on the quality, realiabilty, and/or resale value. thanks.
  • According to Saab, August and september 2002, 14,000 new 9-3 have been sold in Europe. And it is projected to sell 40,000 by the end of the year. However, Saab only produced 7000 in these 2 months, so many people are on the waiting list.

    The heat is spreading now..... Saab 9-3 will be a hot car.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    Dealer here in Austin only has two Linear cars, Black manual loaded and Silver auto less equipped for demo's only. Wasn't exactly sure on when they would be getting more but I was more interested in Arc/Vector for just the equipment you mentioned was missing, bigger engine, memory seats, etc. so didn't really push info on Linear availability. He did say to look for Arc/Vector next spring.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I know Saab won a JD Power award last year for best initial quality for a premium brand. Long term I'm not sure, but I do see a fair number of older Saabs on the road so they obviously hold together ok. I doubt they will be much different than BMWs, not tops but generally good.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Nice review. You do not have to apologize for liking the BMW drive. Most everyone here does.

    So far the local Saab dealer does not have a manual and sport suspension combo. The dealer says they want to order some, but are caught up in the backlog okidokie mentions. I might ask to drive the manual tester and the loaded automatic tester with the sport suspension.

    My current car does not come out of warranty for another year and a half. But I recently sold my Miata (wife got an Escape and we only have a two car garage), and really want a driver's car. If the 9-3 lives up to its press, I could order a manual in December or so. If delivery is slow, I would not mind much, as January and February are not driving months in Chicago anyway.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Now that the Saab 9-3 and 2003 Saab 9-3 are one and the same, maybe Edmunds can combine the future cars 9-3 forum into this one.
  • From what I hear, if your interested in the Linear, you ought to buy it before Jan when the Arc's and Vectors come out. Once they come out the fully loaded Linear is going to go up so people will basically say "If Im spending this much, I may as well go for the Arc". $1500 over invoice (which I really couldnt confirm) isnt bad on any car.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    How was the performance from the 175 hp engine? I'm not a fan of four bangers, but from nearly every review I've read, Saab makes some of the best and even in base form the new 9-3 seems to have decent power. The more I look at reviews and pictures of the 9-3, the more I like it. Price wise, it seems a good deal. I optioned one up on Edmunds pricing site and a well equipped 9-3 was less than $1000 more than the MSRP on my fully loaded Intrigue was, although I know the Saab was not be discounted anywhere near the amount the Olds was. Drove by the local dealer this afternoon and it looked like they did have several 9-3s in stock. I may have to drop by this weekend for a test drive.
  • rgc2200rgc2200 Posts: 37
    my background:83 blk 3 door turbo, 2 kids later 91 9000T 5 door, 1 more kid T and C mini van & 00 5 door 9-3 (all 5 speeds). Loved the 83. Looked forward to getting into that car for 115,000. 91 and 00 were OK. . not ga ga. Drove the base 9-3 last week, 5 speed. Lighter, little bigger back seat, shifted tighter, much better handling then my hatchback, awesome seats, I'm 6'4'' and didn't need the drivers seat back all the way. . endless head room. telescoping steering wheel, very large trunk, easy fold down/ski space. cup holders aplenty, and work (back seat too). surprising pick up for 175hp, almost NO turbo lag in first (all you Saab owners know what thats about). great gauges. All will have 16" wheels (no 15" available now). trunk and hood you can lower with your pinky. a bit more storage around the driver for glasses, phones, etc. 2 nearby outlets for driver/kids. down side. . still a little cheap on plastic interior, arm rest, dash. Have right of first refusal/deposit on black, launch package (i want to hear the stereo) touring package. With $500 off and no security deposit (saab loyal lease coupon)$30,500 list, $2000 of my money at signing, 455/month 36 month 12K miles/y. I drive exactly 1000/month. No negotiating (and I've purchased 3 vehicles at this dealer). I pick it up Friday. They tell me they are getting one east coast distribution of 9-3s, 25% 5 speeds, with minimal chance of alot more linears available (Phila. PA area). Test drove A-4 quattro stick. . nicer inside. . didn't shift as nice. . back seat smaller. . premium audio, sunroof, ski pass through, fold down seats added cost. Didn't quite like it. Drove a Mercedes 240 6 speed was nice, worried about slippery, winter weather, slow vehicle, and all extras very costly that come with the Saab. BMW 3 series 5 speed: fabulous car. better build/feel/ride then Saab. I understand why they are so popular. I'm just a sap for saabs. the new 9-3. . I could be ga-ga again, for the first time since my 83 black maroon interior 5 speed turbo. . Am leasing as I'm cautious with a new model, and Saabs do depreciate alot right off the lot. . plus I want the option of upgrading in 36 months. I'm a little inexperienced with leasing. . is this price reasonable? doubt I have much choice, unless I want to wait. My 2000 9-3 lease is up .
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    What's the lease rate/ residual on that lease?

    I would love to hear more if you get the car.

    oldsman : Saab makes great 4 bangers though it won't be quite as smooth and quiet as the shortstar. Only a test will give you an accurate picture.
  • Saab has the best 4 cylinder turbo engine of the world. Think about Audi's A4 1.8T, and think of Saab's engine that's even better than Audi's turbo. That's how good Saab's new engine is.

    The engine is controlled by electronic throttle by wire, managed by the state of the art Saab's Trionic engine management. No wonder it is so smooth and refined.

    That's as best as a 4 pot can get.
  • I thought the 175hp was great. I currently have a '00 328i approx 195 hp and I couldnt notice much difference. I think Saab prides themselves on making the most efficient 4cyl around. I agree wil rgc2200 that there is no noticable turbo lag. having said that, Im going to wait until Jan to see the Arc. Myguess is that Im either gonna get that or another bmw.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    Anyone buy(or lease) a Saab at GMS pricing. I am eligible for GMS pricing due to my company's large fleet business with GM and according to the GMS website, the price on Saabs is invoice less any key market advertising. The question is are dealers willing to sell one at that price as GMS pricing participation is optional and I've heard of some Cadillac dealers refusing to sell CTSs at GMS pricing. Drove by the dealer this afternoon and they have a black 9-3 right out front. Not sure on the equipment level of it, but I may just have to stop by for a test drive Saturday. The launch package would be nice, but I could like with one that just has the Touring package(climate control, auto dim mirror, Zenon headlights) and either take or leave the automatic transmission. Heck, rowing ones own gears is not only fun but saves you $1200.
  • Black/Char-every option package on the initial Linear..thought of waiting on the Vector/Arc but after i drove the Linear with all the upgrades twice with that 195 pd ft of reason too..power everywhere..strong pull off the mark..taut controlled ride..suspension is compliant and with the 17's a little stiff..but i like it like that..5 spoke rims are beautiful..interior is sharp and driver are great..thank you saab for building a great drivers car..i also notice people looking at my car and are not sure what it is..looks german with a little is300..get a lot of double takes...any questions about the car..i will be glad to answer..
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Great! Glad to hear from you. I like the black/Char and the Dolphin/Grey. So, far, I have only seen a black and red in person though.

    Did you get the manual or the automatic? Either way, how do you like the transmission?
  • Got the sentronic-auto...tranny is nice and smooth..power everywhere..turbo is seemless..this is my first car with a turbo..had no idea what it would feel like...tell you the truth feels like my old rwd car with a v6...break in is 1800 miles..will take days to figure out all the diff functions i can program on the computer..very comprehensive..a lot of fun...really pleased.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Wow, an owner. Congrats! You will get lots of questions.

    Were you able to get much off the list price? What kind of finance rate did you get?

    Sounds like an amazing ride.
  • Got 4.9 for 60 500 off fair value for my trade...
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    That is a good deal. Thanks for the details.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Sounds pretty reasonable.

    I think when I tested a Vibe they offered 3.9% for 48 months when they just came out.

    New model so you can't expect deep discounts. Even the CTS is selling very close to list right now and it's been out for months.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    Did you drive one with the manual? Practically speaking the auto would make more sense due to my mosty city driving, but with manual cars becoming more and more rare these days, I'm tempted to consider one if I go the 9-3 route. Not to mention it is fun rowing your own gears. What is the redline on the Saab engine?
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