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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • After picking up my 9-3 yesterday I was told that somehow the brake pads that were used on the 2003 had somehow made it on to my 2004. That makes no sense to me unless Saab (GM) had left over 2003s and is selling them as 2004 models... Very strange. Either way, they put new pads and rotors on the car and it is fine. No squeal and it actually stops much better then before. Hopefully this will be the last time I see the dealer at least until my 30 day check. Thanks to everyone who wrote in..... I still have not had an official response from Saab yet, so much for the 24 hour turn around time.
  • luba1luba1 Posts: 13
    First to answer 200493aero, I had a 2003 9-3 SS w/17" wheels, sport suspension, (no longer available for 2004 on the ARC), auto.trans., and the engine light came on and I also lost full power. The car reverted to limp home mode. The next day the light went out and the car was fine. No codes came up when I brought the car to the dealer. I also had the stalling problems and they resolved it by raising the idle.

    I thought this car was a blast to drive and handled very well, until I replaced it w/the Infinity G35. Unfortunately, my car was plagued with electrical and transmission problems as well, over the 7000 miles I put on it. Saab USA repurchased the vehicle back from me, under the California lemon law-no problems there. In defense of Saab, I think GM pushed the car to the market place before all "quirky" bugs were out.

    There really is no comparison between these cars. Power, handling, quality control, fwd vs. rwd. stereo, etc. The Saab is just not in the same league as the Infiniti. Two completely different cars. I know some of you might disagree w/me, and hopefully you've had great success with your Saabs.

    To tamale2, the Vector name is no longer available, it has been replaced by the Aero. Same car,just different name. If you can get some kind of incentive on the Saab, employee or supplier discount, its a pretty good deal, so long as Saab has resolved the quality control issues in the newer models.

    You'll no longer hear any "saabstories" from me and good luck to all you Saabophiles.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,096
    Shouldn't C & D have tested the Aero, not the Arc? Arc is luxury, Aero is sport. 9-3 might have fared better (I haven't yet read the article...).

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • richn2richn2 Posts: 44
    drdarylj: I will say that I have never been as satisfied with any of the other cars that I had owned as I am with my 9-3. Now I know what they mean by thier commercial, most people who test drive will buy. This car is a true driving pleasure.
    I will say that the very first time I had gone to my service center I was not overly thrilled with them, they seemed a little snobbish not like the Buick dealer I was going with my Regal. But first impressions are not always correct or could it have been my eval of them. After the first visit they can not do enough for me.

    Before I had finally settled on the 9-3 I had looked at everything from the Acura, which is a terrific car, to a volvo, bmw, etc. I finally settled on the SAAB for a few reasons.
    Looks - drive / performance - regular gas.

    I was worried about how it would handle in the snow. Nothing to worry about, it handles like a charm.
    Oh well enough bragging about it, just go drive on and experience the thrill.

    Good luck with what ever car you finally select because it really dont matter what anybody else thinks it's what makes you happy.
  • I love the car and I am very happy driving it each day. That said, if I were shopping now, I'd check out the TL. Saw on up close for the 1st time today. Though I'd have to go 5K more than what I spent on my Arc, and I don't know that I'd do that
  • lcp1lcp1 Posts: 14
    This test really has me worried as to Car and
    Drivers testing methods.Where did they supposedly
    find a 6 speed '04 Arc in the first place.They
    have the car accelerating 0-100 in app.18 secs.
    and taking over 20 secs more to go from 100-120.
    Huh?!They have the frt./rear wt.distribution wrong
    59%/41%,when it should be 53%/43%.Most of their
    other criticisms would have been addressed by
    choosing the Aero,which still would have priced
    under the BMW and the 3.0A4.Still wondering where they got that 6speed Arc!LOL
  • A history of my car:
    lock system has failed 4x
    break light 6x
    break system 2x
    gear box 3x
    speedometer indicator 3x
    fuel indicator twice
    gearbox malfunction 3x
    constant steering lock
    yes, the lagging
    blinking trip
    malfuntioning audio
    frozen buttons
    faulty alarm system

    Most of these problems coincide- the constant blinking and signals on the trip are a big nuisance. I note, these problems reoccurred after supposed repairs from the service department; at times, even on the very day I picked the car up.

    (I've tried different Service locations, so I don't know/think they are at fault.)

    CD system took 2 months to reinstall, and there are problems with it even still.

    There are many times when my steering wheel will lock even while driving. This caused my car to be rear-ended in traffic.

    The car alarm goes off by itself at any and all times during the day. The faulty fuel indicator left me bottomed without warning in an intersection.

    my Saab: driving hazard.

    For an average of every two weeks, I've had to bring the car in for Service.

    I love my car, but it won't be for long if such problems consist.

    I know that many owners are faced with problems here and there, but is my 9-3 specifically haunted with more problems than deemed normal or typical? Wanted to see what others had to say.
  • rsdrrsdr Posts: 12
    You should return this car, it is unsafe. Here in the discussion group I remeber few people were able to return the car when they complained to saab. Minimum you might be able to do an exchange i.e get a 2004 saab if not money return, which has much lesser problems. Do update us how it went
    Best of luck
  • Kind of reminds me of my first car in high school, an $800 Fiat X 1/9. I look back on it fondly.... It was such a fun car but broke about twice a month. A $30,000 plus Saab should not have such problems. My father is going through the same thing with his 2003 MB C 230.. It has problems way beyond the car mentioned in the above article and MB will not even think of taking it back. Arbitration is next. Good luck to all....
  • Could you give me the region you live in (Southeast, Northwest, etc.) I too have brakes that squeal. I am being told it is a "regional" thing.
  • I am in Arizona but did not hear of a regional issue. Please let me know what you hear. I still have no response for Saab either, it has been over a week.
  • lcp1lcp1 Posts: 14
    My 2003 9-3 Vector:12,000 miles to this date---
    Buzz in driver door from audio-fixed in 30 minutes
    car stalled momentarily in traffic(at stop light)
    re-started immediately(twice)software upgrade done
    no recurrance since.That would be the complete list of problems--Love the car!
  • 3and143and14 Posts: 36
    I am in the Chicago area. I too haven't heard anything before about this being a "regional" issue before.
  • 3and143and14 Posts: 36
    I think you are overstating your case that the 9-3 is "not in the same league" as the G35. While I believe the G35 is the superior vehicle for most people and represents a lot of car for the money, it's not in a different class nor without its flaws.

    FWD vs. RWD is not a matter of better or worse in my opinion, just different. For myself, I wanted FWD or AWD so the only G35 under consideration was the G35X which is prohibitively expensive. Generally speaking, although the G35 is priced well on paper in comparison to the 9-3, with the deals to be had on the 9-3 in reality it is a bit cheaper comparably equipped. This goes a ways toward explaining why not a few people choose the Saab in comparison with the Infiniti and give up some power.

    For myself, I found the interior in the Infiniti lacking, although I do love its overall exterior style (except for the back end) and think it's a very good car.
  • Has anyone ever tried to contact Saab. It has been 2 weeks and still no response from them regarding my brake squeal. On the web site they say 24 hour turn around. I can see a few days but 2 weeks is to much. They just sent me the survey, can't wait to get going on that...
  • From my previous experience. Usually they will return your answer in 12-24 hours. If you leave them your phone number they even call you in person. You may try to contact them again.
  • I sent in my letter via website, friday. Still waiting...
  • I have had great success in contacting Saab both by e-mail and by phone. My e-mail messages got replies in 24 hours, telephone was faster and when they said they would contact me they did.
    I would check to make sure your e-mail actually went through. Good luck, from my previous post you can see that I was very successful in resolving my issues. My current 9-3 Arc has performed perfectly.
  • rsdrrsdr Posts: 12
    Called SAAB customer service, did not have to wait for call back, solved my query there and then.Had called in to find out about the oil change which the dealer were not ready to do till the percentage of oil quality reduces to 4%, although the SID showed time for service.
     And they did confirm that I did not have to worry it was SAAB ordained rule !.
  • Thanks for all of your feedback, I will give them a call.... My wife's car is in the shop so I let her drive the Saab and I took the rental supplied by insurance. Not a bad car, 2004 Mazda 6 but I am ready to take my Saab back! You cannot compare the ride or the well thought out features. The red dash display is very distracting at night, we live in a very dark area. It makes you truly appreciate small things like night panel...
  • larscalarsca Posts: 60
    I just went to the GM all out test drive in Irvine, CA. They had Corvettes, Cadillacs, Hummers, and SAABs (among others). Having been interesed in test driving a 9-3 for a while, I jumped at the chance to try one out on their track. This was the 9-3 with the big engine and airflow kit, so I was expecting some serious performance. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the turbo had broke on this particular vehicle, because NOTHING happened when I put the hammer down. It accelerated like a Geo Metro, so that must have been due to a faulty turbo charger, right?

    This was a test vehicle so I understand that every one and their momma had been in this car, but still... The power seat was broken, the plastic "Oh [non-permissible content removed]"-handle on the passenger side had fallen off, a couple of buttons were coming lose... On and on, the list of things not holding up on this car was long. I would like to hear from you guys who bought a SAAB 9-3 and have owned it for a while, what's your impression of how the interior holds up?
  • My Saab has 20k on it since November 2002. And everything still hold well. Even I got hit so hard on the second days of ownership, you can refer to long previous post to see what I had happen. Feel sad for that dealer did not maintain their car for test drive.
  • OK, a few things...

    (1) A see a lot of posts with people complaining about the 9-3. Ever car has problems. I've had a few, but the dealer fixed the all (mainly rattles). Had a few other misc. issues -- but nothing that hasn't since been fixed. Fact is, many people will "speak up" about problems. Less people will speak about about "good news". It is human nature. But I have no issues with it. I'd rather see the "dirt" aired. This web site helped me pick my Saab 9-3 over the new A4 and Maxima. And I'm still glad I did.

    (2) Is the car perfect? Heck no. But what car is? I've had many cars (expensive and cheap) and they all had their own special problems.

    (3) The car rides nice. And it has a unique look. It is very fun to drive. And it was CHEAP. Especially with the "Launch Package" they sold on the 2003 models.

    (4) The car gets unreal gas mileage for a good sized 4-door with a nice engine. It is no Ferrari, but it does get up and move. I have friends with smaller cars that get worse gas mileage. The EPA highway rating was 30 MPG -- but I get 33-35 MPG all the time (doing about 75-80 MPH on average). That is good. Especially for a mere 5-speed.

    (5) I don't know why Saab got rid of Cosmic Blue. I'm glad I got mine. =8)

    (6) There seems to be an increasing number of new 9-3s out there. I used to see none. Now I see at least three a day (one in the same lot that I park in for work).

    (7) As for the message topic, "Too Many Saabs" -- I was in West Hollywood yesterday having lunch and parked in a underground garage. Walking back to my car after eating, I saw another 9-3 parked right next to mine. It was also a 2003 Cosmic Blue model. Same wheels and everything. There was another person walking next to us (towards their car) and when they split off to the let (going away from where we were -- so I knew it wasn't the person that parked right next to me) I commented to my friend, "look at that copy-cat, they *had* to park right next to me."

    Then, the person who was previously walking next yelled out, "Yea, that is why I parked over here."

    I swung around, and there was a 3rd 2003 Cosmic Blue model in the lot, about 5 cars down.

    Heh. Oops. Me and my big mouth.

    (8) Oh, Saab has been running ads here like crazy (on TV and in the paper). The finally got smart and instead of having "friendly" ads that talked only about the Saab -- they now have a commercial that bluntly compares the Saab 9-3 to the Audi A4. That is how you do marking, not that other "friendly" foo-foo.
  • Hey all - I posted an early message concerned about my tires, and a clunking noise coming from the front. Has anyone else had these problems? and if so what did Saab do about them?
  • (1) Go to the dealer.

    (2) Tell them the problem.

    (3) Insist (if they don't offer) they loan you a tech.

    (4) Put the tech in your passenger seat.

    (5) Drive around with the tech and demonstrate the problem.

    (6) Now that tech actually HEARS problem, they can look for it and fix it.

    Simply documenting it never works. I know this sounds funny. But it helped me a great deal.
  • I just bought the last '03 Linear 5 speed at my local Saab dealer last week for a steal. You can't ignore a car like this when it's priced well below a comparably equipped GLS. My car has the driver's package available in 2003 and has the upgraded Infotainment system (only without the 300 Watt system). This car is a blast to drive and has every bell and whistle I'll ever need.

    I just have a few questions for the other owners out there:

    1.) Can anyone suggest a good powered subwoofer or other stereo upgrade that is reasonably priced? The 7 speaker 150 Watt system is good, but doesn't really deliver at higher volumes.

    2.) What's up with the trunk release button on the trunk lid? I just tried opening the trunk with all doors unlocked and nothing happened. If I press the button with the trunk open I hear the latch mechanism working. Also if I close the trunk and immediately press the button it will open. I called the dealer about this and the guy said that he didn't even realize there was button back there in the first place.....any thoughts? I'm pretty sure it should open if all of the doors are unlocked without needing the key fob.

    I love this car and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great driver's car with personality.
  • I've held off buying a Saab for the moment largely because I find the dash too shiny and the infotainment center too confusing for using whilst driving. After seeing the interior on the SportHatch and fully understanding that it is 'concept' material, I wondered if GM would simplify and handsomize the instrument center stack in the 9-3 series.

    Any idea when/if this may happen?

    Dr. Daryl, with an enquiring mind.............

    PS: After driving the Saab 9-3 Aero and 4 Acuras (TSX auto, TSX manual, TL auto, TL manual...all 2004's), the car that left me the most satisfied overall with the 'drive' was the Saab. I've not yet identified exactly why, but still that is what stuck with me the most. Especially since the TL with the 6-speed is devastatingly fast.
  • Not sure what you mean by too shiny. The entire center stack is matte black - the soft rubberized compound.
  • The dash itself: matte
    The big, surrounding area: too glossy for my taste and plastic looking. Couple that with the late 1970's-technology green-screen and the presentation as a whole comes off looking decidedly cheap.

    But that is strictly personal opinion. :-)

    FWIW, the new Acura TL and it's blue/white/red LED display does pale significantly in the sunshine. I had to turn the brightness all the way up for it to be comfortable to read at a glance. The Saab's instrument cluster was much easier to comprehend whilst driving.

    Thanks for all the input too.
    Dr. Daryl
  • 3and143and14 Posts: 36
    DrDaryl; as you said it's a matter of personal taste with the dash. Upon first glance I was not thrilled with it, but it has grown on me after 2 months of familiarity.

    I can't for the world comprehend why some find it "cheap". Basic maybe, utilitarian (except for the infernal infotainment system), but not "cheap".

    I like the green lighting and it was a small factor in deciding on Saab over Acura; the electroluminescent gauges in Acuras seem gimmicky by comparison, as does the red lighting in many other cars such as the Mazda6s with the sport package. I find such treatments a step toward the tacky 80s digital dash in comparison with the "classic" look of the 9-3.
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