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Saab 9-3 Convertible

autoeduautoedu Posts: 47
Discuss all your experience about buying, leasing, owning the legendary Saab Convertible


  • 9-3 Convertible - WOW - the legend continues
    For the first time I think this version look a little more masculine than the previous generations, which had attracted plenty of women with a taste for fashion, and a handful of classy men :)
  • Anyone heard about the Saab sold on ebay for $9.99?
    Will they be selling anymore?
  • One more question if anyone can help - What kind of car is this?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Looks the kind that can't leave the driveway. :shades:
  • saablcpsaablcp Posts: 195
    I Don't know what it is.I do know what it isn't .It isn't a SAAB
  • bonsbons Posts: 45
    2002 Saab 93 SE Convt with Sport Package. Isn't this car beautiful? I'm lucky to own one :)
  • autoeduautoedu Posts: 47
    Yes, the car is absolutely a classic and very beautiful
  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    Those cars with the Sport Package were amongst the most beautiful Saabs ever made. Enjoy your ride.
  • I am just returning my lease and will never get one. Bad service, the dealerships in california are basically and extension of cadillac dealership. Brakes need replacing every $25,000 miles and $500 bucks per axel. Everything falls apart. I had about 4 rcalls and the dealership loans me a cavaliar from enterprise rental everytime I go there.
    If you buy a BMW you drive a BMW when it is in the shop.
    Use your own judgement before you buy or lease one.
    And the lease return, They give you a book and make you go through every ncik and dent plus there the $350 recovery fee.
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    I just had a question or two about a 2003 Saab Convertible I'm thinking about purchasing. After reading many reviews on, I'm a little concerned that the car has no center armrest. I find this hard to believe but after looking at various pictures, I see it's true. I was wondering how anyone felt about that when driving two or three hours. I think it might bother me. Also, what is this I heard about the doors not being locked automatically?
    That's another concern that I have.

    I would appreicate any response anyone might have. Thanks.
  • Yes both are correct, no middle armrest, and no automatic door lock button in the car, however your key has automatic lock/unlock button.

    I drive my 02 Saab 93 SE convertible 5 hours non-stop from az to ca, no middle armrest never seems to bother me. At high-speed on open road I always have both hands on the wheel, at cruising I have one of my hands on the bottom of the wheel to rest.
    When you get behind the wheel of Saab, you want to grap it with both hands and drive, it's that enjoyable. The powerful turbo-charged engine literally push you to the edge of your seat when you press on the gas pedal. It has the smoothest acceleration of any cars that I've ever driven.

    I'm most impressed with its quietness, for a soft-top convertible none is quieter than a Saab. On long trip I always take my Saab because it's more comfortable, fun and somehow make my long trip shorter, maybe it's my soundtrack :)

    Saab ownership enjoyment does require TLC and good maintenance. I also agree that Saab Customer Service needs major improvement. Its customer service isn't up to par for a luxury brand.
  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    There is an accessory armrest available from Saab for the previous model. I had it on my 2001. BTW, we now have a 2004 convertible and loved both of these cars.
    Try this link
    or this one
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    Thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate it very much. I'm currently looking at a 2003 SE convertible and the price seems to be very good. Around $16,000. I think I could get used to not having an armrest like you said. I haven't had a convertible in more than 30 years and it's about time we had a fun car to drive. What concerned me was the longer trips but you answered that question for me. Thanks again and good luck with your Saab. Enjoy!! By the way, have you had any major problems with it at all?
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    Thanks for your info about the armrest you can purchase for the Saab 9-3 convertible. I looked at the site but it said for years 1999 thru 2002. I thought the '02's and '03's were the same interior but I might be wrong about that. I'm going to send the company a question about that. By the way, was it easy to intall and did it help much? Thanks again for your input.
  • Just keep up with basic maintenance. Here are a few tips
    1 - Always use synthetic oil (Mobil 1) 0W-40
    2 - Using above oil, change every 7500 miles
    3 - Always use premium fuel, fill up the tank before low fuel indicator light up (avoid driving it with low fuel level)

    Unique to Saab -
    *Use it for long trip (10+ miles), avoid short trips. Saab turbo-charged engine aren't made for running 5 errands around town all within 5 miles on a daily basis

    *Saab is ready to go after 10 seconds of warm-up every morning, 30 seconds max. Avoid long idle.

    *All saab owner should bookmark
  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    It was easy to install. I am used to an armrest so I found it uncomfortable without one. It was much better after I installed the arm rest.
  • Thanks for your help. I appreciate it..I don't think I could get used to driving without one either. I saw the ones they sell online. I'm sure they're worth it. We're considering buying a 2003 SE that we saw..Not totally sure yet what we're going to do, but it looked very nice.
  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    My 01 was an SE. Great car. Good luck and enjoy it if you take the plunge.
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    I wanted to ask you if the armrest you bought for your 2001 Saab looked liked it was from the factory. I understand you have a 2004 now which came with the armrest in the car. Thanks for your replies. Good luck with the '04!!

  • esfoadesfoad Posts: 210
    Yes, it looked totally factory. This is a factory accessory.
  • autoeduautoedu Posts: 47
    Drive your convertible in comfort and style with this headscarf; an official clothing item made exclusively from Saab for its convertible drivers
  • nyfocus1nyfocus1 Posts: 11
    I’m ready to purchase a used convertible. A 2003 9-3 SE is on my very short list. I have never owned a convertible or a SAAB before. I have test driven 2 cars – one with 22,000 miles & the other with 35,000 miles. I have a couple of questions:

    1) The car with lower miles seemed to have quite a bit more of body quiver (or “cowl shake”) than the car with higher mileage. The cars were from different dealerships so the roads were different but I can’t really say one road was bumpier than the other. The saleslady said that with used convertibles, the amount of cowl shake will vary depending on the driving style of the previous owned, the tires (both had P6000 Sport Veloce) and variance in build tolerance. What has been the experience of the people on this board

    2) Regarding the tires, I’ll be driving this car year-around. I live 1 hour north of New York City. How does the car handle snow with basic all-season tires.

    3) I forgot to check to see if the rear seats fold. I called both dealerships – one said yes, the other said no. was this an option?

  • saablcpsaablcp Posts: 195
    1)Cowl shake in '03 and earlier 9 series(9-3 or 900)is very noticeable .The body and platform date back to app.1993.The car was considered to be one of the best all around convertibles at time of introduction(1994)however Saab continued with the same chassis dynamics for an entire decade and the car was very much in need of redesign to be market competitive by the end of it's run in 2003.That being said the completely redesigned 9-3 Arc introduced in 2004 has a body that is 300% stronger in terms of "torsional rigidity"and has virtually no cowl shake under any road conditions.My recommendation is spend the extra money if feasible and buy a 2004 model.Most Saab dealers have a ready availability of certified used 2004's that have come off-lease in the last 6 months.A test drive in a 2004 vs a 2003 will make it clearly evident and obvious that the car is well worth the extra money.
    2)Make sure the '03 has all-season radials.If equipped with '17 low-profiles they may not be all-season.Otherwise the basic stock all-season tires should work fine in all but total blizzard conditions.
    3)fold down rear seat:standard equipment on ALL 2003 and earlier convertibles.Not available in any 2004 and later convertibles.
  • jez1jez1 Posts: 6
    What do you think you would get from Carmax if the car is in good condition, with about 54,000 miles, never been in an accident, car includes windscreen, arm rest, both a single cd player and multi cd changer in the back, sport package, dolphin grey?
  • konicoffkonicoff Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 convertible and have been very happy with it except for one thing. I think the handling is awful. If you drive aggressively the front wheel drive tries to straighten you out when acclerating around a curve. Are the new ones any better? Don
  • autoeduautoedu Posts: 47
    Looks great in black color and tan top. All-season convertible engineering perfected.
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    I'm in the thinking stage of buying a 2003 Saab Convertible. The reviews haven't been the greatest on I really want a fun convertible but would like to have a back seat (no matter how small) and that's why I thought about the Saab. It's a nice looking car and the '03's are running between $16,000 and $19,000.

    Also, I heard you can buy an after market piece for the center console. Does anyone know where to get them and how hard are they to install? I would appreciate any comments you have about the car. Thanks for your help.

    Steve ([email protected])
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    I've been reading a lot of reviews about the 2003 and 2004 Saab convertibles. The reviews aren't the greatest with respect to the 03's. Better on the 04's. The problem is the price for the 04's are about 6 or 7,000 more. I would like to try to save some money if possible. Can someone tell me are the 2003's that bad?? People are telling me to stay away from Saab. I want a fun convertible that's not real small and has a decent trunk with a backseat.

    Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks

  • autoeduautoedu Posts: 47
    The 02-03 is best car in term of reliability for the old generation. The 04 as expected has quite a few improvements, a more rigid body, matching interior top, and some extra electronics. Personally, I think the 02-03 MY are more classic than the current generation. Saab is a great car, very fast, fun, safe and reliable. Mechanically, Saab's 4 cylinder turbo charged engine is the best in world. Once you get to know its minor quirkiness, driving a Saab can be very satisfying. Saab has one of the most passionate drivers/owners customer base unseen in any other car-manufacturer, perhaps only Porsche follwers are comparable. If the the difference is too much I would get two old Saabs :)
  • jeep53jeep53 Posts: 49
    Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I like the style of the 02's and 03's also. I'm going to see an '03 on Saturday. It has about 40,000 miles on it but from the pics it looks to be in excellant condition. They are asking $17,900. From what I've seen online, that's about the going price. The 04's are in the mid 20's.

    I just want to ask you your opinion about something. I might trade a car in on this deal. Is it true that you get less money for a trade if the car you're buying is cheaper?
    I mean I guess I would get more money for my trade if I was buying the '04 and not the '03. Is that true? I would assume that's how they do it.

    We'll see what happens. Thanks again for your help.

    Steve([email protected])
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