Saab 9-3 Convertible

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


  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    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 :)
  • snapcracklepopsnapcracklepop Member Posts: 111
    Anyone heard about the Saab sold on ebay for $9.99?
    Will they be selling anymore?
  • snapcracklepopsnapcracklepop Member Posts: 111
    One more question if anyone can help - What kind of car is this?
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Looks the kind that can't leave the driveway. :shades:
  • saablcpsaablcp Member Posts: 195
    I Don't know what it is.I do know what it isn't .It isn't a SAAB
  • bonsbons Member Posts: 45
    2002 Saab 93 SE Convt with Sport Package. Isn't this car beautiful? I'm lucky to own one :)
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    Yes, the car is absolutely a classic and very beautiful
  • esfoadesfoad Member Posts: 210
    Those cars with the Sport Package were amongst the most beautiful Saabs ever made. Enjoy your ride.
  • andygrvandygrv Member Posts: 8
    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 Member 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.
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    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 Member 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.
  • jeep1999jeep1999 Member Posts: 6
    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 Member Posts: 210
    My 01 was an SE. Great car. Good luck and enjoy it if you take the plunge.
  • jeep53jeep53 Member 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 Member Posts: 210
    Yes, it looked totally factory. This is a factory accessory.
  • autoeduautoedu Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 47
    Looks great in black color and tan top. All-season convertible engineering perfected.
  • jeep53jeep53 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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])
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    No matter what you buy, you just get less for trade-in period. Try to sell it privately if you can and get more money for your car. It's possible to find a good SS convertible in the low 20s and the OG vert in the mid teens. If the diffence is less than 5K I would go for the newer one. Remember the the 02-03 are the last years for OG (old generation) so most issues and problems have been worked out and refined. Again, the 04 is the first year of the SS (super sport) generation, although much more improved than its predecessor it has a few minor issues of its own.

    If this is how you drive your car then get the SS, it comes with rollover pop-up bar :)
    I just couldn't understand why they didn't make the tail light in the convertible the same as the sedan. The tail lights is what really bug me for the SS vert design.
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
  • autoeduautoedu Member Posts: 47
    Again, i don't like the tail lights at all. They should get rid of the light panels that are attached to the trunk lid.
  • keywastedkeywasted Member Posts: 1
    When various add on tinker toys mention with skirts or without, what are they talking about. I am a newbie owner of a 2004 with 10000 miles and want to add a tow hitch.
  • driver100driver100 Member Posts: 31,211
    My wife and I are thinking of getting 2008 vehicles. She has a 2003 Mercedes C240 estate wagon and I have a 2004 BMW X3. Both are automatics. We will both be 3/4's retired so want more fun vehicles than our very good but utilitarian cars we now have. Also, some punch is expected but we are OK with 4 cylinders if supercharged...we want 6 speed manuals. We are considering;
    Audi 2 litre quattro (probably for me but her 2nd choice if not a Saab)
    BMW hardtop/convertible (for me)
    Saab 9.3 convertible (for her)
    Land Rover L2 (for me)
    We'd like one car to be a convertible for extra fun. Want at least 4 passenger. Want all wheel drive if possible but the front wheel drive on the Saab could be sufficient. What one gets influences the other....she wants yellow so it will be different!
    Any thoughts...what a dilemna (but probably not a bad one to have to have)?

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • pumpkincoachpumpkincoach Member Posts: 1

    i am looking at cpo's and non-cpo used 9-3 convertibles as my first car and was wondering: (1) if you could please advise me on the model years that have all the standard safety features included, and (2) would you recommend it as a first car for a new driver? why/not?

    thanks. :)
  • bonsbons Member Posts: 45
    Actually I like the Audi convertible too, BMW is also nice but Saab is different and uniquely classy. There is something about Saab that makes it more classy than any other convertibles.

    Wow your first car ever and you chose the 93 convertible?
    You've got taste and intellectually mature. How old are you, male or female?

    If you like the older model start with the 02 and 03 these are 93 SE (special edition) with HOT (High Output Turbo) engine. The 04 is more solid and little bit safer.

    Here is the link on the 02 & 03 model info

    Below is link info for 04
  • arigarig Member Posts: 4
    i previosly owned 1998 Honda cr-v (awesome car) and i was about to buy a 2007 toyota rav4 cruiser L when i was put off by the long waiting list. My dad persueded me to buy a saab as he said they are mechanically well built and are reliable and sporty. I went to test drive them but felt a bit ressentfull after hearing negative feedback such as bad resale value and problems with the vehicle. I decided to go ahead and purchased a 2007 saab 93 linear convertible (black). I have had one problem so far (8 months) which is in all 2003> saab 93 convertibles which is were the rim of the left front tyre becomes smooth. I phoned saab and they said they do not recommened a wheele rotation as it is a waist of money. I am also annoyed as the 2008 saab 93 is coming out and i want to get rid of my swirl marks on the black car which are only visible in the direct sun.
  • arigarig Member Posts: 4
    I was looking for a safe car for my son and by buying a second hand saab any car in generall you are buying someone elses problems with that money rather buy a 2007 vw golf which i just bought for my son and is incredibly safe and relaible even the polo.
  • d0nmand0nman Member Posts: 4
    Just adding my own experience... I currently own a 2000 9-3 convertible, at about 78000 miles, 5-speed base model. I owned one previously, a 2001 SE model, but it was an automatic so I didn't keep it. These cars do feel a bit "loose" in stock form and there is cowl shake, as previously mentioned. To remedy this problem, as many have done, I ordered a steering rack brace, the 6-point subframe brace, and the 22mm rear anti-sway bar, and the car literally feels better than new. I cannot believe how much fun this FWD vehcle is to drive now. For a little over $500 this car is completely transformed and for once I find myself not wanting to look into how I could get "something better." I also added the armrest/storage compartment accessory from Saab and that pretty much has perfected it. IMO, no power upgrades are even necessary, though I'm sure someday I will want to do an ECU upgrade and a sport exhaust :)

    I've owned several cars, with the performance oriented ones being an '03 Nissan SE-R SpecV and a '99 Corvette, and for my main vehicle the Saab honestly wins hands-down compared to any of them. Obviously the three are in completely different classes, but the Saab is more comfortable and performs on-par or better than the Nissan (with the mods), and is more practical and easier to tool around in than the Vette. I feel like I will drive this one as far as it will reasonably go, and then move on to another 9-3 convertible. Hopefully someday I get to add another Vette to the stable too for track fun :)
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Member Posts: 1,681
    I'm looking at potentially purchasing a 99 9-3 S convertible 5spd approx 70K mi...clean carfax report.

    I'm not exactly sure which the advertisement just lists 9-3 S and all I can find on the web is...Convertible, SE, and SE HOT...

    I only will put on approx 8k mi per year so reliability isn't the highest on my list...but it definitely is a factor.

    Other than a worn out drivers leather seat it looks great; I still have to schedule some time to go drive it.

    Are there any particulars that I should look for? Certain tell tale signs that I have a "bad one".

  • softtopsofttop Member Posts: 1
    Forgive me if this has been discussed, I am new here. I have bought a 2004 9-3 Arc Convertible. It is a fantastic car.
    The door locks seem a bit archaic though. For one thing the doors do not lock or unlock automatically, and more importantly, I can not find a power lock switch on the passenger door. The manual seems to indicate there is a twin to the one on the driver's door but mine doesn't have one.
    Any help or thoughts would be welcome,
  • heisnsteinheisnstein Member Posts: 45
    I am considering a 2008 Aero convertible, but have been a little spooked by Consumer Reports' reliability survey of the 2006 model. Does anyone have any information (preferrably non-anecdotal) as to whether the 2008 model is or is not more reliable?

  • eurospecialisteurospecialist Member Posts: 12
    The 2008 Saab 9-3 just received the "recommended buy" from Consumer Reports. Sorry, only lists all 9-3, as does not break them down by trim level. rview.htm
  • heisnsteinheisnstein Member Posts: 45
    Actually, if you are a CR subscriber and take a look at the reliability history, the history is "average" for the sedan and "below average" for the convertible. Since CR does not assign "Recommended" to cars that have "below average" reliability, the "Recommended" status is not for the convertible. I'm curious because neither CR nor JD Power have any results for any model year after 2006.
  • blynchblynch Member Posts: 1

    Curious where you had this work done. Considering doing the same for my '02 SE. Love the car (only had it for a month) but drive a lot of back roads on my daily commute and would like to get rid of some of the shakes.

  • colm964c2colm964c2 Member Posts: 2
    Hello all,
    Just joined the group as a websearch found the forum. I have a 2004 93 Convertible (linear),which I use as a daily driver,and prefer for long journeys to my Porsche 911 C2. Today, however, the soft-top got stuck halfway open and would neither open nor close. The dashboard indicator said there was an obstacle blocking the soft-top, but nary a thing could I find. I managed to close the roof manually but of course the sun has come out here and now I can't use the soft-top. The local Saab dealership here are a bunch of cowboys, so does anyone have any experience of this, or do I just bring the vaseline along to the official Saab dealer?

    Colm (West of Ireland)
  • hihosilver42hihosilver42 Member Posts: 2
    Just bought an 05 convertible (linear) Had to, I fell in love with my daughters 93 but she won't give it to me! after a wonderful week of driving with the top down everyday, this morning is wouldn't go down more the 80%, nothing blocking it and no info on the will go back up, but still stops in the same position on the way down. The Saab dealership here in Durango is giving up the ghost, and they have no mechanic to look at it. Help!

    Dale :
  • strikemanstrikeman Member Posts: 18
    I have a '04 Arc Convertible with 35k miles. I love the car (specially the look) but its started rattling & shaking quite a bit already. I commute about 15 miles a day & really "baby" the car - slow over speedbreakers, etc.

    I have read about strut braces & such that will reduce the shake. Can anyone tell me how they went about installing these? (buying parts, good installer, cost, etc). I am not mechanically inclined so I am not going to install them myself but if someone can let me know where to get the parts & the cost, etc ...

    "donman" - it seems you have done the same to your '03. Can you please give me some infomration on this? Thanx
  • crs4_00crs4_00 Member Posts: 10
    I am considering purchasing an 06 Saab Convertible. Is there anything to look out for or serious issues to check have been corrected? This is a CPO Saab.

Sign In or Register to comment.