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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • I have a 2002 9-3 SE. Love the car! It's the perfect size; love the zoom that the sport mode gives me; I love all the features I have. The problem? My engine light literally comes on every month. My warranty was up about a year ago and I have paid at least $5000 in diagnostics and repairs since then - the throttle body, valves, direct injection, wheel problems, it seems to never end. The worst part is that sometimes the engine light is serious and sometimes it's just a sensor. But I never know until I pay the $100 a pop for the diagnostic. My husband absolutely hates my car and thinks it's a POS. I really love it except that it's unreliable. Now we're expecting our first baby in March and it broke down on our 300 mile trip home for the Thanksgiving holiday. He's making me get rid of it. If only it would stop breaking down!!!! Now I'm going to have to get a minivan or something just as bad. :cry:
  • I had the same problem with my 9-3 2003. However, after looking around and almost buying a Passat, I ended up with a 2006 9-3 Sportcombi. So far its been the most reliable Saab I've bought. Plus the extra room in the back is extremely useful. If you're looking at something as large as a minivan, then why not look at a 9-5? Its got a huge trunk?

    Warren Brown seemed to like the Saturn Outlook as an minivan alternative, and I wouldn't be surprised if a Saab version turns up sooner or later.
  • danb5danb5 Posts: 2
    I have the opportunity to buy (lease) an AERO for $1500 more in drive off than a regular 2.0T. I am intereested in opinions of those of you who have sweated over that choice and how you arrived at your decision. I am thinking of handling performance as well as speed differences, perceived or real.

    I only mention the cost differnce to give you an idea of what sort of financial sacrifice I would be making.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • The $1500 difference sounds good, but the V6 is built in Australia (the last time I checked.) The 2.0 is built in Germany (probably an Opel engine) and it has been in production for a while. I would trust a german built engine over one from Australia.

    My 2005 9-3 Arc has the 2.0 which delivers plenty of power. My vote would be for the 2.0, unless you are interested in Aero options that are otherwise not available.
  • sidvsidv Posts: 64
    I just ended my lease on an 04 Arc which had the 2.0T engine. I considered an 07 9-3 Aero as a replacement and drove it. I have to say the Aero's motor is quite nice, smoother than the 2.0T and less turbo lag. It didn't feel that much more powerful to me however, but the saleman said it really comes alive at high speeds and we were fairly limited in our test drive due to conditions. My only real concern on the Aero is worse mileage, same size tank and after 3 years of great range I wasn't looking forward to that. I do not care for the metallic interior trim on all the Saab Aeros and wanted a bigger car so I went with a 9-5 2.3T 9-5 SC but I definitely would have taken the Aero over the 2.0T for so little more money. Unless you really aren't into music make sure you get the premium sound if you go with the 2.0T (standard on Aero). For a lease I don't think you need be concerned with engine durability issues based on origin so much.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    The 2.0 is built in Germany (probably an Opel engine) and it has been in production for a while. I would trust a german built engine over one from Australia.

    IMHO, I wouldn't worry about the origin of the engine. The Japanese mills and robots building the engine really don't know where they're working.
  • Look like Saab is coming out with best line-up ever, if successful GM will be on the road to recovery

    9-3 vs 3series
    9-5 vs 5series
    9-9 vs 7series

    9-3 Sedan - Born from Jets, founded by 16 aircraft engineers is really true with this A-pillarless, smooth roofline aerodynamic design
    9-3 Convertible - WOW - the legend continues
  • sidvsidv Posts: 64
    The 9-3 convertible looks awesome! The sedan is mostly nice too, but the roofline seems a little odd at first glance. Definite Aero X showcar influence, but I thought that roofline was odd as well. I like the blacked out pillars.

    The 9-5 sedan is generally nice, but the styling at the trailing edge of the rear doors could be handled better. I really hope Saab gets the 9-5 and 9-3 right before devoting resources to the 9-6, 9-9, etc. I was glad AWD was mentioned as being in the future, it's badly needed to be competitive. Great post, thanks.
  • They look like something that some artists knocked up to try and imagine what the next 9-3 will look like. The 9-3 is suppose to get a face lift next year. I'm not sure the current platform can receive the upgrades stated in the picture.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Since you wanted a separate 9-3 convertible discussion, let's comment about it there instead of here. autoedu, "Saab 9-3 Convertible" #1, 28 Nov 2006 6:11 pm.

  • rongrong Posts: 9
    Does anybody know where I can get a front spoiler. It is the piece below the front fog light. The dealer claims that I would have to replace the whole part. Is it easy to do? the dealer ask for over $200 for the part $125 to paint it in black and that excluded the labor which is $97 an hour.

    This is a lease car and my lease is up in August. I would go with a used part if I can get one.

  • The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan and the 9-5 appear to be the safest in their respected classes.

    These crash tests show how far Saab has come and also how much they are set apart from other manufacturers in unparalled safety. -

    There is even footage of the Saab moose test that Saab continues to do even today.

    Let me know what your thoughts are.
  • kcm63kcm63 Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 9-3 sedan. Lately there's been a noticeable smell of exhaust fumes in the cabin. Have had it checked out by mechanic who has gone over the entire exhaust system and found no problems or leaks. Has anyone experienced this problem or know of a possible cause?
  • Has anyone ever had a problem with their fuel gauge not registering that there's fuel in your Saab? I have an '04 9-3 Linear with 30K miles on it and after I just fueled up today, my gas light is on and my D.T.E. says I have 0 miles left. Unsure if this is a common issue... Thank you.
  • ukjimukjim Posts: 63
    This is not the same issue, it sounds as though your gas tank sensor may be broken but I had a problem on my '04 ARC convertible where the gauge showed full but the DTE was way off (95 miles DTE with a full tank!), pushing the "clear" button solved the problem.
  • I've had that problem with my D.T.E. being off as well. Thankfully I'm still under warranty and get the fuel module fixed at no cost to me. Thanks!
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    My wife is a manager at a major used car retailer. She gets the oppotunity to demo a few cars each month and we have had a 06 Aero for the past week.

    The car is a stunner in my book. I loved walking up to it. It was black over grey and had less than 7000 miles on it. If you only had to look at the car you would be pleased enough.

    But oh that V6 turbo. What an engine. Buttah I tell you. It's not that fast off the line as someone said in a recent post, but above 60, it was unstoppable.

    Now for the bad though. It creaked and groaned like crazy. Very disappointing actually. I was very disappointed in that aspect of the car. Especially since the ride was actually very smooth and the tires were quiet. It really made no sense why it should be so creaky at such a low mileage. Our much firmer riding Accord makes much more tire noise but the interior is creak and rattle free.

    And the stereo simply rocks. Even without XM.

    I really love all other aspects of the car though. The only problem I saw was a leaking fog light.
  • My Saab 93 is approaching 70K miles and has generally been problem free. It looks as new as the day i bought it in 2003. I like its instrument panel better than the newly modified one in the 2007 version. Servicing the car is not cheap though. Besides paying the +$500 for a major service, you'll need to not just replace the brake pads, but also replace the whole brake disc, costing another +$500 for each: front and rear brakes. If only they would last a long time!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I seem to recall that saab brakes are identical to saturn brakes. This was definitely true for the 9-5 and the LS, so one could save a chunk of money. Certinaly, an independant mechanic could probably do your brakes for probably half what you're currently paying. I see saab brake discs online for $75 each, and the pads for $53 per axle.

    How long are your brakes lasting?
  • Awesome - thanks dhanley for the money-saving advice! I'll have to research for a reliable & reputable mechanic. Could you pls. let me know what website sells the saab parts at those prices?

    To answer your question, I'll have to double check my invoices and get back to you later. For now...

    ... if my memory serves me right, my first brake replacement was at the 45K mile service for one of them (probably the front, i can't recall at this moment but will find out) ... i think this one will eventually be replaced again probably in a year (a recent dealer reported its wear and tear - i'll have to look it up).

    The second brake replacement (for the other one: probably the rear) was changed at the 60K mile service. Both the dealer 60K service and brake job costs me over $1K.

    Out of my 70K miles today, I'd say a majority of it (80%) is freeway miles (commuting to work). I'm no mechanic, but it just seems to me that the brakes should last longer than the 45K marker. Maybe my expectations are too 'toyota-centric'? Wife's Lexus had its brakes replaced at 60K marker (probably the front). What are the experiences of all you Saabers out there?

    I've also had the front pirelli tires replaced (i think around the 40K marker, but again, i'll double check the invoice). I have a strong preference to Michelin tires (i buy them at Costco) which perception-wise, seems to last up to 60K or more.

    I also had the Saab battery replaced around the 60K marker (since i had no choice - it wouldn't start...hehe)

    Well, at least these expenses are for maintenance and NOT for repairs. I'm thankful that my Saab 93 has no mechanical and electrical problems that perhaps others have experience. It has truly been a reliable car! At this rate, I expect it to run reliably well into the 150K range.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Well, i'm not sure if i can post links to car-parts sites on here. But i did a google search for saab brakes and the top hit had those prices. :)

    It sounds as if your brake durability is more or less normal. I too have michelins from costco on my car.
  • What would we do without Google? :)
    Also, I checked my invoices:
    Front brake replacement (pads and disc) at 46K miles.
    Rear brake replacement (pads and disc) at 60K miles.

    Brake durability may in fact be within range for Saabs (perhaps longer for other mfrs?) It's understandable if the front brake pads lasted to 46K, but I would have expected the front disc to last longer than 46K.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    I recently fell in love with saab (not chevy/subaru ;) ) when a brownish 9-3 zoomed past us on the way to denny's one night. It was IMHO BEAUTIFUL! I have no experience with saabs but some with swedes as we used to have a s60.

    I have 4 questions regarding the 9-3.

    1. A i read about the stereo and i wanted to know if the arc had a good sound. The linear scored a 5.0 from edmunds and they said it sounded like a boombox with low bass. Stuck between arc and aero.

    2. Since stuck between arc and aero, what should i expect from either in terms of options. I want the cold weather package, a sunroof, and a decent stereo. I'm stuck between the Arc and aero because the aero's v6 gets less mpg than the 2.0t which i heard still had quite good oomph.

    3. The nearest dealer for saabs is 9miles away. Yes its not far, but i want to get some inside info first which brings me to my next question.: What changers were made between 2004-2006. I know the 2007 got a new interior but i dont want to spend 2007 money... at least not yet.

    4.Whats the difference between the 2.0t and the 2.0T?

    Also on a side note, i find it cool that gm gave the 9-3 a type of four wheel steering!

    Help appreciated! Deciding between all 3, the combi, the sedan and the convert.
    -Cj :)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    autoboy, i think you can answer most of your questions by going to and "building a car."

    Question though: are you thinking of buying new, or used?
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    I tried building the car and i came out the same way i went in: confused!

    Ok put it like this: I think the 2.0T is the top choice since for 2007, a 250watt 12speaker audio system was added but i would like to know how it sounds. Edmunds gave the linear a 5.0 on its stereo evaluation and that was the 150watt 7speaker unit.

    To answer your question, it seriously depends. There aren't many used saabs around here. Are they that good that drivers want to hold onto them or are the they that bad that the people are avoiding them??

    But i did run across 5 9-3s on autotrader all priced between $15-$21k. But the thing is, I am turned off by the Linear thats why i say the ARC or AERO. 2of the 5 i found were linear. Sadly, non of which were the combi.

    To sum it up, we may go used, most likely a 9-3 arc. But the 2007's interior looks sooo good and that smoke beige is soo "b-e-a-UTIFUL"!! We may just hold out to see what GM... has in store for saab. If the 9-3s interior looks anything like the `08 Malibu or 2007 saturn aura's then it'll be worth waiting for!!

    I hate when all the cars I like get redesigned the following year! Edmunds predicts that the new 9-3 will be a 2008 model(Saab 93 homepage on insideline).
    -Cj :sick:
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    While we're on the topic, changes i'd like to see on the next 9-3 include:


    at least 225hp out of the base engine (A better turbo added onto the 2.0?).
    a mid range model with 260hp(10extra horses out of the 2.8?).
    at least 300hp out of the top of the line (A turbo'd 3.6 or 3.4).
    Diesel engines anyone?
    The aeros 6speed automanual to go on all models.


    An optional hardtop for the convertible.(The g6s is ok but it uses to much space. a 3 fold should help)
    Panoramic sunroof like g6/aura even in wagon
    A lift glass on the wagons ala 3series
    Cornering lights
    The green house extended to to c pillar more


    Softer head restraints
    An interior a class above the 2008 malibu
    Folding rear seat in convertibles ala 328i cabrio
    Heated/vented seats
    More interior colors
    passenger lumbar

    Did i cover everything?
    -Cj a new saab enthusiast. OMG, i never knew it had rear wheel steering :D !!

    Watch this video!!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Ok, well, there's no longer linear/arc/aero, there's the 2.0T and the areo ( v6 ).

    You might want to look into the 60th anniversary package. It comes with the upgraded sterio and a lot of other good stuff for not a whole lot of money.

    I believe thaty next year, the 9-3 gets AWD. The engines can also produce the power you want with mild(software) updates.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You can post links to just about anything as long as you aren't promoting something in which you have a specific interest. So yes, you can post links to car-parts sites assuming you don't own them. ;)
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Wouldn't it be nice if the CTS and 9-3 could share platforms. This motortrend comparison of the saab 93, acura tl, cadillac cts, and infiniti g35 knid of help me say this. The 9-3 is a great car with minor flaws. A stronger engine with a turbo and RWD could bring it up to 335i standards. Anything like that would be good for saab and Great for GM!

    The purpose for this is that the saab gets marked down by its bad weight distribution vs the cts' 52/48 mix, and bad steering. Both plusses of the cts. A chassis swap, a more powerful engine and new styling should make this car a killer deal! Its o7 interior refresh is a great start!!

  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    unless saab makes a rear engine front drive roadster... Totally unique. If honda, maker of great FWD vehicles goes all out their way to make a RWD roadster, saab shouldn't be that bad with one. A saab Sonnet with 9-5 styling seems cool! give it a power top and its a seller. Price: $25k?

    Coming to mind, the next 9-3 may have a metal roof like the g6s.

    Instead of the AWD 9-7x, it should be like the equinox!! The 9-9x can be a lambda.

    Saab is doing ok with its FWD vehicles and 4WS Saabs new slogan: Saab_"Unique by design" as well as born from jets. The jets thing is getting old gracefully but still aging. Its good to have but not on every thing. Maybe something here, something there, but not too much. Still, its just my opinion.

    BTW, the 9-3 is so great, GM took it and made the cadillac BLS. Also a fantastic car. But were my other next 9-3 ideas good?

    -Cj :P
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