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Saab 9-3 Sedan



  • Well I am really excited about getting my 93. I pick it tonight, and it can't come soon enough. I have test drove the BMW, AUDI, ACURA, Benz-230 coupe, CTS, and recently the Saab 93. Out of all the cars I would say the 93 is at the top with CTS not far behind. I would have to agree with some of the comments, I do think the cloth is a little cheezy. But if it bothers you that much you can always switch it out later on. The saab has a very unique look. Where all the others look like replicas. Saab did a great job and the price is very good for this sports car. I will let you all know what I think after I drive it a few days.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    Thats for the info on the tilt steering wheel, I didn't look there. I used to the lever being on the left side of the column just below the turn signal. I guess thats another Saab idiosyncracy. BTW, I thought the ignition switch mounted on the center console was pretty unique. It would almost be a hoot to hand someone the key and tell them to start the car and watch them try to find the ignition:) I think I'll pass on the wheel package if I do the 9-3. I could also live without the launch package, but it seems from what I'm hearing most come with it. BTW, how does the stereo sound? I'm not looking for "thumping" bass, but I've got a Bose system in my Intrigue so I would like decent sound.
  • jdisanjdisan Posts: 28
    What gives? Car and driver, Road and track etc.. have done 2003 comparos for sports sedans, but the new saab 9-3 is never part of the competing pack - it's not even mentioned. Why is this? I've narrowed my choice down to looking seriously at 2003 9-3, and 2003 Infiniti G35. Would love to hear anyone's thoughts who has diven Both. (I have - and with the assumed additional power of the Arc - I am flipping back and forth.) also if anyone can find the saab compared against the others in its class (BMW, A4, IS300, G35 etc) - it seems they put the 9-5 in the mix however, but not the new 9-3 which I think is a closer fit to the space ) please let me know.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Several '03 models, the G35 included, were launched as early this year as possible where they could still be called '03s. Consequently, the buff mags have had plenty of chances to drive and compare the G35.

    The 9-3 has only been available for a month or so. I am sure it will find its way into the comparos, but not for a few months yet.

    I think the new 9-3 will do much better against the group you list than the older 9-5.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    and by the way, I have driven my brother's a 330c and I have test driven the 9-3. I am not a qualified reviewer.

    In my opinion, if your primary objective is a hard driving, thrilling car, than the 3 series is hard to beat. But if you have other criterea: storage space, passenger comfort, saving money and the like, the 9-3 becomes a very viable alternative. Remember, if you are into rwd, as well as the Saab drives, fwd is not the same experience.

    These are both good, solid fun cars to own and drive. Your preference is going to dictate your choice, not what someone else says.
  • jdisanjdisan Posts: 28
    yes, the 330i is great but too small to drive business folks around in the back seat as I sometimes do. Makes sense on the comparo's - going to drive them back to back on friday that should tell all!~
  • Had it for three weeks...prev car was a 95 bmw..present bimmer's have over boosted steering for me..even the 02 edition way to exp was i drove is300, audi a4, g35 sedan, 325 and 330ci..i didnt think i would like the 9-3, but i did everything on linear the steering, turbo is invisable and power is immediate, no body roll, none of the safety features are intrusive and the look is sporty and classy..dislikes are few..if you get the tire upgrade with the sport chasis, you will feel the cracks and dips and potholes of the road in the streets but on the freeways, you will is fair...needs upgrade..will look into that..overall, love this car...p.s. this is the first saab i have ever driven..never considered them before i test drove the 9-3.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I'm sure Saab is looking for more new buyers like you.

    The old quirky Saabs had to go (though I didn't mind it). I love the new look. Hopefully the new 9-5 will be just as nice.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Love the new look too, just wish it was a hatchback (oops I said a bad word better wash my mouth out ; ^ ) Actually the only diff between a sedan and a hatch is the location of the trunk hinges - above the window, or below the window. They can have the exact same look and still have a hatchback.
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    It looks like a 325i would be more like $6,000 more expensive than a comparably equipped Saab 9-3. That's substantial.

    The Saab is said to be bigger inside, and the stats seem to back that up. It also looks less like a subcompact than the 3.

    Some of us have driven BMW's and know what it's like dealing with the little petty jealousies out there (keyed cars, getting cut off in traffic, nobody lets you in, etc) and prefer a more stealthy car. BMW's seem to really inspire "redneck rage" more than just about any other car. My wife had more than one incident with pickups trying to run her off the road in her 540i. I like the idea of a car that has most of the BMW attributes (handling, safety, styling, solidity) w/o the baggage.

    If you think you have problems with the Saab base stereo.....well at least you can upgrade it. The BMW is difficult to upgrade, sounds just ok, and the AM reception stinks.

    The BMW's are great cars, hard to beat in many areas, but they're starting to get overpriced in my opinion. $35,000 plus for what is essentially a Civic sized car is quite a bit.

    Finally, remember that the current 3 series will be replaced with a new model in a couple of years, I assume. Come resale time, you may own the "old model". This could affect resale value to a point where the Saab may not be at such a disadvantage after all.
  • When I test drove the 9.3, I was listing to the engine and never bothered to try the radio. I'm STILL waiting for delivery of my 9.3 this week. I see some complaints on this board about the sound quality. Just how bad is it? Does it sound like the AM radio in my old '61 Falcon, or is it just not super high audiophile quality?
  • For the information's a review you might not have read:

  • I'm considering a SAAB, either the new 9-3 or a used(maybe new) 9-5. Anyone here has driven both of them and can give me their experience with both cars? The things that I'm looking for are comfortable ride and power (responsive engine that doesn't need to rev the crap out of it for power, and be able to smoke japanese mod imports in drag race). Also, when you take the car for warranty repairs, does SAAB give you a free loaner? I always wanted a BMW 3-series. They're nice cars. But like some posts here mentioned, they are overpriced and popular like a civic. That's why I'm trying to be a first time SAAB buyer.
  • Finally I went for the test dive of new Saab 93...tonight. It's odd, right. But I think it's less pressure to have enjoyful ride at the week day night. They even let me free to ride by my own so I can select my route to test the car..
    It's so special feeling to me the first time Saab experience. So I sign up the car for this weekend to pick up. I will share more after I live with it.....
  • The output to the rear speakers is horrible. It actually sounds like an alarm clock radio. I asked the dealer about upgrading the stereo to the stock one for the ARC and he said he would get back to me. There is no bass from the rear so the front speakers which, are actually smaller have to compensate. I feel like this is something would have costed very little in production and would have satisfied many customers in the long run. Why should you have to spend the first week in your new car upgrading the stereo? Other than that my only complaint is the ceiling cloth sag and give in the roof when the moonroof is added. Also, if you slide you hand around the back of the ceiling panel (where the cloth meets the rear window) you'll find an odd amount of space or seam there. I thought this was a defect in the test model but, they were all that way. I also have to upgrade the arm rest because the cloth - mesh cover will not last and get dirty. While these are some negatives the car has a great feel and easy drive. The brakes are amazing and the look is refreshing. I'm sure they will change these few bad details next year.
  • good to hear your review. I'm a 4 day owner. Shockingly, have not found anymore "quirks" that bother me (with all of my old saabs there was a quirk a day discovered for weeks). still need the ultimate coffee cup to fit the new holder (i'm trying starbucks next, that long thin stainless one) the stereo isn't terrible. its got alot of power, the 6 storage front load CD is terrific. switching from cd to radio to am-fm isn't difficult. The sound is good. not great. Speakers are key, and I might upgrade with or without a power boaster. there is a great place in my area that will do this, and if you are leased they will put back the factory equipment when the lease is up, and reintall the good stuff in your next car! dudly: got to get over the hatch. I drove 3 prior hatch back saabs in 83,91,00. This vehicle handles SO much better, and with seats folding down, ski pass through, biggest trunk in the class you still have alot of versatility. The beemer "rage" is facinating. No one ever treats a saab owner like that. that didn't enter in my thoughts. 777 if you buy/lease new, every dealer will honor the loaner program on a first come first served basis. Because most service is anticipated, you should plan ahead. I've always gotten a car. Drove all day yesterday in a downpour. . new wiper speeds are great.. climate control one touch of defrost with some humid fogging. . . gone. Still getting loads of stares. plenty of get up and go. The arc, with its power, wheels, stereo, wood accent, memory seats. . that will be an unbelieveable rocket ship. . .for now, i'm thrilled with the linear.
  • I was able to get a quote of 32,390 for a 325I RWD with auto, moon and sport package. My quote from Saab with launch, 17 wheels (not the sport package)auto and heated seats was 29,794 less 1000 rebate = 28,794. That's a 3,810 difference including tax. So, I think 6K is a bit high. Granted if you want the AWD option add 1,400 to the cost of the BMW. With resale after 5 years being considerably higher (5K) on the BMW, this is something to think about. I agree that the 3 series will be due for a change by 2005 so this will come into play. Regardless, they are different cars with different pros and cons. I don't think there is that much of a difference in rear seating room either. I sat in the back and felt my knees cramped and when I got out it took some extra manuevering to get my feet out from under the front seat. There may be a inch more of knee room in the Saab than the BMW. My main interest in this car is the front wheel drive option with the change in style. It's good to see a different car in the driveway now and then.
  • Well going on my second day with my new 93 and I love it. It's very different and I have to get use to the foreign operations. Being a GM loyal customer for 10 years you tend to get use to the automatic door locks, climate control (hit a button to turn off, not the fan button), and trying to get use to having the fog lights on whenever the headlights are on with out having to maually turn them on. As for the sound system, I also own a cadillac with the 250watt Bose, will have to upgrade the sound system on the saab. Other than that love it. Thinking out adding the dealer installed booster kit, that addes 30 hps, and 19lbs of torque. But we will see. I would have to say I enjoy reading all the good comments people are making. It's nice to own a car that people don't bash. As for a BMW...yeah its RWD and they are cool, but overpriced and overpopulated.
  • My brother and I took a 15-20 minute test drive a couple of weeks ago in a Linear with the Wheel, Linear Pkg, and Touring Pkg. and we were both xxtremely impressed. Being Volvo fanatics for the past 30 years, I can say that this Linear was indeed well screwed together. The fit and finish, in our opinion, is very Audi-like. Firm sport suspension quite a contrast as opposed to our S80 T6. Very good room for us both (6'2" & 6'1"), ergonomics very fine, great trunk, very responsive acceleration. We like everything about the car and the fact that it has 3 yr, 36k free maintenance. We're going for the Vector with everything -- too bad about the DVD not being available until '04 -- including the Sentronic. After 33+ yrs of shifting, we are totally committed to the new automatics. CVT would have been better. Oh, well. The new 9-3 is going to do for Saab what the 850 and succeeding models have done for Volvo. I like the quirkiness (as in safe) of the ignition and the fob is really coool. Safety & value: that's BOTH Volvo and Saab!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I'd really like to see Saab succeed finally. Ending the overly quirky designs helps for sure as I know my wife hated the old Saabs (her dad had one way back when). I showed her the new one and she loved it.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    Please explain...Is that just for the Linear or also for the Vector...
  • Srry I have this question for sander1128. If your quote come from invoice price and 1000 rebate? Thanks
  • Beemer rage is real. I owned a '99 3 series and someone kicked it in the first month. It was great car but I gave it up as I lived in SF and I never drove it. Moved to the burbs and test drove the new 9-3 and the C-class last week. 9-3: Nice car, great acceleration, loved the dash and big trunk. The C-class actually seemed cheaper on the inside and was smaller. It did feel more solid and stiff on the freeway but certainly not worth 10k extra. I plan to head back and take out a 9-3 with the sport package and look at the A4. I think the new saab could be a great choice if pure driving fun is not your only consideration. Despite the great press, I'm still leary about the GE ownership thing.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Either you meant GM or General Electric did some big time asset grabbing this afternoon : )
  • ..and Im in the same quandry. Truth is I loved everything about the G35. It came stacked at a cost of $35K, nice trunk, large back seat, 260hp!, and I even liked the way it looked. Here's what I didnt like, at 6'2" I found the driver's space very cramped. When I stepped on the gas I thought I was in the IRL. I couldnt sprad out my legs, arms were too close get the picture. And although there were so many "pros", I couldnt get past the one "con"...I didnt love the way it drove (dont get me wrong, I liked it but it didnt "wow" me). Right now Im about to give up my '00 328i. I LOVE that car. It handles so well, the drive is very tight. The g35 is like driving a Maxima or Altima. Its fine, but if you're buying like me, i want something I love.

    Truth is, I was all set to buy it until I walked into the Saab dealer. The difference there was that I love the way the 9-3 drove. Im going to wait for the ARC to come out in Jan/Feb 03. It has the bigger engine (210hp) and it comes standard with all the bells and whistles that I want. Compared to the 330I, which is unfotunately too small for me (and the kid) now, it should come in 6K less. Im actually happy about the FWD, because the BMW is awful in the snow and rain. Just awful. I was also afraid I'd have the same probs with the G35 RWD.

    As far as the Road & track Article, be careful what you read. If you go to the specific stats, the BMW beat the G35 in every important category. The last category which was a "Best car for the $$" question, was overly weighted (a 200pt question) which brought the G35 slightly ahead of the BMW.
  • i'm taller than you, and feel very comfortable in the 9-3. i don't even need the seat all the way back! the door arm rest just runs out of space, and sometimes I find my left elbow on the window sill instead of the door arm rest. tons of head room. i didn't like the looks of the infiniti, and suspected it would drive like a lexus or accura. . which my wife likes. i love the saab's drive, and unless there is over 8" snow, it'll get you around with the 16" (doubt thats true of the 17") the first bmw I almost bought, asked about how it handled in the snow/ice and the salesman tried to sell me chains. i went right to the saab dealer and haven't looked back. . .
  • Well apparently there is a booster kit that you can get for the Saab's. It didn't say anything about only avaliable on a specific model, so that leads me to believe you can put it on any of them. But I;m not sure if it avaliable right now but I saw some information at the dealer about it. It is some kit that the dealer installs and it gives the care some 30 additional hps and increases torque by about 19lbs. I guess it is the same kit that you could buy for last years model. To me I think it would be a good investment. The price on the brochure was 750.00, not sure what labor is. Hope this helps. But like I said not sure if it is being offered yet, I was just reading a brochure at the dealer.

    Also just so you all know about having a better stereo system. I went to Circuit City last night and said the only thing they could do is put a sub woofer box that was really big in the trunk to give the car better sound. They said that adding 2 more 6x9's in the back wouldn't do anything more, and would sound just like the speakers there now. I am going to go to a audio speciality shop and see what they say. Guess I might have to wait and see if Saab offers an upgrade when the other models come out.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    Thanks for the follow up...More hp is always good...Also, you would think that a 300 watt stereo would give good sound...
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Before you upgrade your sound systems, give the stock speakers a good month to "break in."

    Just like good home audio equipment, your speakers will not sound their best until they have had a solid 48 hours of high (not ear splitting) volume playing.

    Once broken in, the speakers will sound less shrill and the bass will be noticeably tighter.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    I've never heard of breaking speakers in. I usually crank mine as soon as I hook them up or as soon as I take delivery of the car. I'm assuming everyone who has complained about the sound quality has adjusted the bass and treble. The reason I ask is a co-worker bought a late model Infiniti which she said had the Bose system but said it sounded horrible. I checked it out and the bass was at it's factory(center) setting and the treble had actually been turned down. I turned the treble almost all the way up and increased the bass a bit and it was like a whole new audio system. Are the 9-3's rear speakers 6x9s? If so, thats an easy fix for me as I've got a pair of JBL 3 way 6x9s
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