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2003 Saab 9-3



  • Someone at GM parked a Pontiac Vibe in that salsa color on a busy intersection in Austin well before the car was available to 'attract interest'.

    I'm excited about this Saab! European sportiness for under $30K which feels substantial... sign me up,
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    A clever, if somewhat goofy marketing technique.

    You have to see the Saab in person. It is very well done.
  • I guess I'll just have to wait until Oct 1st.
  • I read a lot of press releases and from what I see, the 2.0T engine (210HP) will not be offered until March. Can anyone confirm this? I am really confused and in the midst buying new car. Currently, I am considering BMW 330Cxi (really wish Saab wouldn't take so long to turn their models over). My preference is Saab but only with 2.0T engine - these cars are under powered as they are. I know they fixed the torque steer, but how about the turbo lag at low RPMS???

    Since I am on a Saab forum, and am a resident of the "Great White North", I can tell those debating FWD/AWD there is no substitute for a good pair of snow tires and FWD. Michelin Arctic Alpin gets me through blizzards and mountains just fine. And with the new ReAxis & yaw steer control, performance in slippery conditions should be dramatically improved - with the snow tires of course.
  • I, too, have been eagerly awaiting the new 9-3. I have heard from multiple sources that the larger engine versions (Arc and Vector) wont be available until next spring (around March).

    Very annoying, given that if this new 9-3 is supposed to compete with BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc. it's going to have to do so with the bigger engine.

    (Also, I might add, the Navigation system, which is frequently shown in pictures of the dashboard, wont be available until 2004 model year).
  • So March delivery is true. That's too bad. Love my Saab, will probably love my new one, but if I have to wait another year for the Aero (a complete 10 years for a redesign), that's a big turnoff. so the question is - hang on until the Aero gets released? Or cash on a great deal for 2002 BMW 330Cxi?

    On a separate note, does anyone out there think the last model year hatch 9-3 will be worth big $$ some day? I now reside in Toronto, but used to live in Boston before. I remember the new model year for the 900 ('94) was released and sent the older style 900's through the roof with re-sale value - sometimes 60% residual on 91, 92 models.
  • My preferences for drive type are this, in order:

    RWD, AWD, FWD.

    However, my preferences easily become reversed with a SAAB. I would rather have a FWD SAAB than an AWD SAAB, and I would rather have an AWD SAAB than a RWD SAAB.
  • wishnhigh1- I guess you like the Torque Steer? RWD would fix that problem nicely. AWD would take care of my snow problems.
  • Actually yeah, in a saab, I like torque steer.
  • good review at
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    It was blue - very BMW-ish from certain angles, looked a little bigger than a 3-Series.

    Paint was shiny and thick. Had the requisite jeweled headlights.

    Overall, nicely done. Saw some spy pics of the hatchback and that too looked nice.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Where are the spy pics of the hatchback?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286

    Vince's web site is notorious for having photoshopped pictures, but these look real to me.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Thanks diploid.

    I like the hatches, and the wagon too. I would be in the market for a 4 door, but the 2 door hatch looks a little better. I think the rear deck on the 4 door is too short, making the c- pillar a little big and awkward (still like the car though) - too bad the 4 door does not have the same treatment in the rear as the 2 door with the longer deck and smaller c-pillar. Maybe it will by the time it gets produced.
  • i really think the saab will stand strong aganist the bmw. but you got to admit the bmw is nice.but with the new seden model look and new platform and engine and just about everything else new you dont know what to expect. and being better saftey wise that is a good for saab.and i think the look is nicer then the bmw.but i know you will have to wait to spring to see fast wise because 175hp 4cyl turbo dont stand a chance aganist the bmw.and the front wheel drive will be better for the snow. also my opinion about it is seden model stock 16in rims with perilli tires or 18in rims. with a 6cyl 250hp turbo 2.5 liter and sporter looking with rear spoiler and tinted windows lower to the ground. and the old seats with the turbo inprinted on the seat.with all the stuff that the new model will have. then that car will kick [non-permissible content removed]. i will pay like 38,000 base for that.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I like both cars. Comparing the two on some levels makes sense and is human nature. But in the end, a comparison of the cars is difficult. The end result may be the same, but they use very different ways to get there. Personally, I think having diverse alternatives is great.
  • I too was disappointed that AWD was not offered on the new 9-3 because my '95 900SET is *terrible* in the snow. I'd love to jump at the new 9-3 but if it's not substantially better than my current car, I'd be really disappointed. Can anyone explain why mine is so poor and give me hope that a new 2.0T will be better?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Tires zre the most important factor in snow performance. What tires do you have?
  • Does anyone know the gas type these new Saabs use?
  • dudleyr: I have had a couple different ones, including Michelin Z rated and some Yokohamas. I've never put snow tires on it but I've lived in CO for 5 years and never put snow tires on any cars (My '86 Honda Prelude was great in the snow)
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    That answers the question. Z-rated summer tires are not designed for snow at all, at least the prelude probably had all weather tires. You can either get all weather tires and have a compromise 100% of the time, or use the tires appropriate for the season. If you really don't think you have enough snow to warrant snow tires, there are some decent all weathers that will be compromise but handle well and will get you through light snow.

    Evan an AWD vehicle with z-rated summer tires is going to be horrible in the snow - especially when you hit the brakes.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Dallas dealer supposed to have a auto and 5 speed for test drives in the next 2 days according to sales there.

  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Not quite.... Sewell will be getting there 9-3's on Friday, but they will not be available for test drives until Saturday at the earliest. Sorry, but the service techs get the first crack at these cars. I was told that Monday would be the best day to come by.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Are you comming all the way from Alabama to drive one? they told me a couple of days,but they would call me. im not off til monday so no big deal.

    good luck
  • and unfortunately I was not impressed with it's looks, however the interior looks quite nice. My feeling is that the exterior styling is crisp but a bit boring, like it will just fade into oblivion after a few months of seeing them on the road. It just did not grab me at all. Thus said, I of course did not drive it, and it may be fantastic on this front but let's face it, if it doesn't visually grab me, I'm not particularly motivated to even take a test drive. Oh well, I had high hopes. Previously owned an 89 900 and a 94 900, both bought new. I will always hold a fondness for Saab's in general, my conclusion is that they just did not get the styling right on this new 9-3 (for me anyway).
  • Very impressive...hugs the road..tight controled grip..steering a little loose but not as much as other getting one...sticker with every option was 32.8K...was black/char..linear with launch pack, tire /wheel pack and cold weather pack...all for 32.8K..felt fast for 175hp..torque is backlighting was real a bmw now..considering a g35, another bmw or poss madza 6 v6...
  • to test drive one. Although I would really like the Arc model with the higher performance engine. Why is Saab not launching all models at one? Seems like a strange way to launch a new product? It would make more sence to come out with the more expensive models first for a couple of reasons-
    -more profit potential
    -higher performane models should get more positive press, hence helping sales.
    -all three models give customers a wider range to choose from, with out this potential sale could be lost be consumers choosing other models with better performance.
    Just my thoughts.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Did you drive one at Sewell also ? I thought it was much better in person that the photos ive seen. only thing the steering wheel seemed to have a large diam, ?

    I also thought for a 175hp sluch box it wasnt bad, but for a loaded up at 32,8 i think id rather have a arc with manual.

    The dash was very nice, and i have to say Saab has more nice wheels available than any one, and lots of accessories.

    The 11th is the lauch date however they claim to not know what cars are comming in, or can take orders, no ED for about a year also.... that stinks.

  • All models (Linear, Arc, Vector, Aero) have been launched in home (read proven) markets.

    If saab could actually sell a decent number of cars in North America the latest 93 would not have as mainstream a design and they would have all models available from the launch.

    Only the Aero gets the 210 hp in Europe.

    The Aero is 32,500 Euro, man am I buying my next saab in europe.
  • For those who have test drove the new 9-3, hows the back seat room?Would it fit 3 average size (5"7 120-150lbs) adults adults comfortably?
    Also, is it just me or is the steering wheel from the cadillac cts?
This discussion has been closed.