Added: 15th of December 2021
My first Saab was a 2002 9-5 Estate 2.0 Auto. So comfortable to drive. Not great on the fuel economy. Traded in for a 2008 TiD 1.9 Vector Sport and have had it for the past 11 years and whenever I think of changing it I change my mind! Can’t seem to let it go! Keeping it on the road it relatively cheap compared to taking on a new car loan and moreover can’t think of what to move to that has that same uniqueness . Black metallic with half white/black leather sports seats feel great and look great especially after a full valet. Currently just over 100k miles on the clock and maintenance side over the years the following major items packed in: Crankshaft Position Sensor , Camshaft sensor, starter motor, driver side lock, cracked turbo hose, needed DPF chemically sorted and some pulley tensioner, air con needed regassing. Overall way more economical to fix (nothing too eyewatering on price to fix) and keep serviced and have the pleasure of maintaining a great drive. My daughter is now learning to drive in it…so how can I ever get rid of it now :-)
Added: 7th of November 2021
I was looking for a convertible as my second car. Wanted something a tad out the ordinary and looked at SAABs. Reviewed what could go wrong with them and there was nothing much apart from wear and tear. Yes definatley get one that has service history. Mine had very low mileage 54k for a 17 year old car but checked the online MOT's and had a very good service history. Have to say its the most comfortable car I have been in. The seat are sumptuous and it really makes it a relaxed drive. The turbo kicks in really quickly . Yes the consumption is low averaging 30 mpg but that wasnt a thing I was thinking about. I wanted something different and the SAAB just fitted the bill. I would recommend these and they will become classics someday. I intend to keep mine as long as I can.
Added: 1st of June 2021
This was my second SAAB, my first being a 2003 9-5 sedan. I still miss the 9-5 more than anything, it served me well. The car was almost 15 years old when I bought it, only 118k on the ODO. I learned to drive standard in this car, on the original clutch. At 155k, this baby was still running the same original clutch. Sadly, due to a mutual fault T-bone collision, the 9-5 met its fate. I arose from the crash remarkably unscathed, despite the other vehicle being a a 4 ton flatbed. I ended up settling on another Saab, this time in favor of the sleek 9-3 convertible. This 9-3 was a pearlescent silver, with off white leather seats with black accents. It truly was a stunning piece of automotive design. Even though it was an automatic, which I was reluctant about at first, the car remained a blast to drive. The car came equipped with optional sequential shift mode enabled through flicking the gear shifter to the left, efficiently changing gears with a quick flick of the wrist, yet maintained an essence of the pure bliss that comes from shifting through the gears under heavy acceleration when driving a standard transmission. It still feels like yesterday i was waking up early on vacation to take a chance on the tip from my cousin who was a local to the area, cruising the kancamangus before the tourists filled the legendary scenic highway for the day’s activities. I turned off onto Bear Notch Road, a hidden gem settled smack in the middle of one of the most famous tourist destinations in the North East, and had the most incredible, adrenaline pumping, petrol guzzling drive of my life. I didn’t encounter a single motorist the entire ride. I brought this car to its limit, and held it there. The car emerged un-phased, and I drove it for another 20k without issue. Then one fateful day came, I wasn’t taking my medication for ADHD, and I drifted off into a day dream. Blinded by my lack of awareness, I wasn’t able to acknowledge the car that had came to a stop waiting to make a left. I plowed into the back of this car head on at approx 40mph. A percentage of people aren’t lucky enough to live another day after such a collision, and much, much more aren’t lucky enough to escape with nothing more than an insignificant wound on their arm from the airbag deployment, and a minor bruise on the forehead. Thankfully I was that lucky. Maybe I wasn’t lucky at all, I just happened to be sitting behind the wheel of one of the safest cars to ever grace the asphalt. DONT hesitate. Buy a SAAB
Added: 19th of October 2020
I have owned my Saab 9-3 Area Sportwagon since 2014. This is my twentieth Saab and probably the last. Mileage when purchased was 30,000 now 85,000. I have it serviced once a year as I only cover 7000 miles a year now. The car has been very reliable and only replacements have been front discs and pads, rear discs ( twice) flexible exhaust pipe, and usual tyres and battery. Tyres ( Nexen) are reasonable at £70 each for 19 inch size. Nothing else has gone wrong- not even a light bulb. I have owned most types of Saab including 9000, 900 turbo and non turbo. All have been a pleasure to own and Drive. No problem with spare parts, and local garage has no problem servicing the car. I would advise any owner only to buy with a full documented service history, change the cambelt/water pump/tensioner every four years regardless of mileage, and only use 0-40 synthetic oil. Rust should be absent but check the rear wheel arches which can rust after ten to twelve years. Leather upholstery lasts well but the driver's seat backrest bolster will wear first. Occasional leather food helps. Fuel consumption realistically 40mpg diesel overall but can be 50plus over long journey. 70mph equals 2000 revs so should last a long time! I have owned Audis, Peugeot, Volvo etc but no comparison to Saab. I accept the interior quality could be better ( thanks General Motors ) but at least it does not deteriorate. A spray with Autoglym vinyl spray will prolong life. Great cars- what a shame GM would not support and finance them properly.
Added: 12th of January 2020
Ancient technology but ultra reliable and safe. They are worth nothing which I can,t understand. With the roof down they still turn heads, with the roof up they are warm, leak free and quiet. I've had mine for ten years and it has never let me down. You get a bit of shake rattle and roll however this adds to the classic experience yet it has all the comfort and bells and whistles of a modern car. Get one while they are dirt cheap look after it, you won't be disappointed.
Added: 27th of January 2019
Bought this second hand just over a year ago as a stop-gap, usually drive a Disco as it always felt safer in a bigger car. With 156000 on the clock, I Inherited a number of problems with it but nothing overly challenging, so was able to take care of them myself. As can be reasonably expected due to its age, other issues cropped up...power steering pipes rotten and sprung a leak, replaced them, along with oil cooler pipework. This car is legendary for sludge in the sump, oil pickup screen blockage resulting in major repair bills. Word of advice to anyone buying this model, unless the service history clearly states that it's had the sump pan dropped and the sump internals (especially the pickup screen) properly cleaned out, then be prepared to do it ASAP - it was on my to do list but didn't get round to it quickly enough, and the crankshaft died a miserable, oil-free death. Engine had to be replaced, more economical in the long run. Prudent also at this kind of mileage, are timing and balance chain replacements, unless you know that they've recently been done. Spare parts aren't as difficult to get as some folks think, as far as the uk is concerned, and overall they can be relatively modestly cost-wise. Price isn't everything though, as there are some cheaper suppliers but who have frankly appaling after sales service so it pays to shop around. Likewise, there's one or two very good breakers around for just about everything from trim components to replacement engines, which is just as well, given this particular year / model is well out of production. Again, there are dealers/ saab specialists and then there are dealers/ saab specialists and Central Scotland is fortunate enough to have at least one that I know of who break the mould. Obviously wouldn't be right to name them but as with other sources above, you just need to shop around. Having said all that, and having given my saab the TLC that they cry out for especially at that age, I've really grown to love my quirky, at times frustrating car. She's a real pleasure to drive, holds the road well and is reasonably economical to run. Saab were years ahead of their time in terms of technology, and even now, my 2002 model can hold its own pretty well against some of the latest cars. Ok, it doesn't have parking sensors but if you can competently park a car, then that shouldn't be an issue. On that subject, I'd have to say that rear view could be better for reverse parking etc, but it's something that with a bit of patience and practice, it becomes less of an issue. Bodywork issues aren't as bad as bad as some folks make out, providing that the car has been well looked after in the past. One area that a convertible of this age does tend to have issues with is corrosion around A-post and windscreen surround, which if it is obvious to the buyer, can be fairly expensive to repair as it's hot a bonded windscreen that might need to be removed in order to address the corrosion properly (best quote I've had for doing it was around £80 to remove and refit it), but if you're in the market for a convertible, then you're eventually going to have to bite that bullet as pretty much every convertible will succumb to this issue as there's an inevitable degree of structural flexibility allowing seal leakage and water ingress, whether it's a saab, an Audi or a Merc soft top. As far as Comfort is concerned, I'd have to say that even my 9-3 SE borders on luxurious. Well made seating, despite its age, my own car still looks great. The interior is extremely well laid ergonomics-wise, with instrument / switch layout clearly visible and accessible. It's rumoured to have been based on Saab's legendary aviation background, and I would tend to agree on that being the case. Instrument display-wise, it has to be said that display pixels do tend to have an inherent failure problem, especially as the car ages, but it's not at all expensive to replace the display, and is pretty straightforward to do, requiring minimal tools and skill. Again, Central Scotland is well served by local suppliers courtesy of the Internet. There are a wide range of repair tasks well within the grasp of reasonably spanner-savvy diy owners, and there's a huge culture and resources available via the internet, and vast amount of help and advice on saab owner forums populated by extremely helpful enthusiasts, so prospective buyers needn't be daunted at the prospect of expensive garage bills. Fuel economy could be better, but much of it depends on how this car is driven. Despite its age, my car is still giving me 33 mpg at 56 mph on the likes of the A82 and A96, which in my book is more like mixed rather than highway driving, with stop-go traffic, braking and gear changing - that's pretty much in line with the original spec for this car. So overall, I feel that it deserves 4 out of 5 stars. Performance wise, it's not a Ferrari, but it's got plenty of grunt - and it's not had any fancy remapping at all, it's just the default factory mapping, and I'm very happy with how she runs.(hence I give it 5 out of 5 stars) In terms of space practicality, it's surprisingly spacious, leg room in the back seats is really good, according to my 16 year old, 6 foot 2 inch, shoe size 14 son so I don't think that could be argued with. Boot space is excellent, even with the soft top storage compartment (which can be raised giving even more room), so I feel it deserves the 5 out of 5 stars I've given it. If you need more space, then maybe a convertible isn't for you. Reliability, Ive found to be excellent overall, but that's because I love my wee saab and give her that all important TLC. You do need yo go by the book in terms of the exact recommended spark plugs, likewise with oil...when it says Fully Synthetic, that's what it means. This car can be very unforgiving towards economy brands / supermarket deals, so don't be tempted to go down that road. The bottom line is that Saab knew what they were doing when the laid out their specs for this car and if you look after her, she'll look after you. As with every car, there are pros and cons, and saab is no exception to that rule. But for me, the pros far outweigh the cons, and despite all the wee quirks, this is a car that has still got bags of style and plenty of character that make it an absolute pleasure to own and drive. If you get the chance to pick up one of these cars, then you should jump at the chance - I did, and can honestly say that I'm glad I did.
Added: 26th of December 2018
I've just had mine written off by someone in a stolen car. These cars were so ahead of their time that even today they're still in date in terms of equipment and ride, comfort and performance. You won't beat a Saab in terms of comfort, performance and reliability. It's just a real shame they're no longer in business, and sourcing parts has now become a nightmare; and to add to this, I live in London and the Mayor ha now declared war on cars built before 2005/4 so even if I could find parts, I'd still be off the road in a few years. There are a few Saab parts dealers around London but they're now starting to charge silly money for parts. Summary: They're the sort of car you hold onto for a long time because they will become part of the family.
Added: 12th of November 2018
9-3 was very advanced for its time with ReAxis, traction control, aircon, parking sensors and much more as standard but now as we approach 2019 9-3 is becoming less and less well equipped. Saab were ahead when this car was first launched in 2002 and the face-lift in 2007 dragged it up to date but by the time the last cabriolet rolled off the line in 2014 with its 1.9TTiD engine, it was all a bit behind the times. The standard navigation units aren't brilliant, they throw random warning lights (mine came up with 3rd brake light failure yesterday and it err hadn't) but on the whole they are a used car bargain, an Audi of similar age, size and spec would cost far more and inst necessarily the better buy. although Saab are now dead, parts are still available and dealers are about. the community is great, everyone is willing to help and providing you choose your used Saab well you will have many years of trouble free motoring. Early 6 speed manuals were prone to failure so if you're looking pre 2006 check its a 5 speed or an auto. the seats are like armchairs though and the boot is spacious with a wide opening. 1.8t models are a de-tuned 2.0 which is the same engine featured in the AERO models, a 90 quid tune will bring it up to 220bhp and you'll be leaving the Audis and BMWs behind. the auto gearbox is smooth providing it has been well serviced and the manuals are just as good once up to temperature. driving the 9-3 takes some getting used to as it has passive rear wheel steering and in normal form very light power steering. sport drive does however sort this.
Added: 10th of June 2018
'Nothing On Earth Comes Close' was the strap-line on many of the Saab car ads. They were likened to Saab fighter planes which was a bit of a stretch. But my Saab, which I've now had for three years, is brilliant, even if it doesn't fly. And it is worth about 2p. Which is absurd. My other cars are a Lexus 450h, a Bristol 411 Series 5 and a 1938 Austin 10 Cambridge. And guess which is my favourite to drive? Yes, the 2p's worth. I bought my silver Saab 9-3 Convertible as a one-owner from a woman who owned a hairdressing salon in Bournemouth. It was very low-mileage at 60K and immaculate, which it still is, as I look after it. It drives beautifully, with a nice Turbo kick when needed and although it has a bit of scuttle shake as it is a convertible, that doesn't bother me. The main thing is, this is a driver's car. It fits you and feels and looks as if it has been designed by very bright car engineers, which, of course it has. Saab refused to build cars to a price GM wanted, so that was that. Which was sad, although I'm pleased Saab stuck to their guns for their cars are works of art and science and I own one. All 2p's worth. A motoring legend. I love it.
Added: 18th of June 2017
I've had the car for 5 years and in that time it's been fantastic, it has never let me down and apart from service items it's only needed front road springs, it's a bit thirsty on fuel but I knew it would be, we've been to Europe on holiday covering long distances and it's been very comfortable, it's now done 120k miles and I'm thinking of changing it but not sure what to as it's been so good.
Added: 4th of November 2016
I love this car , it was a toss up between this or a Bmw325 csi , this won hands down on space ,safety, looks , comfort and price , not a car i'd have thought of owning to be honest ,how ever ive past a few on the roads and they've always looked nice , I passed Andrews and this was in the showroom window, I drove home looked it up, arranged a test drve and the rest is history , I traded in a jaguar x 3ltr auto a lovely car and a car id alays want from been a child , but this really seems to beat the jaguar
Added: 17th of October 2016
No longer in production does not impact the reliability and value for money which a later model Saab provides. It delivers a high level of comfort, reliability and performance for a car that is now nearly eight years old. It still achieves 50 mpg on a non-urban journey if driven with reasonable constraint. An extremely well-made vehicle.
Added: 16th of October 2016
My Saab now has done 170k miles and has been in the family since new. In this time, apart from routine servicing every 12000 miles, it has only had the following parts fitted: New Rear Shocks, Crankshaft Sensor, Set of glow plugs, set of intercooler rubber pipes, one rear brake calliper and pads, injector run off pipes. It does 48-50 mpg if driven reasonably except when towing. tyres last 25-30k on the front, 60k on the rear (Michelin Primacy HP). Still drives well, though there are a few more rattles and the bearings in the heater fan squeal when the car changes attitude. Initially I thought that it was the turbo but it is definitely the heater as the noise disappears when the climate control is switched off. The interior has stood up well to wear and tear. Really it has been a fantastic car which may well last a few more years yet.
Added: 15th of October 2016
The Saab is extremely well made, very comfortable especially on long journeys, despite its age is V ery reliable, however fuel economy is average at best. The soft top roof keeps the car very warm without any leakage. There is a surprisingly roomy boot & interior. I will be very sorry to see the Saab go when the time comes.
Added: 13th of October 2016
Bought this used at 8 years old and with nearly 90000 miles on clock. It's a great workhorse and very reliable. Modest running costs. Great handling and fun to drive. I didn't think an estate could be so enjoyable. Definitely a classic of the future.
Added: 13th of October 2016
Brilliant car-Now over 170,000 miles and just running in- no MOT failures in the 16+ years I have owned her! Starts first time even in minus temperatures. Commuter fuel consumption ok , open road still 45 mpg+, very economical. Comfortable to drive-great acceleration, handling, responsive and spacious for adult passengers. Specialist parts can still be sourced and general maintenance such as fuel/ air/ pollen filters readily accessible. Headlight bulbs tricky to replace due to angle of spring holding them in place. Generally great for the 'hands on' driver to maintain but easy for your local garage too.
Added: 13th of October 2016
Reliable economic and comfortable car for its age. Returns a good mpg even against the modern counterpart.Has a lot of features that are now found on the newer cars being produced. Lovely smooth drive
Added: 12th of October 2016
Love this car which I bought 3 years ago. 8 years old but still going strong! Very reliable although a little costly to run. I wish that they still made them!
Added: 12th of October 2016
Excellent car. Low mileage 1 owner bought from Schoneville Saab, Glasgow. Car has a full Saab service history, which is crucial. This is my 5th Saab. Previous one was a 9-5 1.9 TiD. Car was fine when I was doing the mileage to justify a diesel engine. When this decreased started to get problems with the DPF and ECR valve, due to lack of regeneration opporunity. The car I have now is the best Saab I have owned. Such a pity these are no longer available, last model being built in 2011.
Added: 12th of October 2016
It's a pity the Saab is no longer produced. This is the first Saab I've had and I'm very happy with it, I bought it when it was 3 years old. I'ts very comfortable and bordering on a luxury car. On long journeys I get about 650mls to a full tank and have driven to Italy and Austria and several times to Paris with no problems. I've had new cars before but I definately prefer the Saab. I intend to keep it unless it has major problems.