1999 Saab 9-3 Review | Edmunds.com

1999 Saab 9-3

Saab 9-3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1999 Saab 9-3

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfy interior, versatile hatchback model, torquey turbo motor, quirky personality.

  • Cons

    Controls not always intuitive, offbeat image, spotty build quality.

  • What's New for 1999

    Saab changed the car's name to the 9-3, giving it a mild exterior freshening to boot. Around midyear, a high-output version of its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (making an amazing 200 horsepower) becomes the standard engine in the uplevel SE five-door and SE Convertible models equipped with a manual transmission. All SEs also get new five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels. All five-speed manual 9-3s get revised gearbox ratios and a numerically higher (4.05-to-1) final drive ratio for better off-the-line feel. A revised 9-3 interior headliner provides more padding for increased protection in the event of a crash. And five-door SE variants add an integrated driver-seat armrest and a centrally located cupholder that swings out from the instrument panel.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (88 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Sven the incredible

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 4dr Hatchback

I bought my 1999 Saab 9-3 in Sept 99 and have never regretted it. Sven the Saab has never left me high and dry (unless the fuel pump or battery died). Super comfy for all riders and far better MPG than listed on the sticker. Easily averaged over 30 mpg on the hwy.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Wish i never sold it

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Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback

Great car, good on gas, good for young teens, traded in for Hummer H2. Wish I never did!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love my saab

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 SE Turbo 4dr Hatchback

I bought my 1999 9-3 for 6k with 45k miles on it. Since then I have put 55k on it with minimal repairs. Probably the most economical car I could have asked for, however there are a number of things wrong with my ride right now, its literally falling apart slowly and not worth investing money in repairs. Aside from random problems, some of which are due to an accident, I still love this car and the engine would probably be good for another 100k. Would love to buy another one but all the small problems are keeping me away from Saab for awhile.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bought new; now 11 years

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Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 4dr Hatchback

Car requires capable mechanic - not most reliable on the road after 50K. Ignition cassette crapped out at 70K ($600 for T5), seals blew at 80K ($1800.00). I'm at 88K miles today. However, gobs of fun to drive (w/5 speed). I've installed many handling fixes (1999 base version I thought was poor) and it's great fun now. I recently drove 2007 BMW 328i wagon, 2010 MINI Clubman, 2010 Audi A3, 2010 Jetta Sportwagen, and 2011 VW GTI and decided to keep 'Helga'. None improved on the room, comfort or dramatically in handling to my old SAAB - so what if $2K yearly on repairs?; it's still cheaper than buying/leasing $25-$36K cars above. An enigmatic car, right for me.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fun and quick, reliable and

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 2dr Hatchback

I have had the car about 2.5 years and total of 36,000 miles. Fun to drive, turbo is great! I have the 2 door version, and the trunk area will swallow anything with the seats folded! Repairs are usually happen like clockwork every 10,000 miles on my example but worth the upkeep in enjoyment and uniqueness. I have 124,000 on the odometer now.




Loved my '99 saab

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 4dr Hatchback

I bought my '99 Saab with 30,000 miles on it, had it for almost 8 years and brought it to the junkyard with 160,000 miles. It was in need of a few mechanical repairs which, although expensive I would have gladly made since I am sure the car had much life left. Unfortunately, the frame had rot on it. I learned a valuable lesson to wash salt off my car in the winter. The car was fun to drive and I will miss it. The repairs are expensive-I almost died when I paid for my first break job. However, the expensive maintenance is balanced by not having to make major repairs. At 150,000 miles I made my first repair-a fuel pump, that cost $900. I always had it maintained by a Saab specialist.



Full 1999 Saab 9-3 Review

What's New for 1999

Saab changed the car's name to the 9-3, giving it a mild exterior freshening to boot. Around midyear, a high-output version of its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (making an amazing 200 horsepower) becomes the standard engine in the uplevel SE five-door and SE Convertible models equipped with a manual transmission. All SEs also get new five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels. All five-speed manual 9-3s get revised gearbox ratios and a numerically higher (4.05-to-1) final drive ratio for better off-the-line feel. A revised 9-3 interior headliner provides more padding for increased protection in the event of a crash. And five-door SE variants add an integrated driver-seat armrest and a centrally located cupholder that swings out from the instrument panel.

Talk About The 1999 9-3

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs