I bought this car to travel to bicycle races. I wanted something fast (turbo), with good economy (my car gets close about 30mpg highway), comfortable, and with ample interior space for two bikes. This car fit the bill. I was surprised by how reliable it has been. I bought it used in 2001, with 30K miles, the car now has 110K, and the only things I've had to fix are the ignition and serpentine belt. Everything else has been pretty routine (like batteries). An excellent car -- and for some reason, BMW drivers try to drag race my wife when she's driving it .. and they're surprised when the turbo gets going and she drops them. :)
Purchased new and drove it for 10 years and 187,000 miles. I expect it had another 100,000 miles in it. It ended service prematurely after it was rear ended. The vehicle did its job and all occupants walked away with no or very minor injuries. Thanks engineers and assemblers! I'll really miss this car. It did so many things well-a good blend of design, performance, build quality, economy and utility. And it was FUN to drive everyday. Others correctly point out proper routine maintenance is required. It's not necessarily expensive. Like all vehicles Saabs have quirks and some common part failures. To me they were either endearing or minor annoyances. I'm looking for another one.
Good interior ergonomics. Firm and crisp handling-always felt surefooted. Super comfortable seats (I'm 6'4"). Turbo from 30-70 mph. Weather band radio. Last but not least-they are real-world safe. Look up IIHS injury rates.
Bought a 9-3 with 65,000 mi and have been pretty happy. Don't like the auto climate system - defaults to air cond. in summer. Good fuel mileage. Much more power than my accord ex V-Tech. Oil changes are easy. Keeping my fingers crossed that nothing major happens like an engine seizure due to oil pickup getting blocked.
I bought my 99 Saab convertible as a second car. I brought it to a SAAB only local service shop that has taken care of all the basics. Now, I get to drive. I love this car. It has great pick up, is very comfortable, and is lots of fun. I'm not sure about other guys, but this is a great alternative to a motorcycle for me. (I tend to not pay attention when I drive!). Yes, the 9-3 has quirks and leaks, etc. But I am so tired of seeing stupid expensive 323's on the road... and this car is perfect for me.
Pick up, comfort, gas mileage, radio, convertible, little quirks. Not a lot of people have these cars which makes it even more fun to drive.
I purchased the my 9-3 Convertible with 18K miles and now has 107K. When running, it is great on the highway, and so much fun with the top down. The great things are the stereo, very comfortable seats (could easily drive cross country). The bad things: I had it break down 3 times (would not start), and each time it would cost around $1000 to fix. The build quality is not good, and my top had to be replaced even though it is suppose to last a lifetime. Buy this car for a great ride, but expect to pay for maintenance.
Leather Seats, heated seats, great stereo
Better cup holders, HUD displays burns out all the time