going strong after 191000 miles, fun to drive and amazing capacity.The turbocharged engine makes things fun and it is amazing in the snow. Now for the down sides it feels like I am playing wack a mole with all the problems maybe its just the fact it is an old car at this point. I would consider it decently reliable but, the parts feel like there unnecessary expensive compared to cars of the same size. Good car could be better though. if given the decision I would pass considering the company is out of business and there isn't much of a scrap Saab base to scavenge parts.
If you're thinking about buying a 9-3 Hatchback: don't think twice, just walk away. If you work on your vehicles yourself you'll end up tearing your hair out because everything in the engine compartment is so poorly planned, parts are hard to find and expensive. Good luck finding a mechanic that will touch it. I bought this car 2 years ago and have had nothing but problems for the last year and a half (and it's been well taken care of). There are so many people saying they're happy I felt it necessary to share my absolutely terrible experience with this car. I find it no surprise Saab isn't around anymore.
I do like the central ignition and window controls, and the info display is handy as well.
I am the original owner. The car now has 132000 miles on it. Two years ago, in the winter, I drove it ALONE 4545 miles from Charlotte NC to Anchorage Alaska and that includes driving the Alcan Highway and then repeating the journey back home 6 months later. I now have driven it 2768 miles across country to Portland.
This car never even "burped". I love this car. If I had any complaint, it would be the SID's pixels going out.
This car worked perfectly for me and I loved everything about it. It had good power, fuel economy, lots of cargo space, I like the way it looked and drove. I bought it used with about 57000 miles and in the four years I owned it I had to replace the turbo, throttle body, and timing chain to the tune of about $3k total. Then one month before I would have paid it off cylinder no.2 overheated, causing the piston rings to go. The engine was destroyed. The SAAB shop I was dealing with said a used motor installed would have cost almost $4k. I liked everything about the car except the reliability wasn't there and its very expensive to fix. SAABs were good in the early 90's, not anymore.
Turbo motor has great power while still getting 30+mpg highway. Hatchback body style combined with fold down rear seats makes the car into a small truck.
Turbo motor is notoriously prone to failure due mostly to oil sludge issues among other things. Goes through headlights faster than any car I've had even with the daytime running lights disabled. SAAB information display (SID) screen poorly engineered and manufactured.
2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Well to start of it is a 2001 Saab Viggen and i adore this car. Yes as with most cars stuff has broken or has gone wrong but nothing that if u know how to use the internet can easy be fixed for a cheaper price. well this is my Second Saab 9-3 and my first Viggen. I love the car for its low stance its after market rims and the most important that tiny coke bottle displacement engine with its shop vac sized turbo. I dont drive it hard cuz it gets noticed more going low and slow witch is what i like (less speeding tickets) but out on the high was its stable, flat and has more than ample power for passing. but like all Turbo engines the best bet is to change your oil every 4000km with synthetic
Well if u go see Nick down at Genuine Saab u can get lots of Stuff! I like my Viggen with its Open air intake. 3' turbo back exhaust, the 17' rims and the 6 point sub frame brace. but i like the nice sounding stock CD player the night panel button and its nice plush leather seats. for the $9.000 i payed for the car find me a new car with the Performance, features and functionality that Saabs have.
None Cuz i have no problem dealing with my car. just i dont like the face i have to try and get my hands on a tec 2 GM OBD 2 reader if something really goes south