by leviphx on Jun 20, 2014 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I bought this car used with 63k miles on it and haven't regretted it a day since.
Knowing the history of these cars however, I made sure I had an independent mechanic familiar with the brand take a look at it before I made an offer (easily worth the $150 dollars). I don't want to put anyone down, but I believe that at least half of the poor reviews this car gets are due to A) Poor maintenance by/no knowledge of previous ownership, or B) Poor maintenance by current owner. Love this car and it will love you back, simple as that.
And don't buy a performance (or any other) car without a thorough inspection.
Tho people I suppose have been burned by a bad car regardless of their caution I guess
by thartz on Jul 29, 2013 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
This is my 2nd Saab and it's just as bullet proof as the first. I picked this ARC with the 6 speed manual because of the motor. They are amazing. I average 27 mpg and 31-33 on the highway. I got the car with 92k on it because I was so comfortable with the drive train and it's not disappointed. I'm just below 200k now and put on over 700 miles this weekend. Sure there are little issues but it's 10 model years old and I paid under $7,000 for it 5 years ago so i can't possibly complain.
The rear main seal has a slow leak that the gasket sealers can't quite stop. The gas cap doesn't seal properly so the check engine light is on but all in all, it's been great.
by dipper94 on May 7, 2013 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
It's a blast to drive. I highly recommend it, however a few words of caution. You're going to have some problems with the electric lock system, but other than that it will perform really well. It's incredibly safe and incredibly reliable.
Before you get behind the wheel of this car though, make sure you understand how a turbocharger works and how to mantain one. More importantly know how to drive a car equipped with one, they drive differently than naturally aspirated cars (Cars without turbochargers or superchargers).
It's a great first car for your teen. It's my first car, go it used for 5.5 grand with 50k miles on it. It's driven me reliably for the past year. It also looks great.
by Avi8jazz on Oct 26, 2010 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Pros: 6 Speed manual gives us 37 mpg on hwy at 75 mph. Trunk is a LOT bigger than it looks from the outside. Fun to drive. Cons: Replacing left headlight takes practice (dealer charges $90). Windows regulator is defective(bad design) $450/window. SAI Check valve $180 needs a biannual check. If it fails, condensation floods the SAI Pump $600 (current issue). Check Eng. light only goes out when the bulb burns out. No AUX input for iPod connectivity (had to buy a third party $75).
by Slappy on May 31, 2010 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Bought this car used in September of 2009 w/ 85K miles, now has 94K (just traded it in). Had to replace all 4 rotors and sets of pads, crankshaft positioning sensor (twice), oil pressure sensor, and the head gasket was blown, this was all after the place I bought it from said it was in tip-top condition. Strut mounts were noisy (known issue), headlights were too dim, vehicle rode like a tank, gas mileage only around 21 - 23 mpg HIGHWAY. I owned this vehicle less than a year. After this and my Audi, I will never buy another European vehicle.
by Displeased on May 11, 2009 Vehicle: 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
This car seems to have spent as much time being fixed as being driven. It is now in the shop for oil leaking from a vacuum pump and a broken bolt that was supposed to hold the sway bar in place. Just replaced the blower motor for the heater two days earlier. In the time we've owned it, we must have gone to the dealership at least 20 times. All I can say is if you ever buy a Saab voluntarily, you have just made the worst mistake in your car buying life.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.