2004 Saab 9-3 Review | Edmunds.com

2004 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 210 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2004 Saab 9-3

  • Roomy and fun to drive, the 9-3 is a solid buy among entry-level luxury cars. Just don't expect the razor-sharp reflexes and highly refined interiors of its German and Japanese competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Balanced ride and handling characteristics, frugal yet powerful engines, generous passenger room, class-leading trunk space.

  • Cons

    Some turbo lag at lower speeds, interior lacks upscale look, not as vaultlike as some of its European competitors, front-wheel drive a disadvantage against rear-wheel-drive competitors for performance fans.

  • What's New for 2004

    For 2004, the 9-3 convertible has been given the same full makeover the sedan received last year. The convertible is available in Arc and Aero models and equipped only with the 210-horsepower engine. The highline Vector sedan has been renamed the Aero, and the midlevel Arc sedan now comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, rather than a six-speed. Bi-xenon headlights are a stand-alone extra on all 9-3s, while rear parking assist is now available as a non-package option on the sedan. The Sport Wheel Package for the Linear and Arc now includes a tire-pressure monitor.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (36 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

2004 saab 9-3 arc convertible

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I truly believe that GM got it right when they retooled the 9-3 convertible for 2004. The older 9-3 convertibles had way too much flex in the chassis. Going over bumps made it feel like it was playing a game of Twister. 2004 convertible utilized GM's epsilon platform from Europe which firmed up the chassis 300%. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but it really is firm. Acceleration is more than adequate considering that the engine is a GM inspired 2-liter Ecotec engine with a turbo charger. Same basic engine as found in the old Chevy Cobalt



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I don't get it.

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Just purchased a used 9-3 2004 arc automatic. It has a 100000 miles on it. This is by far the nicest car I have ever driven. I don't understand why the reviews are so mixed on this car. Now you can get a $40000 vehicle for under $10000. All I hear is people complaining about little things on this car. Performance, ride, and looks, three great reasons to buy it. I test drove others in this price range of $8000, nothing came close!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

My 2004 Saab 9-3 convertible has been wonderful. Fun to drive, with an amazing acceleration on a 4-cylinder turbo engine. When going out with the family, we use the back seats which seat adults comfortably, although a bit cramped, but this beats a 2-seater any day. Reliability has been good, and the car has been well maintained. Only complaint is occasional problems with the electrical system: windows, convertible top, radio, ignition. None has been fatal but I have experienced 2 incidents where car would not start. Note: I have the automatic, not manual, model.




80% fun, 20% headache

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Excellence: Good looks without being flashy. Superb power delivery, very smooth for a small displacement turbo. So quiet inside you forget its a convertible, comfy seats. Acceptable: "premium" sound system is mediocre at best. Tires break free pretty easily when accelerating from a stop into a turn, but with FWD kind of expected. Unacceptable: Spotty build quality results in buttons and interior surface's paint rubbing off. Electrical gremlins are a constant threat. Complexity of common tasks like resetting oil life monitor is way more difficult than it has to be. Saab-ness: Saab is often different just for difference sake. Like the "night panel" function.




Driver side mirror exploded

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

I was driving vehicle hit bump and turned black. Left brake light indactor states is inop. But brake light operates.




Score!

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Vehicle: 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Just bought a 2002 Volvo s60 2.4T about a month ago. Some lady totaled it for me by smashing into the passenger side. Was devastated until I found the Arc convertible. Went out and got this beauty and cannot believe how much of a better car it is! And I am paying about the same for a newer car with better handling, more horsepower and less mileage. Score.



Full 2004 Saab 9-3 Review

What's New for 2004

For 2004, the 9-3 convertible has been given the same full makeover the sedan received last year. The convertible is available in Arc and Aero models and equipped only with the 210-horsepower engine. The highline Vector sedan has been renamed the Aero, and the midlevel Arc sedan now comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, rather than a six-speed. Bi-xenon headlights are a stand-alone extra on all 9-3s, while rear parking assist is now available as a non-package option on the sedan. The Sport Wheel Package for the Linear and Arc now includes a tire-pressure monitor.

Talk About The 2004 9-3

Read more about the 2004 Saab 9-3

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs