Used 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

Pros & Cons

  • Supportive front seats
  • wagon's expansive cargo area
  • variety of body styles.
  • Underwhelming power and fuel economy
  • subpar cabin materials and build quality
  • tech features are missing or antiquated
  • ride can get rough
  • still on the pricey side.
List Price Estimate
$4,952 - $7,901

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Saab 9-3 is vastly outclassed by other entry-level luxury vehicles. Combined with Saab's shaky footing, we suggest buyers look elsewhere.

Vehicle overview

Among other entry-level luxury cars, the 2012 Saab 9-3 lineup is sadly outdated as it enters its ninth year of production of a model that never really impressed us.

Changes are few for the 2012 model year, which include slight improvements to the engine and transmission, as well as some minor styling tweaks. But these upgrades do little to overcome the Saab 9-3's sluggish acceleration, interior refinement and in-car technologies that are behind the times.

Among the 2012 Saab 9-3's positive attributes, we count its unique styling, large cargo capacity and sharp handling for Aero trim models at the top of our list. Also praiseworthy is the 9-3's variety of body styles; from a sedan, to a convertible and SportCombi wagon. But even these traits aren't all that unique among competing cars.

If for some reason, after weighing the aforementioned pros and cons, you still find yourself considering a 2012 Saab 9-3, we think the company's uncertain future -- for now Saab's bankruptcy has resulted in the 9-3 ending production -- should sway you towards nearly any other car in its class. Our top picks in this segment include the 2012 Audi A4, 2012 BMW 3 Series, 2012 Infiniti G Coupe and 2012 Mercedes C-Class. If you really want a Scandinavian slant, we'd suggest the Volvo S60 and C70.

Saab 9-3 Griffin models

The 2012 Saab 9-3 is available in three body styles: sedan, convertible and a wagon known as the SportCombi. The base Turbo4 trim is offered on all body styles, while the Aero trim is offered on the sedan and convertibles. The convertible is also available in Independence trim. The SportCombi wagon is offered in Turbo4 and 9-3X trim.Front-wheel drive is standard on all, but both sedan models can be equipped with AWD (dubbed XWD).

The base Turbo4 sedan comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, front foglamps, a rear foglamp, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, headlamp washers, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a cooled glovebox, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The Comfort package available on all Turbo4 trim levels adds an eight-way power passenger seat, a universal garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The 9-3 Aero includes the Comfort package features and adds adaptive xenon headlamps, a sunroof, sporty exterior trim enhancements, a universal garage door opener, two-tone leather upholstery and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound system with a six-CD changer.

Also available is a Convenience package for Turbo4 models (and similarly a Premium package for Aero trim) that includes power-folding auto-dimming outside mirrors, driver seat memory functions, rear parking sensors, and adaptive xenon headlamps (already standard on Aero trim).

The convertible models are identical to sedan trims and add a full power soft top and rear parking sensors. The Independence trim adds 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires, additional leather interior trim and the Premium package features. The SportCombi wagon in Turbo4 trim also is essentially the same as the sedan, while the 9-3X trim adds more rugged exterior trim and roof rails.

Options for all 9-3 models include OnStar, Bluetooth and a navigation system. Most features on range-topping models are available on lower trims.

2012 Highlights

For 2012 and effectively the 9-3's final year, all models receive a boost in power and all automatic transmissions now have six-speeds. Minor feature shuffles between trims styling changes to the front bumper and interior trim also debut.

Performance & mpg

All 2012 Saab 9-3 models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard on all but the 9-3X, which is all-wheel drive. AWD is also optional for the sedan. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with a no-cost option six-speed automatic.

With the manual and front-wheel drive, the 9-3 sedan returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. The automatic drops to 19/29/23 mpg. Opting for all-wheel-drive, a convertible or SportCombi drops that figure by one to two mpg overall.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2012 Saab 9-3 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints and side airbags. The sedan and SportCombi include side curtain airbags, while the convertible features taller side airbags that cover the head of each front occupant. OnStar emergency telematics is optional on the 2.0T and standard on the Aero.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 9-3 sedan the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests and a second-best score of "Acceptable" in roof strength tests.

Driving

Despite an increase of power output from 201-hp to 220-hp, the 2012 Saab 9-3's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is still expected to be underwhelming for this class of car. Ride quality is also disappointing, as the suspension can lose composure over especially bumpy pavement. The steering is a bright spot, as it is light and quite accurate. Body roll around corners is excessive with the base 2.0T model -- so much so that the term "mushy" could be applied. The sport-tuned Aero model improves things considerably -- as does the added traction of XWD all-wheel drive -- but even here the 9-3 can't quite match the athleticism of its rivals.

Interior

The Saab 9-3's cabin offers comfortable front seats (especially in the Aero) and good ergonomics, but the quality of the interior materials doesn't measure up to that of competitors in the class. Fit and finish also leaves something to be desired. The sedan and wagon are sufficiently roomy, but rear legroom is limited in the convertible.

Stereo and climate controls are a model of simplicity (a welcome departure from past Saabs), but in a class where topping the competition's high-tech features is commonplace, the 9-3 is practically standing pat. There's no iPod interface, the navigation system is antiquated, there's no real-time traffic and Bluetooth is packaged with OnStar. At least there are a few remaining kooky Saab features, like the console-mounted ignition and the "Night Panel" function that dims most instrument lighting (except most of the speedometer) for nighttime driving.

The Saab 9-3 does carry more cargo than many cars in its class, offering 15 cubic feet of trunk space in the sedan and 12.4 cubes in the convertible. The wagon offers 29.7 cubic feet of storage space with the backseat up and an impressive 72.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat. That's more than most compact crossover SUVs.

Scorecard

Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin.



Features & Specs

Aero 4dr Sedan AWD2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
MPG 18 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
220 hp @ 5300 rpm
Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
MPG 18 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
220 hp @ 5300 rpm
Turbo4 4dr Sedan2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
MPG 19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
220 hp @ 5300 rpm
Aero 4dr Sedan2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M
MPG 20 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Flex-fuel (ffv)
220 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all Used 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin specs & features

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover12.1%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Acceptable
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good


FAQ

Is the Saab 9-3 Griffin a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2012 9-3 Griffin both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Saab 9-3 Griffin fuel economy, so it's important to know that the 9-3 Griffin gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg to 25 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the 9-3 Griffin has 15.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Saab 9-3 Griffin. Learn more

Is the Saab 9-3 Griffin reliable?

To determine whether the Saab 9-3 Griffin is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the 9-3 Griffin. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the 9-3 Griffin's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2012 9-3 Griffin is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin?

The least-expensive 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin is the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $28,900.

Other versions include:

  • Aero 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $37,115
  • Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $32,395
  • Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $30,250
  • Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $34,340
  • Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $28,900
  • Aero 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $37,115
  • Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $32,395
  • Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $34,340
Learn more

What are the different models of Saab 9-3 Griffin?

If you're interested in the Saab 9-3 Griffin, the next question is, which 9-3 Griffin model is right for you? 9-3 Griffin variants include Aero 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). For a full list of 9-3 Griffin models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin

Used 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Overview

The Used 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin is offered in the following submodels: 9-3 Griffin Sedan, 9-3 Griffin Convertible, 9-3 Griffin Wagon. Available styles include Aero 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Aero 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Aero 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Aero 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Turbo4 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), X SportCombi 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 SportCombi 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), X SportCombi 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 SportCombi 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Turbo4 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Turbo4 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Independence 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Independence 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What do people think of the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 9-3 Griffin.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 9-3 Griffin featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin?

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $35,215. The average price paid for a new 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $30,762 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $30,762 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $4,453.

The average savings for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Aero 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is 87.4% below the MSRP.

2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $29,775. The average price paid for a new 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $24,036 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $24,036 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $5,739.

The average savings for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin Turbo4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is 80.7% below the MSRP.

Which 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffins are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin.

Can't find a new 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffins you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Saab for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $23,425.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Saab 9-3 Griffin?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Saab lease specials