Used 2005 Saab 9-3 Consumer Reviews
Let me start by saying that a Saab is not a car for everyone. If you don't know anything about them you shouldn't buy one.! I'll give you an example. When I first bought this car I went to do an oil change and realized for the first time in my life that I owned a car that was too low profile to put up on ramps. I called every auto parts store in the area and no one had any kind of ideas so I went to YouTube and found a solution by using two long boards. When I bought the car the entire audio system was not functioning. The dealership told me that the amp underneath the driver seat was damaged due to corrosion a common problem. Replacing was $1400 or rebuild $600. Again I went to YouTube and found that I could remove the entire amp and fuse the fiber optics together and solve the problem no cost just an hour's worth of work. Now I have a permanently fixed working radio and audio system. But those are not things that most people would want to do or could do. If you are good at doing things yourself this is a great car for you, if you're not you're going to get taken to the cleaners by people that overcharge and take you for a ride literally. It's good to do your research first to know what you're getting into and find some mechanics you can rely on and rely on yourself for most of the repairs that are small! Few other things. It needs synthetic oil every 10,000 miles. Fresh battery every few years even a little bit off will make it run funny. Needs all fluids and filters checked frequently to make sure they are all clean and in good shape. If you do this the car will last pretty much forever! My old Saab has 209000 miles and I'm still driving it everyday. I bought the 93 and it's like a new car inside and out! Some people say the interior is cheap by comparison to other Saabs but I disagree. Although some plastic parts may appear a little bit cheaper they can be well maintained and look great. The seats and interior are great...very comfortable.... excellent gas mileage too. Most of these cars will have to have the suspension worked on by a hundred thousand miles. When I purchased it I put on some new sway bar links which typically wear out fast. They cost $18 apiece. I also put on a new flex pipe on the exhaust. Total of about $100. Also had to clean the throttle body due to a rough idle issue because it was dirty and never before cleaned. Replaced the spark plugs and the air cleaner as well. All should be good now for the next hundred thousand miles except for oil changes. If you purchase one do yourself a favor and buy an OBD2 code reader so if a light pops on you can easily identify the problem rather than being ripped off by a dealership! The car is reliable and rides great. Its fast and looks great. It's 11 years old and could not have run better when new. Update: Still feel the same a year later. Unfortunately this is now my only Saab since my older 900 was ruined by a Tuffy oil change place that overfilled it by almost 2 quarts and killed the engine. I will never trust them again.
The 9-3 convertible is a total package that comes together for a very satisfying ride. If you look at any one detail of the car it may or may not be best in class, but when combined it just makes you smile. It gives a solid, tight, controlled ride, a little busy on bad pavement. You're very connected to the road. Acceleration from a dead stop is nothing special, but when you're on the road the passing power is impressive! Very comfortable seats. The automatic top opens/closes in 20 secs, even if you're driving (slowly). The stereo isn't strong, but its notes & sounds are very precise (don't confuse bass boost with good music). There's a reason this is Saab's most popular car.
Just purchased this vehicle used with 75k miles. Previous owner had been meticulous with service records so I feel confident that this baby was pampered. I have barely added 100 miles to the odometer but I am already impressed. Having driven or owned nearly every kind of car in this category, the Saab stands out as the most fun to drive. Fantastic handling, the turbo responds to my every whim, and the air handling system is straight out of a Boeing 747. I have never driven a 4 cylinder that handles A/C quite like this. Despite having a 13 speaker sound system, I was underwhelmed by the stereo - I may have already blown a driver. I do,however, love the timeless quality of the exterior design.
I have owned a saab for over 20 years and find them to be the highest quality car. While Saab has had it's many challenges over the years it has always produce a solid performer with above average reliability. Unfortunately the markets tends to go with the brands with the biggest budget to impress you with the image of it's brand. Saab has done a outstanding job mixing form with function. Everyone who has enjoyed the ride in my car are always impressed with the quality and find themselves asking why they never considered on. Saabs brand deserves leadership that can carry it's unique niche and continue it's quality builds to attract more owners looking for something that just works well.
I purchased my 2005 9-3 Arc from Enterprise Car Sales. I had read extensive reviews online about how great the car handled, accelerated etc. I was a little shy when I was behind the wheel with the salesman riding shotgun. I could tell right away that this car had a lot more power than I was willing to let out. Once I picked the car up off the lot however, I let it fly. I had perma-smile the second my foot hit the gas - this thing can fly! Once the turbo kicks in my head snapped back a little and I was in love. The features and the customization of the driving experience are also a big reason why I love this car. Overall a great car and a great value ($1500 under KBB value- thx Enterprise!!)