2008 Saab 9-3 Consumer Review: First Two Years have been Grea

2008 Saab 9-3 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

87 Total Reviews

2.0T Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
First Two Years have been Great
By jp on


2008 Saab 9-3 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)


I've owned my 2T Sedan for 2+ years and its been great. Comfortable, even with two car seats in the back. Fully loaded for vacation there is plenty of room. The car gets ~24 mpg in the city (worse when my wife drives it) and ~34 mpg on the highway at a comfortable 65-70 mph. Leather interior is easy to clean when the kids spill food/drinks. So far reliability has been impeccable...knock on wood because servicing will be pricey on this car. Useful speed warning feature as you can pass 70+mph easily. We bought a 2nd Saab (2009 2T Sedan) when it looked like Saab was going under. Look forward to 2013 redesign although not in the market. Wish Saab would remove some features and sell for ~20K.

Best Features

Small yet safe; good fuel economy; not as common as other cars (civic/corollas, etc.); bright headlights; strong windshield washer pressure; a beautiful car to look at.

Worst Features

Small Trunk opening; maddening HVAC controls as they turn on/off as they see fit; generic GM radio; low front air dam can hit curbs.; backseats need a touch more legroom; prefer manual headlights (and headlight/windshield washers); 3 yr maint. plan should cover tire rotation. Wish I had a sportcombi!
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By jxp293
on 08/17/11 08:40 AM (PDT)

Update. Took a 1000-mile trip across the midwest. Averaged, 39.2 MPG! That was with AC running and cruise control set at ~70 mph. These cars just get better gas mileage as they age. Of special note, when driving around town, the gas mileage drops to ~24 MPG, maybe up to ~27MPG if driving it very gently. There is a note to pass along to prospective buyers. Changing the oil is a bear! The drain plug is behind the engine, which requires jacking up the car to reach the plug. Also, the oil filter is buried and requires a few bruised knuckles to get it out. Changing the air filter is not too difficult, although resetting the maintenance light is sometimes confusing, especially if you change your oil BEFORE the light comes on. (The maintenance light uses a number of inputs such as idle time, driving habits, etc. with a bit of magical math to give an estimation of when the oil needs changing. However it generally is close to 9K miles. In my opinion, that is too long even with synthetic oil.) The interior is holding up well, with only minor creaks developing, mostly in the drivers' seat. So far, no issues what so ever, at 29,XXX miles. Given the choice, I'd probably but another of these cars, although a wagon instead of the sedan, but not at the current prices. (Recall that prices were much lower when Saab didn't have an owner.) I think these cars are worth no more than $21K-24K new.

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By jxp293
on 10/07/12 10:50 AM (PDT)

Update: it's oct 2012 now and wife's Saab has almost 50k on it. Chose to replace stock pirelli ties at 45k, although could have probably gotten another 5000 miles out of them. The new tires make the car feel very smooth...kids love it. You give up a little on handling but comfort wins out. Car has been very reliable. Only issue was a burned out tail light. I couldn't find a replacement bulb at auto zone or oreillys so had to order a set from UK. (dealer had bulb for $12...bought 10 bulbs for $17 online). Interior seating surfaces look good. No major wear. Brake pads are still ok and engine is running smooth with synthetic oil changes every 5k-6k miles. Oem battery needed replaced during this summer, no doubt due to the searing temperatures. It was easy to pull out the old battery and put in the new one. Paint is holding up well, no problems.

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