Last post on Nov 20, 2006 at 2:24 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
What is this discussion about?
Saab 9-3, Coupe, Convertible
#75 of 533 RE: UNBIASED ADVICE
Apr 05, 2001 (5:19 pm)
Hello-I've owned a 9-5 for a couple of years, though I originally intended to buy the 9-3 (incentives at the time made the price of the 9-5 less than a 9-3SE.) Anyways, the car has been outstanding for me. I haven't spent a dime on repairs, though I have done all of the Saab recommended maintenance. My dealership experience has been very good as well, as I've bought an Suburu from the same dealer and the treatment is worlds different.
From talking to other Saab owners (and going to saabnet.com), it appears the 2000 and 2001 models of the 9-3 are better than the 99's.
Just my .02.
#76 of 533 re: looking for Saab
Apr 05, 2001 (9:35 pm)
Coming from the Maxima I would look at the Passat 1.8, Audi A4, Volvo s40 or s60 and the 9-3. The 9-3 is definitely the oddest choice, but it is the one I choose over the others. The cash dealer incentives are apparently gone, but there is 0% financing according to the Saab site.
I love my (new) 9-3. My only annoyance is that there is no auto-up window, the remote is too short ranged and the sunroof has no auto-open or close (The passat has these things). Its a joy to drive with lots of its own thoughtful touches. It is definitely not perfect and has other quirks that drive other people crazy. The speakers are weak.
R34: I know you are a consistent and thoughtful contributor, so I want to say I definitely respect your views, but I do find it to be as okay a city car as a manual can be. On the other hand, my commute has several 45mph straightaways, so I get to take advantage of the midrange oomph. I am finding I can anticipate and incorporate the turbo lag. I prefer the base 9-3 because of its softer ride and 15" tires for winter driving.
I also don't think it's ugly. Although I think the early 900s are a little more charming and distinctive. Its not exactly a headturner of a car, but the overall package for the price is a good deal and it is a little different than what is out there. I don't have leather and sort of wish I did, but didn't care enough to pay for it.
FWIW, Chris K
#77 of 533 RE:gomer
Apr 06, 2001 (7:11 am)
I just think the center console especially the air vents are ugly but the exterior of the car is beautiful. I like yellow rear lights and hatchback a lot.
Mine is an automatic. I couldn't feel much difference using the Sport mode. Maybe I have to rev it more.
At first I was looking at an Accord but i would like to try something different and better. I looked an A4 1.8t. I like Audi's name , interior, and reliability. Then I decided to save some money by looking at a Passat 1.8t. My friend got a 2000 S40 and I test drove a 2001 S40. They are smoother/quicker than Passat 1.8t but I don't think a S40 with sunroof worth that much. I was ready to buy a Passat but I can't resist the $4700 incentive.
At first, I didn't like a 9-3 especially the one with beige interior. After I sat in a charcoal interior one and test drove it on a freeway, I liked it more and more everyday. I am still happy about my decision on a base 9-3.
#78 of 533 Re: looking for Saab 9-3
Apr 06, 2001 (8:36 am)
I purchased a 2001 Saab 9-3 SE about a month ago. I test drove the base model and the SE... the SE with 205 HP and automatic is quicker and more fun to drive than the Base with 185 HP. The SE also comes with a sport tuned suspension and low profile larger tires which improves the handling dramatically. I owned a 1995 Maxima a few years ago and to compare the two.. The Saab has much more comfortable seats, better air conditioner (its already hit 90 here in Phoenix) and handles better. I was able to get a 2001 service loaner with only 1000 miles for well below the edmunds TMV and the sales associate was the best I've ever dealt with...he gave me a great price in only 15 minutes...and most of that time he was researching incentives and calculating the price. I'd be happy to give anyone his name if you want to buy a car from Arizona. I like this car so much my Lexus LS 400 sits in the garage most of the time...Lexus boring..Saab fun :>)
Apr 08, 2001 (5:55 am)
I am not a car buff, by any means, so any/all insights would be greatly appreciated!
I want a 2-door car which is very reliable, and which I can drive to the ski resorts, without fear of sliding off the slippery roads.
Last winter, I looked around the ski resort parking lots, and saw tons of SAABS (as well as SUVs, Trucks, and MiniVans). Why is it that SAABs are so popular with skiiers? Is it the skiier personality, or, is the SAAB better than other cars in snow? Is the SAAB traction control better than others- i.e. the Acura CL's traction control?
#80 of 533 runningrabit re:skiing
Apr 08, 2001 (9:02 pm)
I think they are one of the best FWD cars in the snow. I tested it in Michigan during a storm and it was fine. I don't actually think the TCS (or even the brand of car) makes as much difference as:
1) Driver's skill and confidence,
2) Drivetrain (4WD>AllWD>FrontWD>RearWD)
3) Tires (snow tires if appropriate)
Having said that, the Saab 9-3 has an intelligent braking system, and they are great hill climbers, probably the best around. Most TCS systems are pretty comparable IMHO, they will mostly help with wheelspin from a standing start and a little in turns. Don't expect miracles from TCS.
The Saab is also great for carrying skis (the hatchback w pass through) and it has, what may be, the best and easiest roof rack ever designed. It takes 1 minute for two people to set it up and 3 minutes for one person. The mounting holes are built into the car, there is no fiddling around. This only works with the "Saab" rack I believe, which fits Thule components.
For overall stability I was most impressed by the Audi A4 1.8t w the quattro AND ESP options. The ESP really kept the wheels on the road. But it is a pricey, smaller and less powerful car. I also just didn't like the car (or the dealers) as much.
Apr 09, 2001 (5:21 am)
I think that you are absolutely right, that Driver's Skill & Confidence, is, perhaps, the most important factor in driving in snow.
I think I will test the Audi A4 1.8t with quattro and ESP options, just for comparison.
Question: When I told the Acura dealer that I wanted the CL that would be best in the snow, he thought the CL (non-type S) would be better than the type S (which has more horsepower and wider tires). This seems contrary to what I would have thought. Any insights?
#82 of 533 9-3 SAAB or 325xi BMW
Apr 09, 2001 (7:39 pm)
We are trying to decide between a new 9-3 SAAB or a 325xi BMW. The BMW would be a base model with just the AWD & CD option. We own a '96 SAAB and have had pretty good luck with it (with the exception of the lack of heat for 3 years which the dealer could never figure out.) Our daughter now has it at college in VT and there are so many SAABs in VT (very few BMWs) The SAAB would be about $4000 less. Does anyone know which one would be better? We keep our vehicles for normally 10+ years. Thanks
#83 of 533 Thanks, edmunds
Apr 10, 2001 (9:36 am)
Found out from you that Saab 9-3 base 2door was discounted $4700; dealer said he had a manual trans with my color on boat still from Sweden. It was worth the wait; car is an international hatchback, not a mere Swedish peculiarity as some repute. What a refined surprise. Had been looking at VW GTI or Golf TDI; none available in my neighborhood. Saab shines!
#84 of 533 New Transmission at 30k miles
Apr 10, 2001 (8:18 pm)
I Leased (thank God) my 99 93 and have had no problems until it wouldn't start one day after I had seen my last client. I had it towed thinking it was the battery and a simple servicing that I needed, but was notified the next day that there was something wrong with the transmission. The dealer stated that it was Sabb's policy to replace the transmission instead of having the dealer even check and see what's wrong with it. Now this is fine with me, but seems really fishy. Tell me guys ... you think they're just jerkin my chain?
sorry to see this happen would have bought this one but that old tinker bell rang just before I wrote the check and said... why not lease to make sure you won't regret this one? now it's probably gonna go back.