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You are in the Saab 9-3
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Saab 9-3, Sedan
Oct 21, 2002 (5:01 pm)
Anyone own or seriously test drive the new 9-3 yet? I'll confess, I'm not a Saab loyalist as I never really cared for their previous styling, but from the pics I've seen, the 9-3 is a nice looking car inside and out. I've got a 2001 Intrigue which I absolutely love to drive, but seems to be turning out to be a lemon. First choice would be to ditch it for a Cadillac CTS, but CTSs are a bit out of my price range right now. And a new more powerful engine is a year away so that might be one worth waiting a year or so on and finding something else to fill the void for now. I'm curious on what you think of the new 9-3 and what kind of price folks are getting them for(both purchase and lease).
#194 of 3350 9-3 testdrive
Oct 21, 2002 (6:14 pm)
I went into buy my local VW/Saab dealer to look at the Passat. They didnt have a Passat on the floor, so as I waited around I saw the new 9-3 and really liked it. After I drove it , I really loved it. I have a BMW 328 and this was the closest drive to it. Sorry, nothing drives like the BMW. I dont mean to sound snobbish, but unless you've driven one, there is no equal.
I was very impressed. I drove a fully loaded 9-3 with Launch Package and Touring Package (it basically had everything you can get at this time). First and most importantly I love the way it drove. Its got slightly more interior space than the BMW, the rear seats easily fold down, and its got an on board computer that's second to none. Its one of the safest cars, 8 airbags, great gas mileage, large trunk..and it looks good.
Here's what I didnt like, when you include everything, i was quoted $33,285 (which the dealer tells me is $1500 over invoice. Knowing foreign cars usually dont go this low over invoice I was skeptical. After I learned GM bought Saab, it made more sense). Anyway, there is no memory seats, the passenger side seat is not automatic, the Linear is the only one availbe now with the smaller 175HP engine (which for me is fine, but the 210HP is coming in Jan for an additional $3k). There is a cheapy cloth armrest and doors (the rest of the car is leather), and the rear leg room is about the same as the BMW (which is not much). These are all minor things but they really bug me. The Infiniti G35 is the sam price and has all of that stuff...but it doesnt dirve as well.
I think its worth a test drive, because how a car drives is strickly personal. You can basically pay for all the other bells and whistles.
Ive never owned a Saab, can anyone comment on the quality, realiabilty, and/or resale value. thanks.
Oct 21, 2002 (8:08 pm)
According to Saab, August and september 2002, 14,000 new 9-3 have been sold in Europe. And it is projected to sell 40,000 by the end of the year. However, Saab only produced 7000 in these 2 months, so many people are on the waiting list.
The heat is spreading now..... Saab 9-3 will be a hot car.
#197 of 3350 Simon97 - cars for sale
Oct 22, 2002 (3:58 am)
Dealer here in Austin only has two Linear cars, Black manual loaded and Silver auto less equipped for demo's only. Wasn't exactly sure on when they would be getting more but I was more interested in Arc/Vector for just the equipment you mentioned was missing, bigger engine, memory seats, etc. so didn't really push info on Linear availability. He did say to look for Arc/Vector next spring.
Oct 22, 2002 (4:14 am)
I know Saab won a JD Power award last year for best initial quality for a premium brand. Long term I'm not sure, but I do see a fair number of older Saabs on the road so they obviously hold together ok. I doubt they will be much different than BMWs, not tops but generally good.
Oct 22, 2002 (5:07 am)
Nice review. You do not have to apologize for liking the BMW drive. Most everyone here does.
So far the local Saab dealer does not have a manual and sport suspension combo. The dealer says they want to order some, but are caught up in the backlog okidokie mentions. I might ask to drive the manual tester and the loaded automatic tester with the sport suspension.
My current car does not come out of warranty for another year and a half. But I recently sold my Miata (wife got an Escape and we only have a two car garage), and really want a driver's car. If the 9-3 lives up to its press, I could order a manual in December or so. If delivery is slow, I would not mind much, as January and February are not driving months in Chicago anyway.
#200 of 3350 Pat_host
Oct 22, 2002 (5:09 am)
Now that the Saab 9-3 and 2003 Saab 9-3 are one and the same, maybe Edmunds can combine the future cars 9-3 forum into this one.
Oct 22, 2002 (1:02 pm)
From what I hear, if your interested in the Linear, you ought to buy it before Jan when the Arc's and Vectors come out. Once they come out the fully loaded Linear is going to go up so people will basically say "If Im spending this much, I may as well go for the Arc". $1500 over invoice (which I really couldnt confirm) isnt bad on any car.
Oct 22, 2002 (4:28 pm)
How was the performance from the 175 hp engine? I'm not a fan of four bangers, but from nearly every review I've read, Saab makes some of the best and even in base form the new 9-3 seems to have decent power. The more I look at reviews and pictures of the 9-3, the more I like it. Price wise, it seems a good deal. I optioned one up on Edmunds pricing site and a well equipped 9-3 was less than $1000 more than the MSRP on my fully loaded Intrigue was, although I know the Saab was not be discounted anywhere near the amount the Olds was. Drove by the local dealer this afternoon and it looked like they did have several 9-3s in stock. I may have to drop by this weekend for a test drive.