Last post on Mar 09, 2013 at 7:46 PM
You are in the Saab 9-3
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Saab 9-3, Sedan
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Feb 29, 2004 (11:24 pm)
I forgot the last half of my question in the above post so here it is:
Does your parking brake and matching accessory handle ( the exact word of the thing fails me at the moment but as an owner, you likely know just what I'm talking about...) have huge, rough areas of flashing along the mould parting lines? All 4 of the 9-3's I've been in had them. One was a 2003 Linear, two were 2004 Aero's, and one was an '04 Aero. I was dismayed to be sitting in a $38.5K car and find that.
Utilitarian doesn't bother me one bit. I prefer, for example, Arcam stereos. Basic looking, but fabulous performance.
Where "cheap" begins to enter the picture (my opinion only) is the texture/sheen of the main dash. I had cheapy-toys as a kid that had that exact look. The sun-visors also seem to have a chintzy feel. Couple that with the huge amounts of flash present in the center and it makes me begin to worry about their attention to detail as a brand.
Please understand this is just commentary and I've all but ruled out Volvo for my next purchase and I say that as a Volvo S-70GLT owner. The Saab rates very, very high for me still.
And what European Car magazine has to say about the 03 Vector has me even more interested.
#2321 of 3342 9-3 Sport Hatch
Mar 01, 2004 (9:59 am)
Does anyone know if Saab has decided to proceed with bringing the 9-3 Sport Hatch to market? If so, do you know what model year they are hoping to introduce it?
#2322 of 3342 9-3 Sport Hatch / 3 & 14
Mar 01, 2004 (5:28 pm)
I thought the 9-3 SportHatch was a definite go. Particularly after the Saab CEO showed it along with the debut of the 9-2X in Detroit. I saw the introduction video at the GM medial Online website. The Saab site still has a prominent link to it.
The 9-3 Aero is sharp car. I though the interior of the Aero 9-3's was equal to the similar models of BMW - 3 Series, Infiniti - G35, Lexus -IS300, Acura - TL. There is new chip stuff for the Saab 9-3, Parts for Saabs lists the PPC by BSR of Sweeden. This device ups the HP to 245+ and the TRQ to 285+, it lists for about $850-$900. The sweet thing about this device is that you can switch it back to normal trionic 8 tune whenever you need. There are some other tunning items out there from Abbott racing and Wigwam Saab, that are fairly straight foward and would probably keep your warranty in tact.
Mar 02, 2004 (8:02 pm)
Yes, I have some flashing on the "matching accessory handle" (the so-called credit card holder) but the parking brake finish is OK. I don't blame you for being disappointed in such failings for a car stickering well into the 30's.
As far as the Infotainment system, it's fairly simple to find an informational display and leave it, although I don't recall if that exact combination you specified is available. The usability problem isn't the display so much as the numerous buttons on the dash and steering wheel; this is exacerbated by the On Star controls which don't function since I passed on that option.
buddhabman, that chip set sounds very interesting. I'll take a look. Must be sure about that warranty however!
Mar 03, 2004 (7:32 pm)
Perhaps some of you guys are missing something on the "cheap" bits in the interior and the "stickering into the 30's".
The car's interior does not get substantially upgraded from the base linear level as you go up in models. You get what is basically a $26,500 car's interior. At that price it's pretty good. I actually like the more spartan look too, though I prefer the rich warmth of the Acura's wood and materials.
A loaded Aero priced $11,000 over a decently equipped Linear will leave you wanting more in interior quality. But with real-world prices for more modest models around the price of a Camry or loaded Altima, it's harder to complain. I love our 9-3 Linear, but the car makes less sense the higher you go up in price. Our Linear Launch w/all the options was $31,000. A BMW 325 comparably equipped would have a nicer interior but would also cost about $6,000 more.
And a $26,000 less well equipped with toys Linear bought today with a quick 6 minute flash $1000 computer upgrade will at least equal a $36,000 stock Aero in performance. Probably quicker to 60mph. I can live w/o the seat inserts, rain sensing gizmos, notchy 6 speed shifter, metal trim (can be fixed for under $400)etc. Nice, but not worth the price.
Japanese cars give you more bang for the buck in terms of features and quality than European ones. Fact of life. For a nicer interior in a euro car you'll need to bring more cash. The new Acura TL is hard to beat. But it's not fair to compare every car to this long time sport sedan value leader.
#2326 of 3342 2004 SAAB 9-3 Arc Price
Mar 12, 2004 (7:53 am)
Hi! I don't know if I'm going to be out of protocol by asking what people paid for their cars, but forums are meant to help the average consumer and so I'll take the jump and ask what people are paying for their 9-3 Arcs??
We are looking to purchase an Arc and any help with price and the corresponding detail in options would be greatly appreciated.....Currently, I think I might be able to swing the supplier price which includes about $675 dealer holdback (Consumer Reports new car pricing service) less a $3000 incentive - which puts the car is a great price range.
I'll just put down the specs we're looking for:
NO sunroof, Cold weather package, Park Assist and Xenon headlights.
Your help in getting a good grasp of the price I might expect to pay would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. Is is standard practice for SAAB dealers to share their factory invoice with you? This invoice shows not only the supplier price, but also a GM employee price......any thoughts???
#2327 of 3342 Some thoughts! - My review on the Saab 9-3
Mar 12, 2004 (9:09 am)
Let me also share my “tipnee” (pronounce as ‘tip-knee’ – Hindi equivalent for ‘2 cents’). Ever since the TL came out in 1998 (me thinks!) that was the one car I wanted. So now that we could finally afford one we decided to test-drive (I had my checkbook with a signed blank check!) the new 2004 TL. I had just driven my buddy’s new 2003 3.2TL on which he got a fantastic deal. After driving his car, I was confident that the new TL with 270HP would leave his in the dust. I have never ever been as disappointed as that first time I pressed on the gas. The new TL just didn’t have that initial torque. It is a fantastic car to drive if you can maintain speeds above 70 mph for long stretches, but the reality is that most people just do inner-city driving. The initial lag was just unbearable. I’ve never seen a salesman’s jaw drop as it did when I responded to his question by saying that the car sucked. He could not believe that somebody who had been so considerate and kind just a few minutes ago could be so brutally honest and just plain damn MEAN!!
I have not given up on the TL YET!!! I intend to drive a different car at a different dealership – this dealership had just one demo with about 1700 miles on it.
We also drove the:
Acura TSX – better initial torque, loose steering at 55+ mph – caused swaying.
BMW 325i – Very sporty, Great car, great handling, great brakes, great everything except price. To quote a recent review – “it could do with more power”
A4 – Very sporty, great exterior/interior finish, Smooooooth CVT transmission – though I would prefer to ‘feel’ a sports-sedan. One major factor – BAD brakes! (In this class, of course!!)
G35 – All the power, all the time – 100% sports mode. Did not like the odd/mis-matched shades of color in the interior and the lack of thought put into ergonomics…no telescopic steering, oddly placed seat controls – just small stuff. Power-plant was awesome, little disappointed with the Xenon light coverage area.
IS300 – Very Sporty, a little crammed, confusing display, a little vanilla – we thought!
And of course, the SAAB 9-3 Linear and Arc. Just thought I’d clarify something for the purists shaking their heads at my assessment…….in all fairness, I drove ONLY the steptronic, tiptronic, sentronic transmissions…….can’t buy a stick because of the wife. I personally feel it is a waste of money to buy a performance car with an automatic transmission…there is some redemption with these manu-matic transmissions.
Continuing on to the SAAB. I fly planes (haven’t in the past 4 years, but I like to talk in the present tense!), so naturally I’d like to try out the SAAB. My wife did not even want to stop at the SAAB dealership en route to test drive the G35.
I told her we’ll be in-out in two minutes. We didn’t make it to the Infiniti dealership that evening. Initially the car seemed OK, little odd, she was not too impressed. Then we got the key and our eyes perked-up. Hmmm…this is little different…a bit cool! Then I tried putting it in the traditional slot and the lady went…“try the center console” We were like, “Whoa..this is cool!” Then she went through the features and asked me to crank up the engine….EVERYTHING came to life!!! I was instantly transported to my plane cockpit. I could hear all my alarms and beeps go off in my head. It was awesome. I loved it. I could not wait to take it for a test-drive. I almost yanked the lady’s arm from her shoulder while closing the door and I think I mumbled something like, “I’ll bee baackk!”
The first step on the gas pedal was fantastic and just amazingly responsive, the car (in auto mode) was doing what I expected it to do,. I had this huge grin on my face…..I think it was the same grin that I had when doing 90 degree, 3.5g turns for the first time in a Cessna.
I moved it to manual and it drove like a dream. My wife drove it and she had the same exact grin on her face. We just LOVED the car. It was just very well coordinated with what we expected from a sports-sedan. BTW, this was the Linear, so just a 175 HP. We came back and talked price and we were just amazed…..we could get a fully loaded vehicle for the price of a base 325i with automatic transmission. We were sold and asked the sales-lady to look for one with the options we wanted.
My wife was very enthusiastic about the SAAB, but being smart consumers decided to test drive the two remaining cars in this class and our budget – the G35 and Audi A4. She also wanted to test-drive the beamer again.
We test drove all of them and though the G35 is a not-so-close second choice, we were very surprised that we dropped the 325i from the list. We felt that the 325i seemed a little underpowered.
So we will test drive the TL again this weekend, and probably have a SAAB located by the coming Monday.
In conclusion, we made multiple trips to each dealer, and test drove some cars twice, but every time I go to the SAAB dealership, I itch to drive – I just want to take it out. I do not feel the same with the G35 or the BMW.
Many people have voiced not-so-positive opinions about the complex controls and display – I feel that a car should have something challenging to keep you excited. My wife and I personally LOVE the display – she loves having the information in her line-of-sight! And I’m sure I will appreciate it even more once I learn how to work everything.
So I think it comes down to two major reasons we’re looking at getting a SAAB:
1. My wife for the first time in her life is really excited about something technical/mechanical/electrical/etc., and,
2. Every time we drive it we have that BIG GRIN on our face!!
Mar 12, 2004 (12:03 pm)
I have an '03 Arc, and I paid about $500 over invoice (less rebates) when I bought almost a year ago. But that was also right after the Arc and Vector hit the street. I think that you can now get it for invoice. That would be my target.
The dealer showed me the invoice before I even asked, and I know that has happened with pelnty of others, so I would think it's common practice.
Good luck. Let us know what happens
#2329 of 3342 2004 SAAB 9-3 Arc Price
Mar 12, 2004 (12:53 pm)
I bought my ARC last June at invoice minus 3,000. The dealership showed me all of the numbers and unfortunately my contact at GM lost his supplier coupon so I lost out on another few hundred off. BTW they are the only SAAB dealer for 60+ miles in any direction. I also love driving the car. One trick that has worked for me in the past is if you intend to finance the car do it through them. It gets the dealer a little more money. I then re-financed the car using a home equity loan to get a slightly (and I do mean slightly) better rate. Just a thought in the negotiating process.
Good Luck. I really enjoy my SAAB.