Last post on Sep 10, 2013 at 2:23 AM
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Saab 9-3, Sedan
#3256 of 3350 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero vs. 9-5 2.3T
Sep 24, 2008 (6:46 am)
I am currently trying to decide between two Saabs, one a 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero automatic, the other a 9-5 2.3T automatic, both with about 25k miles. I had initially been interested in the 9-3 only, but am realizing that they are virtually the same price used, and perhaps I can get "more bang for the buck" from the 9-5.
From my perspective, here are the pros and cons on the 9-5:
Pros: 4 cylinder engine = better gas mileage. I like the cooled seats, and it seems to have a bit more room.
Cons: Is it too old of a design? Is the 9-3 better engineered because it is a newer platform? Which is more reliable? Which is better in snow? The 9-5 seems to have a really dated navigation, and no XM radio due to navigation.
Also, I seem to have an option between Saab Certified through a dealer and GM Protection Plan from a non-Saab GM dealer. Do folks have thoughts on either/both?
Appreciate any input from the Saab experts in this forum. Thanks in advance!
#3257 of 3350 Re: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero vs. 9-5 2.3T [ccfdad]
Sep 24, 2008 (8:44 am)
I bought a 2006 9-3 Aero with the Cold Weather and Touring packages last February with only 2,000 miles on it. (not a typo). It's a six speed, and on highway trips I can average 29-30 mpg at 75-80 miles an hour. An entire tank of gas of city/town driving only gives me 17-20 though, depending on how aggressive you drive. I try to be slow and conservative around town, but open it up sometimes on the interstate. The overall performance of the 9-3 Aero is going to be significantly better and more enjoyable than the 9-5, without sacrificing any considerable amount of mpg. The 9-5 is a more out dated design, and will be redesigned in 2010.
I am 6' 3" and i found that I fit into the 9-3 better than the 9-5 when i was test driving them, due to the better seat adjustments on the 9-3 Aero. Either one is going to be solid in the snow. I live in Vermont and I am an avid skier. Chances are my winters are more brutal than yours. Saabs stick to the roads well, do not rust, and have traction control. Be sure to buy winter tires for the car, and not all seasons. You won't get anywhere with all seasons in a freak snow storm.
In terms of navigation, the 2006 was the first model to include navigation and it isn't that impressive. It's the only feature i don't have in my ride, thankfully. There's no sense in paying a premium for a feature that doesn't work well, and has been bashed in all the reviews. You'd be better off buying a Garmin or a TomTom. Navigation is overrated, and the Saab's is a DVD based navigation which is already becoming an outdated platform.
I bought the car with its 50,000 bumper to bumper GM warranty intact, but for the added peace of mind, I had the salesman throw in the Saab Certified Pre Owned (CPO) Factory warranty that covers it until 100,000 miles at no extra cost. This means that Saab mechanics will work on the car and replace any and all parts with Saab factory parts at no cost to the owner. Including labor. I would definitely reccomend going with the Saab certified warranty. Saabs are great cars, but they have their quirks. The newer models seem to have minor electrical and premature rear brake wear, but nothing serious. Electrical issues (for instance, my headlamps needed to be adjusted twice; free of charge) are covered by the warranty. Saabs have rock solid engines, chassis, safety features, and transmissions.
Remember this: the economy has slowed, credit standards are tightening up and lenders are being more skimpy. This indirectly means that people are going to be buying less cars, and dealers are scared so they're cutting prices. They have much less leverage than they did 3 years ago when the economy was hot. It's a buyers' market in non-hybrid vehicles. Dealers are desperate. Buy the 9-3 Aero and get it with the extended Saab Certified Pre Owned FACTORY warranty. It should cost around $1500, so get the salesman to throw it in for free, or no deal. I wouldn't have it any other way. I also got an extra set of Saab wheels with Gislavad studded snow tires thrown in too. Saab has a promotion deal with Gislavad tires. See if they keep those around the shop and get a set of four with Saab wheels.
Hope that helps, let me know how it goes.
#3258 of 3350 Re: [cmwong]2005 9-3 brakes SE Turbo Conv
Oct 14, 2008 (6:19 am)
I had front and rear pads changed by dealer at 28,400 miles. 45,000 inspection found need for rear rotors and pads at 47,500 miles. (only 19,000 miles more) Service mngr gives me run-around, saying maybe Saab changed pad composition, blah, blah blah. Why 28,500 for first set pad alone, only 19,000 for rears and need pads and rotors. Black brake dust on wheels a problem from less than 1,000 miles. Majority of mileage is on limited access toll roads and highways, less than half city.
#3259 of 3350 2007 Saab 93 rear brakes
Oct 14, 2008 (1:28 pm)
I have a 2007 Saab 93 with 30,000 miles. I was just told that my rear brakes are completely out and need replaced. After speaking with the service manager I was told that this is normal for a Saab. Most of my miles are highway miles., and I do not "ride " my brakes. I was told that I also need the rotors replaced.The total cost is over $500.00. Does anyone know of a re-call., or if this is normal?
Oct 26, 2008 (12:19 pm)
Hi everyone. First time poster. I am considering buying a new 2008 Saab 9-3. About the only thing that's holding me back is the awful things I've read about a Saab's future reliability. Consumer reports and JD Powers aren't too generous of their ratings for past Saabs in this area either. Should I buy this car, my intention would be to keep it for 8 to 10 years, so reliability is a huge factor for me. I come from a history of driving Hondas and my reliability with the Honda's Iíve owned has been fantastic, save for my current one, which is actually an Acura and has had some issues. I thought the best place to get the true facts on reliability of Saabs would be from a bunch of people who actually own the vehicle, so your opinions on this matter would be much appreciated. Thanks a ton!
#3261 of 3350 Re: Reliability? [iburgess]
Oct 26, 2008 (1:52 pm)
Buy a Honda.
I have a 2007 Saab 9-3. Before that I had a 1998 Saab 93. I had an issue later in the car life of my 98 and brought it to saab to get serviced. The Dealership made a big mistake and after months of dealing with General motors I was given $7500.00 off a Gm car, along with other discounts.. I was planing on purchasing a Saturn, but was told I could only buy a new Saab with the discounts.. So reluctantly I did. I thought with a 100,000 mile warranty it would be a good buy. It was not. So far I have purchased three new tires (perelli's). I was told the tires were under warranty, but because the (nail) hole was in the side of the tire it was not.. Not real sure, but because I had three issues with different tires I thought the problem was with the treads pulling the nail to the side.,(expensive). Also at about 25,000 miles my back brakes went out (I drive most highway, and never ride my breaks). Saab said this was "normal". When the breaks go out in the car, you also will need rotors as they go out simultaneously. It was over $500.00. (breaks are not under warranty). I know GM is having great sales right now on the Saab, but it is not worth it.. My father only drives hondas , his last one had over 100,000 miles.. Never had a problem..
Hope this helps..
#3262 of 3350 Re: Reliability? [iburgess]
Oct 26, 2008 (2:00 pm)
Also had to take it in to get new speaker (went out) and my passenger side window came off the track (still a bit off when it rains).. If you do decide to go ahead and purchase, do not get the Grey interior, the interior doors are impossible to clean.. even a water drip shows...
#3263 of 3350 Re: Reliability? [iburgess]
Oct 26, 2008 (3:28 pm)
I have an 07 9-3 2.0t with 25k on it in my first year and mechanically, it is flawless. I have had some minor cosmetic issues, a squeaky window, a bad radio button, and I had to have one of my keys replaced, but other than that I am very satified. (all were fixed at no charge by the dealer) The gas mileage is better than what is stated on the sticker, I get 26 city 34 highway with premium and I still really enjoy driving the car. I have spoken to a few other people who own th same car and all have said that reliability is good. One person had an 03 and the other had an 05. I plan to keep it for the long haul, just bought a second set of wheels for snow tires and the factory roof rack for my skis this winter.
#3264 of 3350 Re: Reliability? [andyv1]
Oct 27, 2008 (6:46 am)
Wow ...what well thought out advice! And from someone who has a clear disdain for using the spell check function! Your recommendation to buy a Honda is based on replacing three Pirelli tires that had sidewall damage due to running over nails or other road hazards? No radial tire to my knowledge can be properly repaired if there is sidewall damage and NO basic tire warranty(all of which are from the tire manufacturer...not the vehicle manufacturer)covers damage inflicted to the tire from things such as potholes or nails.Having a Honda would make no difference in this case.In regard to your brakes ..once again,with the exception of BMW no manufacturer warranties brakes.My advice to you is YOU should be driving a "transportation appliance" such as a Camry or Accord.
#3265 of 3350 Re: Gas mileage
Oct 27, 2008 (6:55 am)
Apparently the E.P.A. opted to test all the Saab models with the sport mode engaged on the Automatic Transmissions.Net result was city and highway averages well below what the average driver can expect to acheive. My 2008 2.8L. V-6 Aero is rated at 15 m.p.g. city and 24 hwy.I never do worse than 20 on my morning commute (avg. 35 m.p.h.)and my last trip of over 100 miles was 31.3 at an avg.speed of 71 m.p.h.