Last post on Oct 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM
You are in the Saab 9-3
What is this discussion about?
Saab 9-3, Wagon
#119 of 214 regarding reliability
May 09, 2006 (8:43 am)
Part of the reliability issue is when in the lifetime of the model do you buy the car?
When the 9-3 debuted in 1999, it had some problems. But by the time I bought a late '01 (May '01), most of the problems had been fixed. The only one that bit me was an ignition system failure, which happened under warrantee.
Same for my '95 Jetta GLX. The VR6 was solid by then and I never had some of the problems the "early adopters" did.
Unless there is an issue with strapping a turbo on the V6, the SC Aero I'm considering now should have the benefit of a couple of years for Saab to fix any problems they've been seeing since this generation of 9-3s were introduced.
#120 of 214 Re: regarding reliability
May 11, 2006 (1:41 pm)
This is a tough decision for us as well. We are unloading our extremely reliable MDX, and just test drove the Saab SportCombi 2.0T. Compared to our other potential buys, this was the most fun to drive. We were deadset on it until I logged onto consumerreports.org and saw the reliability for the 9-3 as having the worst reliability rating possible. We had just ruled out the VW Passat 2.0T Wagon (and Audi A4) for the same reason: poor reliability.
We're stumped. Wish I could get an honest assessment from the service dept at our local Saab dealership.
#121 of 214 Re: regarding reliability [jedirocker]
May 14, 2006 (11:17 pm)
i just recently read the april / may? consumer reports comparison of entry level luxury sport sedans (saab 9-3, bmw 3 series, a4, g35, etc) and i saw that they hammered on the 9-3 as well. in my opinion, you have to take consumer reports' predictions as just that; their predictions.
i've also been considering the 2.0t sportcombi and think it's an amazing drive as well. since it's a low volume vehicle, the lack of true reliability data does make me nervous but i wouldn't rule out your favorites (a4, vw passat wagon, or 9-3 sportcombi) just because of what CR says.
one thing that annoyed me about that CR sport sedan review is that they loaded up a 2.0t with seemingly everything so that it would list at around $31-32 ish to make it look close to the bimmer's $36 ish. i mean, the saab sedan is really a NEAR entry that you can pick up for $26 ish or even $28 with sunroof / premium package. it's also the only fwd sedan they compared. maybe this group of sedans most closely represents the 9-3's competition but CR should have still at least highlighted that the car is offered at a sub-price point to many of the others they compared...
just my cent.
#122 of 214 Re: regarding reliability [pointatob]
May 14, 2006 (11:55 pm)
on CR review: as to loading up the 2.0t, i might be wrong about that. maybe they used an aero trim instead. i don't remember as i read a couple weeks ago at a friend's. in any case my point is that the 9-3 can be purchased at a price point much lower than the others in the comparison. CR should have been more clear about this, i think.
#123 of 214 Re: regarding reliability [pointatob]
May 15, 2006 (6:39 am)
Regardless of the price point, I believe the 9-3 is a worthy competitor of the other brands. We are on our second Saab and could have bought any of the competitors. But we chose the Saab because of the reliability (yes, reliability) we have experienced, the ride, the uniqueness and the value. Saabs are underrated based on ancient history. Today and for the last 5 years at least, they are fine automobiles.
#124 of 214 Re: regarding reliability [pointatob]
May 15, 2006 (9:03 am)
Based on the comparator saab's website, the 9-3 is 5K cheaper than a 3-series and about 3K cheaper than an a4. Honestly, i think if you drive the cars back to back, you will see where the money went ( quietness, more supple ride, nicer interior, etc ). And, you will probably get that mony back when/if you sell/trade the car in 3-4 years.
I think saab needs to emphasize their unique characteristics, not being cheaper.
May 22, 2006 (10:46 am)
Like with most things, a car's reliability can be unique to one's experience and totally different for someone else (unless of course we are talking about an obvious and general defect with a product). I am saying this b/c for every car manufacturer there is, I know someone that has had a bad experience with one of their vehicles.
I am in the market for a new sport-wagon, and I narrowed my search down to:
Audi A4 - 3.2 Avant quattro w/ Triptronic
BMW 3 Series - 325xi
Saab 9.3 - Aero
2007 VW Passat Wagon - 3.6L 4Motion
From my own personnel experience, I have had complications with a Passat Sedan before, I know two people that have had trouble with their Audi A4's, I've lost count of how many people I know that always have something going on with their BMW's, and I have only known two people to own Saab's and they never complained. I'm sure if I knew more, it would eventually raise my percentage of hearing bad cases, so that's why so much of the "reliability issue" is up for debate.
Over the past three days, I have test drove each of these cars more than once, and if I had to make a decision on the general winner, I would have to go with the Saab.
Although the VW had more hp (280), the Aero had a better torque pull throughout the entire acceleration range. The BMW was the slowest and you had to get the Audi up to a high rpm range before you could feel the good effects of the engine. Another thing that made the Aero feel quicker is that it is easily 600 pounds lighter than it's nearest competitor!
The VW had the best Passenger/Cargo volume, then Saab and Audi, with BMW being the smallest. Although (with my height being 6'4") the front leg room was noticeably the best in the Saab!
Because I have a newborn on the way, safety is one of my most important factors. All these models are above average in that category, but Saab is the only one that won "best awards" from the IIHS.
As for the interiors (all models had leather), I found the VW to be the worst. Audi's seating seemed to be too lose for my comfort. BMW and Saab's seats were both great, with the BMW's dashboard and paneling being my favorite. I guess the Swede's will always have a simplistic view for their front paneling design...
I think it would be hard for anyone to argue against Saab having the best exterior design of this lot. Plus, it has the best drag value of all four of them.
And the biggest issue to most people... pricing; with all four models being priced with comparable options, the Audi was the highest (near $40,000), the BMW and VW was around $38,000 and the Saab was about $36,000.
If you plan on leasing, then you really don't have to worry about the whole resale value debate, plus car manufacturer's always have pretty good deals for returning-leasing customers.
Added information: my wife is a former BMW and VW owner, and see expressed her interest in wanting an Audi before we even started looking for a new car. After she went with me for the second round of test drives, in which she test drove all of them, she absolutely feel in love with the Saab and wanted us to purchase it that day. But, I decided to wait b/c I heard through the grapevine that there might be some better summertime incentives once the months of June/July come around.
Unless something unforeseen happens, we will be the new owners of a Saab 9-3 SC Aero before August of this year.
For those of you that are trying to decide, remember that it is your opinion and judgment that matters. If the seats of the Audi are more to your liking, then you might not like the BMW's or Saabs. Never take anyone else's opinion about something until you get out there yourself and feel/see the difference with all the models you are researching!
#126 of 214 New Owner of 2006 9-3 SC
Jun 05, 2006 (5:10 pm)
Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself as a new Saab owner. Fell in love with the SC at the St Louis auto show in January. Now 5 months later - I own one! Went to the dealer lot last week just for a test drive - wouldn't you know they had a 2.0 polar white with parchment interior and all the goodies that I wanted on it? I took it home for the night and was hooked! I've only owned it for 5 days but so far I can tell you I love the turbo power, the seats are super comfortable, and the size of the vehicle is just right for cruising around town without having to worry about squeezing into parking spots! I am an engineer so I love all the buttons and SID display, although I could see how some folks might like dials and simplicity better. Had one quirk initially with saving the custom climate control settings - a quick call to my salesman got me staightened out and I am a happy camper now.
#127 of 214 Family of 4 fit, or need a 9-5?
Jun 15, 2006 (3:02 am)
I really like the 9-3 SC because of styling, engine, gearbox, etc. Of course this is al based on web research as I am living abroad until August.
I'd like to hear from anyone who has kids and this car. I have a 6 and 3 year old, and am wondering if the rear legroom and cargo area space of the 9-3 SC will be too tight.
Thanks for any feedback,
#128 of 214 Consumer Reports' Saab 9-3 Reliability Info
Jun 17, 2006 (10:00 pm)
One thing to keep in mind about Consumer Reports' reliability tables is that they are based on reader surveys. This means two things: 1. Consumer Reports readers are not necessarily a representative sample of all owners of a particular make and model. 2. A low-volume model like the Saab 9-3 will have a small sample size.
I think Consumer Reports provides some valuable information. But, in my opinion, their auto reliability tables are taken as Gospel when they really should not be. They are one source of information, definitely worthy of some consideration, but they are not the final word on whether a car is any good or not.
I would (and may) buy a 9-3 at some point, and the CR reliability tables would not slow me down at all. As stated in an above post, I've owned many cars and trucks over the years that they've bashed in their reviews and reliability tables and had nothing but good luck with them.