Review: Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011)


Comfortable. Solidly built estate with an excellent ride. Predictable handling. Superb seats and plenty of kit.

Saab four-cylinder engines should have an oil change every 5k miles. Diesel 1.9 can throw its timing belt after just 40k miles.

Recently Added To This Review

23 May 2017

Complaint that when timing belt of SAAB 9-3 1.9TiD convertible was replaced prior to purchase at 69,000 miles in October 2016, the waterpump was not also replaced. This then seized in May 2017, throwing... Read more

18 June 2013

CIM steering column electronic module for SAAB 9-3, part number: 12769671 available from camcoelectronics Price: £175.00 Read more

8 May 2013

First serious parts shortage seems to be 'CIM' units. If these fail, diagnostics point to the steering angle sensor which it integral to the CIM unit and failure of that knocks out the ESP, which means... Read more

Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011): At A Glance

What does a Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011) cost?

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Real MPG average for a Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

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Average performance


Real MPG

22–56 mpg

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Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

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Should I have the timing belt changed on my 2007 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon?

I have a 2007 1.8 petrol Saab 9-3 Sportwagon. I'm keeping it for the foreseeable future. I have just had it serviced by Kwik Fit (great value and service by the way), and they flagged that the timing belt will need changing shortly. This is recommended at six years old or 56,000 miles. My car has done 47,000 miles. Do you recommend having the work done, and what is the usual price of this work?
That baffled me at first because I thought all 4-cylinder petrol engined Saabs were 1998cc chain-cam. But from November 2003 to July 2007 Saab offered an entry level 9-3 122PS 1.8i with a belt cam Vauxhall/Opel engine, so the Kwik Fit fitters are right. The confusion is that the 1.8t is a turbocharged 1,998cc Saab engine. A proper job of belt and waterpump usually costs around £500.
Answered by Honest John
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