Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011) Review

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


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 21–32
On average it achieves 89% of the official MPG figure

Looking for a Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 - 2011)?
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Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 – 2011)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

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.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–56 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

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
Is our SAAB going to be written off?
"At 70 mph in lane 2 the bonnet of my Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (1.8 Biopower, 64000 miles, excellent condition) flew open, causing damage to the bonnet, both wings and roof. Estimate for repair is £2500 exc VAT. I'm fully comp. Are we in write off territory and if so, what should I expect as a fair deal?"
I don't think that's a write off. If the insurer wants to write it off tell them you want to keep the car and repair it yourself - so ask for the write off value minus the salvage value, then fix it with bits from a scrapper.
Answered by Honest John
Should I sell my 2007 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon now or keep it and let it depreciate?
"I have a 2007 Saab 9-3 1.8 petrol Sportwagon. It has done 40,000 miles, is immaculate and has provided three years of trouble-free motoring. I average 45mpg on long journeys and it is comfortable and spacious enough for my young family, but I am concerned about owning it for the longer term. I would be quite happy to keep it and drive it for the next three or four years but clearly any value in the car would have disappeared. Would you recommend changing the Saab now for something newer, particularly in light of the problems Saab has suffered recently? If so what would you suggest? My budget is £8000."
Assuming it's a ‘Linear’, trade book is just £2975 for 40,000 miles. So it's probably better to keep it for a few more years and amortise it entirely than to take this very low money for it now.
Answered by Honest John
Buzzing/Crackling sound when hitting 2000rpm
"Over the last day or so, I have noticed a buzzing/crackling type sound (appears to be from the dash area) when accelerating at around 2000rpm. It seems to go away when I accelerate through it or take my foot off the accelerator. I have noticed if I accelerate gently then it doesn't make the noise. If I accelerate firmly then the noise appears. It happens in every gear. Two days ago, I put some redex in the car. Could this have done anything?"
Reads like some kind of ignition issue. Keep filling the tank without putting any Redex in and see if it goes away. Preferably use Shell V-Power petrol (assuming the engine is petrol).
Answered by Honest John

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