Used Saab 9-3 - Steve Jones
Considering buying a used 9-3 - 2 yrs old 25,000 miles

What should I watch out for? Is this a good vehicle - I'm looking for something solid, comfortable and safe - good on the motorway and ok to drive in town.

I've looked at the car-by-car breakdown - just wondering if anybody has good/bad experiences of these.

It's not from a Saab dealer - can I get a Saab warranty for this?

Re: Used Saab 9-3 - andy bairsto
It is only a vectra under the skin and they seem to last ok
Re: Used Saab 9-3 - John Slaughter

Definitely drive before you buy. We had a '96 900 for a while. It had the 2.0 litre non-turbo engine, lovely seats and whilst a lovely motorway cruiser (it isn't the Vectra engine, but a Saab unit with balancer shafts), it wasn't very quick of the mark. Also the fuel consumption is not very good. At the time I was running a 2.0l Vectra SRi, and the Saab was slower, and a good 8mpg worse on fuel - don't expect more than 30.

Despite the motorway performance, handling isn't that special - it isn't a car you can use with any joy on twisty road - there's more than a bit of body roll. See the review on this site of the 9-5 - Saab have apparently tweaked the chassis of that to curb the sloppy handling. The base of a 9-3 is actually older than a Vectra - I believe it's a Cavalier floorpan, even on the 9-3. Having driven one of those I have to say that it didn't seem a big step forward from the 900, despite all the mods. The more powerful turbos have a better chassis, but it really can't handle the power.

Plus, if you buy fairly new, be prepared for horrendous depreciation - they ain't popular secondhand! Ours wasn't exactly fault free either.

You can judge my opinion of the Saab by the following. Faced with having to change one of our cars to get something insurable for our then 17 year old to learn to drive, we sold the 28k miles Saab, and kept the 70k miles Vectra. As Andy B says, not a lot goes wrong with them!


Re: Used Saab 9-3 - Steve Jones
Cheers - it's a 99T 2.0i S with 25,000 advertised by a non-Saab dealer for 9995 - which seems a lot lower than Glass's (from the autobytel site) suggest or Parkers.

If I did get it I'd want to extend the warranty - preferably with a Saab warranty...
Re: Used Saab 9-3 - crazed idiot
Mate at work had one as a company car, and as has been suggested elsewhere he was very cheesed off to borrow a vectra and find it was significantly better for less money...

saab = general motors
jaguar = ford
HJ's comments - David Lacey
I'm sure HJ has had something to say about this model before here on this board. It all rings true when fuel consumption and lacklustre performance are mentioned.


Re: Used Saab 9-3 - John Slaughter

Couple of other points-

Saab needs at least a sunroof or preferably aircon to have any chance secondhand. Can be a bit stuffy inside without.

Latest Vectras I believe have a balancer shaft engine - my comments refered to 1996 - but the engines are still different.


Re: Used Saab 9-3 - Tony
Saab,whats the point and why do they bother?Another pointless and very sad 'European brand'.
Re: Used Saab 9-3 - honest john
There's a new 9-3 on the way, based on the next Vectra floorpan.

Re: Used Saab 9-3 - Steve Jones
Thanks for the info HJ. Given I'm after something sturdy, well equipped and comfy does the vehicle I'm looking at look like a good choice for the price?

Value my car