Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nickdm
Do any of you have any experience of driving or owning the new(ish) Saab 9-3 estate?

I'm considering one with the 150bhp turbodiesel engine, which I'm sure has been given rave reviews and is used by several other manufacturers (GM, Fiat,..)?

I'm not comparing it with any other car (least of all the Mondeo TDCi)! Just looking for feedback re: space, comfort, economy, reliability, service bills,... etc.

I'd be buying brand new (now that Volvo have returned my deposit with the confession that they still have no idea if/when the C70 I'd ordered in March will be built....!)

Thanks, N.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Happy Blue!
Without recommending anthing else and despite the good engine, why a 9-3?

Coal face and low rent interior and dubious reliability. see Vincent de Marco's thread about a 9-5
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nickdm
- Don't want another Volvo (V50), Audi (A4 Avant), or Merc C-Class.... Not much else to choose from in the so-called "premium segment" is there?!

I'm presuming that the recent comments about the 9-5 do not carry over to the 9-3. Two totally different models, one ancient, one new!

Interesting feedback about the interior though; I haven't sat in one yet so I'll keep this in mind!

Thanks!
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - TheOilBurner
Well, the 1.9 TiD 150 is a cracking engine, I know from experience. I get average 49.6mpg in mine (Vectra - 90% the same car) and still get to boot it often for kicks.

Are you sure you couldn't live with the Vauxhall badged version and save a stack of cash? Equipment levels on the Vauxhall seem better too, from my personal observations of 9-3 Sport vs Vectra SRi.

If that doesn't float your boat, how about the Cadillac BLS - also 90% in common with 9-3 but with looks that really stand out. Available with same 1.9 diesel too.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - boxsterboy
What about the other sportwagon with that same engine? Namely the Alfa 159. Far better looking IMHO, although you would have to deal with Alfa dealers, which might be a deal-breaker.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Mike H
I get average 49.6mpg in mine (Vectra -
90% the same car) and still get to boot it often
for kicks.


AFAIK the 9-3 is nothing to do with the Vectra. The 9-5 is related to the old model Vectra.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - TheOilBurner
Not true. The 9-3 is the same Epsilon platform used by GM for the current Vectra C and other cars, including the Chevy Malibu, Fiat Croma and Cadillac BLS.

Only real difference between 9-3 and Vectra is panels, trim and independent rear steering in the 9-3.

See:

tinyurl.com/qphj2
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - davros
Funnily enough, some friends paid us a visit the week before last with a 9-3 diesel wagon they had borrowed for a weekend test drive.

They're weren't that impressed. They have two small children, and it was just too small for all the kit they have to lug around - one pram was practically sticking out of the boot. They also felt the interior was low-rent - with the exception of the seats. Not much room in the back, either. Engine got the thumbs-up except for noise at idle (but then, he's an Aussie and used to driving a V-8 Discovery).

From the passenger seat, it didn't feel very 'special' - my old 1992-vintage Saab 900 'classic' felt much more solid. Ride didn't seem as good as my Legacy on our country lanes. I suggested he went to a Subaru dealer pronto . . . .


Davros
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nsar
My colleague has had big problems with his brand new 9-3 estate 1.9tdi to the point where the dealer offered him a track day to keep him sweet. I've never had problems with two SAABs 9-3 followed by 9-5 over a combined 150,000 miles over 6 years.

Try the Subaru Legacy SE sports tourer - it will spank the SAAB over any trip and will possibly be the only one in your office car park and you get plenty of spec. Can't compete on fuel economy though - depends what you value in a car I suppose

Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Buster Cambelt
Yes, I agree totally, the Subaru Legacy is a fantastic machine. I would say the most complete estate car you can buy, plus in my experience and from what I hear from others nothing ever breaks.

It isn't that thirsty either - unless you drive crazily all the time.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - boxsterboy
Yes, I agree totally, the Subaru Legacy is a fantastic machine.
I would say the most complete estate car you can buy,
plus in my experience and from what I hear from others
nothing ever breaks.
It isn't that thirsty either - unless you drive crazily all
the time.


Sorry, no diesel, and not big enough to be considered the most complete estate car.

Regardless of any unfounded prejudices that some may have against oil burners, they do have prodigious torque - surely one of the main requirements of any estate.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nsar
"not big enough" but bigger than a 9-3 or other sports tourers I think.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nickdm
- Good feedback! Sounds like I do need to check-out the interior for myself.

Not too worried about boot capacity now that the kids have grown out of prams/cot-beds/buggies/nappies etc!

Wouldn't put my own cash into an Alfa or it's dealer network. They're on the way back from the abyss, but their chequered reputation is too fresh in my mind!
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - type's'
My brother has just had a new 9-3 (1.9 Diesel) sportwagon as a company car.
It has broken down twice in first 550 miles.

Overall I love the design and the pull of the engine.
The interior is a particularly nice place to be in my view.

I just could not live with one though.
He was muttering to AA breakdon man on 2nd occaission - AA man reckons he seees to more renaults and ssabs than any other make at the moment (new cars).
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - akr
I don't know why people bother asking on this website about their opinions on such and such a car because you'll inevitably get polarised opinions. And it tends to be the ones who've had a bad example of the car who write.
Having said that I'm going to redress the balance by saying my (2nd) 93 (a 150 TiD Vector) has been faultless. Good engine, lovely interior (I would get the parchment leather rather than the grey leather) and it cruises all day at high speed without being remotely flustered. Experience of dealer so far has also been good.
I hope everybody above has at least owned a Saab - at least then they could comment. But somehow I suspect they haven't. And I definitely detect a slight whiff of anti Saab prejudice on this site. Don't know why but just feel there is.
Anyway, if you like the car fella just go and buy it and revel in the fact that you haven't been a sheep and bought something German.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nickdm
Useful input akr, many thanks.

Presumably the grey leather looks cheap and shiny, whereas parchment is a more authentic colour?

Your last sentence is especially on-point: I do want something a little less mainstream, and a bit more "rare" than the ubiquitous A4/3-Series. I'll be checkng out the Saab interior for myself in about 10 days' time and all being well will order one in August.... Amazing the decisions you can make after a good night's sleep!
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - akr
I've had one with the grey leather and the parchment and they're both nice but the latter is definitely classier and contrasts nicely with the steel inserts. It's very "Scandinavian" but Ithink it's fresh and modern and so much better than the coal hole black of the German cars.
One thing I will grant is that the interior quality isn't as good as an Audi A4 but then what is? I think the quality is still very good. And you will get some great deals too. I would go for at least a Vector as you're getting a free upgrade at the moment to Vector Sport which gets you parking sensors (very useful - I'm 6 foot 2 and can't judge how close to a wall I am as well as the sensors can), an uprated stereo and different alloys.
Like I said if you like it go for it. I've loved both of mine and they've been so much better than the (supposedly superior but incredibly disappointing) VWs I previously had.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - akr
My other point which I forgot to put in the previous post is that if everybody stopped buying a car because they'd read a negative comment from an owner who'd had problems with it then most manufacturers would be out of business by now. Granted, some makes seem to be more reliable than others (i.e. Japanese makes) but people are still buying plenty of Renaults, Peugeots, Fiats etc. If one person stops buying a make (like I have done with VW) ther'll be loads of others who are new to the company to replace me.
So don't give in to the pro German sheep brigade and go Swedish. (Volvo, incidentallym was the only other make I considered other than Saab as I just like the Scandinavian design and interiors).
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - type's'
>>I don't know why people bother asking on this website about their opinions on such and such a car because you'll inevitably get polarised opinions.<<

Isn't that the whole point of the site that people can offer their views and experiences of cars so the individual can then make a balanced decision on other peoples experience.

Or should we all just write in and claim that every car built is really good and you should just go a head and buy it.

Why does HJ & others bother reviewing cars in the first place if he cannot state thegood and bad points.


Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - akr
You missed my point. HJ and the motoring press as well as all these JD Power things are obviously far more reliable sources of information as opposed to threads started by people who happen to have had a bad experience. That's not balanced because you rend to get people following the leader so to speak. Witness the current thread "Don't ever buy a new Astra" or the top few of this thread.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - El Hacko
have to say that, having followed this site's postings for many a year and listened to the experiences of people one meets in life, there are at least 3 makes of car I would never risk my own money buying: Saab, Fiat and Renault
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nsar
May I ask why should anyone follow your "go Swedish" advice?
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Avant
If you want something a little different and think the 3-series and A4 are too ubiquitous, you could try the Subaru Legacy estate or Honda Accord Tourer 9if ytou can stands the looks - you eithermove the or loarhe them).

Or an octavia estate - this will do evrthting that a Saab would do. Skoda will apparently supplement the 140 bhp 2.0 TDI with a 170 bhp version in September. Or if diesel isn't essential there's the vRS - Golf GTI underpinnings with a spacious well-made body. I'm still kicking myself for not having one of these instead of the current Mercedes B-class.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - akr
And on what evidence El Hacko would you base this decision to not buy Saabs. Anecdotal evidence on this website? Or have you actually owned one?
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Happy Blue!
I have owned Fiats and Saabs and given my experience of the cars and the dealers, would not touch another one of either.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - El Hacko
never owned a Saab, akr, but know of 2 people who have and main complaint was unreliablity (mainly turbos and electricals), parts costs and dealer competence. Also, a neighbour is a Saab technician (experienced troubleshooter who has trained newcomers) and he confirms the above. Interestingly, he runs/looks after 3 old Saabs and says he would never have a modern one. It all adds up to enough to turn me off - which is ironic as I am gradually looking for a more comfortable ride to replace my A3 (and accommodate my elderly bones). So the other day I sat in a Saab (9 3), and found it very comfortable. BTW, have even asked Citroen for a 48 hr test of a C4 .. still waiting to hear back 18 days later!
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Roly93
If you want something a little different and think the 3-series
and A4 are too ubiquitous,

Yes, but a far safer bet all round.
I went to Audi from Saab, and the quality difference speaks for itself. After 2 years with Audi, I have had no untoward visits to the dealer for anything other than a very minor recall notice, which didn't apply to my car as it transpired.
With the Saab, I was there every Saturday morning, or so it seemed...
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Roly93
I had a 93SS from new on a 53 plate. I always wanted to own a SaaB having had most of the other Prestige marques over the years. I have to say that the owning experience was dissapointing. Although I didn't have any major problems with the car, apart from a noisy exhaust coupling and some wierd software bugs, the poor build quality of the car was the biggest disappointment. Rattles, creaks and rusting wheel-nuts are unacceptable on a car with a list price of £22K ish. Also the interior trim is very low rent, with paint covered plastic which peels after a short while. I am not 'heavy' on cars by any means but I felt as though if I kept this car for very long it would go into a rapid state of decline.
Okay the 1.9 TDI (Fiat based) is a reasonable engine, but thats about it realy.
I used to have great respect for the SaaB 95 and the previous 9000, but now that the number crunchers at GM have got their mitts on SaaB the spirit has gone. I think the 93SS is a cynical badge engineering excercise by GM and has got nothing to do with the SaaB heritage we once knew.
Oh and by the way, they dont hold their value as well as the motoring press would have had you believe around the time of launch, as they were saying around 48% after 3 yrs (like BMW/Audi etc) which was utter tosh.
In short, I wouldn't touch a SaaB again........
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - commerdriver
Another point of view

I had a hatchback 93 diesel from new for 4 years and 100k trouble free comfortable miles.

I now have a vector sport with the 150 diesel engine which I chose after testing it and 6 other cars including an A4, an X type and a Merc.

The Saab was the most comfortable car by miles and I didn't really notice any great difference in interior quality.
It has just passed 10k trouble free miles, I would get another one any time.

By all means listen to opinions but test it for yourself, the only opinion that matters when you choose a car is your own.
Experience of Saab 9-3 Sportswagon? - Nickdm
Great input from everyone, I really appreciate it.

I'm currently on my 4th Volvo, and would consider a V50 as an alternative to the Saab, but Volvo UK have P*!$ed me off with the way they've handled my C70 order...

That said, I do now have a nagging doubt about Saab's reliability...!

Maybe a V50 D5 with Geartronic automatic is the better car and "safer" choice?

As commerdriver says, best thing I can do is go and take a look at both of them next week...
 

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