SAAB 9-3 Reviews from Singapore

2002 SAAB 9-3 2.0t 2.0LPT

Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0LPT Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired59 kilometres
Most recent distance2000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Primera

Summary:

A great way to drive!

Faults:

The front suspension bushing made noise when going over speed bumps. This was fixed somewhat by replacing it with the silicon version. Still hearing some sound.

Poorly fitted (locally) leather and wood effect in all areas of the car. Mostly fixed.

Lots of rattling and buzzing sounds coming from the doors. Probably due to the poor workmanship of the local fitters. Agent is hopelessly incompetent and cannot even fixed the noise after attempting to do so for 3 times already.

General Comments:

The car is brilliant. Lots of torque throughout and no turbo lag. It handles very well on straight roads and round corners, assisted by the Traction Control System, Cornering Braking Control, and Rear Passive Steering.

Full of advanced electronics and automotive gadgets. Like the optical network used for the audio system. Electronic key-less entry and engine starting, which acts as a security check for the audio system as well.

Many features are programmable through the SAAB TECH2 car computer.

The only let down is the local agent. Not only are they not sure of the new car features, they also try to pass off problems as "normal"! Outrageous!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2003

29th Sep 2003, 20:05

Hi, it's nice to read a fellow Singaporean's review here, especially on my latest favorite car, i.e. the Saab 9-3.

I've been doing a lot of research on this car and what I can say is that what you're expereincing is very common and expected among fellow Saab 9-3 owners, especially on the rattling noise from the doors. Saab dealers around the world don't seem to be able to fix this problem yet. Another common fault appears to be the car stalling when making a full steering turn. Have you experience this yet?

Also, I can understand your frustration on the dealers inability to solve your problem. I also find a lot of dealers in Singapore rather incompetent when it come to problems in continental cars.

Well, right now, I've put off buying this car until qualities improve, hopefully in 1 year's time. Otherwise, I should be getting the new Volvo S40.

1999 SAAB 9-3 2.0 turbo

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired7000 kilometres
Most recent distance39000 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Galant

Summary:

A car with very deep seated virtues, that take time to appreciate

Faults:

I crashed the car at around 20,000km. The suspension was replaced, as were the wheels and the brakes. For such a major crash, it was a miracle that the rest of the body was completely unmarred. For that alone, I give thanks to SAAB for providing a car that excels in real world safety.

The front passenger light sensor that triggers the cabin light has malfunctioned, and there's a little ticking sound coming from the rear windscreen; apparently something that happens with all liftback format vehicles that I know of thus far, which would include the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Mondeo.

Left headlamp bulb is loose, as is the left fog lamp assembly.

General Comments:

The size of the car is excellent, and it is very easy to park, despite the high back.

The steering is a little too heavy, and while there's some vibration coming through, there's not much useful feedback. The 95 is better in that respect.

The air con controls are seriously cheapskate... the rotary dials feel like I'm trying to control the air con through elastic bands. The feel is imprecise and made of cheap plastics. As is the headlamp dial. The radio, thankfully is much better in that respect.

The omission of a console armrest is pretty sore in a premium car. As are the plastic internal door pulls in place of the chrome ones used in the Viggen and the 9-5 series. The handbrake feels completely awful.

The car seriously needs bigger footwear. My version uses 15" 195/60 tyres, but it's really crying out for R16 215/55, because the car struggles with corners sometimes, and the chassis feels skittish over quick but twisting roads.

The 1-2 gear change is also quite jerky.

But that's it for the bad points. Otherwise, the car has been wonderfully reliable, incredible boot size that takes all sort of junk, very very usable, and it has a smoothly integrated turbo that never fails to give me an adrenaline rush =), and excellent supportive seats despite my slip disc. There's not much storage space, but the glove box is very spacious and usable. The car alters its personality dramatically over 120kph, from slightly stodgy to wonderfully stable and smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2001

29th Dec 2002, 20:31

This review is right on the mark. I am very pleased with my Saab, and also traded in a Mitsu Galant!

2nd Aug 2004, 13:30

I like my SAAB also. Although it is a little noisy when you shift, almost like something is loose. I've also had a problem with wind noise from the doors mainly on the passenger side. Otherwise a good reliable and that Turbo really kicks in when you need it... Cali girl.

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 2 reviews