2005 SAAB 9-3 Reviews from UK and Ireland

2005 SAAB 9-3 Linear 1.9 TiD turbo diesel

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.9 TiD turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired65000 miles
Most recent distance115000 miles
Previous carCitroen Picasso

Summary:

Great economy, love it to bits

Faults:

About two years ago the fan started squeaking at low speed.

Two weeks ago it stopped, but seems to be fine again now.

Replaced the brake discs and pads 3000 miles ago.

Clutch will need doing soon

Routine servicing (every 18,000 miles!!).

General Comments:

My other half says it "hurries up" when you want it to!

Ours is the 120bhp with 8 valve Fiat 1.9 JTD lump. We do good mileage where we are in Cork, and the SAAB (my 2nd and I currently have 2) is bullet proof and well designed for the rural setting we live in.

Eats motorway miles for breakfast.

Being really persnickety, I don't like the radio, but it was bought for my other half to use more than me. Wish this model had cruise control. We have a life time average of 52.5 MPG, so no complaints!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2012

2005 SAAB 9-3 Sport 1.8 TDi turbo diesel

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8 TDi turbo diesel Manual
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.0 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carVolvo S40

Summary:

Overpriced, expensive to own, and unreliable

Faults:

Warning sensor unit, water pump (resulting in belt damage and complete engine failure), alternator, clutch, electronic indicators.

General Comments:

Although Saab has a good reputation, my 2005 9-3 was an expensive disappointment. I have got rid of a 5 year old model as I cannot afford to keep shelling out for expensive repairs - cost per mile therefore very high, and residual value very poor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st November, 2010

2005 SAAB 9-3 1.9 TiD turbo diesel

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.9 TiD turbo diesel Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Most recent distance53000 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

Need to try harder to make a good saloon!

Faults:

Gearbox broke at 53k.

Electronics started to give wrong indication (faulty lights, when everything is fine).

General Comments:

Saab 93 was a marked improvement on my old 900: the suspension was a lot better, feedback to steering wheel was less, although still too strong, compared to other makes of similar level. However, it is way too noisy for a modern diesel. It is incomparable with VW or BMW on the level of noise inside the saloon.

However, when my gearbox went at 53k, this really is not on! This doesn't happen that frequently, but Saab would not come forward with any help to replace the gearbox. Is this their expectation of the quality of their cars?!!!

Thanks, but I will not be buying another one ever again!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd December, 2009

2005 SAAB 9-3 vector sport 1.8i

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8i Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired12000 miles
Most recent distance15000 miles
Previous carRenault Laguna

Summary:

I would by another 93 without a doubt

Faults:

I have had no faults with my car.

General Comments:

My car is the best I have owned the feel and ride of this vehicle surpasses the bmw vehicles I was intrested in. the equipment level is much higher and the looks are stunning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2005

15th Feb 2006, 15:20

..I can't wait for the day I part company with the 9-3!

I have never been so disapointed with a car for the price I paid.

It's poor in too many areas, which can't even make up for that sense of individuality or badge presence.

Once you get past the thrill of saying " I own a 9-3" etc to your mates.. not much left to excite you.

Looks nice etc, yes... but the poor ride, quality of interior materials and plastics.seats, audio and "cheapness" of overall quality makes this car a nonsense for the premium.

A new top spec Vectra or Mondeo are much, much better cars all round.. and can better performance and handling.

Very interesting that the majority of reviews and comments on this car within this site share a very common theme.

A second hand bargain at best... and quite a shame.

2005 SAAB 9-3 Vector Sport Tid 150 turbo diesel

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Tid 150 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired13 miles
Most recent distance9856 miles
Previous carVauxhall Signum

Summary:

Looks great, good pace... Er... that's it!

Faults:

Nothing major, just rattles, squeaks and poor quality finish.

General Comments:

Fantastic diesel, seriously quick, returning impressive MPG.

Poor quality interior, audio, seats, finish, plastics, build, and ride.

Only average handling and brakes compared to the immediate competition.

A good looking, GM built, fake Saab.

Next...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th October, 2005

6th Oct 2005, 11:51

... And so say many of us!!!

8th Oct 2005, 08:20

Very sad to read the above.. even worse that I reluctantly indentify with some of the above comments.

I have owned 9-3's for some years now, and this latest model is by far the best drive and "looker" in my opinion.

I have the 150 Tid, which is an impressive diesel performer, plenty of evenly spread power, mind blowing torque coupled with a turbo that kicks in a low rev's when you want it.

The driving experience is effortless, motorway driving a joy, amazing mid ranged power. Easily our accelerates the average 2.0i Petrol "rep" mobile from 60-90mph.. and beyond!

But then the seats become uncomfortable during a long journey, mainly from the lack of support given to your rear.. no adjustment for leg support on this Vector Sport.

But never mind, i'll compensate this slight discomfort with my favorite CD... oh dear.. do Saab think they have given us a stereo here? Embarrasssingly poor quality, producing only vibrating door pannels, speakers that just don't cope even at modest volumes.

I look at a most wonderful, great designed and ergonimically perfect dash layout... surrounded by dull, cheap looking and creaky plastic.

I find a little more road and wind noise I would expect too from a premium marketed car.

Despite all this, point it at any corner, at any speed.. fantastic!

If this car was 5/6k less,I could perhaps expect lesser quality of interior, audio, seats etc, but difficult and frustrating to live with, considering the price tag.

A stunning car to looks at, proud to have on the driveway and satisfying to drive... bit unless Saab (GM) address some of the dead full quality issues mentioned, will be very reluctant to buy another...

I.

6th Feb 2006, 12:49

May I suggest a solution.. Swap it for the latest 2006 Vectra 2.2 SRI..!. no don't cringe!!.. same floor plan, suspension set up, brakes etc (GM epsilon).. BUT.. better quality build and interior materials, equal if not better handling, far superior ride, faster, quieter,no rattles and squeeks, more room in the rear, hatch back, much better seats and... a quality audio system with Nav!.. all this and it looks as good in my opinion too!.. and with the £5k saving, take the whole family on a quality holiday! All in all, speaking from experience with both cars, the Vectra "plops" all over it!

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 7 reviews