1998 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 turbo 185 hp from Switzerland


California in Sverige???


Niggles you'd expect with this vintage:

Front strut thread loose - tightened with a water pump wrench.

Ignition switch lost spring - play around til contacts get gripped to the onboard electric loom.

General Comments:

Super smooth motoring, the two balance shafts are giving a slight hint of a 6 inline engine.

Quiet, particularly compared to a 1.9 pumpe duese nutcracker, that's what I was looking for.

Engine appears to run well within designed limits, no headaches.

4-gear auto, good enough for me, switches seamlessly, will need some TLC probably, as usual.

Roof mechanics does the trick, exceptional heating will give me great open winter cruises.

Fold back seats and ski passages enable lugging of carpet rolls of 2,50 (otherwise you take the platform route open roof :) ).

Suspension is gunky-comfortable, not a Citroen really, but relaxing in the 90s manner

Drinks moderately for the output and vintage, no lows, no highs with an average of some 9,5l/100 km.

Great fun, the svenska aeroplan, I never look back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2020

1998 SAAB 9-3 S 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Reliable and comfy, a very good motor


Needed new brake pipe for MOT.

Needed new windscreen for MOT.

Handbrake cable snapped.

Alternator belt snapped.

Passenger ball joint clonks occasionally.

Needed new tyre's in 2007.

Airbag light comes on occasionally.

General Comments:

A very reliable, comfortable, fast car. Looks good and never really went wrong. We had the car for 3.5 years and the only things that have gone wrong or needed replacing are above. It has always started first time and never missed a beat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2009

1998 SAAB 9-3 2.0T S 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Cheap turbo fun


Gearbox leak.

Front suspension legs rusted mot failure.

General Comments:

The car has been great fun. It is the 185bhp version and goes really well.

Unfortunately you pay for the performance at the pumps. It averages 18mpg round town, but will double that on a run.

It has been 100% reliable and is a nice drive.

The heated front seats are nice on a cold morning.

I will not bore anyone with I beat whatever car; the 0-60 of 7.5 seconds is believable if you can stop the front wheels from spinning. Well done Saab for the 195 tyres on 15 inch wheels and no traction control.

I will be sad to see it go, but I cannot justify the amount of petrol I put in the thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2007

1998 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Great value armchair on wheels


Saab Information Display pixels do not display correctly (this seems to be a common problem and is easily fixed with a new unit).

Alarm can act up in damp weather.

General Comments:

Comfort is the key with this car. Big supportive seats that work very well for tall drivers (I am 6' 5").

The car is very quiet too and as a second hand buy at about 6 years old represents fantastic value for money.

However... performance on the standard non-turbo version is pretty sluggish.

If you can find/afford a good LPT version or even the 2.3 I would suggest this is a better bet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2005

16th May 2006, 15:48

Actually it is not me, but my cousin that has a 1998 9-3. His is a diesel hatch with a manual gearbox, and from what I've heard, everything above is true.

1998 SAAB 9-3 S coupe 2.0 turbo from North America


Great car and one of a kind, but beware of unexpected problems


The head gasket blew out at 76,000 miles.

The climate control unit and knobs have broken twice.

The S.I.D. display has become so fuzzy that it can't be read.

A sleeve on 5th gear broke, as well as the slave cylinder and throw-out bearing.

There seems to be an excessive amount of corrosion on the undercarriage of the car.

General Comments:

Even though I am the third owner of this car it was in immaculate condition and came with a full Saab service history when I purchased it. It has had a few strange and major problems within the last 10,000 miles which turned out to be rather pricey.

Despite all of the headaches, this car is still exciting to drive. There is no other car that feels like it.

The steering is questionable, the shifter is a little sloppy and the handling leaves something to be desired, but once the turbo spools up all of the imperfections are forgotten.

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

Review Date: 1st October, 2003