1999 SAAB 9-3 SE Convertible 2.0L turbo from UK and Ireland




Won't start. Doesn't even turn over!

General Comments:

Had it for a week as of today. All fine till I tried to start it yesterday!! Nothing - engine wouldn't even turn over. All display panels lit up, seat belt sign and ding working, but just dead. It's probably best if I leave a comment later when the mechanic's been!!!

Apart from that, when the top's down it looks fantastic, and for the little time I drove it, it was fine.

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

Review Date: 10th May, 2015

11th May 2015, 10:20

Just a quick update. The mechanic called round last evening, told me it was just the battery that was flat, so jump leads out and hey presto it fires up straight away. So took the car for a drive to put some charge in battery and all's good so far. This morning it started first turn, so decided to take it to the local MOT station I use, and asked him to just check for the dreaded bulkhead crack!!!! And fantastic news, not a sign of it, so it's straight on eBay and order a bracket and brace for it. After all, prevention is better than cure as they say.

11th May 2015, 14:21

If the engine doesn't turn and all the lights are on, it probably is the starter. Shouldn't be too much of a headache for you, hopefully!

1999 SAAB 9-3 S 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Would not swap this 11 year old Saab for most brand new cars



General Comments:

Great to drive and own. I love it so much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2011

11th Dec 2011, 06:54

I agree. I own a 1999 Saab convertible. Great car, great performance, great looks and lots of fun.

25th Dec 2011, 10:23

Now that a year has gone by, I wonder if the number if issues this reviewer had is still at "zero".

Just saying, because this person wrote the review after only putting on 3000 miles on the car, and no updates since January 2011.

1999 SAAB 9-3 2.0 turbo from North America


Fun to drive, proud to own


Fuel pump died at 112K miles.

Serpentine belt is starting to go.

General Comments:

At the dealer, just for fun I test drove this car. I instantly fell in love with it, and the next day I brought it home. This car is by far the nicest, fastest, quirkiest, capable car I've owned so far. SAAB's are rare on the road, and that's one of the best things about owning one, you don't see one at every other stop light, it's once every other day.

After buying the car, I kept finding out new features in the car for months. It's definitely an enthusiast car. I've added a boost controller, which brought the car to life. The Trionic system the car is run by is very advanced and reliable. Makes the car's engine close to impossible to blow up.

The automatics have a 'Sport' and 'Winter' mode; Sport remaps the ECU to push out more power, and Winter starts the car in 3rd gear for slippery roads.

I always have fun every time I drive my Saab; the turbo and the MASSIVE amount of torque this car has, makes it for a very fast and fun ride.

This car does have its cons. It's not ALWAYS reliable, but there is plenty of online forums with people to help you out, and the car is very "at home mechanic friendly". Easy to maintain. Parts aren't too expensive either. The seats are not comfortable after sitting in them for over an hour.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2010

1999 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America




Wow! I wish I'd seen this site before I bought my '99 Saab Convertible. Seeing that it only had 86,000 miles on it, and knowing that Saabs "last forever", I thought it would be a good buy. More things have gone wrong with this car in the 3,000 miles I've owned it than any other car I've ever owned and driven for over 100,000 miles!

The convertible top works sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't.

The passenger window used to close so slowly that I didn't think it was going to make it. Now, with nothing even being done to it, it closes faster than the driver side.

I had a repair done to it that stopped it from shaking when I was accelerating between 0 - 30 mph ($400); now it's shaking when I get to 50-55 mph.

The other day, I put power steering fluid in it because it was squealing. I filled it up, and the next day it was all gone - on my garage floor. We cannot find the source of the leak, so I guess it'll have to go into the shop for that.

The front passenger seat was moved back one day to allow more leg room, and it's been stuck there ever since. Now no one can sit in the seat behind it because the rear of the front passenger seat goes clear to the front of the back seat. There's not even enough room to get in there and look underneath. (I got on the Internet to see how to take the seat out when I found this site).

The middle vent knobs only move side to side, they do not go up or down - they're locked up for whatever reason - just like the passenger seat!

The day before yesterday it wouldn't start. No trouble with it before or after that experience.

It needs to have the engine mounts replaced. I had a Jeep Cherokee that had almost 300,000 miles on it and it never needed new engine mounts.

I know I haven't mentioned everything, there are too many! After I get the seat fixed, if I can, I'm selling this thing. I am serious, there is something new wrong with it almost every day. It is the most temperamental car I've ever known (except for maybe my Chrysler LeBaron Convertible I had years ago). I guess I'm lucky that my problems haven't cost as much as the rest of you, but it sounds like it's just a matter of time before it does.

General Comments:

It's a beautiful car and I love looking at it, but I'm not enjoying owning it very much at all. It's breaking me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2010

1st Dec 2010, 12:08

Well, I didn't want to be the proud owner of my Saab 900 SE Turbo. When I got her (him probably) it just went over the 100k mark.

In one year, since I've owned (it) I've replaced the fuel pump twice, and that was within a 4 month period; the fuel filter, radiator (all the hoses), serpentine belt, water pump, idle pulley.

Every other week, it's a new issue, and I've not left the city in fear of more problems.

I took a chance last week and took a drive up north, only to have the Turbo gauge suddenly hang at the top of the White area and would not move. The drive back home (54 miles) it sounded as if the muffler had fallen off. But once I got into the city, it somehow sounded normal again, despite there being a small hole in the rear muffler, which patched up nicely 3 weeks ago.

I miss my Chevy Chevette at this point, which I drove to the grave at 220,000, only because it became too dangerous entering the highway at 35mph, and that's when I floored it.

I love this car, but after all I've invested into it.. it's tough to depart.

Oh - did I mention, the shifter (at the tranny) was also replaced, including the gear box? I suspect the timing belt, starter and catalytic are the next culprits, so I've ordered those items now just in case. I think I've gone mad frankly.

15th Dec 2011, 08:50

Did you ever solve the problem of the turbo gauge hanging at the top of the white area? I now have this problem on my 2002 9-3.

3rd Jan 2012, 06:04

Turns out it was just a clip on the waste gate, which allowed the waste gate to just flap about, and all boost pressure just disappeared down the exhaust. All fixed now.