1999 SAAB 9-3 2.0 turbo 4 from North America

Summary:

An overrated car, only appreciated by people who've never driven other cars

Faults:

Heater control, power antenna, windshield trim, stripped bolt oil drain plug, radio tuning (AM) and 2 recalls.

General Comments:

Worst torque steer on earth; the car wanted to change lanes on heavy throttle.

Worst manual shifter since the 70's; vague and clunky.

Poor stereo sound.

A/C barely could cope with a Western New York summer.

Peaky engine (I don't care what the sales literature says) that made using the transmission necessary - a real chore when the tranny feels like this one.

All controls rubbery, slippery and hard to activate.

Claustrophobic and very narrow cabin.

Poor snow traction even with 4 Michelin Alpins.

Great high speed steady speed cruising capability.

Good gas mileage (30 MPG @ 70 mph).

Large and usable trunk with the hatchback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2003

10th Nov 2003, 20:29

"Worst torque steer on earth: car wanted to change lanes on heavy throttle".

I found this to be the case with mine also. It feels like this car wants to chase every crack and slope of the road. I purchased the new 9-3 after owning a 1985 turbo. The old 85 is getting tired at 192k, but still feels better on the road than the 9-3. I hate to admit it, but the 9-3 isn't all that great.

1999 SAAB 9-3 2.0t SE Convertible 2.0 low pressure turbo from UK and Ireland

Summary:

It would be great if the Japanese built it

Faults:

Lots of plastic trim replaced because it turned from black to grey.

Gearbox rebuilt because of bearing noise.

New gearbox fitted because of noise.

New reverse gear fitted because of noise when engaging.

Engine sub frame bolts tightened twice because of clonk when pulling away.

Wrinkled hood around rear window was normal according to dealer.

Plastic cover for hood frame replaced because return spring broke.

Windscreen seal replaced.

Seat base replaced twice because seat belt marked it.

Drivers door mounting brackets re-welded to stop creaking.

General Comments:

This is a boulevard cruiser; if you hit bumps, it shakes and twists.

You look really good with the hood down.

The low-pressure turbo goes well enough not to embarrass you at the lights.

You can't sit women (or men) with long hair in the back because the wind will whip them to death.

If your local police force uses video cameras for speed traps, it's so dark inside with the hood up that the driver is unrecognisable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th August, 2002

15th Nov 2002, 22:22

How would you not expect hair to be whipped around in a convertible? Quit complaining and enjoy life!

6th May 2008, 23:06

So...why are you smiling at the camera when the picture is of the license plate...duh?

1999 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 LPT from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A fast cruiser

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

This car is quick. The turbo really helps with acceleration and the engine is great for high speed cruising.

The cabin has enough room for four adults to be seated in comfort.

Wind can be a problem at high speed and I would recommend the wind shield for long distance cruising.

The car does suffer from some scuttle shake (as do all convertibles), but it is worse in the Saab than in the latest 3 Series BMW convertible.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2001

1999 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0 turbo from North America

Summary:

A bad investment!

Faults:

My A/C stopped working after 2 weeks of getting the car.

Shifter locking mechanism went bad and was replaced at 20,000 miles.

Airbag deployment sensor had to be replaced at 18,000 miles.

Power steering pump began leaking and had to be replaced at 27,000 miles; car had to be towed to the dealer.

A/C stopped working again at 33,000 miles.

Driver's side seat had be replaced.

A/C knob broke and had to be replaced.

Passenger side vent broke and had to be replaced.

General Comments:

This car rides nice. I find the feedback the steering wheel provides is just the right amount.

It's a real shame that this car's reliability isn't better than previous models. I was warned by many of my freinds about buying a SAAB, however, I made the assumption that progress was on my side. I figured that by now SAAB would have gotten things right.

I was wrong!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th September, 2001

1st Nov 2001, 18:45

I agree with this review! Almost everything that could go wrong with my 1999 Saab 9-3 has! It is a shame, because the car is a joy to drive. However, this does not make up for the fact that the car has constantly broken down, stranded me, and given me nothing but grief.

28th Dec 2009, 21:17

I wish that I would have done my research long before I purchased my 1999 Saab 9-3. My serpentine belt shredded and my water pump blew this past weekend while I was on vacation. It cost me $1,000 to fix. Wow!!! Right after Christmas. Not good. I love love love this car, but I refuse to keep it! After reading all of these reviews it makes me afraid of what can happen next. Funny thing is.. my car is still 250 miles away at the repair shop. I have to find a ride back down to get it and then drive it back home. I'm honestly afraid it's going to break on the way back. I just hope that it will make it the 250 miles back to my home so I can sell it! LOL!

6th Jun 2010, 09:31

Had a 1999 Saab 9-3 - worst car I ever owned;

1. Air conditioning knobs broke off in my hand.

2. Retractable soft top would stop half way down 50% of the time.

3. If you sneezed, you'd better keep both hands on the steering wheel because it would pull to the left so quickly you'd be facing on coming traffic.

4. The entire car would shake after going over a small bump.

5. Did 0-60 in about 3 days.

The only virtue was that it was spacious. Seats were comfortable.

6th Jun 2010, 21:17

2003 Saab 9-3 Convertible - Best car I've ever owned. Has given me years of comfortable, trouble-free motoring.