1999 SAAB 9-3 2.0T from North America


What a GREAT car... even if it does break a lot


The ignition module and the fuel pump have failed. also, the SID (SAAB Information Display) in the dash and the power antenna have gone on the fritz.

General Comments:

They say that "those who test drive a SAAB, usually buy one." I now know why that's true.

The reality is that SAABs are not the most reliable cars on the face of the earth. that's why god made Toyotas (which, BTW, are generally hideously boring).

BUT...at the same time, the 9-3 is an incredibly well-engineered and well-designed car. it's fast, comfortable, practical (gets 30+ mpg and can fit an entire bedroom set), FAST (!!), really safe, and unique. by the way, it's fast, and gets great mileage. it also has (w/ the seats down) the biggest cargo hatch I've ever seen. it's a wonderful car, mechanical foibles notwithstanding.

Put me down as a SAAB apologist; occasionally it lets me down; but when it works, it's wonderful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2006

1999 SAAB 9-3 from North America


Good car


Nothing so far.

General Comments:

I bought this car about two months ago to replace my 1989 Volvo 740. What an upgrade! Being a music obsessed college student, I love the sound system, CD player, and steering wheel volume and tuning controls.

Cargo capacity is impressive. I loaded this thing up with supplies to go back to school - boxes, bags, and the like. Everything fit, and there was perfect visibility through the back windshield. I wouldn't want to be driving around MA not being able to see behind me.

I have had no maintenance problems thus far... I was a little spooked when I read about the engine problems with oil sludge, but was reassured that my car had been taken care of properly, and that ONLY synthetic oil had been used. The dealership was great, as well.

Mileage is also impressive. I recently drove from western MA to Boston (where I got very lost and added about two hours of extra stop and go city driving) and back, using only about a half tank of gas.

A few days after buying this car, once I finally got the seat adjusted (my knees kept hitting the steering wheel, and I'm short!), I took this little car on a long drive and had a blast. It's been great so far. I feel very safe and quite glamorous driving this little beast around. And I hear that it's great in snow, so I'm not worried about the six months of winter we have coming up.

Only bad thing is insurance, as I believe that this model is a "performance" car, pretty close to (if not actually being) a sports car. Being a young driver, my insurance is very high anyway, but this adds to it. I'm not willing to part with this car, though. It's my first NICE car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2006

1999 SAAB 9-3 from North America


Nice, but expensive problems


Ignition Switch replacement.

Direct Ignition replacement.

General Comments:

I currently own a 1999 Saab 9-3. Reading the previous comments regarding Saab's, it's comforting to know I am not alone. Two years ago the Ignition Switch was replaced for about $700 at the dealership.

Last month, on my way home from the gym I tried to start my car, but nothing happened. I had it towed to a shop and was told the Direct Ignition needed replacement. According to the shop this was a common problem with Saab 4 cylinder's. The cost was $1046 at this shop to have it replaced.

Now I'm reading these comments regarding oil sludge and I am starting to get very nervous. I currently have 70,000 miles. With student loans I'm currently paying off, I can't afford to repair or rebuild my engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th September, 2006

5th Sep 2006, 16:55

If you change your oil every 3,000 miles, chances are you'll never have to worry about oil sludge.

I think a lot of people cook their oil by going too long between changes, and then are surprised when the inevitable happens.

I am a proponent of synthetic oil.

6th Sep 2006, 04:41

I wrote the first comment about synthetic oil, and yes, you still need to change it regularly. I change mine every 3,000 miles.