2000 SAAB 9-3 Reviews

2000 SAAB 9-3 Base 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year2000
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance98100 miles
Previous carAcura Integra


Stay AWAY!


SAAB was a good company before GM. Buy a pre-1998 SAAB.

CEL for neutral safety switch.

Constant overheating.

Exhaust leak.

A/C blew hot.

CAR WOULD NOT START due to the transponder in the key; about a $150 fix.

This was the last straw. I owned the car for a month and it sucked.

General Comments:

Seemed like a good buy.

All leather, luxury, turbo.

Sweet car when it works!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th October, 2013

9th Oct 2013, 21:57

Golly! What did you expect from a 13 year old car?

23rd Nov 2013, 22:41

To LAST and KEEP GOING, just like JAPANESE CARS DO? Ah, that was EUROPEAN... Sorry, silly me. Why indeed would you expect a European piece of junk to last? I had a brand new Mercedes (company car, I am not stupid enough to buy one) fail on me almost every week. Why would you expect a 13 year old one to last, indeed?

By the way, the transponder chip is not subject to any wear and tear, so should last indefinitely. Anyone heard of Toyota failing to start due to a responder chip???

2000 SAAB 9-3 Type S 2.0 turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Model year2000
Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.8 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 kilometres
Most recent distance102000 kilometres
Previous carSAAB 9000


Don't buy it, don't touch it - run away from this miserable junk!!!


Heater hose burst on the highway at night 140 km away from civilization.

TDC sensor broke down, resulting in intermittent and sudden engine cuts - was hard to diagnose - again, at night, in the middle of nowhere. Took me 8 hours to drive 120 km as the car was stalling every 10 minutes.

Tailgate lock solenoid was always temperamental - changed 3 of them in one year.

Ignition lock was changed 4 weeks before I bought the car (had paperwork, cost of $190) and the new one became temperamental after only few months.

Computer screen is of atrocious quality - 80% of the pixels are missing; you have to be a Sudoku expert to figure out what it says, and what you see also depends on the temperature.

Rear speakers sound like a Chinese-made tin garden shed on a windy day...

Factory stereo sometimes went mute for days, no matter what I did, there was no sound. Than suddenly sound would come back by itself.

Bonnet struts not holding (OK, normal wear and tear).

Engine finally gave up the ghost - does not start anymore. That happened after the car was sold and the buyer was on his way to pick up that pile of misery...

The most impressive part was that when engine failed, the NRMA guy was driving the Saab around town on the back of his truck all day long, because NO MECHANIC WOULD TOUCH IT. Finally he brought it back to me.

General Comments:

Total and entire rubbish. Will I ever learn??? I've had a total of 7 Saabs in my life - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM BROKE DOWN MISERABLY due to electronic faults, and was too expensive and awkward to repair.

Every time I promised to myself that I will never touch one of these freaks again, and every time I bought another one!

And even I only bought a "low mileage, well looked after, one owner, meticulously maintained" examples - they still broke down on me, even though I maintained them even better than the original owners.

I used to be a Volvo truck mechanic for years in NZ, but... oh boy... I give up. To hell with them. As much as their trucks and buses are good, their cars are a total nuisance.

To be fair, Volvo people are clever enough to use some reliable (made in Japan) electronics, not that horrible, unspeakable VDO cr*p, created by a sick brain (if any!), that will fail if not every week, then every second week (ignition cartridges, does anyone have good comments on them?)

I came from a family of construction designers/engineers. When I look at Saab design, I want to cry. Saab engineers! You went to Uni, right??? Why not use the knowledge and skills to create something DECENT???

Those of you, Swedish Bricks enthusiasts, keen to "keep them running" - it is about time you wake up to reality and stop pouring your money and time into that black hole that is called "Quality European cars". "Quality" is not anywhere near them. I don't want to be a part of this insanity anymore. The more money and care you put in that b*****d, the more it wants, and it betrays you at the most unsuitable time.




Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th June, 2013

7th Jun 2013, 05:34

Ummm, a Volvo isn't a Saab! They may both be Swedish, but not the same! You should know that, especially if you were a Volvo mechanic! Volvo's do tend to outlast Saabs generally.

7th Jun 2013, 06:13

Actually, they didn't go bankrupt because of reliability problems. So sad to hear an ex-Volvo mechanic couldn't sort out a car with only 102K mileage.

Average review marks: 5.6 / 10, based on 30 reviews