2000 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 205hp turbo from North America


Not worth the trouble and money


Bought non-running;

- Head gasket had blown.

- Electrical gremlins (seat adjustment, display CCS).

- Seat torn.

General Comments:

I am a confirmed classic Saab nutter, and wanted to try out the post GM ownership models. That was a mistake.

I bought the car for 1,500$ in NON running condition - the head gasket had reportedly blown.

I collected all the parts and knowledge needed for this repair. Everything went well, and the car started on the first try. After a day of testing and driving, the engine developed a heavy bottom end knock; it was immediately shut down. Attempts to restart it were unsuccessful, and the car had to be towed home. The engine was seized solid.

I had to sell the car for 1,000 while I had invested over 800$ into it. I drove it maybe 10 miles total before the engine seized.

Really I can't see why anyone would want to spend money on such a poorly built and designed automobile. It's just simply useless. Nothing is quite right; the handling is too biased towards understeer, the ride is not comfortable, the steering isn't precise, and the recalls and problems with this car are too severe.

It really has absolutely nothing to do with the refined and sporty classic models. It's shameful for such a terrible car to be associated with a manufacturer that was known for build quality and performance.

I am not impressed at all, and cannot recommend this car to anyone. GM completely ruined the brand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2012

5th Feb 2012, 11:42

You purchased non-running junk and then bash the car?

Saab manufactured fine automobiles - my 9-3 Convertible was one of the 2 best cars I've ever owned, and never gave me a problem in all the time I owned it.

Next time try buying a non-used up car that actually runs.

I agree that GM has ruined Saab by allowing it to die - yet they continue to build overpriced and over-hyped marques like Cadillac.

5th Feb 2012, 18:15

Saab should look back to its past models. They made some of the most unique cars years ago before it got controlled under GM. They should innovate like they did then.

11th Apr 2012, 11:42

I think your first mistake was buying a car that didn't run...

25th May 2012, 05:41

People are always full of hope!! But then one shall not complain about the car itself...

Blown gaskets, if not detected, may add water into the oil and the damaging the engine bearings, whether it is a SAAB or an Audi (been there), so my guess is that the engine was already badly damaged when you bought the car. You wasted your time and money, and posted a comment not really fair in front of Saab.

16th Jan 2013, 13:02

I'm a recently new driver, and as my friends refer to it "The SAAB" is a great car. I have a 2000 Saab convertible, and it's running like a champ. It's quick off the start due to the turbo in it, and rides really nicely. I originally wanted a F150 for my first automobile, but this car has changed my mind completely. AND I love the fact that it's only a 4 cylinder, is really quick, has different driving functions (Sport, Winter) and only cost about $40 to fill up. This is at around 126k miles also.

27th Jul 2013, 16:40

You had no trouble with a Saab you owned in all the time you had it. Did you own it for a week by any chance?

2000 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America


Overpriced toy for the rich


Engine started to clatter after almost not starting one morning when the temperature dipped below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Paid $250 to my mechanic to find out that my engine is toast; 10 psi compression on cylinder #1 while 170 - 190 on all other cylinders. Optic scope shows oil in cylinder #1 and fouled plug. I have had oil problems since the high-temperature vacuum hose collapsed and split. (I replaced it with the Saab kit; $200 for the kit, $200 to have it installed.)

One of the lifters for the convertible top is leaking, the part alone costs $500.

General Comments:

I have had it with Saab... there are only three dealers in my area, two are within 10 miles, the other is 30 miles away. I have terrible experiences at both of the local dealers by over-pricing and poor service. I am getting $1000 as a trade-in and going back to a GM product. At least I can get parts at reasonable cost and have a choice of dealers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2011

12th Jan 2012, 01:38

The 2000 Saabs were GMs.

12th Jan 2012, 22:50

I am far from rich and my cars aren't toys - but I owned a 2003 Saab 9-3 Convertible for 5 years and it was a great car. BTW - It cost me $17,000 off lease in 2006 with only 30,000 miles on it. I think it was quite a deal considering what that $17,000 would have got me in a new car.

For me the Saab was the way to go, although the cowl shake was annoying - Something my much less expensive Sebring Convertible does not suffer from.

13th Jan 2012, 08:34

Here's a tip: Stop going to dealers for out of warranty work. Find a good mechanic that will do much better on parts and labor for your SAAB. Also, you should always get a second opinion if you think you are being taken on a large repair such as an engine. Do more research and see if your problem is a common one, and what others have experienced and how much they have paid. You are posting on here, so use the Internet to your advantage. I have saved a lot of money and time doing quick research online. When I had a SAAB, I joined a SAAB forum, and got many questions answered immediately when I needed to find information.

Good luck.