2001 SAAB 9-3 Reviews - Page 2 of 7

2001 SAAB 9-3 SE Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance106000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-3

Summary:

Perfect

Faults:

Neutral safety switch, easy fix as I'm part of an online SAAB forum, so I found a way to bypass the wiring.

Tires that came with the car when I bought it were junk; had to eventually replace them.

Other than that, nothing else has gone wrong with it (yet).

General Comments:

This is one of those cars, after I bought it, I thought to myself, why haven't I bought one of these a long time ago!?

The car can be VERY fast when you do the right mods to it; I had the ECU tuned to Stage 1, and it woke the car up like no tomorrow.

I'm constantly getting comments on the car from everyone on how good the car looks, and they seem shocked to find out it's already ten years old. With the top down, it's hands down the best looking convertible on the road.

I live in Wisconsin, and the top performed very well throughout the winter, keeping the cabin warm and the elements out. Not noisy either like many convertibles can be.

This is my second SAAB in 4 years; first one was a '99 hatchback.

Bottom line, despite the fate of SAAB's future, this car is awesome.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2012

28th Apr 2012, 15:12

First of all, I think this statement is very subjective "With the top down, it's hands down the best looking convertible on the road."

I owned a 2003, and although they are great looking cars, I would not go that far, in fact the 2nd generation Chrysler Sebring (a much less expensive vehicle) could be considered as good or better looking to some folks - again this is subjective.

One thing you fail to mention is the awful cowl shake felt through the steering wheel of that generation 9-3 Convertible, it was enough to ruin the enjoyment of a cruise in a convertible in mine. Don't get me wrong, I kept the car 5 years, but the cowl shake drove me nutty.

What about the peeling emblems and so-so stereo systems? These too were unacceptable on a nearly $43,000 vehicle.

The positives to me were the very comfortable seats, powerful engine, good road holding and excellent fuel mileage, not to mention a great top that had no leaks.

2001 SAAB 9-3 Viggen Convertible 2.0 from North America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired124500 kilometres
Most recent distance127500 kilometres
Previous carSAAB 9-3

Summary:

In the words of my 4.5 year old; "Let's take the race car."

Faults:

Touch wood, nothing has gone wrong with it since I bought it last July.

General Comments:

Whoever bought it new, babied the car, since I think its history was as a 2nd car. I am only surmising that since it was 10 years old and had just over 120k on the odometer, or 12k per year. Also, since it's a convertible, it was likely not used as much up here in the winter.

When I purchased it, the used car dealer was a little difficult, and I had not dealt with him before. Once he did the work to certify the car (rear brakes issue), it has been awesome to drive.

1st and 2nd are average, but it is very quick when you get up to 3rd onwards. The SID is missing a few pixels, but is not at the point of servicing. Since this is my 5th Saab I've been down this road before and can live with it.

I have an 9-5 Aero wagon as the family car. With the Yakama on top, I can't see a van in my future... ever. There is lots of space for 2 kids, 1 large Shepherd/Rottweiler cross and assorted kid stuff, hockey equipment, skis etc.

Oh, and I got that one used, just off lease @ 65k... Jet black. It is a great highway car for trips.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2011

9th Mar 2011, 15:33

I find it interesting that Americans (or Canadians for that matter) can see a warmed Opel as a driving machine. I respect SAABs, but not the GM crop. If you want a driver's car, buy an Alfa Romeo 156 GTA with Termignoni pipes.

11th Mar 2011, 12:49

I find it interesting that you feel the need to dis Saab enthusiasts. Nothing wrong with Saabs - nothing at all in my book!

2nd Jun 2011, 15:19

What you need to realize is that North American roads, on the whole, are just different than those in Europe. Here the roads are wide and pretty much straight. Consequently we use different criteria to assess a car.

To the OP: glad you're enjoying the car. That generation of Viggen is gorgeous!

24th Mar 2012, 17:52

I find it interesting that you know enough about cars to know the 9-3 was based off an Opel, but not enough to know that the Alfa Romeo 156 has never been sold in the US or Canada.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 22 reviews