2001 SAAB 9-3 2.0 turbo from North America


The car is junk


My turbocharger went bad at 68,000 thousand miles. GM refused to pick up the cost of repair; it was 1,900 dollars.

Bad customer service from General Motors. I will never buy another SAAB again. One of the worst cars I could ever own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2008

24th Jun 2008, 20:00

What was the warranty on the turbo-charger?

If it was out of warranty WHY should the manufacturer pick up the bill for it?

I'm constantly amazed at how many reviewers seem to expect a lifetime warranty on their vehicles.

Cars are machines - they do break now & again.

No, I do not work in the automobile industry, not for a dealer, manufacturer or anything else related to automobiles, however I am fairly knowledgable when it come to cars, and in my opinion Saab makes some very fine automobiles.

I see people on this site calling Lexuses junk, Toyotas lemons, complaining about Saabs, and many other fine automobiles.

People often complain that their engines failed due to sludge. Some engines do suffer from design flaws, however I really wonder how many people are changing their oil as often as they should given today's high performance engines, especially turbo-charged engines.

I really think that people need to take better care of their vehicles, and if they choose not to, they should stop blaming the manufacturer when they break.

Again, I'm not saying that vehicles are perfect, they are machines and they can break, some break far too often. But I am saying that vehicles are not nearly as bad as some reviewers would have you believe.

In my opinion, as well as from my personal experience as a Saab owner - Saab builds fine automobiles.

I've owned well over 20 vehicles in my driving lifetime, most have been superb, and NONE have been as anywhere near as bad as many of these reviews would lead you to believe.

2001 SAAB 9-3 turbo from North America


Engine seized. Driving 65 mph in the left lane on the highway. Had to maneuver through traffic to the shoulder. No warning.

Contacted Saab NA. They said the car must be diagnosed by a Saab dealer.

Paid $250.00 for tow to the dealer.

Dealer diagnosed sludge in the engine.

Service records from prior owner are impeccable.

Not a single oil change was missed!

Saab denies claim!!

They said the oil light must have been on for some time.

The oil light never went on until the car was on the shoulder!!

Previous oil change was 2600 miles prior to failure.

The thought of an engine seizing at 65 mph still gives me nightmares.

General Comments:


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th January, 2008

2001 SAAB 9-3 from North America




Bought the car in August. Had 59000 miles. Impeccable service records.

Engine seized at 61300. Saab dealership diagnosed sludge.

Saab is denying a claim under its extended sludge warranty.


They said the engine light must have been on.

This car had oil changes as specified by Saab - plus a few extra oil changes in between.

Car was travelling 65 mph in the left lane on the highway when the engine seized. Had to maneuver through traffic to get to the shoulder.

VERY scary.

General Comments:

Owning a Saab and dealing with Saab have been my worst nightmare.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th January, 2008

2001 SAAB 9-3 Viggen Convertible 2.3 litre B235r from North America


Unique, fun to drive, and proud to own


Not long after getting it, the SID2 information display, had segments fail.. leaving blanks in the read out. This seems to be common, and they are expensive to replace. However, there are both used available for a couple hundred, or several people will attempt repairs to fix them. I went the repair route, and it was cheaper and seems to fix the problem (most of the time).

Another incident, the clutch disc failed (68k miles), and this is a problem with the springs popping out of the seat. Although I was told it is not unique, I do drive the car quite hard.

A recall for a bracket failure at point of supply lines for the gas tank took care of a major gas leak. I would suggest having it checked if one had a SAAB that was part of the recall. Waiting and hoping it didn't could be dangerous, and a big problem should one get caught a distance from the dealer.. say on a vacation.

Although failure is rare, it's certainly one that should be checked into.

Another recall/check was for the ignition cassette (fires the spark plugs), but was found to be OK. I did replace it as a matter of maintenance, and keep the original as a back up on long trips, as failure will result in a 'dead' engine... (not good on a long trip and away from the dealer).

General Comments:

This is an exceptionally fun car to drive. It is very quick, and the newer.. almost seamless turbo, allows for quick and smooth acceleration in all gears from low revs.

Thus, it's easily driven in all traffic conditions, but really shines if you need power now, at any speed... any...

Fit and finish is good for a car in this bracket. You know and feel the intent to have comfort in a driver oriented car was not left out. Six to eight hour drives leave you feeling ready to do it again the next day, and I have many times.

Wind noise is not bad for a convertible, and body flex is not a big issue until you push it. Aftermarket kits for reinforcing front 'sub-frame' under engine are cheap, and really clear up flex.

Gearbox is slick and precise, considering the FWD layout.

Vision to the rear with the top up is not great, leaving a fair blind spot. Also backing into parking spaces is the worst of any of the 6 SAABs I have had. Yes, a back up/rear view camera would be a nice addition to make.

Would I buy another Viggen? Simple, YES, in a heartbeat.

Driving one of these raises one's heart rate every time you start it..

Sweet ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2007

6th Feb 2011, 15:26

I too have a Viggen convertible, and agree with all this article says, but I can't leave anything alone.. I want more..

With this as a base car, the tricks and options to turn it into a driver's smile per mile just takes some cash and time.

Places are still around for extra bracing to stiffen the chassis, so that twist is reduced.. power to 300+ hp and oodles of more torque that will break the PS2s at 50mph in a second gear, that like first has to be dialed back to save the tranny. An aftermarket clutch IMHO was a waste of money, as it had to be replaced again after 10k, and showed extensive wear.

The oversize BBS rkll wheels look fantastic, and take a lot of abuse..

On the bounce and jounce part of the car, ride is vastly improved with Koni sport adj. with matching lower springs, roll, what is that when combined with the oversize rear bar.

Without all the additions, the stock car for its time was only ahead of other cars by a decade.. It is now a big deal to have the pistons cooled with oil jets from below; for SAAB, it has always been expected to be at the forefront.

Tacky electronic displays were a disgrace though.

May they never die..