2001 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0 HPT from South Africa


Great performance, well built spacious family saloon


I have only added 4000 km since I bought this car, and have only 1 negative comment - The right front wheel/shock squeaks when going over a small bump. This has been checked and no solution could be found, or what causes this noise. Some think that it is the rubber cover on the shock that rubs against the shock when compressing.

General Comments:

This is one of the best performing family saloons available. It goes from zero to very fast in no time.

The handling is excellent, except when flooring the pedal - the front wheels lose grip and steering fades. This makes for exciting driving. The finish is excellent and the cargo area holds more than enough luggage. The seating and head-space is great - I am 6 ft 4 and there is still space to spare.

The only changes I would like to see are: Improved adjustments for the steering wheel and rear split seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2005

2001 SAAB 9-3 Aero Convertible turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A hazard to drive


Brake Light Failure light appears although brake lights are working. This has been a problem since one week after buying the car, has been attended to twice, and still remains a problem 18 months later.

Interior is very plastic-like and has worn badly.

General Comments:

The steering on this car has been the biggest issue. It has a mind of its own and lurches all over the road when driving on even the slightest uneven surfaces.

When stopping at traffic lights, the car veers so much to either the left or right, I'm afraid I'll drive it into the ditch if I'm not tightly clutching the steering wheel with both hands. I have had this looked at three times and have been told repeatedly that it's due to the "sport suspension" and low profile tires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th September, 2003

19th Oct 2003, 03:51

What you need is something called the "Viggen rescue kit" from Abbot Racing.

It will dramatically change the handling characteristics of the vehicle for the better, and corrects the torque steer issue you are experiencing.

15th May 2007, 00:19

Changing the tyres makes a profound difference. I changed from the Pirellis to Michelins and the car has been transformed.

23rd Nov 2023, 11:00

European cars always respond better to European tyres… Continental and Michelin specifically. Japanese tyres are not good on them.

2001 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0t from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, solid and relaxed high speed cruiser



General Comments:

Very quiet - sometimes cruise on motorway in 3rd gear without noticing the extra noise.

Good looking car with solid feel, no rattles yet.

Excellent rear storage. Can carry chairs etc with rear seats down, pity new model not also hatchback.

Strong relaxed performance.

Steering feels a little vague for high speed cornering, car best on motorways.

Comfortable front seats for me, although some people find the active head rests hard on the neck. Very little legroom in rear, although nicer headrests.

Automatic climate control great - although sometimes need to add fan to clear condensation.

Ride could be softer on rough roads.

Would like more storage spaces in front - eg for specs case.

Long front bumper means I have scraped car park edges and other cars a few times - my previous 4x4 was much easier to park.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2003

2001 SAAB 9-3 Viggen Convertible turbo from North America


The perfect year round performance car at any price!



General Comments:

This is our fifth SAAB. We have owned a 9000CD. 900 coupe, 900 convertible, 9-5, and now the Viggen. Before we had a child we drove a Porsche 944 Turbo. This Viggen is the family mans Porsche. It holds four adults without embarrassment together with their luggage (when the roof is up). The ride can be a little harsh on bad roads, but on average and smooth roads its like flying in an aircraft. The Porsche factor - it holds the road and accelerates like one, although it may be a second slower to 60 mph. It also inspires the same confidence as a Porsche. The ergonomics I find to be without equal, also the interior fit and finish are world class. The Viggen is also a good year round vehicle (with winter tires). Eat your heart out BMW!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2002

21st Nov 2006, 12:21

I'm confused. I thought the "Viggen" was a wagon designation. Is your 9-3 a wagon or a convertible?

7th Dec 2006, 11:38

The term "Viggen" is not a wagon designator like "Avant" would be for Audi's wagons. Viggen is pretty much a badging honoring the Saab Viggen Jet Fighter. It's like AMG is to Mercedes and ///M is to BMW; built to a higher standard.

The '00+ models are supposedly faster than the '99 because they have less restriction on their intake from the airbox to the turbo.

They pretty much both feel the same though. I'm dying to buy one of these. Test drives are great, but getting old. I'm going for the '99 because that was the only year they had the custom colored interior; don't quote me on that. And will probably just buy a '00 intake pipe and do a swap.