2002 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.0 turbo from North America


This car is a huge disappointment, and I'll never buy another car made by this manufacturer again


Despite never missing a scheduled oil change, my engine failed at 54,000 miles due to oil sludge accumulation on internal engine parts. Sludge accumulation was due to faulty engine design, as is recognized by the Saab Corporation. If unchecked, sludge can accumulate, unnoticed, until total engine failure. Saab extended coverage on their engines due to said defect but will refuse coverage to anyone who can't turn over complete oil-change records for the entire life of the car.

Fitted with a faulty ignition cassette. The cassettes are part of a national recall but have been on back-order for several months due to high demand.

General Comments:

This car has been nothing but one headache after another, and Saab's customer service has been completely unhelpful. I will never, EVER purchase another Saab for as long as I live.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2008

14th Sep 2008, 08:38

I do feel your pain - as I can't imagine the frustration involved in a situation like this.

My question is, since Saab offered free service (oil changes) for the first 36,000 miles - shouldn't the dealership network - have all of the service records in their data base?

I know when I purchased my Saab off-lease with 30,000 miles on it, I went to my local Saab dealer for the 30,000 mile service - they just checked on their computer and told me that the 30,000 mile service had already been done (and my car had been owned by someone in another state).

I would think that if your car had been serviced at a Saab dealership by the original owner - Saab would have all of the records on file, up to the point you purchased it. If you didn't get your Saab serviced at a Saab dealer after that, I would hope that you have your service records as proof of regular oil changes.

I must add that even with these frustrating circumstances - I don't know how you could score your Saab a "2" in performance - these cars are great performers and deserve a much higher score than that. (In my opinion).

2002 SAAB 9-3 Arc 2.0 LPT from UK and Ireland


A big disappointment, but at least it looks OK when broken down


The radio head unit has been replaced.

Several untraceable electrical problems, usually resulting in a flat battery, so a car that won't start; this has occurred not only at home, but also in an airport car park & elsewhere.

Glove box light that did not switch off.

Problem with the display panel that shows temperature, radio, clock etc, requiring two trips to the dealer for remedy.

Two recalls, one concerning seat belt replacements and it took months for the parts to be made available, so yet more trips backwards and forwards to the dealers.

General Comments:

The car is comfortable and well liked by passengers and myself as driver, the seats are supportive and good for long & short journeys.

Safe and responsive handling, overall fuel economy 31mpg, this is a mix of mostly urban & some longer journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2007

2002 SAAB 9-3 Convertible 2.0 turbo from North America


Sub-standard Saab customer service, safety hazard


A couple of weeks ago the engine in my Saab (2002, 9-3) literally blew-up - I was driving on an interstate highway at 65-70 mph. Engine temperature was in normal range. Then the oil indicator lighted up for a few seconds. I heard a 'poof' sound and I saw a smoke screen behind my car. I started loosing speed rapidly in heavy traffic. Luckily for me and my kids, I was able to get to the right shoulder of the highway safely. I took the car to the Saab dealer, where I was taking my car for service, to inspect what happened. Here is the text from the bill:

Removed cylinder head and found 3 pistons burned down to top rings. Could not determine cause of failure since engine won't run. No assistance offered by Saab Cars. Owner declined repair at this time. We tested fuel and it appears normal. Inspection shows also internal parts show no sludge - indicating good maintenance.

General Comments:

Very nice ride. Great acceleration and handling.

Ergonomic interior design.

However, terrible customer service and, in the case of my car, a big safety hazard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th March, 2007