2002 SAAB 9-3 Vector Sports Saloon 2.2 TDI from UK and Ireland


An engaging driver's machine while new


CD changer replaced.

Steering rack replaced.

General Comments:

Quick and very responsive. Engine a little coarse. Good fuel consumption figures.

Nice paint job, but the front skirt was very close to the ground, and subject to easy damage.

17" alloys look great, but low profile tyres gave a firm ride.

Interior very well-designed with excellent ergonomics. Good quality half-leather seats. Large boot, but obtrusive lip, so I recommend that you buy the lip protector - it doubles up as a cool picnic mat.

Instrumentation and switchgear good, but on-board computer required a lot of button pressing, threatening one's concentration on the road.

Upgraded audio system disappointing acoustically.

My main criticism is that the car was starting to age at just 25,000 miles. When the steering rack needed to be replaced, I bailed out before its 3-year warranty cover finished.

I've owned older Saabs. This was my first GM Saab, and I don't think the build quality is as good now, so I fear that you won't get the same longevity out of them as with the older models. Excepting the 9-3 convertible, I worry that Saab has lost some of its unique brand values.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th January, 2006

2002 SAAB 9-3 CABRIO from Italy


I had the same problem on the engine, that gone seized at 50.000km, without any alert from the panel. The oil was OK.

General Comments:

I had other serious problems on the car and I solved them without any help from the GM/SAAB factory.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th December, 2005

2002 SAAB 9-3 SE 2.2 from North America


The engine makes a noise after sitting for 6 or more hours. The noise sounds similar to a power steering screech, but isn't. It only lasts 45-60 seconds. I've had three mechanic look at it, and none of them know with certainty, but speculate timing chain-related. None of them recommend doing anything with it right now in that it is expensive to replace the timing chain, and there's no guarantee that will eliminate the noise. There aren't any other problems as the power, compression, and temperature are all normal. My guess is that it's taking too long for the oil pump to get oil to the timing chain, but the mechanics say the oil pump seems fine.

The right rear tire or wheel just started making a noise too. Sounds like a blemmished/warped tire or one going flat, which isn't the case. I'll have it checked out next week. Could be a bearing going bad. Seems kind of early with only 67k miles though.

Other than these two things, the car is absolutely fantastic. I bought it off e-bay for only $12,700, and would do it again in a heart beat.

It's much quicker than the 900 Turbo I ahd several years ago. [Got rid of it with 227k miles on it, only because it lost fifth gear and would have cost too much to fix.] This 2002 9.3 is quicker, and as steady, quiet, and powerful at high speeds as my 1987 900 Turbo. Gets less MPG though, only 25-28. My 1987 900 got 33-35 MPG.

Saab blew it with the cup holder though, location, functionality, and design-wise.

If you have any advice regarding the engine noise, pleae e-mail me at crowman266@yahoo.com.

Sharp, sporty, rich looking, fast, and takes curves very well. Turns heads too! Gets lots of positive comments.

I highly recommned this car to anyone who drives fast and is image conscious, as it's quick, sporty, and classy looking.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2004

14th Sep 2004, 09:55

Its not the timing its the damper pulley.

4th Oct 2006, 01:55

Look out! My 9-3 engine started making the same short term noises. I took it to the dealer to have it checked out and he said there was no noise. Shortly afterwards the engine blew up. A new engine was quoted at almost $8,000. There is an engine sludge problem which is posted on the Internet. When you drive the car some distance, the oil warms up and begins lubricating the parts and the noise goes away, but not before the damage is done. Saab apparently does not back their extended warranty.

If you still have your Saab 9-3 and the engine is running this far after your initial post, I would be surprised.