2003 SAAB 9-3 Reviews - Page 13 of 21

2003 SAAB 9-3 Vector 1.8t from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8t Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance38000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-5

Summary:

Quick, Discreet and Comfortable

Faults:

Nothing. Sorry, a headlight bulb did go once. Does that count?

General Comments:

The car is typical Saab in as much as it's very comfortable, refined at speed and also extremely well built.

The handling is fantastic, not quite on par with rear drive competitors for example, but still very impressive. However, the ride quality is not compromised at all.

Performance is good, my last car was a high performance model Saab 9-5 so I'm used to outstanding performance. However, the 9-3 is much cheaper to run and feels much more modern.

The service from my local Saab dealer (Alexanders Saab, UK) has been second to none, I cannot fault them at all!

The car is three years old almost, but feels like new and was prepared to the highest standard.

The cabin is a great place to spend time in, it's comfortable, airy and spacious front and rear. The boot, albeit not as big as the 9-5, is still very generous.

The on-board computer is very useful, telling you your average mpg, speed and how many miles of fuel left in your tank, etc. The night panel mode is very useful for long night journeys, as is the cruise control.

My car is finished in black and looks just superb, it's a very smart car. It is great because it is more discreet than equivalent BMW's and is less common.

I'd whole-heartedly recommend anyone buying one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2006

22nd Sep 2006, 15:56

Bravo! Thanks for a refreshingly accurate & positive review!

22nd Sep 2006, 16:18

Bravo! Thanks for a refreshingly accurate & positive review!

24th Sep 2006, 08:03

Refreshing maybe... but accurate, I don't think so!!!

24th Sep 2006, 15:22

Yes it is very accurate. I own a 9-3 & mine has been fantastic. An owner should know. Do You?

26th Sep 2006, 06:57

As I wrote the above review, it is accurate, in my eyes & in my experience. I am aware some owners may have had issues and other people have their own opinions of Saab's etc. You are entitled to your personal opinion, but it will be never more than that, personal! In the same way my review here is my personal review, of my car, in the time I've owned it. It is a true & exact account of how I have found the car. As a motor trader by profession, I have driven & owned countless cars and feel qualified to comment on my time with the 9-3 Vector.

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 miles
Most recent distance37500 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-5

Summary:

Worst car I've ever owned in any price range

Faults:

Transmission 'slippage' during shifting AKA "engine rev" - dealer attempted repair via SAAB recommended software download.

Transmission 'slippage' during shifting AKA "engine rev" after repair attempt. Dealer replaced transmission valve body.

Front SAAB emblem peeled off in automatic car wash.

Rubber on door handles peeling.

Plastic/rubber on dash excessive wear and scuffing.

Rear SAAB emblem peeled of in automatic car wash.

Front plastic spoiler pops off on right front occasionally.

Information Display on dash 'fried'. Spewed black smoke with acrid electrical smell. Part on order for 3 months. Never received.

Front suspension groaned and creaked excessively in cold weather until car had warmed up for about 20 minutes.

Miscellaneous interior plastic parts ill fitted, frequently popped off.

Periodic hard starts with sputtering.

Transmission acting up again (return of the engine rev)

General Comments:

I really enjoyed this car for about a week. Unfortunately it quickly turned into a nightmare. I use my car for business and clients often commented on the cold weather groans and squeaks and the engine rev due to the faulty transmission. I was actually with a client the day the dashboard information unit went up in smoke. My dealer specialized in used SAAB's and has been little help. I traded the car in to a different dealer last week (no, not a SAAB - never again) after owning it 8 months and made them aware of the litany of problems. Can't wait until my ex-dealer calls to tell me the info display has arrived.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th April, 2006

27th Oct 2006, 07:59

Anyone who complains about the labels peeling off when they drive their car through an automatic car wash really needs to be brought back to the real world--- get out there with a bucket of soapy water and really get intimate with your car- wash it by hand and love it, SAAB built a series of brilliant cars (now-a days it is owned by General Motors- Swedish version) built to be driven in the snow (although it works really well in the out back of Australia). I learned to drive in a 99 GLI and every car after was a disappointment.

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 64 reviews