2003 SAAB 9-3 Reviews - Page 14 of 21

2003 SAAB 9-3 Vector 2.0T from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0T Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired29000 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9-5

Summary:

A comfortable, sporty, fun car to drive (when its not being serviced for some type of repair.)

Faults:

I bought the car used, but certified. While driving the car home from the dealership, I exited the interstate and arrived at a stop light. I made a left turn and noticed that the engine revved up between first and second gear, almost like a transmission slip. It hadn't done it before, so I kept it in the back of my mind. After several weeks, I noticed it happening more and more. Mostly when I exited the highway and tried making a left turn. After several trips to the dealership (where they insisted it was software updates), the problem was intermittent, but still there. I finally spoke with the service manager and they kept my car for a few days. It turned out it had a faulty throttle body valve. They replaced it twice. To date, the transmission still shifts at weird times, but no longer slips.

At 31,000 I began hearing loud crumpling noises in the front suspension, especially when going over speed bumps or dips in the roadway. I brought it to the dealership and they told me that they had replaced an engine mount, but wouldn't elaborate on how they eliminated the noises that came from the suspension area. They told me that they would mail me a copy of everything they had done to the car, but I haven't received anything as of yet. In the meantime, I now hear noises coming from my rear suspension.

I've had no luck with the 6-disk in-dash CD player. I'm on my third one because the previous two continually skipped (not even from striking bumps in the roadway.)

At 30,000 miles, all the door handles had to be replaced because of fading.

I also had to have the front passenger's seat belt retractor repaired. The seat belt would not retract into its original position once the passenger unclipped the seat belt and exited the car.

General Comments:

When I'm able to drive my car and not the rental 9-5 they give me, I notice that the 9-3 Vector really performs. It's tight on the curves and has quick acceleration on the highway.

I like the manual mode of the transmission, its very functional in the snow, especially for slowing the car down without using the brakes.

The equipment controls are easily accessible and fun to use. You can tell Saab cars are born from jets, it feels like your seated in a cockpit.

The heated seats are a must, I don't think I'll ever buy another car without them. Absolutely the best feature living in New England!

Hardly any wind noise, even on the highway. The sound system exemplifies the last statement and sounds great! The only problem is that I don't hear the sirens when emergency vehicles are approaching.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2006

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0 turbo from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance43000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

The most unreliable high maintenance car I have ever owned

Faults:

Amplifier Broke twice

Stereo Broken

Seat Belts Recalled

Brakes Squeaked

Glove Box Broken

Steering Column Loosened

Door handles Faded

Heat Shield underneath rattled

Doors constantly rattled - 10+ visits to service.

On-star - many attempted repairs - finally gave up and quit service.

Battery died.

Tire blew out at 15K miles.

Rubber coating on dash peeling.

Locks went up and down on their own while driving.

Clutch went to the floor while "auto adjusting".

Headlights burned out twice!

Cruise control broken when brand new.

Front and rear hood and trunk Saab emblem peeled/faded/cracked.

Grease on headliner when brand new.

Black plastic parts on exterior blotched and faded.

I could probably pull my records from files and find more, but you get the picture.

General Comments:

This was all in 2 and a half years. My car was the subject of many a coworker jokes and I was miserable. Thought it was the neatest car for a couple months and it was constantly in the shop. There is now way I could have afforded to drive this car out of warranty and even if I could have it was way too inconvenient.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th November, 2005

29th Jan 2006, 20:04

Having read through all the reviews of the 2003 9-3 Linear's, I'm pretty much with everyone else in that the car is sexy and quick, but is really a junker. I don't even have 30,000 miles on it yet, but have still had to <i>visit the dealership on average every 6 weeks<i>. If I didn't have job flexibility I'd really be up the creek since I travel 20 miles for the dealer! (and p.s., employees at the dealer and have told me this is not unique to this model year.)

So although it looks awesome, and I still have nearly a year left on the warranty, I'm afraid I have to bid it adieu, and sell it to someone else with more time to waste at the dealership. And as for me -- no way I'd <b>EVER<b/> buy a Saab again, and that's what I advise anyone who has admired the car. Back to Lexus/Toyota for us.

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