2003 SAAB 9-3 Reviews - Page 18 of 21

2003 SAAB 9-3 vector 2.0 turbo from North America

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired7 miles
Most recent distance35000 miles
Previous carGMC Yukon

Summary:

I think I will paint it yellow so that it looks more like the lemon that it is

Faults:

Within the first 18,000 miles the On-star computer needed to be replaced three times, I discontinued service so I don't know if it works now.

At around 14,000 miles my steering wheel became loose and the steering column was replaced.

At about 15,000 miles the drivers window would not stay in the closed position, the dealer replaced something in the door and now it just rattles.

At about 30,000 miles my sunroof was not closing properly and I am waiting for parts for that still.

At 32,000 miles the left rear door would not lock electrically.

At about 33,000 miles the left rear window stopped working as well they replaced a computed for that issue.

At about 34,000 miles the passenger seat would not move in any direction, which required another computer to be replaced.

Around 35,000 miles my front wheel bearings needed to be replaced.

I have been in the dealer three times for oil consumption, At 35,000 miles I am waiting for a new engine to come in so they can replace that.

While I am waiting on my engine at 35k and some change I noticed that my car is making front end noise when I turn It sounds like a ball joint, but I have not had that looked at yet.

General Comments:

This car is a fantastic driving machine, I just wish I didn't have to visit the dealer at least once a month.

SAAB customer service is great the people are courteous and helpful, I however would rather not know them so well.

SAAB electrical parts are terrible it is an electrical nightmare.

I am so glad I have a warranty because the dealer probably puts about $500. a month in parts alone in just my car and also pays someone to do it.

I enjoy the 9-5 as well I seem to drive the loaner almost as much as my own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2004

17th Aug 2004, 15:00

I just had the engine replaced at 36k and it drives like new again. I just hope it didn't come from the same shelf as the original engine.

27th Feb 2008, 12:58

I purchased a 1995 Saab convertible to sell from my car lot 3 years ago, but when my wife saw it, she confiscated it and won't give it back.

The car has been a fantastic daily driver. She loves everything about it and has not cost anything other than normal maintenance to own it.

I know that cars are like fingerprints... no two the same, but Saab seems to have it pretty well figured out.

None of these cars are made in Heaven, but these just don't commit as many sins...

Rick Lab.

14th May 2009, 00:49

See the thing is you can't really compare the 95 Saab to the 03. 03 was the year GM started manufacturing them. Previously they had all been shipped from Sweden. It clearly shows, even the price tags back it up. Some of the 02's are more expensive than the 03's.

19th Aug 2010, 13:11

To 00:49

All Saabs including the new style (since 2003) 9-3 are manufactured and assembled in Trollhattan, Sweden. The 9-3s had more GM influence than the same year 9-5s, however, there were GM parts in the 2006 9-5s, and only in 2007 did GM start using their crappy radio in the 9-3.

In any case, GM reliability on this vehicle is crap, and if you want to own a Saab, buy an older 90's version that is more Saab than GM, and you'll probably have better luck.

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0t from North America

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.0t Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired135 kilometres
Most recent distance19500 kilometres
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

An outstanding car in terms of style, comfort and value

Faults:

The car was delivered to me missing the rubber seals inside both rear door openings - strange that this was missed at the factory and by the dealer, but I failed to notice it also at first.

There was also a problem with the Distance to Empty function after a few months, which was supposed to have been fixed via a software update. It nevertheless returns every 3-4 months, but I have learned that all I have to do to clear it is perform a full reset of the trip computer to fix this.

In very cold temperatures (-20C and below) the CD player does not work properly until the car warms up (I plan to have it replaced next winter).

The rear centre lap belt became jammed and had to be replaced twice during the car's first year.

The plastic on the hood (bonnet) badge peeled off, but this, like everything else, was fixed promptly by the dealer and was covered under warranty.

General Comments:

Despite these problems I believe this is a very solid car. My previous car was an 87 SAAB 900S and although I loved that old car, the new one is infinitely superior is terms of handling and comfort. My 9-3 only has the 2.0t engine, but at 175 HP I can still accelerate as fast as I’ve ever needed to. I am a tall guy and there is plenty of leg room and adjustability (at least in the front – the rear seat could use a few more cm of leg room). And the electronics are sophisticated, but fairly well thought out. My car came with OnStar installed, including the hands free cell phone and I am really impressed with how well it is integrated with the Radio/CD.

When compared to my friend’s similarly priced BMW 325, my 9-3 Linear comes out way ahead in power, style and value. And another friend’s negative experiences with his ‘03 Infinity G35 has made me appreciate my 9-3 and my Toronto SAAB dealer all the more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd July, 2004

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 63 reviews