Buy a SAAB, and move your mind ~ it is unlike any other premium medium size sedan
I have now had my SAAB 9-3 Vector Sport Sedan for 6 months, and absolutely love it.
It is powerful, economical, smooth and great to drive. The five speed automatic gearbox is very adaptive and smooth, and the wheel paddle controls work great.
These cars are so well thought out and designed, you only have to look at the cupholders to see that the designers are innovative, or use the customise settings on the air-con, where you can preference the dual zone air con to work on single zone, unless overrided by passenger, yet resets to single on each new startup. Or alternatively, use the nightpanel feature where all the non-essential lights go dark at the press of a button, illuminate when used (eg. air con) and then go dark again automatically. Nightpanel is so smart it re-illuminates the fuel gauge automatically if you get low on fuel. The sensor and computer system will also warn you in scenarios where the back split-fold seat is not correctly locked in place, or when the fuel cap is loose.
A friend of mine has a same year Mercedes C180 K, and even though it has the prestige of a Mercedes, its features are primitive in comparison, and despite being more expensive, it has significantly less power.
In many of the reviews of 9-3's on this site, owners complain about windows not going up, or LED displays dimming or brightening, however these are not actual faults! People need to read their owners manual!
- The LED displays use an automatic light sensor, therefore, it adjusts the screen brightness according to the outside light. In circumstances where you drive into a dark parking garage from daylight, it takes a couple of seconds to dim, the same as going from dark to bright, it takes a couple of seconds to brighten. I would advise people to check the sensor is not covered or dusty, if they are having problems.
- People also complain about the electric windows not going completely up, if you read the manual you would know they have pinch protection. If some dirt gets stuck in the window track, it will automatically stop the window from closing, thinking it is a persons hand. However, you can easily override the function on the drivers controls by holding down the child lock button whilst putting the window up.
The only thing this car does not have, and it seems a bizarre oversight, is automatic door locking on take-off. Maybe this is available in other markets, but is missing on Australian models...?
It is such a shame that SAAB's future is currently so uncertain. Hopefully GM will do the right thing and sell SAAB to a company to allow it to have a future, as I certainly want to buy another SAAB in the future. The new 2010 9-5 looks great.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st January, 2010