2003 SAAB 9-3 ARC 1.8T from North America




Automatic transmission went completely out.

Automatic wipers do not work.

Front fog lights do not work.

Reverse warning sensors do not work.

Soft plastic covering on dash and buttons chipping and pealing.

General Comments:

Do not ever purchase one of these cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th February, 2008

17th Mar 2008, 09:15

Funny, I would highly recommend a Saab 9-3 based on my experience.

I love mine!

22nd May 2009, 11:39

Just can't believe one can say that about a car. Certain things in a car are bound to go wrong at some point in time, and definitely maintenance should be a priority to keep your bottom moving.

22nd May 2009, 17:00

Yes, this review is suspect, if you ask me.

22nd May 2009, 21:30

According to your complaints, seem like all car brands should not be purchased. It's the car owner's responsibility to maintain and service the car periodically. Is not like buying a dumbbell and expect it to be problem free. Besides, all these are minor problems, and not even related to the performance aspect of the car.

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear turbo from North America


Buy it if you love it!


Car moves even with hand brakes pulled.

Hand brakes jammed 3 times until handle was broken.

Hand break fixed at the dealership, car still moves on it's own and bump into a stationary car, insurance pay "me at fault, and dealer refuses to fix dented hood!!!

Power mirror controls are confused to which mirror to control (250$ min)

Driver window does not go up or down anymore, stuck!! window regulator (300$ min)

Black smoke from right side dash board on a hot summer day, then A/C fan stopped working.

Faded handles.

On cold days suspension makes noises; a lot of noises, and CD player skips.

Odometer displays funny looking shapes "don't ask me how" in the summer.

Not sure what the knob in the left side of the driver seat really does!!!

Burnt head light, burned signal light, burned fog light.

General Comments:

Car is quick and handles well.

Very stylish and good looking.

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

Review Date: 17th February, 2008

2003 SAAB 9-3 Arc 2.0 turbo from North America




Battery at 31,000 miles or almost 5 years.

General Comments:

Purchased car for daughter with extended warranty. Have had virtually no problems with the car and is extremely pleased. The dealer provided a loaner car when she has had minor issues. The car runs perfectly, has great safety ratings, and still looks and smells new. We will purchase another!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2008

2003 SAAB 9-3 ARC 2.0T from North America


Drives and handles well, but safety of 2003 9-3's made before December 2003 is in question


My SAAB 9-3 Arc has had numerous problems with the windows, the fuel system, transmission, battery, and cheap plastics inside and out. Yet I love the feel for this car when I drive and I am comfortable in the drivers seat--which is saying a lot as I have long legs and do not fit in most vehicles.

Now I have an infant and car seat issues. I have heard that all SAAB 9-3's made prior to December 2003 (including the earliest of the 2003 model year) are missing certain airbag protections that were available in 2004 models. Hopefully this is not true and 2003 cars are not as safe as advertised?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th December, 2007

9th Mar 2011, 06:52

Not sure what you were trying to say there. In other words... HUH?

2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0t 176hp from North America


Worst car I've ever owned or heard of


1. Brakes failed after 10,000 miles.

2. Headlights didn't work first 6 months (gravity sensor)

3. Wouldn't start on the 2nd day I had it.

4. Wouldn't start the 5th day I had it after getting it back from the dealer.

5. Wouldn't start the 8th day I had it after getting it back from the dealer.

6. Dealer refused to honor CPO warranty saying fuel was contaminated. I hadn't even purchased a tank of gas yet ($500.00) + could not return the car according to dealer (later learned this was BS)

7. Bad battery, stranded 3 times.

8. Alarm malfunctioned (=300.00$ "noise violation" ticket plus $150.00 tow.) dealer did not reimburse.

9. Sunroof wouldn't close. Pinch protection?

10. Temp sensor located beneath front air dam (!?!) broke during a rain storm, leading the cars climate control system to fog up all windows, essentially disabling the vehicle (couldn't see) = $600.00.

11. Front plastic underneath bumper all fell off including wheel wells = $400.00. This was like this from the dealer.

12. Brake failure x2. Nearly crashed on the highway when vehicle went out of control (nearly).

13. Vehicle unbalanced, when accelerating all over the place.

14. Steering wheel unbalanced (see 15)

15. Car was in an accident prior to purchase, which I wasn't notified by the dealer about (note that this vehicle was sold "certified").

16. Grille fell off. Dealer wants $180.00 for it, claiming that it isn't under warranty due to prior body work. Since I refuse to pay this, I've had a large hole in the front of my car for almost a year.

17. None of the "stated" recalls had been done by dealer, none of the service bulletins done. See 18.

18. Difficulties shifting into and out of first. "repaired" at least 6 times.

19. Dealer called me an A**HOLE when they refused to fix the headlights or brakes under warranty during the first month. HIGHLY INSULTED.

20. Saab refused to do ANYTHING for me. Wouldn't buy back car or pay any kind of service. Stupid operator laughed at me... HIGHLY INSULTED.

21. Headlight gravity sensor bad again. Dangerous to drive at night again.

22. "Ghosts in the machine" random warning lights, random problems, random noises, etc.

23. Radio is terrible.

24. Dealer is a total a-hole (see 19 & 20). (

25. Did I mention how many times it went away on a flatbed?

26. Missed at least a week of work between all of these issues. Nearly fired.

27. Customer service ran out of space for all the complaints.

28. Tires were bad from the dealership. They were new when they sold it to me, but appeared severely worn after the second or third service.

29. Expensive to service. Supposed to be certified with warranty. Why have I paid $3000.00 on top of all regular service?

30. Seatbelt retractor works sometimes... sometimes...

31. I wonder if the seatbelt will fail the next time the brakes or headlights fail... Will I die a horrible death in this "5 star" rated vehicle? Probably.

32. Scared to drive vehicle due to safety. See numerous lines above.

33. Scared to drive the car because I will probably get stranded.

34. Scared to drive to my parents house on the vineyard for Christmas, because there are no Saab dealerships to "rescue" me when it dies the next time.

35. I've spent at least $3000.00 on service, at least $500.00 on tows when, say, street cleaning happens and I can't move my vehicle. Or when the alarm goes off randomly, etc.

36. Alarm will go off if you leave the windows down: car locks itself when you leave it... good thing? alarm gets armed, goes off when the wind blows... won't shut off.

37. Running out of space and time. I'm at work.

38. I could probably go to 100 if I remember everything.

General Comments:



"Saab story"




Terrible service.


Terrible service.

See 1-38 above.

Letter to company & dealership stated "Did I purchase a KIA and nobody wants to hurt my feelings by informing me?"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th December, 2007

31st Dec 2007, 15:27

Perhaps you could've done more homework before purchasing this particular 9-3. You did buy a pre-owned vehicle.

My 2003 9-3 has been a delight.

Ultra-reliable, powerful, great handling & comfortable.

I couldn't be more pleased with it.

7th Jan 2008, 23:02

Wow, wow, wow, wow nothing I can say. I have never seen too many problems on any car. I love Saabs I would have kicked the dealers manger ass and hunted down the sales man. You got screwed.

Have you called GM's Detroit office? I live in Detroit and GM is better here about lemons, since 20% of metro Detroit works for them in one way or another.

Good luck with everything. Don't give up on Saab, just lease, never buy. Way tooo much in repairs as you have seen first hand.