2003 SAAB 9-3 SE Convertible 2.0 Litre turbo from North America


Tons of thumbs up on this red convertible


The stereo stopped working at 32000 miles. It would not play CDs. This gave me a good excuse to upgrade to better aftermarket system.

General Comments:

Beautifully styled red convertible. I get a lot of stares. Saabs are rare in this area and I like that.

Seat heaters are great.

Converible top has a nice up and down mechanism.

Stock stereo and speakers are not good for a 40k dollar car.

The engine is pretty quick and the mileage is about 28 mpg. Transmission is sort of jerky.

Car could be more solid. It creaks more than I would like, but then again it is a convertible. I wonder if the newer ones don't do this as much?

This is our weekend car. It has been enjoyable thus far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th October, 2007

27th Sep 2009, 07:51

Update here from the original poster:

I have driven this weekend car another 12,000 miles since the original post. Only a few minor things have gone wrong. The relay that switches between high and low beams stopped working. The part was around $180, but it takes 30 seconds to change. The passenger rear window regulator is slipping a bit. It'll be an easy fix, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll buy a used one at a junk yard.

Other than that, this car is very reliable. Some of the things that have happened to so many owners haven't happened to me, and this car is now 6 years old, including the information display losing pixels, etc. I am trying to avoid the oil sludge issue by using full synthetic every 5,000 miles and will also change the PCV system shortly. That part is around $50.

The convertible top, which can be several thousands of dollars to fix, is as reliable as when I bought her. I am amazed at how warm she keeps the inside of the car when it is 18 degrees out.

3rd Oct 2009, 19:06

I own an 02 Saab Convertible and love it. One of 2 cars (Honda CRV), but it gets lots of use.

It was a lease car in CA. I bought it on ebay with 29K from a Minneapolis dealer who got it at auction.

I've had it for 4 years, put on 50K more, which include 3 cross country trips of 10,000, 8,000 and 7,000 miles each.

I had problems with the headlight relay, the SID and a plastic shield around the drivers seat. That's IT. Consumer reports doesn't like this car, but I am glad I ignored them for once.

It's quick and fast. It's very reliable. Yup!

I had a below Blue Book price when I got it, so it was a potential private resale. The drive from MN home to MD convinced me it was a keeper. I sold my Celica Convertible right after.

4th Oct 2009, 16:55

19:06: I have a similar story regarding my 2003 9-3 convertible.

Best car I've ever owned, and I've personally owned over 2 dozen vehicles.

1st Nov 2010, 12:31

Original Poster:

Now have 50,000 miles on it and nothing has gone wrong since the last time I posted. This thing is very reliable.

An old man walked up to me last week and said "Sweet looking car son! Have fun!"

This is the 9-3 Aero Convertible so it has those turbine looking rims, spoiler, front and rear body kits, side skirts, etc.

I change the oil every 5,000 miles with Mobil 1. She continues to run like a dream.

2003 SAAB 9-3 2.0t SE 2.0 tubo from Norway


Unlike any other


85.000km - Vibration at speeds over 100 kmh. Probably due to chip upgrade, which increases hp/torque from 150hp/240nm to 215hp/342nm.

Left rear electric window inoperative when bought. Have not had it fixed yet.

General Comments:

The 2 litre turbo engine (B205E) is very good. It's torque peaks @ 1800rpm, compared to 3-4000 rpm on my previously owned BMW. I've had it chip-tuned to increase the power and torque, and the car is now faster than a 2.5 Porsche Boxster in a straight line. Unfortunately, the suspension and handling is poor. Very poor. Get me right though, it's safe meaning that if you push the line it'll just under-steer a lot, but the car is incapable of being driven fast on curvy roads. To much body-roll, and too soft suspension. Build quality is good, secondhand value is not.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2007

6th Apr 2008, 16:59

I wrote this review. The car has now covered 102 000km. At 91 000 km, the front suspension was upgraded, and the vibration is now gone. I've also upgraded the brakes, to EBC discs/pads. The original brakes doesn't like heat very much, and they'll start fading.

6th Mar 2012, 09:09

Thanks for your review! I just bought a 2000 9-3 with the 150 hp 2.0 turbo, and I love it!! Could you tell me where you got your chip tuning done? I can only find solutions for diesel, not gas... :( Thanks!