2004 SAAB 9-3 ARC 2.0L turbo from North America

Summary:

SAAB is a substandard product with substandard support from the company

Faults:

Distance to empty display inaccurate - on warranty - (dealer explained they were all like that, and the best he could do was disconnect the feature). The problem remains and I use the gas gauge instead.

Electronic door locks quit working - on warranty - fixed twice within two years. Still happens from time to time, but seems to work it out itself...

Tensioner for the seatbelts quit working - on warranty - fixed.

Tensioner for seatbelt quit working - not on warranty - paid to fix.

Tensioner for seatbelt quit working - still not working (passenger side).

Power steering pump leaking - on warranty - fixed.

Power steering pump leaking - not on warranty - still leaking.

Interior fan won't work in extreme cold temperatures. Have not tried to fix it, yet.

Speed sensors on the transmission have been replaced six or seven times (gearbox malfunction display) leaving me with only the second and fifth gear. This is getting to be a very expensive problem - replacing both sensors every 20 or 30K now at about $260 per visit per sensor.

Transmission whines (and has for a long time now). My mechanic can't figure it out, and I've absolutely given up on taking it to the SAAB dealer. They have been completely and utterly unhelpful.

A CD has been stuck in the player for about six months now. I have no idea what to do about it (I'm getting tired of the same old song... and dance).

General Comments:

Simply put... it's junk.

I still own it because the resale value for the car dropped so dramatically and so quickly after I purchased it (see Consumer Report), that it made sense to me to try to get as many miles out of if as I could. I commute approximately 90 kilometres (one way) to work every day. Unfortunately, it is money pit and a focus of significant frustration.

I wouldn't own a SAAB again if someone gave me one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th July, 2009

1st Oct 2009, 09:10

"Distance to empty display inaccurate - on warranty - (dealer explained they were all like that, and the best he could do was disconnect the feature)"

You mean they actually took the time to respond to this "complaint".

Come on now, you do realize that this feature is an estimate based on the current MPG that you are getting, don't you?

By the way, not all Saabs are junk.

Perhaps yours is troublesome, but not all are.

2004 SAAB 9-3 ARC turbo from North America

Summary:

Not worth the money

Faults:

- Peeling emblems.

- Window malfunction - would go up and come back down, had to have car re-programmed numerous times.

- Coolant level low - at least once every three to four months.

- Radio does not work.

- Have had to replace battery two times in past three months, still cannot find what is causing problem. Constantly have to have car jump started.

- Car runs great, just too many electrical issues to deal with, and gets very expensive to repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2009

2004 SAAB 9-3 Arc 2.0T from North America

Summary:

One of the few cars in the GM family that is worth every penny

Faults:

Battery leaked at 500km. Dealer was great - neutralized the battery acid that had leaked on the engine panel and rustproofed the panel. Gave me a loaner as well.

Wiper motor was replaced at 65,000km.

Cabin air recirculation motor replaced at 67,000km.

Minor adjustments for window and sunroof pinch protection software.

All the above done at no cost, except my time, as the warranty is 4 years or 80,000km.

General Comments:

This car is loaded up with all the options and is as close as possible to the 2004 Aero without the punishing ride, but alas without the very nice Aero seats.

It is the best handling car I have ever owned. With a 5 speed manual and a turbo engine, it does accelerate very quickly and can cruise at 140kph easily. Great fuel economy. Very nimble and can stop real quick.

Makes my previous car - Monte Carlo Z34 - look sooooo outdated and an amateur in the sporty car domain.

Very comfortable seats and ergonomics are very good, although I doubt that it would be a large enough interior for hauling around a family of 4/5 on a regular basis. Trunk is big for the size of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2009