2004 SAAB 9-3 2.8 turbo from North America


Very Poor Reliability


This car is only 3 years old. The brake pads have been replaced more than any other care I have owned.

My car was recalled for the sunroof. I took it in. It still does not open.

The middle console broke after 2 years.

The air conditioning only works occassionally.

I recently took it in because a light came on reading "Gear Box Malfunction, limited performance, contact Saab immediately" I did. It was Sunday they said do not drive and bring it in on Monday. I did. Apparently my Saab had the wrong computer chip in it, so it was nothing, but a computer malfunction. Except, that was Saab's mistake and I had to take a day off work and pay $125.00 to Saab.

General Comments:

Will not purchase another Saab.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st July, 2007

18th Feb 2008, 23:54

That doesn't sound like too bad of problems comparing what I have ran into with Volkswagen, Nissan, and Honda.

11th May 2008, 08:17

I agree, it doesn't sound so bad. The pads you have been replacing have a lot to do with your driving habits. Other issues except the tranny may have been your fault.

2004 SAAB 9-3 2.0t 2.0L LP turbo from North America


Economical way to have top-notch engineering


The parking brake got stuck in the up position, which was a known issue and the dealer fixed it on the spot.

General Comments:

The car is excellent. 2.0t with MT, provides more than strong enough acceleration for any situation, and can give really great fuel economy. EPA mileage on the highway was 34 on the sticker, but I always best it - I repeatedly get 35-36 with cruise set over 70 MPH, and can get 39 with average speeds of 55-65. You really can't beat that, considering the size and power output of this car, which blows away the econobox and midsize offerings from domestic and Japanese makers. And, to be honest, the car didn't cost much more than a similarly equipped Camry or accord after incentives.

You get top notch engineering, top notch safety, up to 18k miles between oil changes (verified by used oil analysis) and an overall wonderful package. highly recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2006

20th Oct 2007, 02:04

I just bought a 2004 ARC and its really fun to drive and very comfortable and I am 6 foot 4, 215. I love the heated seats and the lumbar support and the comfort. I do wish the seats gave more lateral support when going into a turn, but we can't have everything. I love the acceleration, it feels as though once the turbo lag comes and goes fairly quick albeit, it just takes off, I guess like a jet. Anyway, I look forward to driving it every day and feel it's a very good value for what you get. It is obvious GM has some not so great features in it, but it seems every day I find a new great feature, like the parking assist and the lumbar support and I actually like the quirky cup holder.

Patrick in Puyallup, WA.

17th Sep 2009, 12:38

18k between oil changes will kill that turbo, they are known to go. Even with 5w30 synthetic oil.

17th Sep 2009, 18:45

I agree - 18k between oil changes is asking for major trouble.

I stress 3k between oil changes and I use full synthetic.

2004 SAAB 9-3 Vector Convertible 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Good value compromise between top down fun and four seater comfort


Minor trim rattles and creaks.

Front tyres wear a little too soon.

General Comments:

Vast improvement on pre-2003 model for handling and ride.

Body colour choice limited and dull - I chose Lime Yellow!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2006

2004 SAAB 9-3 Aero Sports Saloon 2.0T from UK and Ireland


Excellent value with good performance


Nothing yet and long may that continue!

General Comments:

After test driving the Saab 9-3 Aero I could not wait to get one of my own. After a couple of weeks of searching the dealer managed to find a pre-registered car for me at a substantial discount to the list price.

With 210bhp the 9-3 Aero is remarkably quick for a family car. When driven sedately you could be forgiven for thinking that the performance is equivalent to most cars in this group. However, with a little push of the right foot the turbo kicks in and all of a sudden you are approaching the speed limit with at least two more gears to go!

The chassis and suspension, whilst a little firm, are perfect for the power that is generated and the traction control lets you get all of the power onto the road without wheel spinning. I was asked by the salesman if I wanted to have the car "tweaked" so that it puts out 250bhp, but I thought that 210 was enough.

The styling of the car is subtle rather than in your face with the spoilers and skirts setting the Aero apart from the other 9-3's.

As a parent of two children safety was also a big part of my thinking when buying a car. The Saab does not disappoint with airbags literally everywhere (driver, passenger, curtain, etc.)

The boot is large enough to pack 3 suitcases, two large holdalls, one small holdall and five backpacks. I found this out when driving to the airport for our summer holiday.

The seats are very comfortable when on a longer drive and the dual climate control keeps the cabin at a comfortable temperature.

The audio equipment is good with a seven speaker system coming as standard, but this is where my one minor complaint is. Why does the standard stereo system only have a single CD player? It seems such a shame when the car has almost everything else as standard. For the record, I upgraded to a multi disc player which manages to keep everyone happy.

All in all I am delighted with the car and with the new V6 Sports Wagon now on the scene I will certainly be looking at Saab's again when it comes to changing cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2005

4th Nov 2005, 09:42

How you can possibly comment that the audio is "good" is beyond me... But then, you may enjoy weak, muffled, poor quality sound coupled with vibrating door bins at even a modest volume!.. but for the rest of the car, I could not agree with you more!

8th Nov 2005, 07:04

I also have a new Aero. Wait until the annoying rattles and door creaking starts and then having to put up with mechanics telling you it's a common problem with the 9-3 and difficult to solve. My Aero feels more like a 10 year old Skoda - no insult intended to Skoda.

14th Oct 2012, 10:42

Yeah that's insulting! Skoda is pretty good now :)