2005 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0T from North America


Ups and Downs, but definitely worth it


None that I know of. I do not own this car, I work for a used car dealership and took this car for one of my work errands that involved 200 miles of mixed city and highway driving. I am 19 years old and have driven almost everything from a Kia Sportage to a Porsche 911 Turbo in various conditions and locations, so I think my review should hold some credibility.

General Comments:

Where to start. Let me begin by saying that I am not a fan of European cars, never have been, until I drove this Saab. Lots of good features, only hindered by a few annoyances. Keep in mind I drove the Linear, 170 horsepower automatic, not the best performing one of the bunch.

Power: check

It's got it. It may not seem like it at first, it doesn't seem that quick from 0-60, but the acceleration is very consistent. Give it some poke at any speed and it takes off, I found myself going from 80-100 pretty quickly.

Comfort: check

Leather seats, smooth shifting transmission, and a great seating position. I love it.

Style: check

It takes some time to grow on you, at first I thought that it looked deformed, but it's just that kind of car that you learn to love.

My only downside is the stereo, the car I drove had a blown speaker, and in general the bass and treble wasn't what I am used to, but it's a factory stereo, not many are good, especially for an audiophile like myself.

This car has a lot of "funky" touches to it, some good, some bad.

The key goes into the center console, down by the armrest

The key itself is pretty large

The handbrake is blended into the lines of the interior, it took me a minute to find it

The glovebox is enormous. If it was cooled, I am sure I could keep a few 2 liters in there.

The passenger mirror has a built in blind spot section, nice touch, good to see they care about your safety, certainly helped me move quicker in traffic.

There is a "head up display" in the center but it should be a bit higher up. I like to sit low and I couldn't see it all, all the time.

There is a nightpanel button, which turns off interior lights and the gauges except the speedometer up to 90mph. It's different, but I can't see anyone using it, except the 10 year old passenger.

The cupholder is not a cupholder, it's a complicated spring loaded thing, easily broken.

Trunk is enormous for a mid-size car.

Safety features galore (typical euro engineering).

Doors don't auto-unlock when you remove the key. Got annoying after a few stops.

In general I think the car has to be driven to be understood. I thought it was just another Passat clone, but it's just so different and so much better that I am going to be getting a 2005 Arc 5-speed within 3 months.

Great little car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2008

22nd Apr 2008, 09:41

Also, a small followup on this review.

1. The leather is not of the best quality and I hear it tends to crack.

2. The car is made by General Motors (take that as a good or bad thing)

3. The legroom in the back seat is like that of my civic, at least the way I had my driver's seat set up.

18th Nov 2008, 08:22

FYI: it's not a Passat clone. It's more Opel/Vaxhaull Vectra clone (same base).

P.S. Waiting for such car to arrive from USA :)

12th Dec 2008, 22:12

I agree with all your comments except about the leather. If you keep your leather clean and conditioned, it will look excellent for years to come. Mine is a 03 and looks like brand new... Then again I define "pickey" when it comes to my cleanliness of my Saab.

23rd May 2009, 17:46

When you drive a performance car at high speed, why would you drink any thing at all to compromise your safety. Saab understood safety over some minor convenience that features in Japanese cars.

The nightpanel is a must if you drive many long distant night trips, it comforts your eyes and also help see things better at night. You've got to use it to understand it.

3rd Dec 2009, 07:10

Hey just a quick note, I don't believe that they are manufactured by GM (except for the V6 I think). The Vin number says that the car has been manufactured in Trollhattan, Sweden and GM is just a North American dealer.

2005 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0 t from North America


Read this before you think about buying a Saab


Had many problems from the beginning

Lots of interior noise, windows rattling, creeking suspension, overall terrible craftmanship and quality.

Button's coating peeling.

Cheap sound on radio.

Terrible value retention, lost most of its value in a short time.

Expensive parts, most mechanics unfamiliar with these cars.

Dealer's own mechanic admitted that these cars are not made like the older models.

And many other short comings!!

General Comments:

This is really a bad car. Drives great, but is cheaply made. It creeps and windows rattle a lot, making it a real disappointment. I was so disappointed with this car I finally gave up after two years. I took a huge loss, but traded in for a Honda Accord. Saab's are really no longer the same cars they wore. What a shame! Avoid this car at all cost, avoid them like the plague.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th November, 2007

21st Nov 2007, 16:56

You may have had many quality glitches with this car, but I can't believe that you only rate the performance at 2/10. If nothing else, the 9-3 is a lively performer.

Feel the pain on the loss you took on selling. Been there, done that and can empathise and sympathise with your plight.

11th Apr 2008, 22:00

Is it such a loss if you're not the one selling the car at a huge loss but buying it used? I just bought an '05 for $13,800. It originally sold for just under $30K.

15th Apr 2008, 20:52

I bought my second and last Saab. I consistently had problems with the balancing of the tires. For over a month now, Saab has had my car JUST TO BALANCE THE TIRES!! So finally (because I wouldn't accept less) they replaced all of the tires for no charge. But this isn't the first experience with this type of situation.. I bought my first Saab from Carmax and returned the car because it was shaking pretty badly at 70mph or so... and that was a 9-3 Aero. Now, I'm driving a 9-3 Arc Conv, just like my car and it also shakes!! Why would Saab sell a car/convertible that shakes all the time? Has anyone else experienced this?

1st Jan 2009, 03:20

The shaking at high speed might be from a or multiple out of shape rims so to speak, the same can happen with tires. And of course it could be just balancing or alignment.

I had an Eclipse that did that, changed all the tires and was fine. Same on my friends Jeep. So it may be tires or the rims. If you hit lots of pot holes, it would more likely be the rims, especially if they're alloys.