2005 SAAB 9-3 Aero TS 2.0 turbo petrol from Romania


A fast, stylish, discreet driving machine


Airbag malfunction; the dealer found the source of the problem and promised to correct it, but after 5 weeks, I'm still waiting for the spare part to arrive (sensor located in the front bumper).

Various rattle noises and constant squeaks coming from the dashboard and door panels! These noises started first at 1000 km, and are getting worse day by day.

Poor quality plastics in the interior!

The leather is giving an overall cheap, unsophisticated and rudimentary feeling.

Seats have started to wear sooner than I expected.

Couple of days ago, the driver's side window refused to go all the way up in auto or manual mode, and after 20 minutes of struggling with the controls, I managed to close it, and have never opened it since! I called the service center, and they have promised that they will correct the problem!

Although the dealer is very nice and polite, they seem to have difficulty in solving any kind of problem, and generally give the impression of inability and poor technical expertise.

General Comments:

Despite all these problems, I like the car! It looks great and it is different from anything else on the road!

Speaking about the road, it handles very nice and sharp, and the engine is puling hard. For this money (35000 euro + tax/VAT) you can’t get anything faster or more agile from any German competitor!

If you learn to master the turbocharger, it offers big time power, which translates into fun and relaxed driving when it comes to overtaking somebody, even at high speeds!

It runs smoothly at high speeds, with a very decent consumption for sustained high speed, like 180-200km/h; something like 9 liter/100km with the six speed manual transmission!

I found the seat very comfortable, and I am quite a big person (1.9m/95kg).

I recommend you choose the optional 300W sound system with 6 CD in the dashboard (like I have done). It sounds great (it is true that the standard issue 70W or 150w systems are rubbish).

The ergonomics in this car are perfect! And I am a designer!

Overall, if you can live with small problems and minor inconveniences, like going to the service in every month ;-), the car is good to have! It will put lot of smiles on your face, and set you apart from the crowd!

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

Review Date: 9th September, 2005

2005 SAAB 9-3 Vector Sport 1.9 Tid turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Mutton dressed as lamb!


Audio speakers have given up.

Support in driver's seat.

Rattles and noise from dash.

Various faults with the electronic display.

General Comments:

I was very excited about getting this car, only to be extremely disappointed overall 3 months on.

This car is just not worthy of its price tag and market description.

Apart from great looks and a "reasonable" driving experience, the rest of this car can only be described as average.

The seats are terrible.

There is no adjustment on the driver's seat (on this model) for leg support... none at all on front passenger seat!

You can actually feel the metal sub frame through your backside after driving for over 30 minutes.

The interior is made up of poor quality plastics, shiny cheap leather, and has a dull, bland and cheap feel about it overall (and already rattles and squeaks like a 10 year old taxi)!

I like the layout and ergonomics of the dash, but turn on the so called stereo system (the 7 speaker upgrade in this model) and all you get at even a modest volume, is vibration from the door bins, coupled with a weak distorted muffled mess.

The gear change is not smooth either, especially from 2 through 3, road and wind noise is intrusive, ride quality is not comfortable or reassuring at speed.. I appreciate this car has lowered suspension and low profile tyres, so would expect a little more road noise and firm ride... but the overall experience here is not what I was expecting from Saab.

The frustrating thing about this car is all to evident. Saving money, cutting corners on quality and attempting to boost GM's bottom line by trying to fool customers into buying a reported "executive sports saloon".. it just isn't!!

It fails in all the basic areas you would expect, considering the price!!

Alongside a Mondeo, Vectra or similar, it would compare favourably as a total package, but only just.

It's not a bad car.. just not what it says on the tin!

My previous car war a VX Signum... this car suffered from, in my opinion, a great driving experience - something I was told I would find in a 9-3, but the cabin quality, build, levels of equipment etc make my much more expensive Saab, well... poor.

I hope my 9-3 is just a Friday afternoon job, and someone could restore my faith!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th August, 2005

21st Aug 2005, 12:14

GENERAL MOTORS also make the Vectra, Astra etc..

Both of these are more than acceptable, for the price range and the target audience, for what they purport to be.. so why do GM offer poor quality with the 9-3?..

If the 9-3, like some say, is only a "tarted" up Vectra, then why can't they a least offer the same shared quality of interior, seats, audio system.etc.. you get a higher spec and quality on a mid range vectra costing £7k less.. and even the indicator stalks are better, and don't look and feel rubbish!

The company I work for has a fleet of 9-3's, resulting from a deal with GM.

It's a sad fact that many of my colleagues share the majority of the opinions and criticisms you read here and are quietly disapointed with the 9-3.

Our American friends may love this car, compared to some of the offering they have, but this car in the Uk is priced and targeted against the Audi A4,BMW 3 series etc and in my opinion does not deserve to be!!