2006 SAAB 9-3 2.0T 210hp turbo 4 cylinder from North America


Multi-cultural Swedish performance


CD-player quit one cold day at about ~12000 - replaced in two hours.

Pinch-guard on moon-roof malfunctioned ~13000 - two hour fix.

Auto-up on front passenger window malfunctioned ~13000 - two hour fix.

Indicator stalk sporadically worked (would not stay on when moved upward/downward slightly) ~5000 - replaced in two hours.

Rear-speakers quit suddenly ~14000 - loose wire connecting "Infotainment Plus" with amplifier two hour fix.

(note: all this comprised of three "unscheduled" dealer visits)

General Comments:

Well, I find this car quite satisfying and despite its minor faults within the first 15K miles, I am still happy with this machine. All the problems were promptly addressed by my dealer (upon notification). And all were covered by its 50K service warranty. I don't pay for oil-changes either.

A few things that are disappointing:

The steering wheel hands-free doesn't work (in N. America), and no-one at Saab USA let alone the dealer can give me a real reason (their response is "I don't know why"). That response is unacceptable from any manufacturer. Just today I got this answer again when enquiring about the 2008 model. Hondas and Hyundais can offer hands-free steering wheel controls via bluetooth. An obvious marketing failure by Saab/GM.

The CD-player does not play MP3 CDs. (not so on new models?)

No satellite radio (although this has been changed on newer models)

A bit of a rattle or noise in the driver door. (really not a problem)

The buzzing noise at initial start-up in wintertime.

I have the "Infotainment Plus" which is 170 watts. But performs like a system that has 50 watts, so poor factory speakers.

Otherwise a fine motor car: very fun to drive, nice seats, fast, great looks, good size/utility, good fuel economy, I really like the waffle air-vents (so does Cadillac as they 'adopted' them), safe, I like all the buttons on the dash - which ended with the 06 edition (it gives the cock-pit feeling, good marketing if you are still trying to connect the Svenska Aeroplan Aktie-Bolaget with cars), good handling and response et al.

The quality issues are that of a European car really and appear only minor assembly issues. Audi, Mercedes and BMW are the same, and Saab addresses them the same way, with their service warranty. I am strongly considering another, as this service warranty negates any quality concerns I have. My opinion and many reviews suggest Saab quality appears improving with the years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2008

29th Jul 2009, 10:06

The "hands free" does not work in the USA because it is a European system that is not available in the United States (and no, it is not GSM which is offered by AT&T). Saab did not bother to build a second system for the USA since its sales volumes did not justify it.

Perhaps their sales will increase enough in a couple of years with the new 9-5, new 9-4, and new 9-3 if the economy turns around. Then they can support hands free in the US.

2006 SAAB 9-3 2.0T 2.0 4-cylinder from North America


A great car for a young professional looking for a reasonably priced sport-sedan


Nothing has gone wrong with this car. It runs like a champ and I haven't had to take it to the dealer for anything.

- When it is below freezing outside there is an electronic buzz that goes away in about 30 seconds after starting the car.

- Saab modified their free maintenance plan, so I have to change the oil more myself, which at $50 for their rare synthetic oil doesn't make me happy.

- The rear aluminum tires get incredibly dirty in no time and a royal pain to clean.

General Comments:

I love this car. I get a kick from walking up to it and realizing that it is mine. It looks good and drives great. Now, it may not be for everyone. It's usually only me in the car so the lack of rear seat leg space is hardly a concern.

My mother doesn't think the ride is that great - and it probably isn't from a passenger's point of view. But it's a sport-sedan and you get a good feel for the road from the stiffer suspension. It is great on snow and ice. It's quick; now it's not gonna go out and beat a V-8 but it has plenty of kick for any legal driving you'll undertake. If you're doing 65 and need to pass a truck, just give it some gas and you're doing 85 before you know it - while still in 5th.

Gas mileage is pretty good. I average about 23 (mostly in town) but can get around 32 on a freeway.

Interior center dash is complicated with small buttons. But the automated climate control works so well I rarely need to push anything. (They improved this a lot in the 2007 model). Otherwise, the controls are very intuitive (e.g. cruise control)

It has a towing rating (something you won't find on a honda or toyota) and impresses people more than those brands - even if it costs about the same.

I haven't tested this, but it has superb safety ratings.

I'm worried the key fob slot won't last 10 years, but no problems yet.

Dealers are a bit rare in the US.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2007

31st Aug 2008, 05:51

I would think that the "aluminum tires" you speak of, must be very noisy, wear very quickly & have no traction - I would think that tires made of rubber would be a better choice.

2nd Mar 2012, 00:49

He meant aluminum rims for sure. :)