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)
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.