Okay, okay, we ALL know that the original reviewer had a bad experience with a Saab and that left a rather bitter taste in the reviewer's mouth, BUT that doesn't make Saabs bad cars.
I completely disagree with the original reviewer's conclusions, and my experience has been the opposite.
In my opinion Saabs are fantastic cars!
I too disagree with the opening entry to this thread. I am on my fifth Saab bought yesterday (1998 93 2.3 SE auto) as a second car to my 2005 93 1.9 tdi man. Two previous 900's (XS and Talladega) followed by a beautiful 95 got me hooked on these cars. No problems or faults too much to entertain. Yes, yesterdays bargin at £490 and 174000 miles has few pixels in view and a few worn pieces of trim but I bet it is still running longer than your replacement car! Quiet as a mouse - I have to get out to check the engine is still running! No rust, no leaks, air con cold, seats superb - infinitely adjustable electric ones so I can move into the steering wheel rather than move the wheel to me.
Locking the vehicle in reverse is a security feature not a chore - a bit like a seat belt!
Go and try another, and for any one else reading go and buy one.
You are able to make 1800 off that piece of junk, the speaker thing cost $200, the steering only moves forwards and backwards etc.. Man, your statement doesn't make "cents". You talk about cost, yet do you don't know how much the same power range BM & MB cost compare to Saab. You complain about small things in a performance car that gets you up to 130+ mph and more. I won't want a steering that can move up down at such high speed. To own a Saab is not easy, you must have a service center that close to your home. Saab is an imported car in 99% of the countries, unlike BM, MB, have assembly plants in several countries, so the parts are easier to come by and cheaper than the original German import.
I bought my SAAB 9-3 Convertible last summer and have loved it ever since. The car has 156K, and I put new tread on it and re-did the front seats, and it is a real fast eye-turner now. This car is quick and nimble, and it has personality.
Sure, you can't throw an IPOD in it from stock, and it costs a mint for repairs - but I believe it is a classic car that has a lot of go still. My car has been well taken care of, and it shows. That is one of the reasons I bought it, and I just love this SAAB.
Anyway - here is my little 99 white Saab 93
@ the speaker issue, I just replaced my speakers, and well, speakers cannot use fiber optics... they work using electromagnetic fields. You shouldn't have had a problem, it even used standard speaker wires.
Had my 2.2 TDI for the past five years, and it's been an exceptional motor.
The suspension is spongy, and the steering wheel feedback poorer than my Audi 80, but after driving it for a few months, I became accustomed to the ride, and confident, if disappointed with the handling.
Money spent on it?
New pads on the front.
Oil changes every 6000 miles.
New battery when purchased (Something I always change when buying a second hand motor).
What's up with it?
Will need a new shock on the back soon.
Tailgate lift arms need replacing.
Rear screen washer not working.
The usual numerical display fault.
Economy? (This is what I get with all my kitesurf gear in the car).
Stick your clog down and drive it like a 1992 2.0i Audi 80SE, and you'll get 36MPG and it will go some too if you want to hustle, though being a diesel, she's slower pulling away at the lights.
It's been reliable, doesn't use oil or water. Once left it in the garage for five weeks, and it started first time.
Never had a car that just passes MOT's before, not so much as a wiper blade.
If I wanted to head down to Cornwall tonight, I'd check the tyre pressures and fill the screenwash, absolutely zero drama.
Having owned Audi's, Benz's and BMW's, the steering column forward/reverse option is standard on most Luxury European cars.
Second of all, running new speaker wires to compensate for the "fiber optic" lines as he calls them, would never cost anywhere near $200.
The handling on this particular car is actually quite impressive. My guess is the original poster is some teenager, who's friends made some remark about him driving a Saab, which instantly made him hate it.
Saabs are great cars. Even if GM has had their hand in production, they still live up to their original standards.
I've had my 99 9-3 convertible for 2 1/2 years now. I love it. I've owned MANY other makes and models, Japanese, European, and American. I would say of all of them, this one has been one of the best to own, best to drive, and nice looking.
As far as the original poster's statement about the suspension going, I would say I agree a little bit. While I think on smooth roads the 9-3s corner well, they do tend to 'bump steer' quite a bit as well as 'torque steer' on acceleration.
As far as the comment about the audio system in a 99 9-3, I agree that it's a bit of a disappointment. I replaced all of mine with new and no, there is no 'fiber optics' involved with it at all.
These cars can be a bit 'quirky', but so is any European car. The worst car I ever owned was a VW Passat.
In conclusion, I love my 9-3 and I'm glad I purchased it. Decent mileage for the power, and all around fun to drive. Also fairly reliable; but they are expensive to repair.
If you can't do basic maintenance then a SAAB is not for you... If you can however, the car should last you a very long time. I have a stage 4 Viggen coupe and it is great to drive and though I have had a couple issues it has been a very good car. Remember this, if you don't take care of your ride, it will not take care of you...
It's the little things that you need to remember:
Bring an extra MAF sensor.
Carry an extra DI cassette.
Change your oil every 3 K.
Change you spark plugs.
Only use premium gas.
And if you get a few problems at 70 K, so what? Deal with them... Trust me, it was not really that hard to change a hood strut or the fuel filter or even a door handle.
You probably just treated your car poorly. You don't know how many cars I see probably like yours at the auto auction I work at. I bet you have cigarettes growing out of the carpet, maybe a roll of Penny's behind your seat binding up the tracks, oh and I bet your door interior is falling off? Right? All because you treat your car like crap... It does not like you.
You need something like a Fiero or an Accord. Something that requires absolutely no basic maintenance skills...
Poorly made? Well I have a 1999 9-3 that has 260,000 miles and is still running strong. To say it's poorly made is wrong. I do need to replace the SID 2 and speakers. Plus, after all those miles, the suspension needs a overhaul... But it has been a amazing car, and still is very quick off the line.
Funny, I sold my 2003 Saab 9-3 Convertible with only 36,000 miles on it this past summer (I absolutely loved the car by the way) and purchased a 2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi Convertible, and actually prefer the ride of the Sebring (I know, I was shocked too). I guess it just goes to show you that everyone has different tastes & opinions, and that people should respect that.