Well let's see. The BMW 2003 was only about 2 yo when she bought the 9-3. She says that she takes others to lunch from work so she isn't likely a travelling sales person. So, let's face it, she was't over the warranty limit because she wasn't driving 20-40,000 miles a year. So, what is the real story here?
I love how Bimmer enthusiasts come to their brand's defense every time somebody decides to go with soemthing different, i.e. a Saab. Maybe this reviewer wanted to drive something a little different? Maybe he/she didn't feel like being a "me too" follower? So his/her problem would have been covered under warranty. So what? If you don't like the car, you don't like the car.
Oh I see what you're saying.
Massive torque steer, insanely unreliable, horrible dealer network, cars based on GM rental cars obviously make the Saab a much better choice.
Remind me again how the BMW 325i is based on the Ford Focus...
My Saab dealer is fantastic, can't do enough for me. Unlike my BMW garage, despite having had a BMW 525i, a 735i & an M3 convertible, then treat you pretty badly. Also, you can drive a Saab in thick snow without getting into a panic every time the back end twitches, unlike certain rear drive Germans.
Your dealer claims have nothing to do with the car. My Subaru dealer is better than any Mercedes or BMW dealer I have dealt with with my previous cars.
And don't discount the electronics in the BMW regarding its snow performance. My European delivery 528i was sliding in the snow when I was in southern Germany. Then I turned on the DSC (I had shut it off accidentally) and the car didn't slip a millimeter. And the tires were summer sport ones, not even snow tires.
Saabs are brilliant in concept, but very poor in execution.
The BMW could have easily been out of Warranty. I had the same problem. My commute to work was about 100 miles each way. On top of that, I had to drive down to Washington D.C. from my home in Albany every week. It sounds crazy, but all that driving for work + all the pleasure driving I did with my wife and kids, racked up enough miles to void the warranty in 2 years. My 525i, like the vehicle in this review, began to have tranny problems. I quickly got rid of it for a new Mercedes C-class.
It irks me that BMW fans come to bash anyone who wishes to go for something different. Do you not realize why there are different marques to begin with? People have different tastes and may not necessarily want to follow the crowd who like the BMWs or Benzs. I myself drive a BMW 328i and I don't find it to be that spectacular. Sure, it's a hell of a car, but I'd rather have something more suited to my tastes and to my fancies. A BMW just doesn't have my name on it and to be quite honest, I don't give a damn what other people may think. I'm not going to blow $30,000 on a car that I will not enjoy and will hate during my ownership. In the end, the decision is my own and if the car I buy has some quirks, I'll deal because I enjoy driving it. Car reviews and other people's opinions are one thing, but if I get into a car and don't feel that "click" of understanding, nothing doing buster. The car goes back to the dealership.
I've had my Saab 9-3 for 2 years and basically, it is a nice car. It is quite good looking (my opinion), comfortable, economical, roomy and safe. It has a smooth quiet 4 cylinder engine and is quite quick. The brakes are very good (except for the tremendous amount of brake dust on the wheels). The manual transmission is fine and the clutch is very light and easy to operate. However, I find the handling of the car very mediocre. The steering is too light with little feedback and some torque steer. The car is upset easily by road irregularities. It leans excessively in turns, especially in "spirited" driving. The all season Pirelli tires are made for wet roads, not dry handling. Despite what they claim, this is NOT a sport sedan. My BMW truck handles much better then this so called "sport sedan". Nice car, but there are better handlers out there.
I'm also surprised that so many BMW enthusiasts feel it necessary to bash Saabs and other competitive makes.
Such fragile egos!
As a driver and vehicle owner since 1972, I have owned many European makes, as well as American & Japanese vehicles.
My preference are the European cars, and my favorite is the Saab 9-3.
BMW certainly builds some fine driving machines - great looking, superb power & handling etc., but when I compare the 3 Series to the 9-3 - the BMW might have an edge in cornering ability, but I find the Saab handles well enough and has an edge in comfort, interior ambiance, among other things.
Take a Saab 9-3 convertible for example - even with the 2.0 Turbo - it is a very smooth, refined & comfortable vehicle, that has plenty of power, handles great, has a very nice interior (even in base trim), gets good fuel economy, and in my experience is as reliable as any other car out there.
What's wrong with that?
Not everyone needs to feed their egos with a BMW logo on their car's grille. Many would rather enjoy their ride, than worry about what BMW owner's think.
I have owned five Saab's (4 900's and a 9000) and always enjoyed them. I traded my last Saab for a BMW 323I and had to buy a transmission at 70,000 miles, but drove it to 175,000 with some minor problems. My wife and I both liked the BMW, but do prefer the Saab, and I'm going back to Saab for my next car.