19th Mar 2008, 10:39

I always find it interesting to compare the two great Swedish brands, Saab and Volvo.

Both owned by large American conglomerates, but run and managed completely differently.

Ford have given Volvo a lot of independence, and therefore Volvo still sell cars that are recognizably Volvo. OK, there's some platform sharing, but the platforms themselves are excellent, and what is built on the platform is pretty much up to Volvo.

GM have foisted corporate parts bins and bean counter engineering on Saab, and ruined absolutely everything that made them special. GM is a company that builds some of the worlds most white goods-a-like cars, and it's come through too much on the Saab. The quality, quirkiness and engineering excellence has gone, and been replaced with one of the most cynical pieces of badge engineering in motoring.

I have a 2001 Volvo S60 with 130,000 miles on the clock that barely feels run in, just like the Volvos of old. It still has those wonderful orthopedically designed seats, and the doors that clunk shut with the solidity of a bank vault. I seriously doubt a Saab 9-5 would achieve the same with its Vectra underpinnings and cheapened down finish.

If the seats aren't right, you know they've interfered too much. I remember a 1986 Saab 900 Turbo being even today one of the most comfortable cars I have ever driven. And these things really could breeze 250,000 miles! A proper Saab.

23rd Apr 2008, 14:14

I disagree with what this article says. I am a proud owner of a 9-3 and I've had it for a little over a year, and the only thing wrong was the oil, which had to be changed, and a set of new tires. people whom think they drive Saab do not know what the Saab experience is all about. you have to drive it for over one month to really appreciate it!

23rd Apr 2008, 16:26

I own a 2003 Saab 9-3 & it has been the best vehicle I've ever owned.

14th Nov 2008, 16:23

The Saab 93 Vector I have owned for nearly a year has been so far a bit of a disappointment.

This is my third Saab, and the most expensive, the previous being a Saab 99 two door coupe, and the second which my girlfriend now owns is a 93 two door Coupe 2.0 s.

These two previous cars where pre GM and the best two cars I have ever owned. So what has gone wrong Saab!

The build quality has definitely dropped. I only have to put the girlfriend's Saab and mine side by side, and it sticks out a mile! Mine has done 43000 miles, the other 77000 miles, and the older car is quieter with no squeaks or rattles, compared to my car which has quite a few.

It's such a shame as I have been a big Saab fan, but when I go to trade in next time, I will be looking at other options, unless I can be convinced otherwise! So come on Saab, sort it out!!!

One thing I will say my local dealer has so far been very good and appreciates that the new generation Saab just does not cut it when compared to its older relatives.

28th Sep 2009, 03:56

To the poster of 23rd Jan 2008, 17:05...

This review is 100% completely accurate! I agree 100% with everything that is said about this model. I have the 55 9-3 Vector Sport 1.9TiD 150 BHP and was over the moon when I bought it second hand. Now I'm disappointed because of the cheap build quality.

The rattle that comes from a cheap bit of plastic that covers a fuse panel at the side of the glove box is absolutely disgusting!

I cannot find a suitable driving position by adjusting the chair and steering column, and I've had the car for 4 weeks now. I'm 6ft 3" and there is no room in the back behind my seat for an adult to sit. We have a infant car seat behind the passenger seat, and my wife's legs are almost touching the dash and she is only 5ft 3".

Coming from a 99 Volvo C70, the seats are 100 times better and more comfortable.

The gearbox and turbo lag on the 9-3 are shocking... try to pull away in first at a junction and you will go nowhere, then 2 seconds later you will have boosted across the road into oncoming traffic... completely deplorable.

I was planning to keep the car for many years, but I'm seriously considering getting rid of it after only 4 weeks driving it.

Fuel consumption is great and the acceleration on the motorway is fantastic, but it seriously lags (pardon the pun) about town.

The bluetooth is useless as it cannot be paired with your mobile, you can only use it to transfer contacts to the system. Pointess if you ask me. I understand this is now possible in newer models though.

To anyone thinking about buying one... yes they look nice... but think again.

13th Nov 2009, 03:03

I own a 2005 Saab 93 1.9 TiD 150 Bhp bought second hand in 2008 at 85000 miles, and we are at 110000 miles now.

I read all the comments above, and I have only a single thing to say: you should learn to drive a turbo diesel. It's not the car that is bad, the drivers lack the ability to use it at its best. I could participate on a rally with this car and do it honorably.

A short hint: use it within couple (between 2000 and 4000 rpm that is). If you co-operate with the gearbox, you'll be stunned of how sporty this car can be.

17th Aug 2011, 09:39

I agree. I have a Saab 9-3 Vector Sport year 2003, and it has started to have an engine rattle every time you start it.

The steering pulls to one side when pulling off or try to pick speed up.

Suspension and bearings always seem to need doing every time it goes for an MoT.

The rubber buttons to the stereo and door handles inside seem to peel off.

Warning lights come up on the dash saying brake malfunction, please stop in safe place, then you turn the car off and then it decides to clear itself, hard suspension etc etc.

I've only had my car 2 years, and I just dread anything else going wrong with it. The thing is, I really do look after my car; I don't thrash it, I drive responsibly, and always have my children with me. The only reason I bought another Saab was my partner absolutely loved his old Saab 9000, a lovely solid car, and we had no problems whatsoever with it; very reliable and very comfortable to be in. Just a shame such a pretty car could go so wrong :)