2003 SAAB 9-3 Linear from North America - Comments

22nd Feb 2006, 16:10

2003 Saab 93 is a nightmare. I love the styling and interior comfort, but GM/Saab should be embarrassed by the technical quality of this machine.

I have had, spark plugs replaced, all five seat belts replaced, recalled for engine management campaign (engine would shut off while driving), a burned-out headlamp, both remote key fobs replaced due to programming errors, heat shield and splash guard rattled loose and tore apart on the freeway, brakes blew-out at 27,000 miles, Saab would only give me 200.00 back on a 700.00 brake job, battery died at the same time, rattles and squeaks everywhere, plus more.

Without the warranty I would have been sunk. I still I have spent too much on maintenance and rental car fuel. Currently doing research on trading it in for a Japanese car. How's the Mazda 6?

P.s. This was my replace 93 due to a buy back of an another 93-linear with major computer problems. That must have been the first one off the assembly line, but then they swapped me for the 2nd one.

: (

22nd Feb 2006, 19:10

Mazda 6 has had mixed reliability. If you can go a class down, the Mazda 3 is very reliable and actually a significantly better drive than the 6.

It seems, based on all the reviews here, that Saabs are for the true Saab fanatics, since I could never put up with such hassles, no matter what the car drove like. That's why I didn't get a Mini - too many rattles and other problems according to everything I've read.

1st May 2006, 23:46

I disagree with your statements. Yes the 2003 9-3 has been a bit problematic, but it isn't as excessive as some here insist. I had a 2003 9-3, totalled by a Chevrolet Suburban from the rear and a Ford Explorer in the driver's side. Police estimated that the Suburban was probably doing 20, Ford 45. I walked away. You can get in your BMWs (The worst ownership experience in my family's history. A company that hasn't yet produced an all 5-star crash test result car.) or luxed-up Toyotas, but I'll take a few quirks and unsurpassed safety. People can come on here and exaggerate their experience by putting a halo over their car or by demonizing it. My 2003 had 50,000 miles on it. Yes one window got stuck and my parking brake wouldn't disengage. The manual gearbox and the mechanical reliability were great. A co-worker loved my car so much that she bought one for her 70 mile commute from ex-urban Detroit. With over 120,000 miles she's very pleased. Unlike Toyota, Ford & VW/Audi, Saab will fix cars out of warranty when they're truly at fault. She still hasn't had a repair bill. I bought a 2006 9-3. At 8,000 miles, not one problem.

4th Jul 2006, 06:43

Hi.

Not agreeing or disagreeing, but merely reporting the facts. I bought a 2003 9-3 Linear April '06. I initially liked the car a lot and I can forgive a few gremlins as no car is perfect. My previous car was an Audi A3 and apart from a replaced clutch kit, it was perfect.

But. It's now July '06 and the 9-3 has displayed these problems: Engine cut-out twice while entering a busy dual carraigeway. Numerous amount of niggles with the SID software. Peeling dash, handbrake jammed several times and once at a set of traffic lights. Faded door handles, loose side skirt, blowing headlight bulbs, €800 to add 80 watts to the miserable stereo (uses God-awful MOSTnet fibreoptics so Saab have you over a barrel). Other exterior metal/plastic black bits fading (bare in mind there's no sun in Ireland!).

The fuel pump apparently is (another) problem associated with the 2003 9-3. Nothing is under any kind of warranty. Still only 25,000 miles!! Ulp!! Audi! I'm sorry, will you forgive me???

23rd Dec 2006, 20:06

I bought a 2003 Saab 9-3 linear with only 16,000 miles and thought I bought into the deal of a lifetime. I like many of you would be up sh!ts creek if I didn't have such a good warranty. At first the car was a dream... and that quickly changed. First it was the transmission (i needed a totally new transmission) which was replaced for free. Then 4 months later it was the computer within the car that apparently needed to be reprogrammed. At one point every emergency light on the dash was lit up! Then about 3 weeks ago there was a gear shift malfunction due to the computer within the car which needed to be reprogrammed yet again. I just got it back from service center and already the dash screen is saying that the rear headline is out when it isn't! I am at the point where I don't feel safe when driving in this car! I also have negative equity on the car so how do I get rid of it without losing too much $$? Can anyone offer help?

25th Dec 2006, 18:00

To the party who posted on 23 Dec - push the car off a cliff and claim an insurance write-off! Short of doing something drastic like this, it looks like you'll be stuck with your choice as the resale value on Saabs is truly shocking.

25th Mar 2007, 21:20

I have a Saab 9-3 TiD linear for about 18 months now and I keep getting these "engine management" alarms intermittenly. Does or did anyone have these alarms and if so what the heck is wrong cause SAAb don't seem to know as it is intermittent?

2nd Apr 2007, 13:23

My previous car was a Hyundai Accent! You may laugh or scoff, but not once in 7 years did I have ONE problem. No literally not one! Conversely my 93 Linear 03 plate bought from a second hand dealer has encountered many of the faults I read from the other owners... Engine management problems, loosened steering rack, recalled seat belts, front bonnet badge flew off at high speed!, brake light failure more than once on each side, electronic key stopped working (luckily at home),and finally peeling dash (fitted as standard). Luckily most of this was under warranty and saab dealer was excellent with service. But where the Saab reputation... you know the "oh yes it's a Saab" thing comes from I do not know! Back to Hyundai! or certainly something far eastern...

9th Apr 2007, 22:59

Even though I read many reviews of problems about the Saab 93 I still decided to buy one. My previous car (Acura Integra GS-R) was stolen and stripped to bare metal. I honestly haven't had any problems with my 93 ARC. It runs great, smooth, and powerful. I now have 70,000 miles on it and still running strong. hopefully no major problems occur anytime soon.

20th Jun 2007, 11:03

Oh my godness... the Saab 9-3 2003 is crap! I've been laughing out loud from these previous comments.

My boss told me not to buy it... his quote: "do you know how to spell Saab? It's SOB as in to CRY!

I can't want to stop making payments on this thing!

21st Jun 2007, 19:54

Many of us have Saab Stories. I don't. I've a 9-3 Linear 2003 and for the most part have had no major issues, but I do have a few pet peeves. The rubber textured dash knobs do eventually peel away. When the sun hits the passenger seat for an extensive period (as say parked in the sun) the seat belt light comes on. This I've learned to fix with a good fist pound and a blast of air conditioning. The speaker system with all its fiber optics and non-standard fittings force you to seek very expensive dealership upgrades that should frankly be standard. On-Star forces you to use their service if you want the phone system to work. But to throw some positive into this... the fuel economy has been magnificent. On a highway trip up the California coast last weekend I averaged 34 MPG! Considering the speed of this car and what I find to be a very solid build quality, it's really been a joy to own. That is, at least for these first 50k miles.