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SAAB 9-3 a good idea?

I don't know anything about SAAB's, except that they no longer exist.

But they come up for sale from time to time, and if I'm shopping for a stick shift wagon with AWD, it's an option. The come up for cheaps too.

Car in question has 30,000 miles on it, is a 2009 9-3 wagon with 255 hp, 6sp manual, leather, all options except nav. Seems nice.

Is a 9-3 comparable to a 3 series or a 5 series?

And, whats the deal? Good idea or run a mile.

Old 10-09-2013, 09:11 AM
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King Broinyo
 
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I've always liked Saabs. Fun to drive, good MPG, easy to work on. The only downside to the newer cars is that they dropped the hatchback.

Dont lose the keys.

Other than that, parts and service are not a big deal, despite what some people say.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:18 AM
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With all that is available in a similar car, I wouldn't mess with it. What about service, parts, and the odd lost key? The company is no more........
For me it's a no.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:21 AM
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Run Forrest, Runnnn.....
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:28 AM
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I have grown up with SAAB (obviously) and I would summarize them as pretty dependable and durable with very capable winter characteristics but, and this is an important but to me, they are pretty much all tractors in terms of fun factor. Typically Swedish perhaps. Safe and sound, but boring. Like me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:58 AM
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If the Swedes didn't sell to GM, then I would agree (had 2 pre-GM, 1 GMSaab) GM, in efforts (forced by bureaucrats) to "be green" moved the Cat under the oil pan (seconds quicker cat. op-temps, from start-up). Of course, this configuration carbonizes the oil, caking it to the oil-pump pick-up, starving the engine for oil. Sure, the cars don't hardly ever make it past 60k - and get sent to the crusher- but just imaging all the NOx savings from seconds faster cat warm-up. (Yay for Green thinking!)

Maybe if you change the oil every 2k you can go to 100k+
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Last edited by island911; 10-09-2013 at 10:21 AM..
Old 10-09-2013, 10:18 AM
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If all the maintenance records are there then I would say yes. I've owned 2 Saabs, 1 pre-GM and 1 post GM. Both cars were reliable. I particularly like the wagon. Keep the oil changed and you should have no issues.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:21 AM
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Do what island sez: RUN!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:44 AM
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The newer 9-3 (often called 9-3SS) is a good example of why Saab is no more. It was built on the GM Epsilon platform, and shared many parts with Opel. There was no hatchback available, and instead of the bulletproof B series of Saab developed turbo 4-cylinders was instead stuck with a GM Ecotech. They are overly complicated and unreliable, I would run like hell.

The 9-5 is a good car, and retains the better Saab developed B motor. Even better are the hatchback Saabs, like the 900, 9000, NG900, and 9-3 hatchback. They are either true Saab or more Saab than GM, and retain the unique character and excellent build quality that made Saab popular. I had a NG900 and a 9000 Aero, both were fantastic cars.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:07 AM
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thanks all. consensus seems to be that this engine is not a winner. I'll move on.
Old 10-09-2013, 11:19 AM
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I've had 9000CD, 9-5 and 9-3 all bought new and they were great to own under warranty. The driving fun factor went down with each new model. It was starting to get hard to get parts for the last one we had, the 2004 9-3 Arc basically a fraternal twin to the Malibu, especially body related parts and it kept throwing a CEL. I would stay away.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:21 AM
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These are Saabs:





And these are mostly Saabs:



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Matt J.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:25 AM
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I had 2.5 GM era saabs. 2-9.5s and a 9.7. All were generally good cars.

The latest was 2008 and I had some issues with it near the end of its lease but nothing I thought was a big problem (emission codes) . GM bailed on the warranty and would not honor anything. Parts were tied up in bankruptcy. GM got a lease return in limp home mode.

I would walk very fast - I would not see the parts or service getting better on them and GM is useless (if there is still some warranty on it - and there may be some).

To this day, i do not understand why GM did not exploit the Saab turbo and other technology and plant them in their products - rather than the other way around. The Saab owners did not want a Swedish Buick.

A classic business school study of what not to do with a brand and good example of GM arrogance.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:51 AM
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@ Red. It would be nice if car companies could keep what works, but what works is always changing from outside regulation.

Car companies are continually being forced to scrap old designs and replace them with new designs which meet ever-changing government requirements. Safety features always increasing, loading up the interior and structure. Fuel economy standards always tightening, begging for lighter cars. Emission standards also always tightening.

But at least it cost more to buy AND maintain. :-/
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Disclaimer: the above was 2 worth.
More information is available as my professional opinion, which is provided for an exorbitant fee.
Old 10-09-2013, 12:03 PM
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yeah I would prob give it a miss.

I had a new 9-5 on order when tronheim packed in, luckily I got out the deal.

I've seen some really good deals as unregistered cars come up, but the lack of software, updates and recalls would put me off.

Saab could have been saved but GM did want china getting their hands on the GM technology, shame so many people lost jobs!

I'm gutted I never got to own one and probably won't change, I generally only by new for my daily drivers.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:29 PM
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the saab + gm articles make great reading, a story of saab massively over engineering and gm then trying to slash costs and simplify!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:31 PM
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would you consider driving a rusty nail thru your skull a good idea?

no matter how good re whipped's post above, you still have declining parts base (according to a friend who was gifted a "good" Saab by his FIL, and cannot dump it due to family harmony reasons); low resale value; and... continuing reduction in knowledgable mechanics

to say something nice about Saab: my old 99-E was interesting but could not hold a candle to a 2002

Last edited by RWebb; 10-09-2013 at 01:05 PM..
Old 10-09-2013, 01:01 PM
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I wonder how many of these naysayers have actually owned or worked on a Saab.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livi View Post
I have grown up with SAAB (obviously) and I would summarize them as pretty dependable and durable with very capable winter characteristics but, and this is an important but to me, they are pretty much all tractors in terms of fun factor. Typically Swedish perhaps. Safe and sound, but boring. Like me.
A manual boost controller, intake porting, intercooler and poly bushings fixes that problem. Plus you can haul lumber and get a Toppola.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:58 PM
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I have had three SAABs since 2000. Can't recommend them without strong dealer support

I just sold my 06 9/3 aero wagon with the six speed stick. At 80K, I started having problems, and it was a really nice car.

A good car for someone who likes 928s and DIY on that scale. Every one I bought I intended to run to at least 200K. Every one wound up with problems before 100K

Now the Saab 9/2X is a Subaru Impreza/WRX. And the only AWD of the SAAB lineup.

Old 10-09-2013, 02:05 PM
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