Tell me about Saab 9-3's….

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  • Tell me about Saab 9-3's….
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’m after a 2-3 year gap filling car for me, about £3k must do motorway work and in a relatively practical way, and carry my bike about the place.

    So, those 150bhp Saab diesel estates look ok, most are approx 100k miles, so what so good/bad that I need to look out for?

    @ Nobby, yes I know. 😀

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I liked mine, while it lasted. Nowhere near as good as the 9-3 hatch I had before it mind (handled better, but not built as well).
    Then the engine fault light kept coming on and limp home mode enabled. Something to do with the fuel, but spend a few hundred and it didn’t fix it. So I swapped it for a (much better) Mondeo estate.

    Ps. [whiney-know-it-all]ItsjustaVectrawithasaabbadge[/whiney] thought I’d get that in before someone else.

    hora
    Member

    Tell me about Saab 9-3’s

    Buy a 9-5 2.3T

    john_drummer
    Member

    cambelt change is due at 72k so make sure it’s been done. it’s a good £600+ job (parts & labour) if it hasn’t

    mine also developed a leak in the steering rack so make sure there’s no fluid coming out of that. EGR valve sometimes needs checking too. And on some there was a fault which led to the bulkhead cracking

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    still running my 900S, 1996, predecessor to the 9-3. It’s been in the garage a bit, but still runs well. My garage guy didn’t touch the diesels though; is there an indy saab garage nearby you can go to and chat with?

    Hora must be on new medication as he seems to be talking a bit more sense some days.
    9-3 diesel with the Fiat engine is a typical modern diesel, so it is prone to failure on dmf, turbo, injectors and the party piece on this engine the alternator. So any saving you will get with fuel will be blown away with any of these going pop.

    If you are wanting space, value and a decent turn of speed look at a 95 aero estate. Yes you will do well to get 30mpg but much less to go wrong.
    £2k will get you a very nice one.

    Premier Icon tommid
    Subscriber

    Just sold my 56 plate saloon.
    It was a 120 BHP. Not the quickest of cars off the mark, but held 80 on the motroway and returned 54mpg.

    Gret size, but I wished I’d had an estate as the boot space was wasted due to the accessability.
    Mine was pretty basic, but a nice comfy car and a good place to be.

    Around the 100k mark look for a rattle in the clutch as that is an £800 job for a new clutch and dual Mass flywheel.
    Otherwise its all thobvious, cambelt etc. Otherwise pretty bombproof. I’d certainly have another. Although if its a pre 57 plate they look a bit dated now.

    gears_suck
    Member

    I just bought a 9 -5 estate. 2.3 tid. It’s a 2005 and cost me £1500 I think it’s a great care and drives brilliant. I spent a little time and found one which had very goor service history and was well looked after.

    swdan
    Member

    Depending on where you are based the bloke that does the work on my Audi is an Indy Saab specialist who used to run the service centre at one of the dealers. His Name is Joe and he’s based in Tattenham Corner (near Epsom) and it a nice chap who will probably be able to give you some pointer if you give him a call. His details are here is your are interested:

    http://joesrepairshop.co.uk/about.html

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    Hora must be on new medication as he seems to be talking a bit more sense some days

    It’s only what he’s regurgitating off pistonheads – not actually his opinion

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    very goor service history

    Goor, is that a cross between good and poor 😉

    Surely there’s a reason why Saab offered 5 year on 9-3 and 3 year on 9-5s, warranty wise?

    willber
    Member

    I’ve had a 58 plate 9-3 twin turbo diesel for just over two years. It’s been reliable (alternator replaced under warranty) but i’m not sure i’d buy another. It just doesn’t feel as well build as my previous Toyota.

    I’ll be getting rid of it in 12 months

    It’s only what he’s regurgitating off pistonheads – not actually his opinion

    PH Q: What is best super mini?
    PH A: Saab 95 HOT

    PH Q: What shall I cook for tea tonight?
    PH A: Saab 95 HOT

    etc etc

    Its become the Octavia/Mondeo of the PH forum.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    You can have my Mongdeo TDi for £3k. 😉

    messiah
    Member

    Not that nice to drive and not that much room in the back. Audi/BMW/Mondeo/Vectra etc are much better… if the niche fits… 😉

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Something like this?

    Do I need to be worrying about swirl flaps and things in this ongoing search for a replacement motor?

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    I had one for a short while – bought cheaply so I didn’t wreck my nice car chucking bikes in it. They’re ok, not amazing and not what the fanboys on PH think they are. For similar money buy a 1.9tdi passat. Easier to get parts for, quick, big enough for bikes and decent on fuel. I know its a cliche but people buy them for a reason.

    hora
    Member

    Err 95 is a very small sub-niche on PH. Much like the V70 T5.

    hora
    Member

    My point is IF you WANT a Saab. Get a 95.

    Personally I say get a bloody Subaru

    singlecrack
    Member

    I’ve had Saabs before …but I’d never buy a diesel …especially the 1.9 ………which is well documented to be pretty shit reliability wise

    johnnystorm
    Member

    Love my 93 but it’s made way for a VW T5.

    Don’t bother with Diesel if you’re doing mostly short journeys.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    What is it withe people wanting 9-3s at the moment.

    I had one for three years. It is probably the most rubbish car I had. Even the Jeep Patriot was much better …

    It was a 2.0t (2003) Good – it was quick in a straight line, the seats we comfortable
    The bad – the matt black interior peeled off, the suspension broke, it handled like a drunk pig, the paintwork marked if you brushed against it a a coat. The leather seat creased in a funny way. The radio / CD was just awful – the quality was just not acceptable – esp on CD.

    SAABs used to be the Buells of the car world , quirkly engineered – but with character.

    Mine showed me why they went bust ….

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    my local independent saab garage in edinburgh used to have a shed load of 9-5s outside for repair.
    it may be there were many more of them about, but it seemed that they were quite prone to big problems.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Hmmm. An impreza estate eh? Plenty of GX or sport about on autotrader, and 4wd to help move out of those car parks in fields.

    So what goes wrong with those at 100,000 miles then…

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    Nowt – they’re bullet proof if they’ve been left standard

    Only real downside is that they’re pretty thirsty, even the non-turbo ones. Perm 4wd and boxer engine does not an economical car make.

    tron
    Member

    I’ve got a 9-3. The diesels have a few issues – I think the same engine was used in various GM and FIAT vehicles (ie, the Vectra and the Alfa 147). If you really must have a diesel, get a 320d, but you’ll pay a premium for one. I’ve not driven any diesel that comes close.

    The 9-3 is a nice car for motorway work. The 6 speed box isn’t the nicest changing thing in the world, but it works. On B-roads it grips well, but it won’t make you grin by stepping the back end out.

    The one to go for is the 2.0 Aero, 200 and a bit brake, easily chipped to 250-260, cruises happily at ban speeds, comfy and quiet. They’re also dirt cheap compared with a 3 series. You will do somewhere around 30mpg. It’s a small price to pay not to drive a diesel. And yep, the stereo is awful if you don’t find one that had the best system fitted out of the factory. And then it’s OK.

    hora
    Member

    Krypton57 find a 2.0R Imprezza estate. N/A but a different head and more bhp/better engine.

    Or of course the turbo. The pay off is it drives better than other cars.

    Gribs
    Member

    As a 9-5 Aero estate owner I really like mine. If you want a quick and comfortable car that can fit loads of stuff in it’s great. However it’s not really “fun” despite being fairly quick and it likes a drink. Driven carefully it’ll manage high 30’s though I average about 25mpg.

    I’ve driven a 9-3 with a 1.9 diesel lump and didn’t see the point in it, just buy a Mondeo or Vectra. Saabs make sense with a turbo petrol as for the price there’s nothing that gets close to the performance/comfort.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Impreza’s are stunning cars. The Turbo I had was brilliant … but expect 16-25 mpg

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    But will it go with my Euro Exec image in the car park, or look like I’m having the worlds worst mid life crisis….

    AMG estate perhaps? 😀

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    I have a 13 year old 9-5 2.3t (170 Bhp) estate. Bought for next to nothing and it’s been great apart from blowing the turbo at 97k. £120 + 3 hours labour and it’s running sweet as a nut again. Parts, contrary to what has been said above are pretty cheap.

    Probably the most comfortable car over distance I’ve driven and the boot is a huge bike/dog carrier. Motorway consumption is high 30’s and that is an auto so should be better with manual or later auto box. My mate has a 9-3 diesel and is very happy with it. 50 + mpg on a long run.

    We wanted one but couldn’t find one in budget with the spec we wanted (facelifted 1.9 TTiD Aero with the X Pack and auto).

    Bought a 330I MSport Touring instead.

    monsho
    Member

    Bought a 9-3 TID last June for £3k, equivalent passats were about £5k (have had VAG for years). Have done 30k miles since then and its pretty good. Not as nice as the passat, gear change is shite and interior is pretty low spec, has needed a DMF (but there’s not many cars that dont need one after 100k miles!) and have done timing belt / water pump. Good on the motorway, likes to sit a bit too fast for me though!

    Its served it purpose well, will keep it another year I reckon, not sure if I’d get another, but its a couple of cheap years motoring doing 40k a year (unless it goes bang in the next few months….)

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