Here is my experience owning two 2002 9-3s, one 1999 9-3 and one 2001 9-3. The first thing is the one year warranty and where the car came from. If the potential buyer is nearby the dealer, the one year warranty is way above average and something a $900 or $2500 car does not ever come with. I am not sure how the warranty would work if the buyer is in Chicogo and the car comes from Oregon. Secondly, living in the Northeast and seeing the effect of road salt on the body and mechanical parts, if the car is truly from Oregon or other places where there is no road salt, that would be worth an extra $1000 to $2000 to me. I can't tell you the excessive time I have spent dealing with the effects of road salt. Third, ask the dealer to provide the list of parts that they have put into the car to bring it up to their standards. Fourth, I agree with others about the automatic transmission being very reliable - my 2001 has 176K and no issues. Regarding the front suspension, while I have replaced sway bar links on all of the above noted cars at least once, the other components have held up well. The 2001 still has the original front struts and rear shocks! The '99 had a front strut replaced due to rust - there is that road salt issue again. Sludge is something that is important and I would want to get in writing that the pan is pulled. Our '94 900 had half the oil pump screen obstructed. The 2002 screen was 95% clear at 110K miles. Automatic cars seem to be more prone to issues given they seem to spend more time idling in cities. I bought my 2001 and 2002 9-3s each a number of years ago in the price range of $4500 to $5000, with 78K and 73K miles respectively and feel that they were bargins. Our '99 was purchased with 35K and sold with 150K and I calculated a very low cost per mile of ownership over the time we had the car. I do my own work our cars and that helps. In the end, the value of the car is based on what the market will bear and I can tell you that those who like SAAB 5-door hatchbacks don't have as much choice when looking for a car with less than 100K miles. SAAB 96 and 95 V4s used to top out at $3000 value 15 years ago and now nice examples are selling for $10,000 to $20,000.
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