Date: 9 Sep 2006 19:27:02 -0700
Subject: 2000-2002 Saab 9-3 5-Door Reliability

I'm currently in the market for my first car, and my dad has tasked me with finding a vehicle that fits my needs, is affordable, and will last a long time. I've become interested in the hatchback design because I want to optomize the amount of space I have while at the same time keeping the car relatively small (after a year of driving my mother's GMC Yukon, I've grown to detest large vehicles). >From what I've seen, the model year 2000-2002 Saab 9-3s seem to be a good choice--they have lots of space, preform well enough, and I can fit my 6'-2" frame inside without any problems. In fact, I've seen a few in my school's parking lot. The one issue that sticks in my craw, however, is reliability. I have read review after review saying that, though the owners loved their cars, they were frequently in the shop for expensive maintenence. The J.D. Power and Associates ratings on the subject cast a similar pall on things. As whatever car I get will be my car for a long time, both I and my parents are primarily interested in getting one that will hold up for a good long time--say at minimum five years. As Saabs in general seem to have a poor reputation for reliablity (the first thing both my parents said when I told them about this model was "Is is reliable?"), my questions to you are this: 1. Are they really as unreliable as they're made out to be? 2. Do you think that one would make for a good first car? 3. Is it possible to get a good warranty on a used one? 4. What would be the most comprable model in another brand?

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