Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 21:14:56 -0000
From: "DervMan" <>
Subject: Re: Buying a SAAB

"Oscar79" <> wrote in message > Hi...I am thinking of buying a SAAB 9-3 around the 98/99 model. Goodo! Other people have detailed the background. > I am from > the UK and would like to know any bad points about them ie cost of parts, This can be expensive. > fuel consumption, In UK terms, the petrol models are all pretty similar for consumption. Their official book figures are typically ~19 for the urban cycle and ~40 for the extra urban cycle with combined cycle figures of around 30 to the gallon. The diesel, well, you're looking at ~32, ~61, ~46 respectively. The sweet spot of the range is either the 2.0t (150 / 154 bhp, 2.0, low pressure turbo) or the 2.2 TiD (but I like diesels so I'm biased). SE specification gets lots of toys but optional heated leather interior. I particularily like the 2.0t because it produces decent thump lower down in the rev range, Saab have given it reasonably tall gearing so it's quiet on the motorway but picks up nicely when you give it a boot. It doesn't need revs for decent acceleration (unlike the non-turbo 2.0), which probably helps keep consumption down in real world terms. The 2.2 diesel isn't all that quiet at idle but on the move it has a lovely* diesel thrum about it, its multivalve 2.2 engine is keen to rev beyond the red line and it's also not too bad on fuel. It is no economy champion but mine returns ~50 mpg with my driving. That's why I run the diesel, I'm tight. I'd avoid the 2.0 non-turbo. It's just as thirsty as the other machines, it feels slower than the diesel on the road (despite being more powerful) and whilst it doesn't have quite the same traction issues as the turbos, it's just, well, erm... not as nice as the 2.0t. The 2.0T has 185 or 205 bhp, feels perky in the upper gears. The 2.3 non-turbo is smooth but not especially rapid, it has ~150 bhp as I remember. The 2.3 Viggen is viciously quick... it feels silly. 230 bhp or so, front wheel drive, what feels like short gearing... Lovely. And no thirstier than the boggo non-turbo 2.0 either. :-) ...but all 9-3s of this generation are limited by their traction. They wheelspin. Lots. Even the 115 bhp diesel without it being chipped. It's a Saab thing... > resale value etc etc. Of this age, they're cheap. They will get cheaper. > Can you please offer any advice, > good or bad to help my decision. Much appreciated. Thanks First off, find out if there's a decent Saab specialist nearby. I live in York, I use a specialist in Boroughbridge, Griffin Autotechniks; they're materially cheaper than a Saab main dealer but they know their stuff. Secondly, get yourself down to the Saab forums and read up on the common 9-3 issues, such as the SID screens not working, the diesel's duff mass air meter and importantly the bulkhead seperation issue type thing. These are not to put you off but to help you spot it... I bought my 2000 TiD with a duff mass air meter. It's a 250 part from Saab, I knocked off 400 from the price and found a nearly new but used spare for 60... :) Things to note about the 9-3 include the fact that the interior should be rattle free, the heater and air conditioning should be powerful, the car, well, solid to drive if uninspiring in the ordinary models. Don't get me wrong, I like the way my 9-3 TiD drives, but it isn't exactly sporty feeling. -- The DervMan

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