Saab cultivated the tradition of long model cycles. The 9-3 II was introduced to 2002 and significantly improved for the 2008 model year. 2011 followed the next revision. With nearly 10 years of production time, one can speak of 3 different stages of life of the Saab 9-3 II.
Saab 9-3 II. A listless start.
This reminds me a lot of the classic Saab 900, which began life as Saab 99 and has been constantly improved and redesigned. At its premiere 2002, the 9-3 II was received with some skepticism. Not just the engine press, which almost obsessively engineered an Opel kinship that did not exist. 70% of the parts were pure Saab, the rest was shared with the relatives of the GM shelf.
The traders were also suspicious, and with good reason. The material selection in the interior was for Saab standards underground, the processing listless, and the longevity could have doubts. That there was only a limousine 2005 until March, we leave out the convertible, because it will get its own market check, did not make things better.
To this end, Trollhättan supplied its own bus system and navigation system that had been developed exclusively by and with Saab. It impressed with its unreliability and malfunctions. For the first time there was also a manual 6-speed transmission as an option in the smaller Saab series. It came from Opel production, was imprecise to shift and caused frustration. Many customers therefore resorted to the tried and tested 5-speed Saab transmission.
The 9-3 II used car prices of the first years are in the basement
The 9-3 II was certainly the worst car Saab had ever delivered at its launch. But things got better. From year to year you could see a better build quality, even if the materials were cheap.
The used car market exactly reflects the product quality of that time. Used 9-3 II of the early model years are cheap to get. 2.000 or 3.000 € - and you're there. The entry is particularly cheap when it comes to a diesel. The used car prices are on the ground and far below the comparable petrol engines.
Up to the 2006 model year, entry for a reasonably well-kept specimen is possible for well under € 5.000. But be careful: a continuous maintenance history is important, and rust is also an issue. Even the Saab dealer's stamp in the maintenance booklet does not protect against this. A closer look is advisable.
Because in the amount of vehicles offered, there are not just worn copies. Saab 9-3 II from a lover's or pensioner's hand surprise by a good condition that one would not have expected so often. They are hardly more expensive than neglected, run-down vehicles, because the market does not give it. But you can be happy with it.
Nevertheless, we found some exciting specimens during our market check.
Saab 9-3 1.8t Vector Sports Suit 2007. 83.218 kilometers.
The right engine, the most popular color. Checkbook maintained by Saab, a nice combination of fabric and leather in the interior. To have significantly less than € 10.000,00. Would mutate into a real eye-catcher with beautiful 17 ″ or 18 ″ rims, original Saab of course. Is for sale in Böblingen.
Saab 9-3 1.8i Edition sedan 2007 44.000 kilometers
The 1.8i is hardly popular, and I hardly dare to spell the word “winter car”. How about this neat limousine, as a Saab winter car, if the 9-5 NG stays in the garage? No turbo, but better than changing make and potential for many winters. Is for sale in Düsseldorf.
Saab 9-3 Aero deer sedan 2003 143.000 kilometers
From the lover's hand comes the Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan from blog reader Remo. With Hirsch performance enhancement and accessories like the sport pedals and the deer rims not easy to find. Is for sale near Zurich.
Recommendation: Model year 2007 and 1.8t
The insider tip are the intermediate models from model year 2007. GM did what was necessary and took action. The interior and the technology were cleared out in two steps, and the body received a facelift a year later. For the 2007 model year, better materials were used in the interior. The leather became more durable, the cheap US plastic for the dashboard was thrown away. The vulnerable bus system and the navigation system were disposed of, the Swedes reached into the corporate shelves. The result was a very well-functioning air conditioning, an acceptable navigation solution and state-of-the-art sound systems.
The intermediate models wear the fur inside, which can certainly have its charm. Reasonable station wagons or limousines can be found for sometimes well below 10.000 €. The smartest purchase is the 1.8t engine. He is cheaper than Aero and Co, but it is the same base engine. In conjunction with Hirsch Tuning he makes almost 200 PS, which leaves nothing to be desired.
The V6 offers a lot of performance for the smaller budget - but only in the purchase. The consumption is high, the issue of timing chains should never be neglected. If it has to be renewed due to elongation, a 4-digit amount is due. The 1.8i ranks at the lower end of the performance range. It was never popular with Saab customers, because without turbo. On the web you can always find well-kept specimens with low mileage and very long service lives.
The 9-3 II matured with the customer, and by 2007 at the latest it turned into a really good car. A long-term car, by the way, for which 500.000 kilometers is no problem - if you rely on a gasoline engine, which would be recommended with regard to the diesel discussion. Incidentally, the Saab hype, as with the 9-5 NG, never touched the pre-facelift 9-3. It's a good car for everyday life that offers individuality and safety for little money.
Unfortunately also a car for workshops without Saab experience and for the cheap provider with the 3 letters. If you are looking for a really good specimen in a well-kept condition, you have to bring patience, because even Saab dealers will hardly find any for the purchase.