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09-15-2003, 02:06 AM
Hey all, I've been on AF for nearly 2 years but this is my first post in this forum. I am really like the new 9-3, especially the Aero line. I did a "build your own Saab" on their website and was pleasantly surprise to see how the 9-3 that I am looking at is considerably less than a BMW (my dream car). Anyway, I'd like to know who here has a 9-3 and tell me what you like or don;t like. I am not looking for 'Saab sucks' or Saab rules' answers unless you can give me decent info as to why. I'd like to know if anyone has had any reliablility problems and what not. I ordered a brochure on their website and cant wait to see it. I am not looking to do this in the immediate future but just checking and seeing what's out there. I got to see a new 9-3 for the first time a few days ago on the road. It was black, and looked like it was the Aero model. I just about died when I saw it :D Looked so mean, yet so classy....and a definite improvement in looks. I personally never liked the hatchbacks much and never gave Saab a second thought til I saw this car.
09-15-2003, 08:33 PM
Like with all new models there are some problems in the beginning, but there haven't been any larger problems with the 9-3SS. But all new cars have at least some problems, but that is usually taken care of with the guarantee.
The biggest downside with the car is probably the engine, the new engines based on GM:s global 4 cylinder engine are much weaker than Saabs own 15 kg heavier 4 cylinder turbo engines. The new engines are both weaker in engine output but also in the consruction which limits aftermarket tuning. However, the new 6-speed gearbox (option) is better than the old 5-speed ones, a resonable guess is also that the automatic transmissions are just as nice as the ones used in 9-5.
Unlike the older 9-3 the new 9-3 is a sedan, but it will also be availible in a combi version (in 2005 or so), and the convertible of course. The 9-3SS have also a very stiff chassi, especially if we compare to the old 9-3. Saab has also managed to reduce the understeering, with the downside of a little nervous rear end, but this can probably be cured with a rear spoiler/wing.
Like all Saabs the Lear seats and bi-xenon lights (Saab and Volvo are the only two car manufacturers that has their own light-laboratories and developing their own lights) are worldclass, as well as the safety which includes the active head restraint system that has shown to reduce the number of whiplash injuries by 40-60%.
There is also a twin turbo V6 engine with Haldex 4WD on the way, but when this comes that is the question.
10-08-2003, 02:14 PM
Ive been hearing nothing but good about the eco-tec engines. They have a very larger power potential in other GM cars however SAAB has a COMPLETELY different ECM system than other eco-tec powered vehicles so it limits them for now but the motors are very stout.
The eco-tec was originally developed by SAAB and its one of the reasons GM bought SAAB.... Engineering.
I havent had a chance to drive a new SAAB yet but I hope the Gearbox is finally smooth. Every SAAB Ive ever driven had a terribly unsmooth tranny. VW's are that way now but from the sounds of reviews, the new SAAB trannies are smooth.
I want an new 9-3 Vector SOOOOOO BAD!
10-09-2003, 02:46 PM
The main parts of the ecotec global engine is developed by Lotus I think. Saab have just modified it for turbocharging. There have been problems with the mechanical strength of the engine but modifications is said to be on its way, for example a new cylinderhead.
Saab modify engines for turbocharging for their own cars and other GM companies. One of their strengths is their own electronic management system.
Compared to other versions of the global engine, Saab are using much higher combustion pressures (this is hard on piston, cylinderhead and con-rod) and an electronic management system (Trionic 8) which is far more advanced. The Saab developed Trionic systems are one of the reasons GM bought them.
01-06-2004, 04:04 AM
Hey all, I've been on AF for nearly 2 years but this is my first post in this forum. I am really like the new 9-3, especially the Aero line... I got to see a new 9-3 for the first time a few days ago on the road. It was black, and looked like it was the Aero model. I just about died when I saw it :D Looked so mean, yet so classy....and a definite improvement in looks. I personally never liked the hatchbacks much and never gave Saab a second thought til I saw this car.
I own a 2004 9-3 Aero and it is absolutely beautiful and black. It has everything except a sun roof which I did not order. It handles as well as a 330i that I test drove and is as quiet. I don't have mechanical problems or any problem. The 1st and 2d gear are stiff from the winter cold but this may be normal. After it gets to normal temperature the they are fine. I called Saab USA about a seat recall but it doesn't apply to my vehicle. It is recall and TSB free. The dash is a delight to view at night and I really like the "night panel" function. All lights shut down at the push of a button except for essentials like the speedo.
The Bi-Xeons are very bright and I had my DRLs turned off to save whatever the difference may be for a longer life. This is my first turbo and for a while I didn't know what turbo lag meant when I would read others discussing it by not saying what it was about it but now I do. It is about a second for gears 2-6. Doesn't bother me. In fact I like being pinned to my seat when the turbo kicks in. :)
I have comfort open and close via the remote. I expect to use comfort open more than comfort close especially during the spring and summer.
The 13-speaker radio system to me is better than the Harmon Kardon in the 3-Series. I didn't appreciate it so much at first. I think they placed the bass in the front for the driver and rear passenger. If you sit in the rear the bass is deep and not in your face or ear like a traditional setup. This is good for the rear passengers. I thought about changing the rear to match the front but think it is too much. The fade function of the system lets me set it the way I like for the different styles of music I listen to.
The seats are comfortable but as with any 3 hour plus trip they aren't that comfortable that I don't squirm a bit. They are heated and that includes the backrest as well as the seat bottom with 3 levels. The ACC is great also.
You know it has On-Star but I won't get that activated until I return stateside.
The suspension is great and handles what I give it. Haven't had the opportunity to push it and won't until it is necessary.
Hope this is useful to you. :)
DrvV6coupe and Aero
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