Traditionally the most popular convertible car in its sector the Saab 9-3 Convertible was perfected over several years resulting in a car that is finally as satisfying to drive as it is to look at. Despite being a great car, it struggles to compete with the sheer quality of build and materials of its German rivals. Prices were keen to undercut such opposition though and the fabric roof is quick, lightweight and well insulated. Later in the Saab 9-3 Convertible’s lifespan it was made available with a diesel option. Saab’s BioPower models allow use of the controversial ‘eco’ fuel bio-ethanol at a premium, however the diesel cars offer lower emissions.
The Saab 9-3 1.8T Convertible was a strong seller thanks to its entry-level price tag combined with good levels of performance and economy. It suits the car which has a chassis better suited to comfortable cruising thanhard driving. It is smoother and sounds better than the diesel alternative and can still post respectable miles to the gallon. The updated styling kept sales going despite the underlying car lagging behind its German competitors.
The Entry level Saab 9-3 1.8t was updated to allow use of bio-ethanol as well as petrol as a fuel. Promoted as sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, plant based bio-ethanol seemed like a great solution. Unfortunately it was followed by the relaisation that huge stretches of land would have to be dedicated to its production which could lead to further food shortages in third-world countries.
I don’t own a Saab, but was fortunate enough to have the use of an 2008 1.9 twin turbo diesel for 4 days about a year ago. Although it’s been around for quite some time I still think the 9-3 and particularly the convertible is a good looking car. Unfortunatley, being an old design means the interior feels dated and lacks the quality of it’s rivals. The driving experience is fine as long as your not expecting a razor sharp drive. The Saab is best when it’s cruising. The ride is fine and there’s not much in the way of scuttle shake. The diesel engine can be quite vocal but has great low down grunt which can overwhelm the front wheels on a damp surface. Economy is also a strong point although I’d still go for the petrol if not doing huge mileage as it’s more in keeping with the serene nature of the car. Overall, not my first choice new, but after a few years it would tempt me as a used car
I have found my Saab to be a reliable and comfortable car, maybe, I feel gives the impression of feeling a little unsure in large bends at speed (not excessive speed). My biggest breakdown being a broken auxiliary chain tensioner (very unwisely made of plastic) (maybe influenced by GM). At the time I changed all the chains and sprockets as it was off. The only other complaint is the finish on the switches and buttons which wears off and leaves an unsightly white plastic showing through.other than that I love it to bits. Strangely when I am driving around I often mistake from a distance one of the BMW model convertable which looks very much the same as a Saab 9-3, maybe they like it so much the tweaked there design, but with the top down there is none like the 9-3
My late Fathers friend owned one of the first SAAB Dealerships.Based in Chester they garage neede a car collecting from a company called Andersons in Stockport.My Father said he would go and collect it for them.Its was a Black Saab 99 Turbo and the FIRST TO ARRIVE FOR SALE IN UK.Still remember how much he loved it.Anyway around 50 tears later I have just bought a 9-3 Aero Convertible on an 06 plate and its fantastic!!!!!!Thanks Dad
Bought a 2005 in Oct.17, 1.8t 70k in black 170, 18″ alloys new tyres, near perfect interior, swopped-out audio/dvd, bt system and Bose speakers, full service hist., very good hood, 12 months mot, smooth manual box, no turbo or overheating issues, no rust…issues being 4-5 body dents, broken driver’s side air vent, broken passenger side rear reflector, broken washer bottle plastic top, stone chip in windscreen….£1090 delivered 80 miles to me by seller.
Like everything in life, take a chance, but at just over a grand, why not!
I owned. 2010 Saab Bi-torso Cabriolet. I totaled it in North Dakota when a hayseed with an open beer turned in front of me. I left 110 feet of tread marks before I hit the left wheel well of the pickup truck he was driving. The North Dakota Stats Police cited him with driving with an open can of beer. I was cited for going too fast for conditions. Dang I loved that car!
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