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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 7th August 2007
windir windir is offline
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Default Deciding on a 9-3

After doing some research, I've decided to buy a Saab 9-3. There are two 2003 Saab 9-3s near me that I have been looking at, but can't decide which one would be the better choice.

The first is a Linear with 45,000 miles and a 5-speed from a Saab dealer nearby. The asking price is $12,995. The car is overall in good condition, the interior's very clean and there are only minor paint chips on the back of the car. Carfax reports that the car has had one owner, but does not show any service records.

The other is an Arc with 68,000 miles and a 6-speed from a small used car lot. The asking price is $11,995. I looked up the car on Carfax, and found that it has had four owners, but it looks like three of the owners were dealerships/auto auction lots within the past year. Carfax also reports that the original owner brought the car to be serviced at Saab of Bedford at 18,000, 27,000, 31,000, 39,000, and 43,000 miles.
This car isn't as clean as the Linear above, and there are a few minor issues: there is a chip in the windshield, and the clear plastic in front of the instrument cluster is cracked near the bottom. From doing searches here, it looks like a windshield replacement will be around $700 in case a repair doesn't work. I've been able to find the instrument clusters on ebay for around $25 shipped, so I can't imagine it would be that difficult to transplant the plastic cover.


I drove both of the cars yesterday, and overall I did enjoy driving the Arc a bit more, although I did not have the opportunity to drive it on a freeway. I'll be going back to look/drive both of the cars within the next two days.

Which of the two cars would you recommend? Also, are there any other things I should look out for on either of the cars when I go to look at them again?


Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 7th August 2007
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Warren Demontague Warren Demontague is offline
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Go with the Linear. You don't want a ragged out Saab. The power difference is noticeable, but not a deal breaker. Besides, it's nothing a BSR kit can't fix.
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  #3  
Old 7th August 2007
ctrlz ctrlz is offline
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It sounds like you are relatively comfortable with the windshield and IP issues on the Arc. Double check that gauge cluster price and make sure it's for the 93SS. Sounds like a bargain.

At 210HP the 2.0T motor seems right for a factory spec car. I've never driven the 175 HP 2.0t. I now have 250 HP with aftermarket tuning, which is how I think the car should have been sold, but I understand why they don't do that. I would not want less than 210 HP.

I vote Arc.
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  #4  
Old 7th August 2007
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saab93osu saab93osu is offline
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You may want to invest more time in researching that year and model. There were significant problems in '03, just search on this site and you'll become more educated before you invest. Service records would be a huge plus and certified pre-owned would be even better. The price sounds good but we want you to be a happy Saab owner. Try to find a CPO 9-3, it's worth the extra cash. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 7th August 2007
SMHarman SMHarman is offline
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The 03's with headaches were generally the Linear with the 'Launch pack' non color coded side skirts and some other stuff. Basically the first of the production line.

Now they should have been back to a dealer enough times (even with basic servicing only) such that they have had these bugs ironed out, but...

03 Vectors don't have as many complaints, the Arc was not first off the line so may be in a similar position, however more have the Auto box and the risk of coolant contamination.

Don't be put off an 03 because it is an 03. This is a good place to do the research and know what you are looking for and what to steer clear of.
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  #6  
Old 7th August 2007
dave911 dave911 is offline
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Love my new '03 Vector 6-speed. No problems in the first 1,500 miles..,in 2 weeks!

If the cars aren't clean, though...keep looking. Patience, Young Skywalker...
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  #7  
Old 8th August 2007
Cosmicflash Cosmicflash is offline
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I vote for the Linear. Also, is it a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned)? If not you might want to have the dealer CPO it. I think it's $1000-1500 to have that done. You'd have a 6 year/100,000 mile warranty with that.
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  #8  
Old 8th August 2007
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Does the Linear have the Touring package or 17" rims? Those options alone would be worth it. Since I have a Linear with all the options, I can honestly say I don't miss the extra HP. This is also coming from a 2005 Nissan Maxima owner with 265hp, two different cars, but the point being is that I thought I would die by going 90hp less. Since its a lighter, nimbler and Turbo car, I really enjoy driving it and I'm ok with the <200hp ..for the Moment.

The higher KM's and the chip in the windshield etc, are things to watch out for...Sounds like the Linear is a clean car.
Having said that, If either car is CPO, then its a no-brainer.

my 2ents
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  #9  
Old 8th August 2007
windir windir is offline
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Thanks for all of the responses so far.

According to saab.com, the dealer which has the Linear is a certified pre-owned dealer, so I'll talk to them about getting it CPO.

I don't know if it has the Touring package or the 17" rims, but I'll check when I go to look at it tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 9th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windir
Thanks for all of the responses so far.

According to saab.com, the dealer which has the Linear is a certified pre-owned dealer, so I'll talk to them about getting it CPO.

I don't know if it has the Touring package or the 17" rims, but I'll check when I go to look at it tomorrow.
You'll know if it has the touring package if it has dual-climate control, digital compass in the rear-view mirror & of course the stunning bi-xenon headlights.
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  #11  
Old 9th August 2007
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Where are you located? The reason I ask is that someone here might be willing to sell you their car or know of one for sale that checks out. If it were me, I'd buy one as new as possible, still under warranty, etc. And if you get a newer one the biggest part of the depreciation has already taken place.
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  #12  
Old 9th August 2007
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MooF MooF is offline
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I agree with Bob Z. on trying to get something 'newer' with warranty.
The Canadian dealerships offer extended warranties up to 4 years, 80k on any Certified Pre-owned Saabs. It's something to consider if anyone is weary of repair costs. We've all had experience with these costs and for those who enjoy the piece of mind, you can't put a price tag on warranty even if you never have to exercise it - saves you time at the dealer ...

I've been lucky so far but I've only had mine for three Months - but so far my instinct predicts a reliable car. Better be at 65k. After driving too many domestic lemons over the years, I decided on leasing only..in order to drive a car under warranty. Yet I couldn't swallow all the payments each month for something I don't own at the end. A pre-owned Saab seemed like the best value considering the (unfortunately for new-car owners) huge depriciation the first few years. List price on my 93ss was $42k, and lets just say I paid nearly less than 1/3. I almost felt bad.

oh, the other thing I wanted to mention is you if you are considering the ECU Stage1 (BSR,etc) upgrade, this will void your warranty in some countries/dealers. just FYI.

Last edited by MooF; 9th August 2007 at 08:34 AM.
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