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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 12th November 2008
spivey spivey is offline
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Default Potential new Saab owner

I posted this in the wrong thread the first time - hopefully I have it right now.

I've come across a 2003 9-3 Vector with 47K on it. Now I like the way the car looks, but reading reviews online I'm starting to have my doubts. From everything I've gathered, the car is either going to run great or turn out to be a total lemon.

Are there any tell-tale signs I can look for that this car is one of those lemons? I've read these cars handle as well as Beamers but at a fraction of the cost - and I really like the way Beamers handle.

Any advice would be much appreciated. My wife wants me to get a Camry or Accord, but I just dont' get whats so great about them.

FWIW, most of the cars I've researched online have similiar reviews, from Fords to Hondas to BMWs, the owners either love them or hate them.
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  #2  
Old 12th November 2008
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MooF MooF is offline
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"the car is either going to run great or turn out to be a total lemon."
or anywhere in between...

You've just stated my life lesson/motto about cars... Nobody can predict the future. The best you can do is arm yourself with knowledge/history on these cars, inspect the vehicle and find out if it has been taken care of, and from there hope for the best.
Toyota's and Honda's are generally known for their reliability (in general only, there are always some lemons), but surely won't win any beauty contests or exciting drag races.. In the past, contributors on this forum compared the 9-3SS to a 'hot girlfriend'. She looks great, but often comes with maintenance required. (I'm quoting here, so any female readers please don't flame).
Personally, if we're going to compare cars to hot girlfriends, then I would rather be discussing Porches or Vettes. 'cuz I don't consider a daily-driver sports sedan as such, but the analogy holds true..at least for my experience w/ my '03.
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  #3  
Old 12th November 2008
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navygz19 navygz19 is offline
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MooF summed it up. There really does seem to be a great range of reviews about these cars. Some people love them, some hate them, some are great quality, some have gremlins that never go away. In addition, you need to coinsider the types of people who drive/review these types of cars as well, in addition to the fact that most people only tend to do publically viewed reviews (i.e. Edmunds) when they're pissed about something, or their car is a pile of sh!t. That being said, it holds true for most everything in life, from Apartment reviews to Restaurant reviews. I'm not a nit-picky person, but the interior of my 9-3 rattles with cheapness and scratches if you sneeze on it. Sure, sometimes my radio doesn't turn on unless I really push on the power button. But I didn't spend the money on buying this new. Someone who buys an '09 will obviously have a different opinion...especially when they're paid over 30K in some cases.

As far as major mechanical issues (are these cars "reliable") no, there aren't really any to speak of 'cept for the sporadic few who have premature engine/clutch failures. Otherwise, they're fairly solid cars and, coming from a Nissan Maxima, they handle as if on rails (just like my 1990 c900 STILL does, with 230K on the clock)

Test drive it fully, turn on every single power option inside the car, throw the wheel in turns, give it WOT, etc. etc. as you would if it were yours from time to time. In other words, test EVERYTHING on the car. You'll likely hear a few things if it's got some issues by doing this.

I say go for it...see if you can get an extended warranty for the powertrain thrown in if you're concerned about it. Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 12th November 2008
spivey spivey is offline
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Thanks for the info.

The car is at a Honda dealer, so I'm hoping that works out in my favor.

I called the local Saab dealer this morning and the service guy ran the VIN. All the recalls have been performed, and he said it looks like whoever owned it before took pretty good care of it.

I'm coming out of a 08 Scion tC. This car doesn't really fit after owning it for a few months, plus my wife hates it. I'm hoping that this car may be the one, especially if the dealer selling it doesn't try and turn me upside down in the loan.
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  #5  
Old 12th November 2008
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navygz19 navygz19 is offline
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Seeing as your car is an '08, I am hoping that you had put a sizeable down-payment on that car when you bought it, if you're afraid of being upside down.
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  #6  
Old 12th November 2008
spivey spivey is offline
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Not to big of a down, but a down none-the-less; enough so I should not get flipped*. They also tried to get me to finance the dealer costs (title/taxes/tags) but I wasn't going for that.

*Should not meaning I'm not sure how they are dealing with pay-offs given the current state of the auto industry. I hope they'll want to take a car a broad range of people look at vs keeping one only a specific type of buyer likes.
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  #7  
Old 12th November 2008
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rogan rogan is offline
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Get the car. Honestly, you'll like it. Like everyone else said, have a shop that knows what they're doing check it out and test drive the heck out of it. If you find it's a good example, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

-Rogan
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  #8  
Old 12th November 2008
Mithos the Hero Mithos the Hero is offline
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Id say check all fluid levels up and down and look for as many seals as possible. Test drive like they say is also a great idea. You might hear creeks and groans specially in these winter months. They are normal and pretty much unavoidable. Any loud thuds or metal clangs you need to have looked at as springs have failed. With 47K alot of those worrisome mechanical issues are likely behind you as I've noticed a pattern of 30-35K being a weird breaking point. I'm over 50K and no problems.

Its a great looking car inside and out. Sporty (and I even have a lower end model and I still love it.) and totally fun to drive. Also its safe.

Except for minor cosmetic concerns and build quality issues (some have em some don't) oh and electronics are notorious but frankly thats with A LOT of modern cars anyways.
So take in all the info you can find here and if you get the car trust me, you'll be hooked to this place. Plenty of people here as tons of knowledge and are courteous enough to help in anyway.
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  #9  
Old 13th November 2008
fastazzgtp fastazzgtp is offline
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Did the dealer run the IRIS report on it? That will tell the recall history and warranty history which would tell if it has been a lemon or not. I can do that for you if you didnt get the info with the recall history already. let me know
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