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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a thread for owners to post reviews / comments about their new 9-3 2.0T's. Following is my 2 cents.

*****

I now have just 200 miles on my new 9-3 2.0T and thought I'd review some of the changes between this one and my previous '06:

1. Styling - has grown on me after initial thumbs down.
2. Suspension - better shock attentuation. Feels more solid and higher off the ground. Handles a little looser. Less rattles, feels more solid.
3. Seats - cushier, spongier feeling. Could use firmer bolstering on drivers seat sides. Leather remains in center panels. I am pretty sure there is now less leather in the seats. Now vinyl toward the sides of the seating surfaces. Front passengers will miss power adjustable seats! Saab should of at least included manual control of seat height and tilt.
4. Radio - MUCH improved over the supposed "premium" radio in the '06. XM nice plus.
5. Lights - miss the xenon self-leveling lights!!! No fog laps, but only used them once or twice with the '06.
6. On-Star - Hope I never have to use it.
7. Automatic Transmission - Much improved with hardly any turbo lag. Much smoother shifting through gears. New Sport setting button is nice. Shift lever feels more solid.
8. Gas mileage - so far the info center says 16.5 in mostly city driving. Seems to be creeping up slowly. Used to report about 22.5 in the '06. I hope that improves soon.
9. Climate controls - improved, easy to use!
10. MP3 jack - the new in dash location is better.
11. Wind shield wipers - Rain sensing seems OK. Kind of miss the variable control though.
12. Door handles - previous ones seemed to work smoother.
13. Sun roof - creeks abit as did in the '06.
14. Rub strips - looks better with out them. Will get more exercise parking in safer spots to avoid door dings.

In general I am enjoying the car quite alot. So far I'm glad I went with this one over other cars I was considering. It feels a little more luxury, and a bit less sporty then the '06 (I prefer sporty though). The best thing is that the new one feels alot more solid all the way around - which is good! Even the sun visors feel more solid.

As a side note, before getting the '08, I looked at VW GLI, VW Passat, Saturn Aura, Volvo C30, Honda Accord and Civic SI. I would have also considered the Saturn Astra if it was available.

One disclaimer, I have not really driven my new 9-3 very hard yet. Giving it some more break in time. So time will tell how good it really is.
 

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safdc said:
5. Lights - miss the xenon self-leveling lights!!! No fog laps, but only used them once or twice with the '06.
No fog lamps? :eek: I thought fog lamps were standard on all trim levels for MY08.

safdc said:
9. Climate controls - improved, easy to use!
How do you mean? Aren't these identical to the ones in MY07?

safdc said:
The best thing is that the new one feels alot more solid all the way around - which is good! Even the sun visors feel more solid.
So would you say they've done a better job when it comes to fit/finish? How about the quality of the plastic parts?
 

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3rd stone from the sun said:
No fog lamps? :eek: I thought fog lamps were standard on all trim levels for MY08.


How do you mean? Aren't these identical to the ones in MY07?


So would you say they've done a better job when it comes to fit/finish? How about the quality of the plastic parts?
The original poster is comparing it to his previous '06, which had a different radio and climate controls.

I am glad you're happy with your new car! I can't wait to see one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To me all plastic seems pretty much the same quality. I think the interior is pretty close if not the same as the '07. Only difference I am aware of on the interior of the '08 is that the seats of the '07 Anniversary Addition were better. The seats on the '08 are definately padded softer then on the '06.

The fit and finish is mostly good. Door handle on drivers door seems to stick abit. My sunroof creeks abit as did the '06. Also I noticed there is an open space where the top of the rear bumper butts up where the rear trunk lid comes down. I tried pressing on it to see if it would snap in better but that didn't help. It seems somewhat unfinished or warped there ?.

The climate controls are totally different on the '08 then they were on the '06.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To me all plastic seems pretty much the same quality. I think the interior is pretty close if not the same as the '07. Only difference I am aware of on the interior of the '08 is that the seats of the '07 Anniversary Addition were better. The seats on the '08 are definately padded softer then on the '06.

The fit and finish is mostly good. Door handle on drivers door seems to stick abit. My sunroof creeks abit as did the '06. Also I noticed there is an open space where the top of the rear bumper butts up where the rear trunk lid comes down. I tried pressing on it to see if it would snap in better but that didn't help. It seems somewhat unfinished or warped there ?.

The climate controls are totally different on the '08 then they were on the '06.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To me all plastic seems pretty much the same quality. I think the interior is pretty close if not the same as the '07. Only difference I am aware of on the interior of the '08 is that the seats of the '07 Anniversary Addition were better. The seats on the '08 are definately padded softer then on the '06.

The fit and finish is mostly good. Door handle on drivers door seems to stick abit. My sunroof creeks abit as did the '06. Also I noticed there is an open space where the top of the rear bumper butts up where the rear trunk lid comes down. I tried pressing on it to see if it would snap in better but that didn't help. It seems somewhat unfinished or warped there ?.

The climate controls are totally different on the '08 then they were on the '06.
 

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There is absolutely no adjustment for recline on the passenger seat?
I have a manual seat on the pass side of the 07, but it can recline.
I really wish I had height/Lower adjustment.
 

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Picked up a '08 9-3 2.0 one week ago - my first ever SAAB. Full disclosure, I have been an SUV driver for 15 years (most recently a BMW X3 which is somewhat 'car like').

Positives:

Exterior Styling - I like it. Smoke beige is a great color. My neighbor has the '03-'07 style. I have to say that the rubber strips and door handles look great on that one (silver car). But I like the front end better on my '08. I'm neutral on the ice block tail lights.

Interior - I like the overall look of the interior. Simple and Euro, very easy to reach everything. I hate that look in the Japanese cars with all the chrome. Although I agree some bits feel cheap in the Saab.

Seats - comfy and the parchment leather looks great.

Wheel - looks and feels great.

3 months free XM is nice. I'm also a big podcaster, so MP3 port was a requirement.

Mileage - getting ~23 mpg in a bad traffic city.

Safety - allows for peace of mind.

Steering for me is good (but I'm coming from SUV's).

Acceleration in the 35-85 mph range is very good.

Price - I got GMS plus the $3,500 rebate offered in March.

Negatives

Design flaw - MP3 port and dash cupholder (cupholder can not open with MP3 cable plugged into port).

Rain Sensing wipers seem to have multiple personality disorder. But I just switched the setting to low sensitivity, we'll see if that helps.

Power outlets do not work when car is off. I loved charging my phone in the BMW X3 even when I was not driving. Doesn't work in the Saab.

Sliding armrest on center console, not really liking this.

Slight rattle noise coming from left side door(s).

Stereo seems below average.

No bluetooth.
 

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johnk said:
Picked up a '08 9-3 2.0 one week ago - my first ever SAAB. Full disclosure, I have been an SUV driver for 15 years (most recently a BMW X3 which is somewhat 'car like').

Positives:

Exterior Styling - I like it. Smoke beige is a great color. My neighbor has the '03-'07 style. I have to say that the rubber strips and door handles look great on that one (silver car). But I like the front end better on my '08. I'm neutral on the ice block tail lights.

Interior - I like the overall look of the interior. Simple and Euro, very easy to reach everything. I hate that look in the Japanese cars with all the chrome. Although I agree some bits feel cheap in the Saab.

Seats - comfy and the parchment leather looks great.

Wheel - looks and feels great.

3 months free XM is nice. I'm also a big podcaster, so MP3 port was a requirement.

Mileage - getting ~23 mpg in a bad traffic city.

Safety - allows for peace of mind.

Steering for me is good (but I'm coming from SUV's).

Acceleration in the 35-85 mph range is very good.

Price - I got GMS plus the $3,500 rebate offered in March.

Negatives

Design flaw - MP3 port and dash cupholder (cupholder can not open with MP3 cable plugged into port).

Rain Sensing wipers seem to have multiple personality disorder. But I just switched the setting to low sensitivity, we'll see if that helps.

Power outlets do not work when car is off. I loved charging my phone in the BMW X3 even when I was not driving. Doesn't work in the Saab.

Sliding armrest on center console, not really liking this.

Slight rattle noise coming from left side door(s).

Stereo seems below average.

No bluetooth.
Funny - word for word what I would've written ! Scary.

Anyway, some additional thoughts:

Pros (in addition to the above)

- handling in general - main reason for buying it
- tight turn radius, when compared to most other sedans
- plenty of space for the car this size, I'm average height (5'-10") and with two kids in the rear seat and my seat forward I still don't even start to feel cramped.
- Decent MPG - mine is about 25 to 27 in 50/50 driving, and improving
- interior seems to be designed and assembled with care (well, at least a month into ownership it still looks that way)

Cons:

all of the previous posters' (especially the occasional rattle in the left corner - somewhere in the door or the dashboard ? I heard the center speaker is held in place with a clip - this may be it ? And the idiotic idea of turning off the 12v plugs when the key is removed !)

- the stereo system quality (the base "premium" system) is below average. The basses are wooden and flat and the high frequency is not there. Not entirely awful but far from "premium", I had a better sound in almost every other car I've ever owned.

- after a single cleaning with a soft cloth and armorall, the radio display faceplate has a couple of scratches. This is _not_ normal, I think the plastic quality is very poor.

- the front cupholder (the one in the dashboard) looks fragile and doesn't fit any of my cups, it won't even fit a "grande" size Starbucks paper cup with sleeve (not without forcing it in and getting splashed all over)

- the passenger side vent keeps popping up in the corner

- the auto wiper function has to be re-enabled after starting the vehicle

- the cruise control switch is too easily activated by accident (not a biggie)

- the location and design of rear seat dual cupholders is a recepie for disaster if you have kids

- the paint finish doesn't seem to be good enough for a car in this price range. Much less "luster" when compared to even G6, clearcoat seems to scratch very easily. Most 2-3 year old Saabs I see on the road look older than they should.

- the trunk is completely flat, meaning anything you put in it will roll all over. They give you a towing eye - basically a big @ss metal bolt - but no place to store it that I could find, it was just thrown in the trunk. C'mon, how hard is it to design the car with some pockets / impressions in the floor of the trunk ? (I put a plastic bin there for now.)

- the armrest can't be fixed in place and tend to move when there's any elbow pressure - I learned not to lean on it but again, WTF !

- The glove box is spacious (as long as you don't attempt to keep the big binder with Saab manuals in it), but the center console storage is pitiful.

- The car looks good without body side moldings, but I wonder how long until I get a dent and wish they left them there... seems to be a common trend lately, though, I see a lot of other brands doing the same.

All in all, so far, I am very pleased, despite the small quirks the car is a pleasure to drive. I bought it ( I drive 15k miles a year and tend to keep cars for 8-10 years), so hopefully this will be a good experience. My old car was a 10 year old Taurus that I had no problems with whatsoever (other than some minor design flaws).
 

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Ummagumma said:
the center console storage is pitiful.
Agree the console is too small. But after 5 days of ownership, I just noticed the pouch on the front of the seats behind the knees. With that and the door storage and the glove box, I think I'm okay with storage space.
 

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Had an '08 2.0T loaner the other day. The one thing that was removed was the roll-up cover that would slide to cover the center console cup holder. Cup holder is still there. I will say the center armrest is much much quieter, no plastic squeaks.
 

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bryubpharm said:
Had an '08 2.0T loaner the other day. The one thing that was removed was the roll-up cover that would slide to cover the center console cup holder. Cup holder is still there. I will say the center armrest is much much quieter, no plastic squeaks.
There is that plastic "shade" cover on mine, seems like your loaner had it "removed" by accident.
 

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The centre console armrest is pitiful.
As others have mentioned, it slides back and forth too easily. It should be able to lock into place.
Also, I just noticed that it is fake leather, meaning it gets shinier the more you rest your elbow on it.
Just to make matters worse, have you ever looked at the underside of the arm rest (ex. when it is opened)? Where the fake leather material's rough-cut edges are stapled into place? Wow, talk about "unfinished"!!! Looks like a DIY job.
 

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The Swedish Bullet said:
The centre console armrest is pitiful.
As others have mentioned, it slides back and forth too easily. It should be able to lock into place.
Also, I just noticed that it is fake leather, meaning it gets shinier the more you rest your elbow on it.
Just to make matters worse, have you ever looked at the underside of the arm rest (ex. when it is opened)? Where the fake leather material's rough-cut edges are stapled into place? Wow, talk about "unfinished"!!! Looks like a DIY job.
Yes, it does look terrible (I don't think they expected too many people to stick their noses under the armrest ;) )

Another thing that I can't help but wonder - how many years until this vynil or whatever this is starts breaking and cracking. At least then changing it _will_ be a DIY job - so may be this was some forward-thinking on their part !

However this seems to be an improvement over a loaner SAAB I drove a few years back - don't know what MY it was, probably between 2000 and 2004 - it had dark fake wood dashboard and _no_ armrest at all. Made me think - wow, this is the car I would never buy.
 
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