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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My significant other was in an accident yesterday and I am fairly certain the 1999 9-3 is totaled. I have decide to start looking at the newer 9-3's. She wants an auto but other than that and a turbo what should I look for other than the usual stuff with any car. Are they as reliable as the older 1999-2002 models? Also what is the difference between a Vector a Linear etc? HP all the same?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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The new 9-3 departed from the EcoPower engine used previously for a new 2.0*L straight-4 engine Family II Ecotec engine from General Motors' for the petrol powered models. There are three different versions of the turbocharged I4, with the amount of turbo boost determining the power output. The 150*hp version (though two-litre, it is called 1.8t) was standard in the non-U.S. market Linear form (trim-level). The 175 horsepower version (2.0t) was standard in U.S. market Linear or non-U.S. market Vector form, mated with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed 'Sentronic' which is a traditional automatic, not to be confused with SAAB's earlier 'Sensonic' which was a manual transmission which allowed for shifting without a clutch pedal. The 210 horsepower 2.0T (B207R engine) was available in both the Arc and Vector forms, (and Aero in the UK), and the automatic transmission was available, though in the Vector, paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel were added. In 2003 Arcs and Vectors, the manual transmission was a 6-speed.

The second-generation model was launched at the North American International Auto Show in early 2002 for the 2003 model year. The new 9-3, like all Saabs, remained a front-wheel drive car. The most drastic change from the former generation was the elimination of the hatchback design. The second-generation 9-3 is available as a four-door sedan, a wagon (introduced late in 2005, known as the SportCombi, SportWagon or Sport-Hatch depending on the markets), and a two-door convertible. It includes a number of safety features, including innovations such as Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR II) to reduce whiplash and ReAxs, a passive rear wheel steering design and passive toe-in to help reduce understeer under heavy braking.

Hope this helps! Wiki is amazing!;ol;
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I saw that but that doesn't cover maintenance issues.
 

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PM work can be done by you, from sparkplugs, to coolant, to oil. I even changed my own alternator, brakes, even suspension.
 

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In the US market, the Linear had the 2.0t (lowercase t) 175HP engine, lacked automatic climate control and was in other ways a base model. For '03 and '04, the mid-line was Arc. The top model in '03 was "Vector", but Saab got sued by another company that made a "Vector" car so brought back the "Aero" name. The '03 Arc. along with the Vector, had the 210HP engine, but I think in later years only the top model kept the 210. Later, Saab went to just two trim lines, 2.0t and 2.0T.

I found my '03 to be the most reliable of the three Saabs I had owned: '86, '97 and '03.
 

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03 linear

In the US market, the Linear had the 2.0t (lowercase t) 175HP engine, lacked automatic climate control and was in other ways a base model. For '03 and '04, the mid-line was Arc. The top model in '03 was "Vector", but Saab got sued by another company that made a "Vector" car so brought back the "Aero" name. The '03 Arc. along with the Vector, had the 210HP engine, but I think in later years only the top model kept the 210. Later, Saab went to just two trim lines, 2.0t and 2.0T.

I found my '03 to be the most reliable of the three Saabs I had owned: '86, '97 and '03.
Thats not true,my 2003 linear 2.0t is full load,automatic climate control,hid ligting,onstar,built in phone,heated seats ,power seats,auto dimming mirrror,rain sense wipers etc etc
 

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I saw that but that doesn't cover maintenance issues.
IMHO, 2003 and later much more reliable than previous. I had a 1996 and 2000 900/9-3. No comparison. The 2.0T seems especially reliable
 

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In the US market, the Linear had the 2.0t (lowercase t) 175HP engine, lacked automatic climate control and was in other ways a base model. For '03 and '04, the mid-line was Arc. The top model in '03 was "Vector", but Saab got sued by another company that made a "Vector" car so brought back the "Aero" name. The '03 Arc. along with the Vector, had the 210HP engine, but I think in later years only the top model kept the 210. Later, Saab went to just two trim lines, 2.0t and 2.0T.

I found my '03 to be the most reliable of the three Saabs I had owned: '86, '97 and '03.
The names relate more to engine power than trim levels. My 9-3 is decked out exactly how a high end arc would be except for low pressure turbo vs high. Vectors just have a refined suspensions really over the arc and a slight HP increase. The drive train of the newer gen 9-3s are solid. The motors are rock solid and the transmissions are generally good as they fixed the major killing problem with them with a recall on the 03s
 

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In the US market, the Linear had the 2.0t (lowercase t) 175HP engine, lacked automatic climate control and was in other ways a base model. For '03 and '04, the mid-line was Arc. The top model in '03 was "Vector", but Saab got sued by another company that made a "Vector" car so brought back the "Aero" name. The '03 Arc. along with the Vector, had the 210HP engine, but I think in later years only the top model kept the 210. Later, Saab went to just two trim lines, 2.0t and 2.0T.

I found my '03 to be the most reliable of the three Saabs I had owned: '86, '97 and '03.

2003-2005 there were three trim models, Linear, ARC and Vector(us market in 03 only)/Aero (04 and on).
The ARC and vector/Aero both came with 210hp, the arc had wood grain trim on the inside, the vector/aero had a metal finish trim. the Vector/aero had a different front air valance, and a sportier and lower supension, and both ARC and Aero came with Bi-Xeon auto leveling head lights, where the Linear came with Hologens. The 03 ARC and all year Aeros came with a 6 speed manual transmission or a 5 speed auto with paddle shifters.
Even though the Linear was the base model there are few out there that were fully load I.e. heated seats, headlight washers, ect. In 2006 the Linear was dropped from the line up completely only leaving the ARC and Aero, the ARC had the 2.0T high compression turbo I4, where the Aero had a 2.8T turbo v6.

The difference between all three trim level in terms of maintance is none, as long as you change the oil regualy, fuel her up with preimum gas, and don't rag the hell out of her she'll give you plenty of joy.
 

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As to engines, the 03+ are more reliable. You can tell by noting the wide availability at junkyards for $600. The 99-02 engines are weak and subject to sludge thus there aren't many for under $1400. The 99 and earlier B204 engines are plentiful with many low mileage engines costing only $600.

Some 2003 transmissions have had radiator coolant mixing with trans fluid.

Good luck
 

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Are the 2005 and newer thought to be more reliable than the 2003 and 2004? (It seems manufacturers often take a year or two to work the bugs out of a new model.)
 

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Thats not true,my 2003 linear 2.0t is full load,automatic climate control,hid ligting,onstar,built in phone,heated seats ,power seats,auto dimming mirrror,rain sense wipers etc etc
Power passenger seat? rain sensing wipers? What package were those part of? Never heard of a Linear with either.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, thanks for all the replies.
 

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Power passenger seat? rain sensing wipers? What package were those part of? Never heard of a Linear with either.


On my search for a cheap/decent 9-3 i've stuble accross at least 3 9-3 LINs that had power pass seat, rain sensing wipers on the other haven't seen any of them with that.
 

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Right - the "Launch Package" was offered Sept 2002-April 2003 until the Arc and Vector became available.
 
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