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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks. First post. I've been reading these forums for about a week now as I am looking at becoming a Saab 9-3 owner. I have a few questions for you guys before I make my choice of which year, options etc. Here goes...

Between 2006 and 2007 models I've noticed a few changes. The radio head unit in '07 is now a "double din" style (correct me if I'm wrong) and the dash is now without the SID display. Also the climate controls are different.

1 - For those with '06 and below, what are the upgrade options (aftermarket, not nav unit) as far as head unit and how does that affect the SID display when the stock unit is removed. Is there adpater plates for aftermarket head units, do double din units fit there?

2 - For those with '07 models, how is the stereo quality compared to past years? Has anybody replaced the stock unit with aftermarket, if so was it a straight forward install? (EDIT: Just read Nickolay's thread about double din install in '07 model, this question answered.)

3- What are the fundamental differences between '06 and '07 models. I understand that the front coil springs were upgraded due to early failure. Any other mechanical differences, engine, tranny, suspension, etc?

4 - Why the change in climate controls, were there problems with the old setup?

Wow, Sorry so long for a first post, just want to have a clear understanding before I fork over cash for a vehicle. I currently drive an A4 so this is new territory for me. Thanks in advance.
 

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No problem with the old climate control system, just that GM streamlined their supply chain by making the Saab 9³ ACC controls identical to all other Epsilon platform vehicles (Opels, Vauxhalls, Chevys, Caddys, etc.).

As for the stereo systems, dramatic changes- not sure on the quality side, though again, the change had a lot to do with standardizing the supply chain. Note the head unit is identical to the CTS for instance, and the SID is integrated to the speedo.

In my opinion, in 2007 the 9³ for the most part became a rebadged CTS, whereas prior to, though they shared the same platform, the car itself was still uniquely Saab. The changes had less to do with quality than they did a financial and logistic decision by GM. My 2 cents.
 

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I recently bought our '06 Aero convertible, and limited it to 2006 models since it was the it was the onyl year you could get the V6 and the Saab climate controls/radio. I personally feel the 2007 and up GM ones look and feel very cheap. Plus, the SID is a great idea in terms of safety, and I was sad to see it die due to cost cutting....


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

Just so I'm clear, if the stock radio/cd head unit is removed from the '06 model, how if at all, does it effect the SID display? Do they need to work together in any way?

Also what are the aftermarket stereo options for an '06 model, as I understand it it is not a standard din size, are there adapters/spacer covers available to fit a din radio in an '06?
 

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100% with EuroStyle and personally I look on SID every other second - radio,cd,time,temp - everything is there!
 

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You basically can't replace the stock headunit for 2006 and below b/c the car needs to see the head unit on the fiber optic network. You can always hook a new radio to the speaker outputs/power/antenna etc, but it won't interface with the SID, and you'll need to keep the old headunit in the glove box or somewhere, still plugged in.

That being said, I definitely prefer the 2006 and earlier interior look; the fake aluminum trim just comes off as kind of chintzy to me, and I like the SID up high on the dash instead of in between the speedo and odometer. I'm pretty pleased with the 13 speaker audio system too; still working on getting all the little rattles out before I feel that its worthwhile to start upgrading components.

EDIT: To address a comment above, the epsilon platform doesn't underpin the cadillac CTS, although the radio is a corporate parts-bin radio in the 9-3, CTS, cobalt, malibu and a number of other cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok. I'm getting the picture now. I have been leaning toward the '06 and I do prefer the look and feel of the dash with the SID mounted up high.

The reason for the audio questions is that I would like to do some custom audio when I make the purchase. Just out of curiosity, what are the side effects of the stock head unit being removed?

If somebody has the dimensions of the stock unit available I'd really appreciate it. Thanks again for the help guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess I wasn't searching hard enough before. I've found answers to most of the above questions concerning audio.

Now to pick the color I want... lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wish they had '06 in cosmic blue!

Black or White looks good too) Red is Hot!
I like the red. Also the white. There are far too many black and charcoal models on the market. Much harder to find the more exotic colors.

Also, much harder to find manual transmissions and in most cases they are more expensive than the automatics. Autos are worth more when new, go figure..
 

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To address a comment above, the epsilon platform doesn't underpin the cadillac CTS...
True, I should have been clearer to not confuse the two. I'd argue as well, that though the 9³ is built on the same platform that underpins such boring cars like the Chevy Malibu or Saturn Aura, it is not the same car as others on the Epsilon platform.
 

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Beside the ease of replacing the stereo in the 07' the warranty is better. Depending on the inservice date and mileage you might be able to still get free maintenance, also the powertrain warranty was extended to 5 years 100,000 miles vs 06' which is 4 & 50,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Beside the ease of replacing the stereo in the 07' the warranty is better. Depending on the inservice date and mileage you might be able to still get free maintenance, also the powertrain warranty was extended to 5 years 100,000 miles vs 06' which is 4 & 50,000.
Warranty was in the back of my mind but I work as a mechanic so I'm not too worried about repair costs. I get all parts at garage prices and labor is free. :cool:

Ideally I'm narrowing my search to a late '06 model with no more than about 70,000 kms (~40,000 miles). This way I'd be able to drive it for a few months and go over it with a fine tooth comb at the shop to locate any problems the warranty may cover before it runs out.

Or I'll go nuts and buy the 'El Camino' pictured above. Awesome vehicle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's my understanding that the radio antennae is integrated into the rear windshield. Has anybody had problems with window tinting effecting the radio reception?
 

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The 07 and newer have the upgraded suspension and interior. Same engine and tranny. The older dashes tended to peel. The older sids would have pixels that fail. The older dash was better looking in my opinion, but the peeling is nasty.

Most 07's have the 5-100K warranty, which is a must when you rely on GM to do the work on someone elses car. The new head unit isn't very attractive. The auxillary jack is nice in the 07's.

I would go with an 07 or newer, but that is my opinion....
 

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Is that a Chevy El Saabino?
Probably the same platform as the Holden Ute... which, according to GM a couple years ago, was "planned" to arrive in the states, most likely badged as an El Camino. If that will actually happen remains to be seen - and I'm not keeping my hopes up either...
 
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