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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a serious look today at a truly nice (66,000km) 2002 9-3 SE. The seats even said "turbo":cool:

The car drove fantastic. What did Saab do to the GM900? Every GM900 I drove was nowhere near as nice as my c900!

This car had a great deal of appeal. QUick off the line with the 5-speed! TCS was nice in the rain. Turbo was quick but nowhere even close to the high end grunt my c900 does!

Car still had new car smell!

$14,000 asking (dealer) with a 1 year warranty. $100 deductable and $2,500 max claim.

black on black, everything worked except a headlamp bulb.

Was towards a 9-5, but this thing had appeal...oh yeah!

very surprised!

Climbed back into my 900, the lag on the turbo was very bad all of a sudden. But then the 3rd gear merge proved that high end turbo scream.

For city this 9-3 could be a good option. How are thee, seriously? Reliable? Running costs?
 

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02 9-3 is the same as 00 9-3 I think.
Things need to check are:
DIC (recall)
PCV update
CPS
Rear tires (too much negative camber)
Headlight wipers
Possilbe flex pipe leak
Worn transmission mount, engine mounts
Possible sludge issue
The missing pixel on information display

My 00 9-3 has all of the above except the last two.
 

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The AC compressor is another common and expensive repair, though this car is probably a bit young yet. But listen for rattles and bearing noises with the AC on, then turn it to "Econ" and see if it goes away.
 

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woywitka said:
The car drove fantastic. What did Saab do to the GM900? Every GM900 I drove was nowhere near as nice as my c900!
Sigh.

The 2002 9-3 SE is fundamentally the same car as a "GM900." There are very few differences. There was a suspension update in mid model-year 1995 and a brake and hub upgrade in 1997.

EDIT: almost forgot....Hydraulic clutch returned in 1998

"High end grunt?" The 9-3 SE has 40 more HP than even an SPG, across a wider power band, and about 10-20 more ft-lbs of torque -- again, across a wider power band. The power can be delivered lower in the RPM range because of the advances in the gearbox.

You felt that difference when you went back to your car.

re: price...

Walk away. That car is ridiculously overpriced. For $14K, you can get a Viggen in decent condition.

For only $9K you can get a 9-3 with a rebuilt 9000 Aero engine, racing clutch and a GT30 turbo that will make more than twice the power of an SPG....and gets better gas mileage.
 

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Maybe the GM900's you drove were all a bit tired- it doesn't take much wear in bushings, shocks and springs to expose it's fundamental weaknesses. Was this an LPT turbo or a full pressure? - if it's an LPT you will notice a lack of top end power but the FPT's are far superior at high speed pulling ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mike saunders said:
Sigh.

The 2002 9-3 SE is fundamentally the same car as a "GM900." There are very few differences. There was a suspension update in mid model-year 1995 and a brake and hub upgrade in 1997.

EDIT: almost forgot....Hydraulic clutch returned in 1998

"High end grunt?" The 9-3 SE has 40 more HP than even an SPG, across a wider power band, and about 10-20 more ft-lbs of torque -- again, across a wider power band. The power can be delivered lower in the RPM range because of the advances in the gearbox.

You felt that difference when you went back to your car.

re: price...

Walk away. That car is ridiculously overpriced. For $14K, you can get a Viggen in decent condition.

For only $9K you can get a 9-3 with a rebuilt 9000 Aero engine, racing clutch and a GT30 turbo that will make more than twice the power of an SPG....and gets better gas mileage.
Around here that price is to be expected, cars are worth more here. A decent c900 is $4,000 and up, in the east they are $250.

The 9-3 had many updates I have come to learn, some rework was done to the suspension. The 900s I drove felt all worn out at low kms. This car felt brand new.

The high end turbo output was much weaker vs. my 900. Boost comes on quick and strong but in 3rd gear at 4,000 it does not pull quite the same. The power delievery is different, a c900 is a push the pedle, wait a few seconds then get blast off, and the power is very strong till 5500. In the 1990+ c900s, the turbos do not pull as hard in top end like the old garrets do. Blust boost feels very steady and keeps on strong!

I drove the 185hp SPG 91' that did not have the same high end grunt, but that lag was really reduced! 89 and earlier 900s pull hard on that top end!
 

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Probably just doesn't feel as fast at the high end because you don't get that kick in the pants when the lag's over.

My car on the highway - I feel like the car is faster in 5th because you floor it and then it's "wait for it, wait for it...VROOM!" That being said, I *know* that it is faster in 4th at that speed, even though it doesn't have that kick that you feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TheRedBaron said:
Probably just doesn't feel as fast at the high end because you don't get that kick in the pants when the lag's over.

My car on the highway - I feel like the car is faster in 5th because you floor it and then it's "wait for it, wait for it...VROOM!" That being said, I *know* that it is faster in 4th at that speed, even though it doesn't have that kick that you feel.
yeah valid point.

But when the RPMS are up and you get that vvrrrOOOOOOOOOOM is feels like more. COuld be wrong.
 

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woywitka said:
Around here that price is to be expected, cars are worth more here. A decent c900 is $4,000 and up, in the east they are $250.
Dude, if you want to pay $14,000 for that car, you go right ahead. :lol:

Chalk it up to regional price differences...scarcity vs. high supply...the moon being in Aquarius....

If you're comfortable paying that, then dig deep and go for it!
 

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woywitka said:
The 9-3 had many updates I have come to learn, some rework was done to the suspension.
Such as?

Very interested....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
mike saunders said:
Dude, if you want to pay $14,000 for that car, you go right ahead. :lol:

Chalk it up to regional price differences...scarcity vs. high supply...the moon being in Aquarius....

If you're comfortable paying that, then dig deep and go for it!
THe trouble is, and I have been trying if you look at my threatds all over the place. Cars here are bloody expensive. 9-5 LPT's for 1999 can still be found over the $12,000 price range.

Even if I import from the US, tac on about 30% by the time I'm driving it in Canada. It sucks, big time.

I see lots of 9-5 Aeros in your area for south of $10k, wish we could do that here.

THe option in going to eastern Canada were cars are worth much less. But even the 9-5 wagon I was looking at is $7,500, for a 1999 LPT and 150,000kms.

sucks.
 

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"Internally, the 9-3 acquired the innovative SAHR or Saab Active Head Restraint system - as introduced as an industry first on the Saab 9-5. Therefore, the design of the head restraints differs slightly from the Saab 900 (1994-1997 model).

It was under the body that the changes had been made on the 9-3. Over 1,100 changes including suspension in an attempt to tighten up the handling characteristics of its predecessor, the Saab 900 (1994-1997 model), for which these new General Motors influenced Saabs had been much maligned by the auto press."

Saab said only about 90 are ones that a customer can see-touch-feel.

The 9-3 IS different. The 9-3 does feel tighter. The 9-3 seems to even have a tiny bit less turbo lag. IMO, anyway. I have one of each (and my 99 is really a 98 SE). And they only got better after 99.

The car the original poster is looking at is the best year to own. We all know this. ;) Anniv edition? If that price is comparable in your area, that sounds like a nice low mileage car that should land it's next owner a lot of trouble free miles. ;)
 

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Many changes to the suspension happened during the NG900's production run - if Saab claims these improvements were from the original 94 car to the 99 9-3 it's a bit misleading. The only significant difference in suspension between late 900 and 9-3 was slightly more front suspension travel. Otherwise AFAIK they share the same components.
 

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I don't quite understand the OP.

I've owned an 88 900T convert which had the kandP pots adjusted (it was fairly quick), but it was very loose, compared to my SPG, 87T16, 884drT16, and 82 900 8v Turbo it was horrible.

Our family has gone through 2 9000s (91 CSE, 88T, the 88 saved my sisters life on I-5 in Seattle). The 87900t saved my life in a t-bone accident. I drive a 2000 Viggen and my sister drives a 1998 5dr S (it's slow compared to her old 88-9000t, but she feels safe and comfortable).

A Viggen (or any 9-3 turbo manual) will offer you much more comfort and performance than an older model saab.

With that in mind I'm purchasing a 88 spg.

Goodluck!

Rogo
 

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For everyone saying that "an NG IS a 9-3...":

When I had my '98 900SE vert, I said the same things - now that I have the 9-3, I can say that they are truly different animals. Ever since I got the newer car, I've said that the 9-3 is the car the NG should have been. They handle different, they drive different, they feel different - all better. The NG feels like a go-kart compared to the 9-3...
 

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20Ted said:
For everyone saying that "an NG IS a 9-3...":

When I had my '98 900SE vert, I said the same things - now that I have the 9-3, I can say that they are truly different animals. Ever since I got the newer car, I've said that the 9-3 is the car the NG should have been. They handle different, they drive different, they feel different - all better. The NG feels like a go-kart compared to the 9-3...

I'm going to have to agreed, mike saunders seems to post over and over again how a NG900 handles the same as a 2002 9-3. I'm starting to think mike saunders only wishes his car handles like a 02 9-3.

I've driven a 02 9-3 and I'm going to say its night and day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
1997900s said:
I'm going to have to agreed, mike saunders seems to post over and over again how a NG900 handles the same as a 2002 9-3. I'm starting to think mike saunders only wishes his car handles like a 02 9-3.

I've driven a 02 9-3 and I'm going to say its night and day.
Yeah so it seems this way.
 

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So what is radicaly different in the suspension and steering components to create this night and day change?
 

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I own a 2002 SE and (until recently) a 1995 900 SE. The 900 was tighter, more responsive and handled better all the way around with 2X the mileage. My 2002 has a much softer ride and has a lot of body roll in comparison to the 900.

My .02
 
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