SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Consumer Reports shows "average" reliability (a "3" on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being most reliable) for '04 - '06 9-3s. In '07 it goes up to "better than average" (a "4") and in '08 it goes up to "best" (a "5").

Were the changes between '06 - '08 that significant? Can these numbers be trusted? Or is it likely just statistical error, i.e. not a big enough sample size from year to year to really determine if there's a difference or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,355 Posts
Maybe it's because more things fail on an older car than on a newer car.

Every time that I see a question about a particular failure, I guess that it's either an '03 or '04 car; most times I'm right... Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe it's because more things fail on an older car than on a newer car.
When you look at the reliability ratings for Honda or Toyota, though, they are consistent across all of the years. Ratings for poorly rated cars like Audi are consistently bad across the years too. So the age of the car alone can't explain it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,619 Posts
A couple of things about Consumer reports.
It has always been my opinion that CR is better at judging washing machines and detergents than cars. I wonder how they judge reliability for cars. Anecdotal, like a survey? Dealer stats? I would think a higher percentage of Honda or Ford owners would go to chain rather than a dealer. Maybe CR has it all figured out or maybe the deck, if not stacked, is over shuffled.

And with SAAB, the sample size was small and was less than half in 2008 of what it was in 2003 and 2004. Personally, my 2004 Aero has been pretty much fault free. Much better than my 2000 Ford Windstar.

And in the general public reliability is in the eyes of the beholder. A coworker had a clutch go on a Nissan Altima at like 100K miles. he clutch on my 1987 and 1996 900's each lasted over 190K miles as far as I know are still going (for someone else). Asking my friend what he's going to buy now he said another Nissan.


Year
U.S. Saab Sales


2000
39,479

2001

37,557

2002

37,805

2003

47,914

2004

36,371

2005

30,131

2006

29,125

2007

27,336

2008

17,705

2009

6462

2010

4759

2011

5610

2012 YTD *

-----
19Source: Automakers & ANDC
* 4 Months U.S. & 4 Months Canada
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,509 Posts
...and also, it took a couple years to work out some software issues and other bugs... like the SAI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
It's all based on customer surveys. The respondents are asked to provide information regarding all their vehicle failures. I think that someone who pays 37 thousand for a car is more likely to notice AND report failures than someone who pays 22k. I also think that someone who buys a Saab or Audi is more likely to recognize that something is wrong, because they are more likely to be car enthusiasts. The average person doesn't notice little squeaks and creaks or a small grinding noise, etc. They just don't care really. A Saab buyer is more likely to notice and complain.

I will say that I own a Saab and a Saturn and the Saab's interior and electronics are not as reliable as the Saturn's, but the Saab's interior and electronics are much more complex. But mechanically there's no comparison; the Saab is much more reliable.

In any case it isn't worth looking across brands, because they all buy and exchange so much stuff with eachother. It's hard to say that "Saabs are unreliable" when 2 of their 4 cars in 2005 were completely designed by someone else. You really have to look at specific models to get any useful information.

that said, don't buy Audi or Jaguar. Haven't come across one of either that wasn't junk. Just my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I've had 4 Saab 9-3 convertibles, all acquired new. '99, '02, '04 and my current '08 aero.

I don't know why, maybe maturity of the model or better controls at the factory but hands down the '08 was/is a much more trouble-free car and I have had way fewer problems than with any of the previous ones, which is why this one is a keeper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
It's just time, it's very similar to the 03, they just ironed out the bugs over 5 years. The ratings improve year on year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
837 Posts
Between ditching the useless SAI system, replacing the fiber optic radio nonsense with a standard setup and removing most of the fade-prone black exterior plastic, I'd say the facelift models would be significantly more dependable. The 2.0 powertrain doesn't seem to have any major issues, save for some porous blocks in '03 and '04 and a notchy 6-speed shifter (which isn't a reliability issue). Whatever changes were made after 2006 to prevent the front springs from snapping is certainly a plus. Only thing would be the interior materials, which should be higher quality/more durable.

Only time will tell how reliable 2008-up models are, but so far so good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
I've owned an '03 Launch Linear from 23K-130K and now have an '08 Aero that I bought new and now have 107K on it. The '03 was pretty much trouble-free after some initial teething issues and aside from the typical and well-documented front suspension problems. The '08 though has been just about as perfect as you could possibly ask for. Only one issue in warranty (replaced the steering wheel controls around 8K miles) and zero issues out of warranty. So far I've replaced two brake light bulbs and I'm just getting ready to do the brakes for the first time. By contrast I think I went through at least three sets of brakes in the '03 in 100K miles.

So yes, I agree that the '08s are extremely well built and reliable (or at least mine is). Again, the '03 was mostly trouble-free once all the bugs were sorted out, but it took a few visits to the dealer to get it that way. The '08 was solid and sorted right out of the gate, as it should have been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
The 08+ update model had over 1,000 changes. Any car will improve its build through its cycle life. My 09 9-3 feels a lot more "solid" than the 06 model we also had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Were the changes between '06 - '08 that significant? Can these numbers be trusted? Or is it likely just statistical error, i.e. not a big enough sample size from year to year to really determine if there's a difference or not?
Having been a CR subscriber since 1966, and a one-time consultant to CU (the parent), I can tell you that every subscriber gets an annual questionnaire (via the web nowadays) and is invited to respond regarding repairs to vehicles and major appliances. CU has a capable statistical staff who do the data reduction. If there aren't enough responses to give a statistically significant result, they say so.

I have a 2008 Aero SC, and it has been fairly reliable, happily. Outside of recalls (coolant tank, XWD breather hose), the only important problems I've had were a leaking steering rack and a bad xfer case seal, both repaired under the warranty. I suspect that the use of GM standard driveline components and vehicle subsystems are mostly responsible. Saabs got more and more GM content as the years of GM ownership wore on. Even though the number of Saabs declined, many of the components were proven in a much larger arena. The enthusiasts may have wrung their hands, but there are lots of drawbacks to low-volume production.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top