/ Anyone got a Saab 9.3 Estate? Thoughts please

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drunken monkey - on 03 Feb 2013
evening all - I'm looking at getting a motor with more room, hence the estate, and ditching/trading in the current car (2006 VW Golf)

Seen a Saab 9.3 Wagon online, and it looks sweet as a nut. Full leather interior, low miles, FSH etc. Real tidy looking motor.

I've never owned a saab before, and realise they have a rep as a auld mans motor, but also heard they are bomb proof, and pretty damn reliable.

Anyone off here owned one? Any thoughts?

Jim Braid - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: I owned a Saab 900S, which I think was a predecessor to the Saab 9.3, for 17 years from new in 1994 to 2011. Eventually gave out with just under 192,000 miles on the clock. Agree bomb proof and reliable. Superb car.

I considered buying another Saab but plumped for a Volvo Estate.

I understand that Saab hit financial problems and dealerships have closed. Someone with a better knowledge of the motor trade may be able to tell you the effect this may have on spare parts and servicing.

drunken monkey - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim Braid: Thanks for that Jim - the car i'm looking at is at a Saab dealer, so i'm guessing they are still selling cars?
Coel Hellier - on 03 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

Saab have gone bust and no Saabs are being made now. Obviously this complicates the spare-part situation, but there are still vast numbers of Saabs around, so there will be parts available, but maybe made by third parties.

I've had a Saab 93 for over ten years (now at 156,000 miles) and am entirely happy with it. The only real drawbacks of a Saab are a bit worse fuel efficiency than some other cars and (as above) a bit higher parts/repair costs.
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Thanks for the reply - This car is advertised as coming with a warranty, so will have to question its validity etc.

My mate owns a local garage, so servicing/repairs will go to his business. Mates rates etc.

Is your 93 a petrol or diesel?
Tall Clare - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

Make of this what you will - the Saab 9-3 was offered as a company car by my partner's company, along with various German offerings. The cars are supposed to last three years, and whilst the BMWs and Audis were fine, apparently quite a few of the Saabs were pretty much falling apart at the end of three years.

That's just hearsay though - I find it a little hard to believe.
Radioactiveman - on 04 Feb 2013
LastBoyScout on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

I nearly bought a Saab, until I looked at the fuel consumption figures!

Friend of mine has a Saab estate, not sure which model, but it's the 2.5 V6 - he says it's awesome, but can't afford the fuel bill if he lets his wife drive it!

General Motors closed Saab, but might have started funding them again, I don't know.
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to LastBoyScout: Yeah, they are thirsty beasts compared to some motors.

the 1.9 TTiD doesnt appear bad though.

handjammer - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: I can't speak for the 9-3, as I've got a Saab 9-5 Aero Estate (2004 model). It's my second Saab and I love it - spacious, immensely comfortable and capable, and tons of overtaking power when you need it. I also use it for towing and the car has so much power that it's easy to forget you're pulling anything behind you.

It is thirsty on fuel (30mpg on a run), and since owning it for the last 8 months I have had some problems, all of which I hope are now sorted. These problems aside, I have no hesitation in saying that it's the best car I have ever owned.

In winter it is superb; the traction control does an incredible job of keeping 250bhp at the front wheels on the road without spinning all over the place. Great space in the back for the kids, full leather, heated front seats are lovely first thing on a cold morning, enormous boot, and all the usual Saab quirkiness (key by the handbrake, fantastic cup holder) to boot.

I did consider a 9-3, but preferred the look and extra capacity of the 9-5, and that was all. I don't think you'd be disappointed, just don't expect it to be as cheap to run as your Golf!

Ferret on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: I had a 9.3 convertible.. 08 plate, bought at 1 year old and kept it 3 years. Mine was the 2 litre 210 bhp petrol (i.e. the most powerfull of the three 2 litre engines, the 1.8t being a 2.0 in reality). Fancied the 2.8V6 but sanity prevailed. It went well, but to be honest never felt as fast as I expected for the paper stats - I actually think my 3.0 V6 diesel Vauxhall Signum with 184 bhp feels far faster and easier to drive fast (on straight roads that is). The SAAB handled quite nicely but noweher near as good as many rivals if you are an 'enthusiastic' driver. I liked the look, liked the interior and gadgets and so on. I toyed with changing the Signum for a 9.3 wagon but interior space not so good and seats don't fold flat so if thats an issue there are 'better' estates around. SAABs are no longer made but are still sold by dealers... the warranty is now an insurance backed thing rather than a manufacturers but in reality you will not be any worse off with that and parts will be available for a long time...

So, if you like it, the fact that SAAB no longer exists isn't a huge issue and may be getting you a lower price to buy than you would otherwise have had. The flip of that is that depreciation may well be worse than before. Mechanicals are largely vauxhall so not great but not bad and loads of shared parts so again that helps the long term will bits be available question. Its basically a fancy Vectra......

Depending on engine... as I say, the 210bhp petrol was fast and smooth but not as fast as I expected... and having driven a lot of 1.9 150bhp diesel vauxhalls if you get that engine in the SAAB it will be pretty brisk and not too thirsty. I've never tried the 1.9ttid which is a twin turbo with about 180bhp but I'm sure its nice with all the usual caveats that in my opinion, modern diesels are as prone to issues as petrol cars and are no longer the simple lumps they used to be... but then if they were, they wouldn't drive as nicely as they now do! So I have some reservations over reliability of diesels longer term these days. Probably not an option if you are looking at used but I'm trending (being sensible these days) towards buying a new Insignia diesel estate to replace my Signum as all vauxhalls now come with a 10 year first owner only warranty on it - and that I suspect will be worth its weight in gold as I can go for a high output diesel, 4 wheel drive thingy without major concerns over clutches, dual mass flywheels, fuel pumps, DPFs and assorted other gubbins that seem likely to blow up in diesels these days!
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Ferret: Thanks for all the replies guys - its a 9.3. Aero 2.8T, so a bit of a beast. I know that fuel and tax are going to be a killer, but wont be using it for the daily commute (diesel focus for that)

Was just wondering on reliability, drivability and practicality. We've got 2 dogs (large hounds) and a wee boy - So a trip out for the day is a logistical challenge in the Golf or Focus.

Aside from the fuel costs and tax, its a good deal - Low miles, and full saab service history. Its lot of car for the money. I think these things were 33k brand new!!
Coel Hellier - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

> Was just wondering on reliability, drivability and practicality.

All first-rate in a Saab.
Ferret on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: Nice - I seriously toyed with the 2.8 Aero convertible but plumped for 2.0 Aero instead....

On costs.... towards the end I was deliberately driving pretty gently, largely an easy Dual carriageway and city commute and in the 2 litre was getting less than 30mpg and going through front tyres at the rate of a set every 12,000 miles. I'd have coped with those 2 stats if I was beasting it but as I was being gentle it got too painfull. The tyres on mine were over £200 a pop if you had to get one on spec, I tended to get them cheaper by ordering online which saved a bit but left me worrying about having to replace one (or a pair) on spec at huge expense (its all we've got mate, take it or leave it) if I had a blow out while away from home/on holiday...

The 2.8 will be a £400 per year (or more now?) tax disk and it uses high octane fuel (will take standard but not great for it apparently) so your mpg will be lower and cost per litre higher if you havn't spotted that one. Somewhere mid 08 the 2.8 went from about 250bhp to 280 with no reduction in mpg apparantly.... so really you want that one if you canget it!

But all that said, if mileage isn't huge and you go into it wanting fun and sod the bills I think they are lovely looking cars, full heated leather, really nice inside and big enough for what you want I suspect.....
Timmd on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: There is an independent spare parts source which has cropped up after Saab went bust, but I forget thier name. I guess a google might find them.
drunken monkey - on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to Ferret: Thanks mate - Yeah its group L for tax, which puts it into the £450ish bracket. which is a massive boot in the balls! Probably about the same as it'll cost to insure!

Does it really need 98 Octane Fuel?
Ferret on 04 Feb 2013
In reply to drunken monkey: supposedly.... I think 95 does no harm but I've no idea how much of a difference you feel for doing it.... When I looked into it I just thought that I'd want to put the 'proper' stuff in and get the benefits of the grin factor!
I also toyed with hirsch performance upgrades... a few hundred quid tweaks all the engines up a fair bit and were manufacturer warranty approved (may not be the case with the aftermarket warranty you are being offered though) - Hirsche stated that if I upgraded my 2.0 HOT it needed 98 to get the most of the benefits.....vs the 95 it ran on normally.

I'm sure theres an anorach forum for SAAB types that can answer the 'do I really need 98' question although I suspect like UKC the views will be massivly polarised to 'yes of course' - 'no don't be daft'.... ;-)
handjammer - on 05 Feb 2013
In reply to Ferret: Regarding the Hirsch products, I would either look at the Hirsch website itself or contact a Saab dealer. I use Johnson Cars in Coventry (, who have been more than helpful. Sadly the Hirsch upgrade is no longer available for my car, so I'm currently researching the benefits of a Maptun setup.

As for parts and specialist advice, Neo Bros (on that auction site) are excellent. Internet forums are plentiful; I mainly use or They're both full of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly people who are happy to help. In the case of the latter website, it was down to them that I managed to ascertain what was wrong with my car. They are, in my opinion, an invaluable source of knowledge if you are as car-unsavvy as I am.

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