Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon consumer car reviews and road tests

3.5 stars - average customer rating
Read all 28 reviews
Read road tests
Have your say!
How does it compare?
Recent responses | Recent questions | Recent answers
Lastest deals

What Do You Say...?

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon consumer reviews by year of make: 2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009 

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon consumer car reviews

Stuart Horlock, England

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2007

5 star review

A very good estate car. I had trouble with the dpf, but just put straight pipe through and now it goes like a rocket.

Submitted: 2013-04-19 | ID: 46947

Tom Pearce, Durham

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2007

1 star review

I have owned a SAAB 9-3 1.9 TID for two months. I went out of my way to find one as I really love the look of it, but it is the worst car I have ever owned! The second time I started it two bulbs blew, then the engine management light came on as I needed a new fuel filter. Then the EGR valve and gasket needed replacing and when I went to use it today there was an inch of rain water in the front passenger footwell. Now I need to locate and sort out leak and strip the seats and flooring out to dry out the water as the carpets are likely to rot and the electrics maybe damaged by damp conditions. I have done 1500 miles in it so far and have allready paid £750 in repairs and I’m now waiting for next bill! Whenever I ask someone for advice on a problem the reply I always hear is "that’s a common fault on SAABs". If you buy a SAAB 9-3 be fully aware that it can ruin your life and make sure you have plenty of money.

Submitted: 2012-12-02 | ID: 46945

Simon, Yorkshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Ttid 180 2009

4 star review

A nice car to drive, but I’ve had a few things go wrong. I bought it in Sept ’11 with 26000 on the clock. The starter motor failed after a month then with 37000 on the clock the waterpump timing chain and head gasket all needed replacing, all of which was done under warranty. I will be getting another warranty and the performance upgrade as I really like driving this car; loads of go in it!

Submitted: 2012-08-29 | ID: 46946

Billy Kyle, Lanarkshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon tid sport 2005

5 star review

After owning my car for 6 months I can say it has never failed to impress me. I’ve been a bit of a boy racer for 35 years and having owned many decent cars my re mapped 93 tid is a pure take on, whilst always driven within the legal speed limits I must add!

Submitted: 2012-02-29 | ID: 46943

Dan, Cheshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon TTID 2008

1 star review

Shockingly bad! I had nothing but trouble with the car over the three years that I leased the vehicle. The engine and auto gearbox was replaced at 17k eight months old. Although done under warranty, I was without but still paying for the car for around 10 weeks in total. The car’s electrical system stopped working at 38k needed replacing including - I was told - the ECUs. I will not be buying another Saab after this experience. I am just glad that it went back before the warranty expired. The only positive that I would give the car was that it had good motorway slip road performance along with good overtaking performance. However you would need deep pockets to keep one on the road post warranty. After liking/wanting a Saab for many years, I now have a bitter taste. Shame for such a lovely looking car. <br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-11-29 | ID: 46944

Steven Holt, Perthshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.8 T 2006

4 star review

Coming from a Peugeot 406, I find that the 9-3 has a lot of roadnoise and the steering is very twitchy and it has a much harder ride than the Pug’ but the handling and superb stopping power far outweighs these trivial matters. Overall, a solid and safe car which has given me no problems over the 7 months that I have had it. Although the servicing was pretty expensive; it only has been serviced every two years although I believe that the later models have to be serviced annually. <br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-11-14 | ID: 46942

Scott, England

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Vector Sport TTid 2008

3 star review

I have real mixed feelings over this car. The engine blew up after 6months and less than 25k on the clock due to excessive fuel during DPF regenerations. The engine was rebuilt at no cost (but lots of hassle) to me. The intercooler then blew out 6 months later and this time the whole engine compartment was pretty much replaced (again at no cost to me). With the Hirsch 20bhp upgrade, this car pulls in 200bhp and 430Nm torque, it handles well (but not great and is twitchy at times), but as an ex-demonstrator it is laoded with extras and is great fun to drive at speed cross-country. With Saab looking like going bust (again!) this is one car that some people might be tempted to pick up second hand. My advice is to be careful picking your model, the diesels really don’t like constant town driving, but can be more fun than some of the German/Japanese marques. It’ll also keep up with them, if not beat them. MPG can vary a lot but I’m always 40+MPG and usually in the 50s or even low 60s.

Submitted: 2011-09-11 | ID: 46939

Jim, Lincolnshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Vector 2004

3 star review

I’ve had the car four months now and had to replace the turbo but other than that, it seems to be a good strong reliable car.<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-08-15 | ID: 46940

Ron Welch, Wiltshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2.2 Tid Vector 2004

4 star review

Good looking car mpg around 40-42, cam chain engine 125bhp drives very well. I had a problem with the engine warning light but found that the air mass sensor was dirty. A quick clean and all is working well. Had to replace the heater blower motor. Mine seized. Note: make sure all drains in bonnet area are clean and clear. <br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-08-01 | ID: 46941

John Logan, Lanarkshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Vector 2006

1 star review

I purchased the 9-3 Vector Sport 18 months ago with 26000 miles on the clock (it now has 56000 miles on it). Since then it has cost me over £2000 in repairs: The water pump failed shredding the timing belt, windsreen wiper motor packed in, the alternator failed. All things considered I would never recommend Saab to anyone. I was a long time Ford driver until I made the change to Saab and I will be changing this car for a Ford within the next few weeks. I would never consder buying or owning anothe Saab, in fact I wouldn’t accept one as a gift! This marque is the worst I’ve ever owned.

Submitted: 2011-07-15 | ID: 46938

Nigel Hill, Swansea

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.9TID 2006

2 star review

I purchased this car from new and its had all its regular servicing by local dealer. Its now done a mere 40000miles and in the last month it was first the Inlet Manifold £500 plus p and l, then the EGR valve £100 etc, then the Generator £300 etc. Whilst it was last in with this I asked if there was anything else and sure enough now that everything thing else had been fixed the clutch was noisy!! I thought about this and having asked a mechanic friend whether it should be looked at he said that if it breaks up you could loose most of an engine so I had it done, £900. To be fair in this complaint I did get 50% goodwill back from SAAB Uk but frankly at such low mileage I had not expected to pay out anything like that. Apparently cambelt is next I was informed after receiving the car back!!<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-04-19 | ID: 46936

Other people need your help

Your review will help others decide which vehicle to buy. By spending just a little bit of time filling out a consumer car review you can share your experiences with other drivers, giving information only owners will talk about, no marketing spiel, just the real thing. We publish all reviews, whether you rate the vehicle high or low. We are impartial. We are independent. We are committed to 100% real reviews. Please give others the benefit of your advice: give them your review.

Your review will be checked for offensive language within the next few days and then put on and all of our partners websites.

Have your say!

Darren Tobin, Rhondda Cynon Taff

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2005

4 star review

Loving it! Excellent performance, good economy, excellent comfort, Can’t believe I have never owned one until now. Great car!

Submitted: 2010-08-08 | ID: 46937

Mike C, Hampshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon TTDi Aero 2008

5 star review

This car is powerfull enough in its normal life, but add a super chip and suddenly you have a real quick monster on your hands, 232bhp and over 500kn3. Still gets 54.5mpg and can just about tear any other car off the motorway. I love it and will only change for either a BMW 335d or Jag XF S.

Submitted: 2010-06-04 | ID: 46935

Tony Croft, Buckinghamshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 93 ttid 2008

5 star review

Having come from a line of Vauxhall Omega’s I was dissapointed with the harder ride and some road noise at low speeds but this was overcome early on by acceleration (albiet a slight flat spot from standing start) and up to 54 mpg on a motoway trip. Having done 10000 miles of the 20000 on the clock I am very pleased. Originally quoted £500.00 plus for the 2nd year service, noted that first service items are duplicated in the 2nd year and it says plus these items in the manual, are they charging me twice.?? Block exemption will prevail, I will go to a non franchise reputable dealer. I live in south Bucks.<br /><br />

Submitted: 2010-03-12 | ID: 46934

Jaz Maz, Middlesex

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Linear 2005

1 star review

I’m not happy at all. I will never buy another Saab again. I have Saab 9-3 Linear model 2005 88k. Turbo gone, crank shaft making noise and it’s very expensive to repair. Also, I have a Peugeot 406 HDI which has done 159k and never seen a garage apart from the usual service. This has always been very reliable and I feel as though I should have never bought the Saab. I did have a freind who told me not to go for Saab, his words were that this is a Vectra in a Saab badge with a round body and very expensive to maintain and poor reliability. My biggest mistake is not taking his word and went ahead and bought a car that is more of a problem than it’s worth.

Submitted: 2009-09-10 | ID: 46933

Mark Rogers, Lancashire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.8t Linear Saloon 2003

4 star review

Excellent and underated as a new car but quite heavy depreciation makes it even more attractive as a used buy. Effortless and quiet acceleration. Chuckable and very comfortable seating making long journeys easy and pleasurable for driver and passengers. Interior and boot are spacious and unlike many other current car designs, the Saab’s front headroom is not restricted by a heavily sloping roof. My fifth top gear is like an overdrive and enables very good fuel consumption on motorways, yet acceleration is still brisk.

Submitted: 2009-08-04 | ID: 46932

David, Suffolk

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Linear 2005

1 star review

Bought the Saab 9-3 just 3 weeks ago; I’m getting rid of it as it’s awful. Interior feels cheap and nasty, seats are uncomfortable, too much glare from all places the rear window when looking through the rear view mirror and what is that hideous noise when turning corners? It’s none other than the indicator tick noise which is diabolical, stereo has no base to it which is needed to drown out that tick noise. Outside the car looks very nice but miles per gallon are dreadful for a 1.9 diesel. This is one car I’m happy to get shot of, what were you thinking of Saab, you have shattered my dreams from yesteryear as I always liked the look of Saabs, no more though. My next car has already been chosen - it’s a 2002 Jaguar 2.5L X-Type, I needed cheering up after driving this car for 3 long weeks.

Submitted: 2009-08-04 | ID: 46931

DT, Renfrewshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Aero 1.9TTDI 180 2008

4 star review

Had this car for two months now, what a sheer delight to drive, great looks, acceleration is amazing for 1.9 TTDI engine, mid range torque impressive, very comfortable, safe, 45 mpg average according to onboard computer, great spec. Recommend leasing because of rapid depreciation rate. Only one complaint - pretty poor steering lock compared to other cars I’ve driven.

Submitted: 2008-12-12 | ID: 46951

Ron Baker, Durham

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2005

4 star review

Test drove it today only gave it a 4 star rating because nothing is perfect. I have had BMW/Mondeo/Audi all top spec but the 9-3 just beats the hell out of them; maybe not in price new but a used car price is very good. As soon as I sat in the car I knew it was something special; drop it from 6th to 4th on overtaking and it does bring a smile to your face. Yes, a little noisy but I am from the old school off driving and like to hear the engine revs. Everyone to there own; BMW owners and the rest will say they hate Saab’s but so did I until I test drove it - admittedly I was only out for 1 hour in it but all the reviews I have read; guys in the trade I have spoken to; and the test drive did it for me. I pick it up on Tuesday. Verdict - don’t slag any car of until you have owned it or test driven it. Well, that’s what I learnt today.

Submitted: 2008-09-29 | ID: 46954

Mark Sayer, Norfolk

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2.0 turbo aero 2003

5 star review

My first Saab and wow - I’m well impressed - I’m used to Impreza’s, GTIs, BMWs, this however is all of them in one package , handling could be improved a tad but with better front suspension and a front strut it would be a top car, better petrol consumption than the others as well, get the silver on with the better alloys. What a head turner!

Submitted: 2008-09-24 | ID: 46953

Mark Spence, County Antrim

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.9tid 150 Sportswagon 2006

4 star review

In many ways an excellent car for many purposes - fast enough, economical enough but not the best at either of these. Where it does create its own space against competitors is in seat comfort, interior space and control layout, each of which is far superior to the over-engineered run-of-the-mill German choices out there (and I include the latest C and A4 which I have driven extensively and none of which make me want to leave my Saab). Areas of improvement/disappointment: loose small bits of trim but nothing fundamental - tyre wear - looks, although addressed in the ’07 facelift. Overall this car will not let you down and will leave you feeling relaxed and fresh after any journey.

Submitted: 2008-09-24 | ID: 46952

Iain Macdonald, Hertfordshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.8t Linear Hirsch 194BHP 2003

5 star review

I’ve had this car nearly 5 years from new. The Hirsch performance upgrade makes this an extremely fast car (limited to 146mph). In recent months I’ve had to have the water pump changed and some replacement front suspension parts, not too bad for a car thats been driven hard for 136,000 miles. The only other fault I’ve had is a windscreen wash sensor. There really is no point buying an Audi or BMW because they’re slower, thirstier and far less comfortable.

Submitted: 2008-06-04 | ID: 46955

Stephen McNally, England

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Vector Sport 150 TiD 2004

3 star review

Actually it handles great and has plenty of oomph as a diesel. Lovely car when it works. Had a bucket of reliability issues though - I was a VW owner before this and all three cars together were in the garage less than this baby. Possibly an acquired taste - certainly not for everyone - and (in retrospect overpriced). The high-end diesel Mondeos are - sadly - better cars.

Submitted: 2008-05-30 | ID: 46956

Brian Saunders, Devon

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon Factory Chipped 2006

4 star review

This is my second SAAB, having had a BMW 5 series and a Mercedes C200 in between. Excellent and easy drive, all the equipment you need from leather seats to dual climate control. The chip makes it very quick [when you need it] and the comfort on a long run is excellent. I tried it against thew new 9-3 TTDi, "NO COMPETITION!" I have the all round sport trim, which makes it look a very smart car, when compared with basic trim. Would I buy another one? Having tried the new C class and the 3 series, YES.

Submitted: 2008-05-14 | ID: 46957

Andy Moth, Yorkshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.9tid (150bhp) 2008

5 star review

Enjoyed the drive, quick but not with the harsh suspension my BMW has. The BMW suspension is great to drive round corner but is annoying in everyday life. Saab brings a very good blend of both and without the yob-ish image when pulling up to see customers.

Submitted: 2008-04-21 | ID: 46958

Andy Booker, County Fermanagh

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 2.0 T Aero 2007

5 star review

I love it, easily a match for the BMW 3-Series and X-Type but without the price tag. I test drove all three and went with the 9-3 as I felt it looked a smart motor and handled as well as the other two. Grap a bargain!

Submitted: 2007-11-02 | ID: 46949

Steve Whitehall, Hampshire

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.9 Tid 150 Vector Sport 2007

3 star review

This car looks great but unfortunately the handling does not live up to it’s looks. In order to succeed in this sector the car surely has to have both! The Saab is in a difficult position, it’s obviously not a BMW or Audi beater but likes to think of itself as a step up the motoring ladder from the average rep-mobile. With the launch of the critically acclaimed new Mondeo however i’d say the Saab may just need to have a re-think of it’s priorities!

Submitted: 2007-10-26 | ID: 46950

Johnny Seymour, Cardiff

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon V6 Aero 2007

2 star review

Test drove one the other day. Handled like a cow and everything about it seemed dated. Will not be getting one, my advice would be to stay away from this one. Got a test drive in a BMW 3-series tomorrow, hoping for better.

Submitted: 2007-08-17 | ID: 46948

What Do You Say...?


  • "I have drained the battery on my Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon and I can’t get the car to start? It just won’t turn over. It was working and then died on me?..." (Mark Majilton, 27/03/2012 14:58:21)
    Can you help? Read the question in full and provide an answer
  • "The glow plug has snapped on my Saab 9-3 and I can’t get the rest out. Can anyone advise how I might get the rest out?..." (Steve Richards, 08/11/2011 14:53:33)
    Can you help? Read the question in full and provide an answer
  • "I’m thinking of changing our car shortly. I have now retired so mileage has plumetted but I still want economy though. It will have to pull a caravan..." (Ray Lewis, 06/09/2011 14:45:20)
    Can you help? Read the question in full and provide an answer
  • "What is the incidence of cam belt failures under the recommended replacement mileage of 60,000 miles (and age four years from new)? (1.9TID)..." (Nigel Hill, 13/04/2011 08:36:18)
    Can you help? Read the question in full and provide an answer


Road tests

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon

1.9 TTiD EcoPower Turbo Edition - At the 2009 Geneva Motor Show Saab showcased its new EcoPower Technology. Now while this could be passed off as just another example of green marketing spin, it’s hard not to take note of a powerful, 140mph executive saloon that returns an impressive 53.3mpg on the combined cycle.

Road Test Reports Says 4 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon 1.9 TTiD EcoPower Turbo Edition

^ Back to Top

How does it compare?

BMW 3-Series Saloon

3.5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 36 reviews )

Jaguar X-Type

4 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 35 reviews )

Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon

3.5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 28 reviews )

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

4 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 26 reviews )

Alfa Romeo 159

4.5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 22 reviews )

Volvo S60

5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 14 reviews )

Audi A4 Saloon

4 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 13 reviews )

Cadillac BLS

5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 8 reviews )

Infiniti G37

5 stars - average customer rating
Average driver rating ( based on 1 reviews )