1999 Saab 9-3 User Reviews

1999 Saab 9-3 Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 31 reviews

  • Performance:4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars 4.1 / 5
  • Appearance:4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 12 reviews
"power" 8 reviews
"turbo" 7 reviews
"fuel economy" 7 reviews
"handling" 6 reviews
CONS
"expensive car" 4 reviews
"fuel economy" 2 reviews
"gearbox" 2 reviews
"power" 2 reviews
"ride" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 31 1999 Saab 9-3 reviews.

dwpoint548 writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Performance, reliability, cheap to maintain if you know how

Cons

Few dealerships and mechanics, but no big con's concerned with the actual car itself

dwpoint548
135

It's Hard Not To Fall In Love With A Saab — Allow me to start out by saying I grew up loving Hondas, but when it came time to buy my own I stumbled across this car in the used dealer lot. It stood out because, let's face it, it's an odd looking car, but in a cool sort of way. It definitely grows on you. If you can get the SE trim, it looks better than the Base like I have. If a would have known when I was shopping I would have gone for one of those. I knew nothing, repeat nothing about Saab when I bought this car, but I was sold on the test drive. The turbocharged 4 cylinder is a beautiful and very practical concept. The 1999 is quick yet still good on gas (34mpg highway at 65mph). It really is a pleasure to drive. Overtaking is no problem, and in sport mode it's so much fun when the turbo kicks in. The suspension is ok but on the plus side it is tighter than your standard car. Cornering is always an experience ;-). I have spun out in the snow while in the Winter mode which could be considered a con but it showed me how reliable the suspension can be, even if it isnt considered to be up to "sport" standards. I say this because even while in a 360 spin I was able to maintain control and straighten her out without ever leaving the road. In normal conditions however, it handles wonderfully. Braking is very good with 4 disc brakes, but they are subject to an annoying squeaking even before the pads wear out. I recommend buying higher performance, low dust aftermarket brake pads which eliminates the problem. I don't why the stock pads do that but I guess it's just another Saab "quirk". These cars are all subject to unique little sometimes lovable quirks, with some common ones being SID pixel problems, wind noise, and minor repairs, but overall they are all easy fixes. Getting repairs done at the dealership are expensive because usually there's only one dealership around and they can get away with charging higher prices. I seriously recommend getting the Hanyes repair manual which will save big $$$ on most repairs and maintenance like oil changes, various filter replacements, and basic parts replacements. For example I fixed my A/C cabin fan speed resistor for only $80 doing it myself as opposed to $300+ the dealership wanted. One of the best things about owning a Saab is there a plenty of online DIY forums and parts websites, making it easy and cheap to do the work yourself. If you don't mind rolling up your sleeves every now and then you'll find this car easy and fun to work on. If you don't, then this probably isn't the car for you. Either way the mechanical foundation is well- designed and very-reliable making major repairs few and far between. I'd pit it's reliability against Honda any day. Overall, I found my 1999 9-3 to be the best car I've ever owned. She's treated me well and in return I treat her even better. Saab makes great cars that are too easy to fall in love with if you are lucky enough to come across one. Nowadays the 2.0L turbo that Saab pioneered is common in everything from Audi's to VW's to Cobalt's, but it's nice to own one from the company that did it first, and did it right. For me it'll be hard to find a better car than my Saab and something tells me it'll be the first of many...

Primary Use: Commuting to work

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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JA37_pilot writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 2 Dr Viggen Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Interior, character, speed, responsiveness.

Cons

Torque steer, tram lining, under steer, emblems keep falling off.

JA37_pilot
95

This Is Your Captian Speaking, Fasten Seatbelts And Put Tray Tables Up... Its Go Time. — When looking for my first car, I was skeptical of going with anything but a domestic... Because I was a philistine when it came to the car world... A friend said I should go for a European built car. I had a look around and realized I couldn't find a BMW, Audi for a reasonable price, even used. So I dug deeper and saw SAAB. I was going to get a 93 SE but then came across an ad selling a 1999, Lightning Blue, Viggen. I decided to go for it for a reasonable price. When I went to pick it up I immediately fell in love with it. From a looks standpoint it has a very sleek stance, not very wide, but low and long. The interior is very comfortable, the backseats (even though you need a shoehorn, some lard and a bit of luck to get a bigger person into) are quite pleasant. The sound system has a very large sound for all the audio fanatics out there who lust more for the boom than the zoom. In the center of the dash is the SID, telling you everything from temperature, to that you have slacked off and forgot to put in some bug wash. Also in the view from the driver's seat is an easy 360ยบ view of whats around you as you drive. It has a fairly quiet ride (for a sports car) and the suspension takes up a good amount of road feel, so you aren't able to feel the date of a dime you've ran over, but it is also far from the numbness you would get in a heavier domestic. On the handling front, it tracks very well, responds quickly to driver input, and doesn't roll very much. It is almost impossible to get it to go out of control. With a 2.3 liter, turbocharged, (20lbs boost from factory) 4 cylinder, power plant pumping out a cool 225bhp and 256ft/lbs of torque, you will get you where you need to go and have enough time left over to fix your hair and change your underpants. The 5-speed transmission is very smooth to operate yet doesn't feel soft or sloppy. As a whole the car works very well on the rural winding roads of Canada's east coast, and also in the urban centers it has little trouble dealing with stop and go traffic. But there are cons, just like every car. It does have decent fuel mileage, that is until you want to get somewhere faster than your grandma. The turbo lag will leave you with a feeling of inadequacy, that is until it kicks in (usually reminding me of a certain Delorean reaching 80MPH). The torque steer will lock you into a turn if you only have one hand casually on the wheel, and one foot deep in the accelerator. Tram lining can raise some hair if you are on an uneven road surface and using all of what the engine has to offer. Under-steer can be a bit of a pain to on wet surface (and with bad tires), since it is front wheel drive and has enough torque to temporarily slow the earth's rotation. However with some minor after market modification (mainly steering rack and anti roll bar upgrades) this car glues to the road, and doesn't have trouble keeping the horses under the hood in line. Everyone knocks Saab owners calling them quirky, and weird, and calling their cars, quirky, and weird. Thats fine , I have no problem with that. However until you have had the chance to get behind the wheel of one, or ride shotgun, don't make fun. Saab has done good with this version of their 93. So instead of going out and buying a $15,000 car and putting 10k of plastic and audio systems to it look around and maybe find something worth keeping stock. I'm not saying Saab is the best company to import their automobiles to the Americas, but they are certainly not the ones to bear the brunt when it comes to making fun of imports, save that for KIA, or Hyundai.

Owner for 1 years, 5 months

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Chris writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 2 Dr Turbo Convertible Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

Fun to drive Convertible

Cons

Leaky roof, a/c compressor clutch went

65

Fun Car — Served me well for a couple years. Loved having the top down and the tight European handling. Roof leaked when it rained. A/C compressor clutch went so I had to replace A/C compressor which I've heard is common with this car.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Rudolf writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr Turbo Hatchback Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

The turbo and handling, it drives like a sports car

Cons

I wish the front seat was little bit further away from the dash, as well as if the steering wheel was telescopic would be nice

45

My Saab 9-3 Review — Not bad for a cheap car to last you until you want to buy a new one. It's very fun to drive and looks great. gas consumption isn't great, I barely get 500 kms to a tank. No other major problems other than typical stuff for a 13 year old car.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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David writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr SE Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Good MPG, Different to the normal rep cars. Lots of Space.

Cons

SAAB parts pricey. Is a Vectra underneith

385

1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr Se Turbo Hatchback — Performance: 2.2TiD (From Vauxhall) certainly is not fast. Not slow once in the Turbo boost (2k-3k revs) sluggish when just under engines own power (1k-2k revs) Brakes very good, Handles Ok, I would describe it as safe. Build Quality: Good. Appearence: Nice looking, shame it is GM though. Some things feel a bit cheap. (but this means you can get cheaper parts as they are used on lots of different models) Cost of Ownership: Good MPG all round. Cheap Insurence. Fun Factor: Is a good drive

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Neal writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr SE Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Pure and affordable quality

Cons

could use a bit more horsepower

45

If This One Ever Breaks Down I'll Buy A Saab Again, Damn Sure Of That! — for an 11-year old car this car rocks! full-option 2200 turbodiesel, 120 horsepower. Build quality's rock-solid, never needed a serious repair, just the usual maintenance. Leather-seated, it is as comfortable as it is fun to drive! It has a gas/mileage of 8L/100Km.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Ravie writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 2 Dr Viggen Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

easy to tune

Cons

no LSD

45

One Sleeper — Great Car! Fast! Underrated. Gets looks. Good MPG. Reliable! Looks good. Fun to drive. The performance is easy to gain. There are not many tuners. The Car performs great. The car is a great daily drive and it has much space.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Liz writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 2 Dr Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

ALL OF THEM

Cons

Can't think of one

45

Saab Is The Word In Class — Best car ever owned, reliable, handling is amazing, 185BHP Fast is an understatement, 3 driving modes, looks so cool, only downside is interior is fabric would have been better in leather. Maintenance has been minimal, mainly only wear and tear. A solid built car no strange noises or tinny doors. Would I recommend this car Certinately NOT because if I did you would all own one and I could'nt burn you off or just have the coolest car around. x

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Tomek writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 4 Dr SE Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

comfort, seats, practical, nice design, climate

Cons

performance, engine culture, gearbox,

35

99 Saab 93 Hatchback 2.2 Tid Se — I own my old saab for 5 years now. Bought it with 100 000 km on ODO. No it's got about 200 000. It's a diesel 2.2 with 115 hp. Not fast but strong enought overtake on most of roads. I's an old saab so it's a still saab a bit. It costs a bit to drive an old car like this but i like very much. Many times I wanted to change it but every time I did a long distance I always changed my mind. So I'm still driving it and probably will for some more time. I recommend this car to everyone who wants to have some oldschool design outside and inside + some comfort. It;s not a handling master, It's not a performance master but it always works.

Primary Use: Family transportation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Anthony writes:
1999 Saab 9-3 2 Dr Viggen Turbo Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Safety, Comfort, economy

Cons

Nothing and Everything

55

Why Drive A Saab — Everyone knows I'm a Saab enthusiast. So my opinion is bias. Most people don't understand Scandinavian design and Saab unlike German company don't have the abundance of funds to engineer the hell out of there products. However what they do is make sure you're the most important part of their cars. Most premium cars are about them; You pay for the privilege of being part of the experience to be in the presence of such excellence. Owning a BMW for example is more akin to a Microsoft EULA. You don't actually own the car you just own a licence to use it. A Saab is different. It's not styled so people can oggle at it in awe. It won't turn a corner like a 3 series either. What it will do is get you from A-B in supreme comfort and It'll go around any corner you want to in any weather condition. On a long journey you won't even realise you just travelled 600mls and it'll feel more like you have just popped to the shops. Saab's excel in being great at everything, but have never perfected something specific. Porsche to me is a perfection in engineering performance. BMW the pinnacle of driving dynamics, Toyota for bullet proof reliability. Saab on the other hand should stand for a few things but because they are just a small car builder most don't see why a Saab should at least be worth a test drive. Saab virtually pioneered safety in vehicles, they invented heated and ventilated seats and were the first to bring anti-whiplash head restraints. Oh and one last thing; the Turbo engine to the masses not just to few prividged who could afford Porshce's and BMW's in the 70s. The car you drive tells others about who you are. Most Saab drivers will admit they are telling the world they are not a lamb, so if you want a safe car that has quite literally the best seats in the business, that you will enjoy driving on a daily basis, and gives you a rush when you put your foot down. That is fast without scaring the crap out of you and has more exclusivity than some of the top premium brands then a Saab is for you. In the answer to would I recommend my car to you, then my answer would be no; Get you own one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 31 1999 Saab 9-3 reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2011 Saab 9-3 Reviews

Awesome!!! By Huntman1116

I love this car because it looks great and is powerful. It is especially great for those who want to stand out from the crowd and not drive a run of the mill luxury vehicles like a mercedes or bmw. Read More

Excellent By sqlpython

The fit and finish of this Saab are excellent. Saab is an stealth entry into the 3 series competition at a very competitive price. All the features you expect to find in a luxury performance sedan. ... Read More

Read all 5 2011 Saab 9-3 reviews

2010 Saab 9-3 Reviews

Awesome Looking And Driving Vehicle! By MikeV3

This is a very nice vehicle. It drives well and handles better. This car has the XWD (cross-wheel drive) and is great in snow and leather seats are heated and very comfortable. It also has 17" 5-st... Read More

Read all 2010 Saab 9-3 reviews

2009 Saab 9-3 Reviews

I Like It By saabfanchi

I miss the button dash Saab like my 2006 9-3 that I sold. This one has a very GM dash with the GM radio and the knobs for the climate control look like they come from the GM Europe parts bin. Read More

Saab 9-3 Aero Xwd By Ho

Performance - acceleration good 0-60 about 5.5 sec, braking good, handling good, Seat comfort good Build Quality - No major repair done. But some small repairs. Appearance - Exterior looks sharp and ... Read More

Read all 4 2009 Saab 9-3 reviews

2008 Saab 9-3 Reviews

Bmw Sucks ! Drive A Saab By Jan

One of the best cars you can get. It can outrun a bmw, audi and merc. And still it runs cheaper on fuel. Service bills are cheaper also. I have the 180 bhp Twin turbo diesel now. It holds 400NM of to... Read More

The Seats... The Seats ... The Seats... By AMME

I have owned three Saab convertibles, but this is the finest. No problems what-so-ever. Performance and handling are great as is the build quality. A quiet and fun ride. An amazing car, if you en... Read More

Read all 15 2008 Saab 9-3 reviews

2007 Saab 9-3 Reviews

Great Drive Great Price By Bizzizle

Overall superb vehicle. It doesnt exceed at anything, but it does everything well. Commuter vehicle, road warrior, work truck, and anything in between. Its done them all and performed like a champ.... Read More

Fun Yet Economical To Drive By dsgrub

Fun!!! - I had a BMW Z3 convertible but it was noisy and had no room to take a trip. I get all the performance in the Saab 9-3 Convertible plus back seats and space for luggage. This car is fun to dri... Read More

Read all 25 2007 Saab 9-3 reviews

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