2003 Saab 9-3 Overview

9-3

Looking for a Used 9-3 in your area?

CarGurus has 1,495 nationwide 9-3 listings starting at $1,600.

ZIP:

Not sure what you want?

Find the models that are right for you using the CarGurus Car Finder.

Zip:

Trims

Arc
Avg. Price: $5,078
Linear
Avg. Price: $4,935
SE Convertible
Avg. Price: $5,289
Vector
6 national listings
Avg. Price: $5,971

Saab 9-3 Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 440
#2 T_S_T
T_S_T
Reputation 360
#3 dandyoun
dandyoun
Reputation 240
View All

Average User Score

4.45 stars

Based on 33 reviews

Saab 9-3 by Tyler
 — Remember these ratings are relative. For a poor, married, college student, this car is about as good as it gets. Solid performance. Not a burner in a straight line, but fast enough to have fun. Get t... Read More
Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan, Fun Turbo by Sam
 — Saabs in general have never been main stream, there is something to be said however, for having a stylish Swedish car. I've had 3 Saabs up til now, and this one by far has been my favorite. Handling i... Read More
It Was A Great Car. Too Bad I Couldnt Keep It by Kevin
 — This was a great car. It was very nice. I had a leather interior. The power was very nice. It was only a 4 cylinder but it had a turbo and it could move. I had it up to 130 mph once and it rode v... Read More

2003 Saab 9-3 Overview

Overall User Score

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 stars4.45

Based on 33 reviews

2003 Saab 9-3

The Saab 9-3 was completely overhauled for 2003, as the GM-owned Swedish automaker unveiled an entirely new build platform and body styles, updated power plants, and a fully redesigned interior.  The trim levels were also renamed, and the number of 9-3 variants was reduced from five to four.

The 9-3 SE Convertible is the only familiar name in the 2003 lineup, and it is only only available version of the convertible body.  The coupe has been discontinued entirely.  The five-door hatchback body has been replaced with a true four-door sedan, which is offered in three trim levels.  The base model is called the Linear, followed by the mid-level Arc and the top tier Vector.

The 2.0 liter inline four returns as the foundation for the 9-3's turbocharged power plants, but two new variations of this engine are less powerful than before. The Linear's 2.0 delivers 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.0 liter unit in both the Arc and Vector models supplies 210 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.  The SE Convertible houses the same 205 horsepower engine. The convertible and the Linear sedan come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, and the four-speed automatic is still optional on the SE.  The Arc and Vector get a six-speed manual.  All sedans are eligible for a new five-speed automatic transmission.  Fuel economy is estimated at 22/31 for the sedans and 22/32 mpg for the SE Convertible.

Unfortunately, according to owners, the total redesign did not address the 9-3's questionable reliability and poor ergonomics.  Reviewers noted that the interior was significantly modernized, but the poorly designed dash-mounted cup holders remained.  Drivers described them as useless, flimsy and poorly placed.  Owners also warned about frequent maintenance.  Common issues included excessive brake wear, radiator and transmission problems and a variety of nagging electrical issues.  However, others have added that the 9-3 is quite powerful for a car that achieves 30+ mpg gas mileage, and despite some continued turbo lag, the 9-3 is regarded as fun to drive.

Updated

What's your take on the 2003 Saab 9-3?

People researching a 2003 Saab 9-3 contacted a dealer about

Picture of 2003 Saab 9-3 Linear, exterior
Saab 9-3
25% of the time
Honda Civic
6% of the time
Honda Accord
5% of the time
Saab 9-5
4% of the time
9-3
Looking for a Used 9-3 in your area?
CarGurus has 1,495 nationwide 9-3 listings starting at $1,600.
ZIP:

Saab 9-3 Questions

HReynaga
0

Why Does It Take A Few Seconds To Pick Up Speed After Each Stop.

Runs good but engine light on & with each stop & go takes a few seconds to pick up speed. It feels like the car is holding back a bit.

23 views with 1 answer (last answer about a month ago)
armah7
0

Heat Blower

The heat does not blow in my 2003 saab 9-3

30 views with 1 answer (last answer about a month ago)
harpspannu
0

Cannt Get In And Start

Worked great yesterday.Battery is fully charged at 12+ volts and all connections are clean .Battery in Key is good. Symptoms: yesterday, all worked. Today---i parked in shoping centre and come ba...

50 views with 1 answer (last answer about a month ago)
harpspannu
0

Locked Cannt Get In And Start

hi my saab is locked. it may be lock system malfuntioning.

8 views with no answers yet
Jelanigalloway1
0

Saab Won't Stay Running Or Won't Stay Started While Running

Hi my name is jelani galloway and I live in toledo Ohio. I have a 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0 turbo. I have has the vehicle for about 3 months and have recently put a lot of money into it making sure it runs p...

2,646 views with 7 answers (last answer about a month ago)