Looking for a Used 9-3 in your area?
CarGurus has 1,227 nationwide 9-3 listings starting at $1,500.
Have you driven a 2003 Saab 9-3?
Average User Score
4.4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 34 reviews
2003 Saab 9-3 Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 34 reviews
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.
What's your take on the 2003 Saab 9-3?
Saab 9-3 Questions
When I Leave In The Mornings, My Car Shifts Really Hard! Then I Will Park F...
I Drove My 2003 Saab 9-3 Arc Through A Carwash With The Fan Blowing. Now T...
Where Is The Dip Stick To Check My Transmission Fluid???
Saab Top Wont Unlock In Back
2003 93 convertible wont unlock in back
Car Continues To Die When Attempting To Put Into Drive After Replacing Map ...
Replaced Map sensor after replacing new radiator, yet car continues to die when attempting to place car into drive