1999 Saab 9-3

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1999 Saab 9-3

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Available in 7 styles:  9-3 2dr Hatchback shown
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Asking Price Range
$813–$6,741

Estimated MPG

19–20 city / 25–27 hwy


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Average Ratings

Overall

4.2 out of 5

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

13 out of 14 people recommended this car.


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    1-10 of 14 reviews

99conv

by sab93 from | July 25, 2013

Minor issues, but to be expected in a 14 year old car. I wanted a 5-speed convertible for not a lot of money that can fit the wife and 2 kids, and now I have one!

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Having fun
Does recommend this car


Quite an amazing vehicle

by SecondhandFierceness from San Francisco Bay Area | June 6, 2013

Wifey bought it new before we had even met. So...I was all like "Saab, eh??" Drove it, loved it - it was only a couple of years old, very low mileage. She forked over a modest sum for an extended 100K warranty thru Saab. These warranties don't generally cover squat, but this one seemed to cover more than most. We had to have the dashboard taken off so they could re-do the cables for the heating/AC system...a whole bunch of stuff like that happened when we hit ~65-70K miles, but we didn't have to pay for anything other than the usual stuff (brakes, tires, oil changes). There have been a couple of leaks here and there, and we have 148K on the car now (in 2013) b/c we found a good Saab mechanic who really understands this car inside & out...so the avg maintenance $ over the last 5 years has been manageable. The drivetrain is indestructible! What this 14 year old Saab 9-3 lacks in updated technology features, it makes up for in terms of overall driving feel and performance, and it is still by and large a very safe vehicle and surprisingly stable vehicle. I think the suspension might be a tad tighter on this 9-3 for some reason. Anyway, great car in most ways, not for everyone, but when the books are closed on that late-90s era of vehicles, despite GM's increased meddling w/Saab, I do think the 9-3 will stand the test of time as a major standout.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does recommend this car


one of the best cars i've owned

by carguy from | August 31, 2010

i had a 1999 Saab 93 and drove it for 260,00 miles then i sold it to a mechanic. i think he still drives it, great car.

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Does recommend this car


99 Saab

by Rodin from Atlanta, GA | January 29, 2010

This car has had, like most SAABs I have seen, a period of high maintenance around 75k miles. I expect another around 120K. Aside from this the car has been very relible, extremely confortable and more fun than average to drive. Lots of room inthe interior, but the hatch design limits what you can load. The car is easy to drive, a blast once the turbo builds and there are a lot of upgrade parts. Gas mileage has averaged around 22mpg, I expected better.

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Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


Owned & loved this car

by lizassist from | November 29, 2009

I owned and loved the safety, handling and engineering of this car. Classically stylish. Lots of amenities most makers don't bother with.

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Does recommend this car


A Saab story

by Saab owner from Minnesota | October 8, 2009

Love it or hate it. I choose love. We are the original owners and have done the scheduled maintenance, at least until we outgrew the owner's manaul. Now we go every 30-6ok. It is pushing 210k and is finally showing signs of wear and fatigue. For the past ten years, the acceleration and reliabilty were outstanding. We bought a new SAAB in 2006 thinking this one was going to go at 175k. Ended up replacing the clutch after the first teenager learned to drive. This was the biggest expense outside of brakes and tires, excepting the time the whole locking system was replaced when we lost both sets of keys. Great car for the snow and cold but the back seat is tight for the 6'+ guys in the family. The best vehicle investment we have ever made. I will miss it when it goes.

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Does recommend this car


The Best Car I've Owned

by dwpoint548 from Indiana | September 3, 2009

The '99 Saab 9-3 is an all-around great car. With a turbocharged 4cylinder engine, Saab achieved the perfect balance of performance and fuel economy. Not to mention its rugged reliability. It'll do 0-60mph in less than 7 seconds, and if driven conservatively, will get 30+ mpg on the highway. The bottom line though is this car is just too much fun. The suspension is a tighter suspension than most cars (a little sloppy in my opinion, could be even tighter), yet still it manages to handle quite nicely. Sharp turns with the turbo boosting makes for a heck of a ride. As far as interior design, the 1999 9-3, being the earliest 9-3, is equipped with features GM later phased out. The hatch makes for superb storage and little gadgets like Weather Band radio come in handy more often that you'd think. The best part about owning this car though is the Saab community. The car is pretty easy to work on and there are many websites where other Saab owners post DIY repairs, which can really save you $$$ compared to the otherwise ridiculously high dealership prices. If maintained properly, the 9-3 should last for 300K miles. Overall, the 1999 9-3 has turned out to be the best car I've ever owned. I bought it having no knowledge about Saabs and have been very impressed with how well it's held up. I've owned Hondas (equal in reliability to Saab) and the Toyota Camry, which are all still very good cars, but none have been as fun to drive as a Saab. The 1999 9-3 was my first Saab, and I guarantee it's not going to be my last.

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Does recommend this car


Great -but not for everyone.

by siriusmajor from N. Minnesota | March 23, 2009

This is my 3rd Saab (my wife and I still have a '91 900 convertible as a summer car). I would say that the 9-3 is a bit more refined than the 900, but does lose some of its charector with the beginnings of GM influence. So, here's the deal with Saabs: Don't own one if you rely on a dishonest or incompetant mechanic. Before you get even a simple maintenance repair done, do your own research on-line. These cars don't go bad nearly as often as you'd think from some of these other reviews -but I've had well meaning mechanics whom I've known, still give me bad (and expensive) advice when the problem was cheap and simple to repair...or no problem at all. Now the good stuff: Very few cars offer the blend of performance (buy a radar detector), comfort, utility, and economy. The turbo with a manual transmission is a bit tricky at first, but great fun after getting used to it. Mid-range accelleration and passing is fabulous. Saab seats are unbeatably comfortable on a long trip. Drive it nice and you can break 30mpg on the hiway. We live in Northern Minnesota and the Saab 9-3 is a great winter car -but get the snow tires.

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Great Driving Experience

by saab owner from Miami | January 16, 2009

This is my first Saab and it is the most fun I've had driving a car, especially with the top down, the feeling of freedom is like nothing I've ever experienced before. This is not a cheap car and the maintenance can be high, but the good looks and the stability on the road is unsurpassed. If you're thinking of becoming a Saab owner, I highly encourage you to do so.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Having fun
Does recommend this car


Fun to drive when something's not broken

by my first Saab from Briarcliff Manor, NY | December 27, 2008

Overall, this is a car that is different from your average family sedan or sporty car. The exterior has a pretty cool shape and design and the interior has a lot of features such as leather seats, CD player, power seats, sun/moonroof, NightPanel and the SID (Saab Information Display) which tells you if there is a malfunction in the car. For this particular year, the car is fickle, unlike it's previous model. Because this is the first transition from the 900 to the 9-3 and GM had already begun it's changes. Which thus creates many problems. The engine and transmission are reliable but every little nit-picky electronic, power, luxury etc. item goes awry and parts are not only expensive, but difficult to locate. Normal acceleration is a bit sluggish, but the car has a turbo and an equal sport mode to give it more juice, and has an opposing winter mode which is great for the snow and ice. It takes curves very well, has an incredible turning radius and is kind of small to fit in compact parking spaces. Average mpg is around 22-25. But not comfortable for long trips. This is an all around fun car to drive when the "acronym" for SAAB {Something Almost Always Broken} doesn't apply. If you can afford and keep up with the maintenance, then this is a good auto.

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    1-10 of 14 reviews

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