1999 9-3

Consumer Reviews

1999 Saab 9-3

$336 - $6,176  MSRP Range

Review Score

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3

15 Reviews
93% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.1 out of 5 stars Comfort
3.9 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
3.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.3 out of 5 stars Performance
4.1 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 15 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

The Best Car I've Owned

by dwpoint548 from Indiana on Thu Sep 03 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

24 out of 24 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

one of the best cars i've owned

by carguy from on Tue Aug 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Driving Experience

by saab owner from Miami on Fri Jan 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

reliability, speed and style

by Average Joe from Massachusetts on Sun Jul 02 2006

I have owned this car for approximately one year. When I first purchased it, my immediate speculation and concern was directed towards the reliability of the car and its winter driving (because of the convertible top). To my own surprise the convertible top has had little to no effect for winter driving. It is as if you are driving any hard top. However, once the good weather roles around and the top comes down it as an experience like no other. Convertible tops are NOT overrated! In terms of reliability, I have had no mechanical problems with this car at all ( knock on wood). There has been only a few petty things that have worn out that aren?t even worth mentioning. The reason I rated this car so highly is because it continues to be stylish and quick with little to no maintenance. (can you ask for more?)

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

A Saab story

by Saab owner from Minnesota on Thu Oct 08 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

99conv

by sab93 from on Thu Jul 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!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Quite an amazing vehicle

by SecondhandFierceness from San Francisco Bay Area on Thu Jun 06 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

If you can get one do it !!!

by Jontanborge from Pawtucket RI on Tue Jul 29 2014

I am the third owner of 99 9-3 convertible Got 195 on the clock so far Barring the turbo needing to be replaced - hence the 4 star on performance - it's quick once up to speed and passing is never an issue It strong - yes very pick and temperamental - getting the SID as we speak just like VW dash boards the connections for the SID are useless The car will let no know in more than one way what it needs - tune ups new DIC ( direct injector cassette) all easy to find and replace yourself ( 15 minute job at most ) Love this car - gonna do everything I can to keep it on the road !!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Owned & loved this car

by lizassist from on Sun Nov 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Something to learn

by carright from Miami on Thu Aug 24 2006

I think this is an overlooked car, not everybody is familiarized with this brand and are usually not willing to pay a lot for it, but let me guarantee you that the performance is going to be better than most average car including those popular Japanese cars. My only bad comment is that the general design is nothing to brag about.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 1999 Saab 9-3

When General Motors took a 50 percent stake in Saab's automotive operations, it was viewed with fear and trepidation by Saab enthusiasts who were just waiting for the badge engineering to ruin the unique character that has always distinquished Trolhatten transportation.

With the 9-3, the replacement for the long-running 900 series, the unconventional is still conventional.

Take the key between the seats thing. Saab-ophiles treat this feature with the same reverence that Porsche fans treat air-cooled engines. So of course, it's there.

So is Saab's "night panel," a feature which kills all the interior lights on the dash and trip computer leaving the driver with only a speedometer. The other... Read More