2001 Saab 9-3 consumer reviews

$26,495–$26,995 MSRP range
side view of 2001 9-3 Saab
83% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 3.9
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.4
  • Reliability 3.8
Explore the 2001 Saab 9-3
3.9

it broke.down in 80 miles

This car drove beautifully for the first 80 miles. This was my 4th Saab 9-3 convertible. The 2001. 02, 03 were the best. I will replace the motor and and forget the pain.

4.4

I love the little beast

This is my third Saab, second 2001 and second 5 speed. Nowadays for the price you can not beat them. I paid 2k for a well taken care of 2001 with 102,000 miles on it last July. It is a 17 year old car and based on the condition it was in and the mileage, it was definitely babied. The hood needed to be repainted (some twit keyed it) but outside of that was in mighty fine shape. Very comfortable car to drive, decent mileage, 5 speed is fun, and a very peppy turbo charged 2.0 liter engine. Audio was terrible but replacing the speakers and the door speaker amp made a world of difference. I kept the standard head unit as I did not want to break up the integrated look of the interior with an aftermarket unit and I also added an aux plug to it. Car sounds very nice now. The drink holders are a little sad and not very practical but such is life. I have the four door fastback and there is tons of storage available for a car it's size. Key question - would I buy another? Heck yes, especially if it was a Viggen!

4.6

An awesome car to own

This car is so amazing i love the way it feels to drive it, it fits me so well i love the size and it?s a good color for me and it runs excellent

3.3

Cheap car to buy, expensive to keep

I purchased my 2001 Saab 9-3 in June of 2011. The vehicle already had 200,000 miles on it but I was young and really wanted a convertible. At first, it ran like a top and everything worked perfectly. I have since replaced almost everything including the engine and the top no longer works. Most of the issues are happening because of the high mileage, of course, but I have had to replace the driver's seatbelt twice (?!?!) among other none-age or mileage related. Everything, and I mean everything, is electronic so prepare to replace battery more frequently than normal. The head units for both the stereo and climate control get so hot that they burn themselves out and cannot be read. So many little parts and systems can fail. Some of them inexpensive but the frequency itself is a total nuisance. Overall, I am sure this car was a fun, sporty, luxury convertible when Bush was still president. However, I would stay away from these cars now.

4.7

Best car I've owned

Bought used with 30K miles in 2006. Now has 88K miles. Only problem so far is power antenna; we just leave it up. I do oil changes at 5K, replaced spark plugs at 50K, tires at 60K and replaced battery before winter of 2011 (preventive maintenance). All else is original. Fun to drive, quick, 28 mpg local and 32+ travelling. This 2001 4 door 5 speed manual turbo moon roof hatchback is wonderful car. Too bad they stopped making them.

3.1

Money pit

I purchased a 2001 Saab 9-3 2 years ago for my kids with 96,000 miles. Now the car has 105,000 miles and has had the following issues; power steering hose leak, engine mount replaced, exhaust rehung, dead battery, electrical problems, ignition problems, digital dash lights out, puffs blue smoke when started, and has an oil leak. Some parts are very hard to find, even at dealers. Buyer beware.

4.4

Sporty, Fun & Reliable

I've now owned two 2001 9-3 SE convertibles, and they have both been solid, fun vehicles. They have both been comfortable on multi-day roadtrips, get better mileage (22/29 mpg) than the newer models and hold together very nicely. If I could purchase a NEW 2001 9-3 SE, I'd do it in a heartbeat!

3.9

Lots of Fun

The convertible is a great 2nd car. the trunk space and back seats are minimal, but with the top down, cruising on the hwy, it is a blast to drive. I have 125k and have had few problems - replaced the starter and some other wear & tear stuff. Parts are pricey but not crazy and if you find a mechanic who knows what he is doing, it is not that expensive to own. Oil changes, tune ups, tires and brakes are no more expensive than on my Ford. The styling is sharp on the outside, but cup holders and door buttons that are behind you are inconvenient and the cupholder on the dashboard is an accident waiting to happen. This car has been dependable and if you find one that was well maintained, it will last a long time. Make sure it has TWO KEYS!!!! Keys can only be made at the dealer and have to be programed to the car - about $300 each!!! I get about 20+ mpg and like the handling and the turbo charged acceleration. It is good to check out one of the SAAB sites b4 buying one. Make sure the prior owner maintained his car - do not get a fixer-upper. If this is your family's only car, get a Nissan or a Honda, don't take a chance. But for a 2nd weekend cruising car, for the $, it can't be beat!

4.7

Affordable performance

I have the SE model with manual transmission and it is truly an excellent car. It is very fun to drive, and very fast with the high pressure turbo. The 5 speed shifts very smoothly, and it is packed with features like heated seats, automatic headlights, etc. There is a LOT of space in this car. Very versatile hatchback, and the seats are very comfortable on long trips. I average about 24 MPG on mostly around town driving. It will do 30+ on the highway easily. One thing to watch out for with Saabs of this age is oil sludge. If synthetic oil has not been used and/or it has not been changed every 3000 miles, they are very prone to sludge buildup, which, if not taken care of, will kill the engine. I recently had to have the oil sump dropped on my car to have the gunk cleaned out, about a $600 job, so don't buy one of these without complete service records unless you don't mind having this procedure done after you buy the car. Also, be sure to use synthetic 0W-40 oil and Premium fuel (at least 91 octane in the base, 93 in the SE and Viggen) once you buy it. Saab reliability is directly correlated to maintenance. If you are willing to put the time and money into upkeep, a 9-3 may be the best car you've ever owned. If not maintained, though, they can be a nightmare.

4.3

I love my Saab!

I love this car! Its fun to drive, comfortable, and very cool looking. The trunk is huge and the seats provide plenty of room. Ive only had it for 4 months so I cant say too much about the reliability but so far ive had no problems. As long as you do the routine work (brakes, oil change, etc) you will be fine. My only complaint is the radio. Some stations come in very fuzzy and the speakers are not very well. Don't expect to get great sound out of them. Also, there is only one cup holder and it's too tiny to accommodate most drinks. One thing to note is that it is very hard to see out the back window in the hatchback version and parking can be difficult. It's hard to determine how far away you are from the car in back of you. The heat and A/C also work very well. Overall it's a great car and I would DEFINITELY recommend it