Used Saab 9-3 Saloon 2002 - 2012 reliability

Category: Executive car

The Saab 9-3 is a great place to sit, but keen drivers should look away now

Saab 9-3 Saloon (02 - 12)
  • Saab 9-3 Saloon (02 - 12)
  • Saab 9-3 Saloon (02 - 12)
Used Saab 9-3 Saloon 2002 - 2012 review
Star rating

What should I look for in a used Saab 9-3 saloon?

Saab 9-3 owners are generally a very satisfied bunch, and the car usually does well in customer reports, such as the JD Power survey. Faults are never something they worry unduly about, although the car is only mid-ranking in our reliability report.

A number of our readers have detailed problems with the engine's ECU (its electronic brain), faults with the electric windows, and various rattles and creaks. So check out these areas carefully on any prospective purchase.

Watch for uneven tyre wear, too, which could indicate misaligned suspension, or just worn tyres (the hotter versions can get through fronts pretty quickly if driven hard). Also, look out for clutch slip and gearbox troubles, too.

A full service history is essential, so don't buy a 9-3 unless it has one. And, look out for a car with leather trim, satellite-navigation and a good stereo system (the standard one in base cars is decidedly mediocre), as they will make the car easier to resell.

What are the most common problems with a used Saab 9-3 saloon?

Is a used Saab 9-3 saloon reliable?