Reader Reviews of UK Saabs

I’ve just been flicking through these and it’s always interesting to see what actual car owners write about owning a Saab, as opposed to journos that fling it around for a few hours or a few days.

Owner’s reviews are generally written on a foundation of real-world regular use and as such, are possibly quite a lot more relevant to the average joe.

Whatcar? gives its readers the opportunity to write their own reviews and enough of them do it to give you a real-world glimpse in what it’s really like to own various models in the UK. You can also pick up trends with regards to problems in a particular model line etc.

If I could offer one area of improvement for what I think is a pretty valuable service: give the owners the opportunity to input the year of their car, as it’s not always obvious unless they explicitly write it in as part of their review.

You can read the various Saab reviews at the following links:

Saab 9-5 reviews.

9-5 Sport Wagon reviews.

9-3 Sport Sedan reviews.

9-3 Sport Combi reviews.

9-3 Convertible reviews

I assume Saab conduct their own research into these areas, but the number of complaints regarding dealer servicing and high service costs are the main emerging trend I noticed when looking these over briefly.

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  1. Hi everyone!
    Although I love Saabs, after having read all these reviews I started to believe that my feelings would change if I’d own a Saab (at the present, I know Saab only theoretically ;-)). This is really a pity that there are so many dissapointed owners out there. Does somebody know whether Saab implemented (or is plannig to implement) some quality control measures? It would be a tragedy if they would go bancrupt, but this is going to happen if nothing will change. Maybe the new 9-3 will gain quality if produced in an Opel factory in Germany? Hope something will happen….

  2. I found it depressing reading. I wonder though, how is it that marques like Audi and BMW attained and maintain a good reputation when their vehicles used to be a joke when it came to reliability, and Saab at that time was very reliable. I don’t think their vehicles are much better today either, but their cars seem to be worshipped and adored. I don’t get it.

  3. There were a lot of favourable reviews there as well, amongst all car types.


    1. People are more likely to complain than praise. Human nature. Just watch the news.

    2. Englishmen are referred to as ‘whinging poms’ by us Aussies for a reason. You American types can read that as ‘whining poms’. A pom being an Englishman. They don’t mind a good whine when things are going wrong (and don’t be offended, pommy types – you won The Ashes so you should still be so giddy from that that my piddly little arrows should just bounce right off).

  4. My 2004 9-3 Aero (2.0T) has had more than it’s share of annoyances. Mechanically the engine and drivetrain seem rock solid, but all the corner cutting on the interior has made it the least durable SAAB I’ve owned out of 3 (a ’98 900SET coupe and a 2001 5-door Viggen). At under 10K miles the driver window regulator had to be replaced and the in-dash CD changer died. Either of these would be more than a single car payment to repair out of warranty. I no longer ask my dealer to fix the Speed Dependent Volume – they are unable to and usually make matters worse. I don’t think this is their fault – this area of the car is inherently flawed though I’m sure by 2006 it’s better. I’m afraid that where the car is assembled will not solve the GM penny pinching when it comes to the quality of interior materials and the ensuing rattles after about 10K miles of rough city streets. Perhaps the next version of the 9-3 will be closer to the 9-5 in fit and finish (let’s hope the 9-5 is not more like the 9-3!)

    I’m not bashing SAAB. This is my third SAAB (in a row) in 8 years so I really like the driving dynamics. It’s frustrating to see a car that had about $1000 more been put into the manufacture of it, it might more than make up for it in owner satisfaction and increased sales. The magazine reviews are usually overly harsh on SAAB but SAAB needs to expect it and work to just knock their socks off. The buying public that cross-shops SAAB reads those magazines. ‘Nuff said because I could go on and on.

  5. No problem here – my 2000 9-5 Aero, with 111,000 miles, is quiet and rattle-free. It still feels very much like a new car.

    The WhatCar review feels like a small minority of unsatisfied owners who are making a disproportionately large fuss about their problems.

    As far as other cars go, it is utterly amazing what other brands get away with simply because they are popular. I’m thinking of the controversial Car and Driver desert comparison test of mid-size luxury sedans, that was critical of the 9-3’s performance in a 116 degree desert heat (can you say “intercooler heat soak”?), while the new BMW 3-series was rated first in its class despite the fact that it died on them, and nearly killed them with some flaws in the braking system.

    Hell hath no fury like someone who bought a Saab because he or she couldn’t afford a BMW, and who is now facing some warranty issues. They are looking for negative reinforcement, and they found it.

    It is far more common for people to use evidence to reinforce their existing prejudices than to re-evaluate those prejudices.

  6. Ive got two 03 Linears now..a 22TiD with 60K and a 2T with 90K and theyre both quiet as can be…it seems the Arc and up with the low-profile tires and tighter suspensions are just asking for it on rough city streets?
    What interior corner-cutting praytell jc?

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