Here’s my theory: at 320 or so ‘problems’ per 100 vehicles sold, that’s an average of just over 3 problems per vehicle. Correct? The JD Power study was done on three year old vehicles, so we’re talking one problem per vehicle per year, on average.
Now, the competition is doing better, so this obviously needs to improve. Whether the problems are substantial or not isn’t reported in the magazine articles, nor is the specific nature of the questions asked in order to glean the answers.
But assuming it’s fairly general, let me report that on my 1999 Viggen I’ve got a problem with the ACC display. I also need to replace my rear shock absorbers. The car’s seven years old instead of three, but that’s two problems in a relatively short space of time.
Does it effect my opinion of the car?
Hell no! And why?
Because it’s got so much personality and such great driving characteristics. It’s incredibly comfortable, looks great, does everything I want and is bloody fantastic to drive. It’s got heaps of room, great economy and yes, I like the fact that not everyone’s got one.
I don’t think it’s unfair to assume that a lot of 9-3 Sport Sedan owners would feel the same way.
That’s why I was pleased to bring the Web Wombat report on the 9-3 yesterday and it’s also why I’m pleased to bring you this write-up on the second-hand market – a review of a used Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan.
The 9-3 SS is now coming onto the used market in greater numbers as lease deals wind up. If anyone took those JD Power or CR findings to heart, they wouldn’t touch one with a 10 foot pole. I’d beg to differ. The 9-3 has been good to me every time I’ve stepped into one and providing I did my due diligence investigating, I wouldn’t have a second thought about stepping into one.
The author of this write-up, Stephen Price, wouldn’t have a second thought either. And he certainly doesn’t work for Consumer Reports….
Saabs are every bit as well built as BMWs and Audis, if not better.
Whether Saab can compete with that company is a matter of divergence for many. Personally, I believe they must. Price addresses them further:
In my book, the 9-3 is also sweeter-looking than the 3-series saloon, and the A4 with its gawping big mouth. I like the curved nose, the raked windscreen, the big chin and the handsome rear. Admittedly, there is a weird thing going on between the rear pillar and the boot shape – a touch of almost Japanese style blandness, perhaps – but it is the only discordant note in what is a well-poised, purposeful looking car.
However, not everybody agrees with me, which is why Saabs are cheaper than Beamers or Audis, and therefore make such an appealing prospect once they have suffered their depreciation and hit the two to three-year mark. Anyone who says they don’t have the same badge cachet doesn’t know what they are talking about.
Too right they don’t. I love my long-time mate, Colin, but you can’t imagine how happy I was when he emailed me a few days after driving my Viggen to see how he could get more torque out of his BMW 325. Those BMW folks can have all the cachet they want. I’ll stick with my low-down torque.
Back to the 9-3 Sport Sedan:
It is a deft handler, with a range of engines and finishes to suit most buyers. Trim, equipment and power levels tend to climb with the tags Linear, Vector and Aero. My personal favourite is the 2.0T Aero, which comes with leather interior, sports suspension and a set of nifty alloys with low profile tyres. Its 210bhp engine combines with the rest to produce a real hot hatch chewer.
The 9-3 SS is Saab’s biggest seller for a reason – it’s a damn good car.
Believe anything different from the likes of CR, especially without driving one, and you’re kidding yourself.