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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my hunt for a suitable car for myself, and paid for by company car allowance, I have heard my cousins 03 9-3 will be for sale in November time. It is identical to the one in the TV advert (colour included) where you see the three vapour trails following the car.

Having driven it, I found it to be very comfortable, comfy and quick. It is a good looker and seems to handle quite well too. Is there anything I should look for however?

It is 03 plate with just above average miles in metallic bronze, half leather, Xenons, big SAAB alloys and all the other nice sticky on bits.

What price would the car be an attractive buy at, and what do you think it will sell for (they are different) bearing in mind it is a leased car and the company leasing it is CGU Insurance.

Cheers,

Horace
 

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the seats are sublime... i would chop in the bora for one if i could
afford it -just for the better comfort and handling of the saab over
the mk4 platform. -its based on the vectra, albeit extented platform,
thus handles very well, and has that rear wheel steer in the axle or
something so grips well too.

Not a 3series to drive, but a very competent and classier alternative
to the common vectra, 407, passat etc, and though smaller than the new
passat, its fairl spacious.
 

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I sold my 9-5 Aero a short while ago.  In 63k miles I didn't have a single problem with it other than having to replace the front tyres every 4k-5k miles.  The 250bhp and 270lbs were great on the motorway but wasted in a lardy fwd and the ?65 to fill it up only covered 350 miles if you drove carefully.  Have not driven the 9-3, but on the basis of my 9-5 I would recommend them....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a lot of ponies at the front wheels for sure, and I was told they have a tyre fetish due to ripping them to bits in short distances.

I will get a fuel card from work so mpg is not an issue. If tyres are to be my biggest worry with the car, I can live with that [;)]
 

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The 9-3 should be better than the 9-5 on tyre use as it's less powered and probably has a tighter chassis.  They are a bit of a Q car as well.
 

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I test drove one, the same model your after, and really liked it. I love the look of them as well. Saab's go on for ever a family friend has a 900 t16s I think, the one with the more powerful turbo motor in a 3 door that goes like stink with over 200K on the clock and is has only had normal servicing.
 

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the ?65 to fill it up only covered 350 miles if you drove carefully. .
Christ, thats worse than my old Bora V6 was.

Always thought it was a nice looking car in black, but thats definetly thirsty.
 

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My parents have one exactly the same. Steel Grey with the full leather
interior. It's also an 03. Peroformance wise, it's not hugely quick
from a standstill, but 3rd and 4th gears are where the actions at. It
makes sense really, as you usually use the most acceleration when your
already moving.

A lot of magazines go on about there being build quality issues with
the cabin, but personally I don't see them. It's certainly no worse
than a Mk5 Golf, and in 2 and a half years, everything inside has
stayed put and is as solid as the day we got it. The piece of plastic
next to the handbrake (a mirror image of the handbrake when it's down)
is actually meant to come off as you can replace it with various things
from the accessories catalogue including another cup holder or a CD
holder. As it stands, it's a parking ticket holder which is a nifty
idea.

The earilier models (as it would appear your friends car is) have more
toys as standard. Saab constantly change the features and in early 04,
the Aeros no longer came with Xenons as standard (although they then
switched back to them later again that year). Furthermore, the
headlight sprayers changed from the pop up jobs to permanent warts that
stick out in late 03 as someone somewhere (possibly Antarctia) had a
problem with them freezing shut! It won't ever be a problem here though
as it never gets cold enough. More recently, the rear air vents have
been deleted on the lesser models.

As a few checkpoints: All 03 model cars had the 6 speed transmission.
It's not the fastest or smoothest of gear changes at the best of times,
but it does get very, very notchy in the winter. Make sure you drive
the car for a decent amount of time and check that this notchyness goes
away. If it doesn't, or it jumps out of gear at any time then it's time
for a new box! They changed the design of the syncromesh on the box at
some point (not sure when) as it had a habit of malfunctioning. My
parents got a new gearbox under warranty as it got so bad that there
were times when you couldn't get it into gear!

On the early cars, the black paint on the door handle surrounds has a
habit of fading and flaking. Again, this is a warranty job, but if it's
just fading, back to black will sort it. The handles and the surrounds
are made from different materials (the surrounds are a titanium alloy
to prevent theives from doing the old job of ripping the lock out), so
they fade at different rates.

Check the front spoiler. It will get caught in multistory carparks, but
it's not visable usually. Make sure it's not been clouted really hard
though as it's only held in place at the far right and left of the
bumper.

The brakes often squeal on the Aero. The dealer can clean them for you
(and I've heard of them being replaced too), but unless it's really
bad, it's nothing to worry about.

The roof and boot dent very easily. We had some conquers fall on them
last autumn and it made a load of tiny little dents all over the roof
which were sorted by a dent repairer. The boot can't be fixed though as
it's double skinned.

The paint on the sideskirts can peal in some cases. It's very rare, but
woth a look. Wheelarch get's quite chipped too, but generally nothing
worse than you would expect.

The standard PZeros will last about 15k at the front when driven
carefully. I would reccommend using Goodyear Eagles though when it
comes to replacement as they have softer sidewalls which makes the ride
less jarring and stops a lot of the tramlining.

The SID (the display on top of the dash) has a habit of going wrong in
it's fuel calculations. This can usually be fixed by holding down clear
for 5secs.

Hope that helps. It's unlikely you'll have any of the gearbox problems
or anything else major. The engines are well made and reliable, and
service intervals are 18k and about ?200 a time and they're very
comfortable on the motorway and quite entertaining round the back
roads. There are numerous tuning companies who will take the power from
210bhp to 250 and there seem to be no problems with them so far.

Price wise....you're looking at anywhere between ?17k and ?20k
depending on it's condition and the number of options it has. Expect to
pay ?18k though.

Good luck...and enjoy :D
 

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I think they are great looking cars and nice and cruiser-ish too.

I'm 23 and I'd drive one with the Aero pack no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My parents have one exactly the same. Steel Grey with the full leather interior. It's also an 03. Peroformance wise, it's not hugely quick from a standstill, but 3rd and 4th gears are where the actions at. It makes sense really, as you usually use the most acceleration when your already moving.

A lot of magazines go on about there being build quality issues with the cabin, but personally I don't see them. It's certainly no worse than a Mk5 Golf, and in 2 and a half years, everything inside has stayed put and is as solid as the day we got it. The piece of plastic next to the handbrake (a mirror image of the handbrake when it's down) is actually meant to come off as you can replace it with various things from the accessories catalogue including another cup holder or a CD holder. As it stands, it's a parking ticket holder which is a nifty idea.

The earilier models (as it would appear your friends car is) have more toys as standard. Saab constantly change the features and in early 04, the Aeros no longer came with Xenons as standard (although they then switched back to them later again that year). Furthermore, the headlight sprayers changed from the pop up jobs to permanent warts that stick out in late 03 as someone somewhere (possibly Antarctia) had a problem with them freezing shut! It won't ever be a problem here though as it never gets cold enough. More recently, the rear air vents have been deleted on the lesser models.

As a few checkpoints: All 03 model cars had the 6 speed transmission. It's not the fastest or smoothest of gear changes at the best of times, but it does get very, very notchy in the winter. Make sure you drive the car for a decent amount of time and check that this notchyness goes away. If it doesn't, or it jumps out of gear at any time then it's time for a new box! They changed the design of the syncromesh on the box at some point (not sure when) as it had a habit of malfunctioning. My parents got a new gearbox under warranty as it got so bad that there were times when you couldn't get it into gear!

On the early cars, the black paint on the door handle surrounds has a habit of fading and flaking. Again, this is a warranty job, but if it's just fading, back to black will sort it. The handles and the surrounds are made from different materials (the surrounds are a titanium alloy to prevent theives from doing the old job of ripping the lock out), so they fade at different rates.

Check the front spoiler. It will get caught in multistory carparks, but it's not visable usually. Make sure it's not been clouted really hard though as it's only held in place at the far right and left of the bumper.

The brakes often squeal on the Aero. The dealer can clean them for you (and I've heard of them being replaced too), but unless it's really bad, it's nothing to worry about.

The roof and boot dent very easily. We had some conquers fall on them last autumn and it made a load of tiny little dents all over the roof which were sorted by a dent repairer. The boot can't be fixed though as it's double skinned.

The paint on the sideskirts can peal in some cases. It's very rare, but woth a look. Wheelarch get's quite chipped too, but generally nothing worse than you would expect.

The standard PZeros will last about 15k at the front when driven carefully. I would reccommend using Goodyear Eagles though when it comes to replacement as they have softer sidewalls which makes the ride less jarring and stops a lot of the tramlining.

The SID (the display on top of the dash) has a habit of going wrong in it's fuel calculations. This can usually be fixed by holding down clear for 5secs.

Hope that helps. It's unlikely you'll have any of the gearbox problems or anything else major. The engines are well made and reliable, and service intervals are 18k and about ?200 a time and they're very comfortable on the motorway and quite entertaining round the back roads. There are numerous tuning companies who will take the power from 210bhp to 250 and there seem to be no problems with them so far.

Price wise....you're looking at anywhere between ?17k and ?20k depending on it's condition and the number of options it has. Expect to pay ?18k though.

Good luck...and enjoy :D
Have you ever considered a job with Parkers or Autotrader or is your middle name SAAB?! Thanks for this excellent input!

Thanks also to everyone else. I should find out this week how much it will come up for.
 

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Have you ever considered a job with Parkers or Autotrader or is your middle name SAAB?! Thanks for this excellent input!

Thanks also to everyone else. I should find out this week how much it will come up for.
LOL! [:p] I kind of act as a techincal go between for my Mum as she's
easily confused when it comes to the car, hence why I know what's
happened to it. I tend to end up washing it when I go home, so I was
the one who found out about the door handles and the sideskirts. I
sometimes have a shifty at http://www.saabcentral.com which is a
biggish forum mainly populated by Americans, although there are a
decent number of Brits and Swedes on there too.

If your interested in chipping it or any other performance mods this is
your best bet: http://www.partsforsaabs.com Hirsch also offer tuning
through the Saab dealer network, and you can buy a 250bhp tuned Aero
through your local dealer with a full factory warranty. You can buy the
parts for retro fitting too. It's more expensive than the other tuning
companies, but it depends whether you're worried about dealer support.
 

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Abbott racing once won the British Production Saloon championship up against some major oposition so what they don't know about making Saabs go faster isn't worth knowing - enjoy!
 
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