2003 Saab 9-3


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2003 Saab 9-3 Review
Redesigned for wider appeal.

By John Rettie

Overview

2003 Saab 9-3 Review Overview

The Saab 9-3 is completely redesigned and reengineered for 2003. Instead of a quirky-looking hatchback, it's now a sports sedan.

Saab has always dared to be different. Influenced by its aeronautical background, Saab cars have traditionally featured wraparound vertical windshields and aircraft-style dashboards with instrument lighting that could be switched off at night. Small map lights looked like they came from a cockpit. When buyers stopped wanting hatchbacks, Saab continued making them.

Now that Saab is a wholly owned division of General Motors the Swedish car company has more funds for developing new cars. By the same token, Saab is now expected to sell more cars, which means its cars need to appeal to a wider audience.

That's why the new Saab 9-3 is only available as a four-door sedan, initially anyway. Fortunately, Saab has managed to maintain some of its character even though the newest 9-3 sedan is far more mainstream than previous models.


Model Lineup

Saab's line of 9-3 models is a little confusing for the first half of the 2003 model year. The 9-3 convertible continues to be based on the old 9-3 model.

The all-new Saab 9-3 is initially available in Linear trim, powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower. The 9-3 Arc and Vector models will midway through the model year with a more powerful 210-hp version of the same engine and an optional six-speed manual gearbox.

To compensate, Saab is selling a special launch package" that includes many of the features, with the notable exception of the more powerful engine, that will be included as standard on the Arc model. So if you want a Linear model, these early loaded versions may be the hot ticket.

The Linear model starts at $25,990, which is a really competitive price and $2,000 less expensive than the outgoing 9-3 hatchback. The Arc model will sell for $29,995, while the Vector will be priced at $32,495.

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2003 Saab 9-3, click here: 2003 Saab 9-3.


Add a Consumer Review/Comment

2003 Saab 9-3
Consumer Reviews


Overall Rating 4 Out of 5 Carz

Comfort 3 Out of 5 Carz

Value 4 Out of 5 Carz

Reliability 4 Out of 5 Carz

This car has met or exceded all expectations. Love the ergonomics, nimble handling, braking, 6-CD changer at fingertips, great driver comfort and large cargo space, but still overall moderately sized, great interior controls. I definitely would recommend the manual shift over the auto. Great Milage!

posted by Lony | on Dec 07 2007

Overall Rating 5 Out of 5 Carz

Comfort 5 Out of 5 Carz

Value 5 Out of 5 Carz

Reliability 5 Out of 5 Carz

I must say the 2003 model is a big step forward. Great handling, plenty of power, once you get into second and third and great gas mileage. Love the convertible top, very smooth transmission. For this price range, I can't imagine beating this car for fun and economy.

posted by Roderick Jenn | on Dec 07 2007

Overall Rating 5 Out of 5 Carz

Comfort 5 Out of 5 Carz

Value 5 Out of 5 Carz

Reliability 5 Out of 5 Carz

Not one complaint about this car. It has exceeded my expectations in every way, and my expectations were high. Thanks, Clare.

posted by Clare | on Dec 07 2007

Overall Rating 4 Out of 5 Carz

Comfort 5 Out of 5 Carz

Value 5 Out of 5 Carz

Reliability 4 Out of 5 Carz

I bought the Car after reading the reviews at www.Web2Carz.com. Its a great balance of above average performance, comfort, design and fuel economy. Brakes are exceptional, although a little touchy until you adjust to them.

posted by Luciano | on Dec 07 2007

Overall Rating 4 Out of 5 Carz

Comfort 4 Out of 5 Carz

Value 5 Out of 5 Carz

Reliability 4 Out of 5 Carz

Man, I love the way this car handles and looks. Car has lived up to my expectations. Nice acceleration, great brakes, nice style, super fuel economy.

posted by Johny Freedo | on Dec 07 2007