My 2007 Saab 9-3 TID (the system won’t let me select the correct year) has been a great car overall, much better than my previous unreliable Citroen and Holden. I bought this car in 2013 with 70,000km to replace my Citroen which had a dead gearbox at 80,000km which Citroen refused to replace or part-pay. Anyway, thats another story.
Owning this car has been a pleasure in the large part. Since I have owned the car, it has clocked up an extra 50,000kms in comfort. Upon purchasing the car, I was aware of issues with the alternator on this particular motor (in the various marques it’s used), and sure enough 7 months later it expired. The unit was refurbished and has worked flawlessly since. Another issue I’ve had is that the lumbar adjustment snapped due to some of our finest bumpy streets in Tasmania. Fortunately, it was in the comfiest position before becoming inoperable. Anyway, enough of the negatives which are relatively few, and largely excusable.
Other than those issues, the car has been completely reliable, never breaking down, and due to my father servicing the car, inexpensive to run. The suspension, despite being a little firm, offers great road holding ability and inspires confidence. People who’ve driven the car through mountain passes of the area thoroughly enjoy the responsive well weighted steering and the smooth gearbox action. Despite initial turbo lag, it makes for great fun and the diesel loves a rev which is an unusual characteristic for the engine type. Its a shame the manual diesel combination is a rarity.
Despite my heavy right foot, on highway routes the car averages between 5.5 and 6.0 litres per 100 km with a city driving average of between 7-7.5 litres per 100 km. I consider this to be excellent considering my driving style and the weight of the vehicle (around 1500kg).
The car does miss out on bluetooth as this was made available on the update a year later I believe, and some of the plastics on the interior feel a little bit low rent for a car initially intended to compete with the Germans. However the interior has been hard wearing, and shows no damage or wear to date, except for a little on the drivers seat bolster which can be reduced with regular conditioning of the leather. Heated seats go a long way towards compensating in the chilly Tassie weather however, as well as the cockpit dash-board design, and excellent sound system.
Despite the initial niggles of the car, it has far exceeded my expectations and has regularly surprised whether it be driving through thick snow in the highlands without chains on, towing a large boat, or venturing perhaps a little too far down a sandy track. Even though the Germans have greater badge cache that makes them tempting, my Saab always gives me a smile which is why I keep it.