Saab 9-3

Saab 9-3 Parkers 2015-07-07

The Saab 9-3 was brought out in 1998 as a replacement for the 900, and built on its predecessor’s solid build quality and reliability.

  • Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (05-11)
  • Saab 9-3 Convertible (03-11)
  • Saab 9-3 Saloon (02-11)
  • Saab 9-3 Hatchback (98-02)

The Saab 9-3 was brought out in 1998 as a replacement for the 900, and built on its predecessor’s solid build quality and reliability.

It promised to add some excitement to that formula and was available in its first generation as a three and five door hatchback, as well as a convertible.

Marketed on Saab’s aircraft heritage, the 9-3 provided a stylish alternative to BMW and Audi offerings available at the time. Deep down the first generation 9-3 was largely based on its GM stable mate the Vauxhall Cavalier.

Pulse-racing performance came courtesy of the 9-3 Viggen (Swedish for thunderbolt) which had a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine capable of 225bhp, and later 230bhp.

In 2002 a replacement came along in the form of the second generation 9-3, this time sharing a platform with the Vauxhall Vectra. Unlike its predecessor it took the form of a saloon, rather than a hatchback.

Saab 9-3 Quick Links

Most Popular Model Reviews

Saab 9-3 Convertible 2003 - 2011

3.5 out of 5
Saab 9-3 Convertible 2003 - 2011

New price range:
£25,585 - £36,630

Used price range:
£494 - £7,239

Neatly styled, good range of engines, turbocharged performance, comfortable
Interior lacks quality feel, not as refined as other convertibles, button-heavy dash

Saab 9-3 Hatchback 1998 - 2002

3 out of 5
Saab 9-3 Hatchback 1998 - 2002

New price range:
£16,595 - £30,945

Used price range:
£200 - £2,827

Performance; interior design; comfort
Handling is not as sporty as some rivals

Saab 9-3 Sportwagon 2005 - 2011

3.5 out of 5
Saab 9-3 Sportwagon 2005 - 2011

New price range:
£18,515 - £34,950

Used price range:
£470 - £6,917

Sharp styling on newer models, strong turbocharged engine performance, comfortable ride
Lack of rear space, feels dated inside, alternatives are better to drive, boot isn't particularly generous

Saab 9-3 Competitors

Volvo C70

Volvo C70

Volvo V40

Volvo V40

Alfa Romeo 159

Alfa Romeo 159