Wagon Wednesday – Saab 9-3


This is another find in the garage. He was double-parked, so obviously it’s a special car, right?

Like some of you, my first memories of Saab cars was the 9000 coupe. Tall windshield with that flat back window and black spoiler. It was quirky and weird and European. I liked it. This 9-3 wagon isn’t quite like that, but it’s still appealing to me.


I’m not sure what year model this is. I’m guessing a 2011.


I never really paid much attention to the 9-3 when it was in production, but I must say this is a really great-looking wagon. Do you agree?

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18 responses to “Wagon Wednesday – Saab 9-3”

  1. MVEilenstein Avatar

    That should say Saab *900.*

    1. Andrew Avatar

      If it it has not been pointed out yet. I that is a pre face lift 9-3, 2005-2007

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆

    I always liked the SportCombi, but I just couldn't justify it over the Vibe we ultimately bought. Not that they are even in the same class, but the issue I had was, "Why buy something that nice, if I'm just going to load it with kids and all of their sticky, gross and sometimes poop-filled adventures?"
    So we were thinking about one when it came time to replace the other car.
    Thanks to their collapse, it looks like the Volvo V60 may be the only non-German option. (If there is a manual version, I doubt it)
    Love the look though. Thought they nailed it.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      The V60 is a really nice car, beautiful, good to drive, ergonomic. But it suffers from the sickness of luxury: Waste of space, waste of overview. It's a nice contrast to the pragmatic V70, but with both being priced quite close to each other, I don't get why one would buy the tiny V60? At least in Europe, where the entire lineup is available. Let us know what you decide for!

  3. Maxichamp Avatar

    The search for the Lexus SC300 MT has been futile, so I am moving on to a wagon. So this 9-3, the 9-2, and the IS300 SportCross are the leading candidates. Any other suggestions? Anyone driven a 9-3 wagon?

    1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆ Avatar
      PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆

      I've driven them, they're nice. There's also the V70R which had an optional 6-speed. And obviously Audis have a few that retained the manual.
      There's Legacy wagons with sticks.
      Also you could get the Passat wagons with a stick pre-05 makeover.

    2. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
      Dean Bigglesworth

      Haven't driven one but my relatives have had many Saabs… The interior is functional but the plastics are a bit so-so; the engines and seats are very nice. They are comfrotable and fast enough but i wouldn't call them exciting. My cousin liked his first 9-3 Sportcombi enough to buy a second one though.. First one was a 2.0t, second one the more powerful 2.0T with AWD, both automatics. AFAIK he hasn't had any real problems with them.

    3. krazykarguy Avatar

      9-2x is going to be difficult to find in Aero form. You don't want a NA 9-2x. IS300 SportCross is going to be about as easy to find as Jimmy Hoffa. I think I've only ever seen two IRL.

    4. micturatedupon Avatar

      you're looking in precisely the segment i did a year ago, and the same area(also in oakland).
      i couldn't find a sc300 with a manual for less than $20k. these people think they have gold on their hands. i suppose they do, but not $20k worth…
      i looked at the 9-3, but everybody wanted too much for a manual w/ awd. like, almost $20k. things may have changed within the past year, but i was also scared of repair & parts cost/availability and ultimately passed.
      is300 wagon was never made with a manual, so unless you want to get into a swap, auto only. the good news is, i find the sportcross was usually bought by suburban house wives who didn't drive much, so they're usually well-cared for, & usually well-optioned.
      the s60r/v70r twins are great, but they seem to retain their resale value really well, and, i ultimately decided they were too large for someone who commutes into the city.
      in the end, i found a 2005 9-2x aero with a stick and some very minor body damage($500) & 85k for $10k, so i pounced. i recommend the '06 over the '05 because you get the 2.5l, but those seemed to be priced a good 20-50% higher than the '05, because they were made in such limited numbers(less than 500 2006 9-2x aero's made).
      best of luck with your search!

      1. Maxichamp Avatar

        Thanks for the info! You should come to Seconds Saturdays next month.

        1. micturatedupon Avatar

          I've had it on my calendar for the longest time, but my work schedule usually prevents it…Getting off at 2am on a Friday does not make for an early Saturday rise!

          1. Maxichamp Avatar

            I'll buy you a coffee.

  4. PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★☆

    Also this would most likely be 2007 as that front fascia was the 05-07 look, changed in 2008 to 'eyebrowed' projector style headlamps with the facelift and clear taillights.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    I remember when this was released on the station wagon continent that is Europe. It felt like this was ages too late compared to the rest of the market – and years after the 9-3 series was launched. The design is good though. With used SAAB prices plummeting it could become an interesting alternative. With two kids though it is too small for us now. Don't know nothing about how they compare with the rest of the market!?

  6. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I love these – on paper. AWD 6MT 300++ HP turbo 6 is good stuff. Also a notch bigger than the WRXagon I was driving at the time. Definitely a Proper Wagon worth of space for junk in the trunk.
    The problem at the time was they were Audi priced, but of GM/Subaru grade. These stickered for like $45k.
    My problem now is I have no use for one they're all 5-10 years old and the few good ones (Turbo MTs) are still overpriced. They're mostly GM parts bin, so the ownership costs shouldn't be too bad…so long as the Haldex AWD setup holds together.

  7. Batshitbox Avatar

    Wait, Wagon When-day?

  8. rennsport964 Avatar

    Ah, yes, another Bellevue a$$hat parker. The stereotype is affirmed.

  9. 1slowvw Avatar

    I have to drive 415km's tonight after my wife gets off work around 8pm. I usually do the trip in 4 hours flat (mostly highway). I wish I was going to be driving my 2000 9-3 that I got rid of instead of the 2000 golf that I'll be driving tonight.
    Heated seats, turbo 2.0L, 5 spd with cruise, and a quite ride made it a great highway cruiser. Mine was a hatch not a wagon, and it was sorely neglected maintenance wise by the previous owner, still it never left me stranded and definitely had enough personality to make me willing to own another if the right one came along.