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Old 02-24-2002, 09:45 PM   #1
skijay
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Default Saab 9-3 vs my L100

I was not very impressed with my friends 2001 9-3. First off it was not as roomy as my L100. The ride was a little bit harsh and my L100 is quieter. The interior components fit and finish were like my L100. Both had the chrome door levers. The seats in my L100 were more comfortable (my opinion). My trunk was larger than the hatch. I know my L100 is not exactly in the same league as a 9-3, but I think an L200 or L300 would be. I would rather have my L100 and pocket the $12,000. Heck, the SAAB's resale value is nothing to write home about. BTW, I think I have the same 5 speed tranny and a normally aspirated derivative of the 2.0 SAAB motor, don't I???

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Old 02-24-2002, 10:07 PM   #2
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Happy

Maybe, as SAAB is part of GM anyway. Though SAAB has Turbos but Saturn has polymers, we have to view the differences with perspective as SAAB is not usually treated as economy/practical as Saturn L.

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Old 02-24-2002, 10:22 PM   #3
maynardf1
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Default did you drive it?

The 9-3 has some shortcomings, no question. It's kind of narrow, has significant torque steer and its base sound system is chintzy.
But I think you're selling it short. I've driven the L series when my 9-3 has been getting serviced (saturn, saab, isuzu dealers in canada), and I don't think there's any comparison in the driving experience.
The saab has a 2.3-litre engine and a world class turbocharger that makes it much more fun to drive than any saturn. You hear the turbo doing its thing, but that's part of the attraction of the car. It isn't lightning quick off the line, but in second and third gear, the turbo just pours out the power. It's a blast getting up to highway speed. It handles better than any saturn I've driven and it's among the safest cars in the world.
I'd also beg to differ on the seats. The saab seats are wonderful, have a great headrest and an anti-whiplash system that really works. Oh, and they're heated, very nice.
The L trunk may be larger than the hatch (wider, not deeper), but the hatch set-up makes the 9-3 much more versatile than any sedan competitors. With the back seat down, I can carry a surprising amount of stuff.
The saab also offers a number of unique features that attract saab lovers -- the night-time black out feature for the dash, weather band, key between the seats, and the styling, which isn't for everyone but is distinctive in a world of blandness, typified by the S and L series, imo.
Having said all that, when our lease is up next month, we're trading the 9-3 for a vue. Still, I think the saab is a lot more car than an L series.

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Old 02-25-2002, 02:28 PM   #4
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Default typo

It's a 2.0-litre engine; not 2.3. Sorry

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Old 02-26-2002, 01:36 PM   #5
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Default I have both

We love our LW2 and 9-3SE but for different reasons. Each has its advantages and shortcomings. The Saab is a bit more fun and a little nicer, but the Saturn is probably a better and more practical car. I'm always torn as to which one to drive although I'm usually not allowed to drive the Saturn lest I abuse it. My wife treats the Saturn very nicely and plans on keeping it for a long time. I'm really racking up the miles on the Saab.
Bill

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Old 02-26-2002, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default

I knew a couple of people who has Saabs. The parts are very expensive. One had to get a clutch years ago and man did that cost bucks. That didn't bother her too much but it took them a week to get one

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Old 02-26-2002, 02:30 PM   #7
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Idea

That's enlightening about the Parts cost in the SAAB. If indeed the SAAB costs more to fix then we may have some good deals from Saturn L as they're sharing the similar V6, and Getrag gearbox in the Ecotec.

The Ecotec 4 in L does has a great potential to put on the Turbo (maybe from SAAB?) When will we see Saturn actually put on its Performance hat.....

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Old 02-27-2002, 03:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: did you drive it?

Quote:
Originally posted by maynardf1
Oh, and they're heated, very nice.
The L trunk may be larger than the hatch (wider, not deeper), but the hatch set-up makes the 9-3 much more versatile than any sedan competitors. With the back seat down, I can carry a surprising amount of stuff.
The saab also offers a number of unique features that attract saab lovers -- the night-time black out feature for the dash, weather band, key between the seats, and the styling, which isn't for everyone but is distinctive in a world of blandness, typified by the S and L series, imo.
Having said all that, when our lease is up next month, we're trading the 9-3 for a vue. Still, I think the saab is a lot more car than an L series.
For 32K equipped the same as an L300, I'd expect it to be a lot more car than the L. Going with the Viggen makes the disparity even worse.

The 2002 L300 costs $24,500- WITH DVD. And the seat, there heated, leather, power, and nicer than the ones in the VUE.

Your right that Saab does offer things that the Saturn doesn't, but the same is true of the Saturn. The 9-3 is distinctive, and I admit I like the styling of the 9-3. The 9-5, OTOH, is just ugly. The L is a little bland---but clean. The 03L, is ugly. Performance of the two is comparable, even the mileage. The Saab definately has the edge in style(likely also in interior materials), but its content and peformance aren't superior. That's probably not worth an extra 8 grand to everyone.

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Old 02-27-2002, 06:57 AM   #9
BillS
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Default Re: Re: did you drive it?

Actually, given the choice, I'd take a Saab 9-5 Aero over a 9-5 or a Saturn L. Now is it worth an extra $15K for a 9-5 Aero over the L? We bought the Saturn so the answer is no. Some people buy them just for Snaab appeal. There are many intangibles in the Saab that make it very difficult to drive anything but a Saab once you drive one for awhile.
Comparing the 9-3 to the L is a little strange though. The L is more on par with the 9-5 in terms of functionality. The 9-3 is smaller, sportier (although it has an antiquated suspension), and alot more distinctive in its styling. The 9-3 can swallow alot of cargo for its size. Part of the rear suspension design was to maximize interior space which it does quite nicely. I would think that the 9-3 would compete more with the Ion when it comes out or an S series Saturn if it had a turbo.
Performance-wise, the 9-3 has the L300 beat but only by a small amount. I actually like the handling of the L better but it's just a tad behind the 9-3SE when my wife and I race down the road. The low end grunt of the Saturn V6 vs the small amount of turbo lag in the 9-3 helps it in traffic however.

Simply put; the Saabs are in an elevated class of cars than the Saturn. That's GMs doing. That doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the Saturn. We love our LW2. It's just that you get what you pay for. Considering that the L delivers a hell of a lot for what you pay, that's where our money went. I should also mention that the Saabs never go for MSRP so they're not as expensive as you would think. With incentives, we paid about $2000 more for the loaded 9-3SE than our loaded LW2. That's it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Plastic Gravity


For 32K equipped the same as an L300, I'd expect it to be a lot more car than the L. Going with the Viggen makes the disparity even worse.

The 2002 L300 costs $24,500- WITH DVD. And the seat, there heated, leather, power, and nicer than the ones in the VUE.

Your right that Saab does offer things that the Saturn doesn't, but the same is true of the Saturn. The 9-3 is distinctive, and I admit I like the styling of the 9-3. The 9-5, OTOH, is just ugly. The L is a little bland---but clean. The 03L, is ugly. Performance of the two is comparable, even the mileage. The Saab definately has the edge in style(likely also in interior materials), but its content and peformance aren't superior. That's probably not worth an extra 8 grand to everyone.

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Old 02-27-2002, 08:37 AM   #10
Steve Bakker
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Default Saab 900 experience.

Last week I just sold my 94 Saab 900 which I owned for 5 years. I loved driving the car and it was great on the highway. The ergonomics are probably what I will miss most. The reason I sold it was that it has over 192,000km and it was costing me over $3K for the last 3 years in maintainence. Yes, it has the same tranny used in Saturn, and I have had no problems what-so-ever. Original clutch too!
Most depressing point in selling it was the re-sale value of the car. The book value for the car was $2K. Ouch. Luckly I sold it privately, and now I am waiting for my new Vue.

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Old 02-27-2002, 10:18 AM   #11
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Default saad goodbye

I'm just down the road Steve, in London, and in a similar situation as you. We had a '95 900, traded up to a '99 9-3 and will swap that for a vue next month when the lease is up.
As much as I'm looking forward to the vue, as the date approaches to turn in the saab, I'm starting to think about all the things I'm going to miss.
Some are easy to identify; some are intangibles. After 7 yrs, my hand goes down between the seats to the find the key automatically. I love the night panel feature and the weather band. Even something as simple as the rear wiper coming on automatically if the front wipers are on and you shift into reverse.

Mostly, though, I love the way the car drives. I will miss that, no matter how much I love the vue's extra space, etc.
We ordered a manual vue to keep some of the fun we've experienced driving our saabs. Of course, i couldn't test drive a 5-sp, so I've got my fingers crossed that the shifter feels more like a saab than a cavalier.
Having been crunched twice in the last 7 yrs, I'm also hopeful the vue will approach the level of safety I've had in the saab. I really feel safe driving the car. The anti-whiplash seats worked perfectly when I was rear-ended last year.
As for the seats, our dealer has quoted us $1,695 to have them switched to leather. They send it to toronto to have it done.

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