Snow Speeder: 2002 Saab 9-3 SE

This next car comes as a tip from TeleArrow who writes: This SAAB seem like it would be pretty fun and practical for the price. It is from the last year of the first generation of the Saab 9-3 produced on the GM2900 platform, which was essentially a re-badged Saab 900. Anyway, today’s example looks ready for your winter driving needs. Find this 2002 Saab 9-3 SE offered for $5250 in Middlebury, VT via craigslist.

From the seller:

2002 Saab 9-3
VIN: YS3DF55K922041296
condition: excellent
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 94500
paint color: grey
size: compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: hatchback
I have been obsessed with Saabs for 35 years; this one is the ninth one I’ve owned. It is a beautiful, incredibly well-preserved example from the final year of this hatchback body style. I purchased this car in October 2019 from Crossway Saab in Barre, VT. At that point, it had been a one owner vehicle from California and had about 82,000 miles on it; It currently has 94,500 miles. Because it lived in the sunny, dry west, there is absolutely no rust on it. Since it has been in my care, it has always lived in the garage and does not come out in the snow.

The Saab starts, shifts, runs, stops, and handles exactly the way it should. There are no little drops in the garage from any leaks, and it never runs hot. I run only non-ethanol high-test gas in it, and regularly average 30 to 33 miles per gallon.

If you are reading this and are familiar with Saabs, then you know what a treat they can be when you put your foot down in third gear and that turbo spools up and gives you a wonderful rush of power. The car is truly a joy to drive. Both inside and out, it looks great; it probably looks like a four year old car instead of a 20 year old car, with only a few scratches or blemishes. Because it lived for 17 years in California, there is some light paint fading on the roof and on the hood. It is difficult to see unless you are up close. Like any old car, and certainly like any older Saab, it has a few quirks: there are some pixels out in the dashboard information display (an incredibly common issue), radio reception can be somewhat scratchy and the speakers don’t deliver concert quality sound, and the power locks can be wonky. All other equipment, from the windows to the sunroof to the power driver’s seat, works fine. The car has an-dash single CD player; if you’re looking for Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay, you’re reading the wrong ad. You will also notice in the photos that a bit of the rear spoiler has been gouged out; a small incident with the garage door is to blame. I have an extra dashboard information display, radio head unit, and rear spoiler that I will include with the sale. I just haven’t had the time or the inclination to replace those items myself.

In preparation for putting the car up for sale, I had it inspected (good through December of 2022), tuned up, and had four new Bridgestone tires installed. The car also has new windshield wipers. It is ready to go to its next owner—hopefully someone who knows and appreciates Saabs. And as for me, I’m already looking for number 10…probably a classic 900 turbo. Those always were my favorites…

See a better way to saaaaaaaaaaaab?