Used Buyer’s Guide: Saab 9-3 Convertible

The used Saab 9-3 Convertible is great value, but what should you look for?

Which one?

Constant upgrades and facelifts, plus an array of specs, make the 9-3 range confusing. Entry-level cars are Linears; Aeros are at the top; in between are the Linear SE, Vector and Vector Sport. None of the all-turbo engines is weak.

The 2.0-litre petrol is the most common, and balances efficiency and performance best, but the 1.8t is excellent, too. The 2.8-litre V6 is unruly and costly to run. Yet diesels are best – especially the twin-turbo 1.9 TTiD, which hits 137mph and promises to return nearly 50mpg.

Running costs

ModelInsurance groupFuel economyCO2 emissionsAnnual road tax
1.8t 15025-3032mpg206g/km280
1.8t Biopower28-3332mpg233g/km475
2.0t 17527-3133mpg203g/km280
2.0t 2103431mpg213g/km280
2.8t V638-4026mpg254g/km£280*
1.9 TiD25-2844mpg169g/km200
1.9 TTiD28-3148mpg154g/km175

All used 9-3 Convertibles need servicing every 12 months or 18,000 miles – checks alternate between minor (£260) and major (£360). A big £460 service is needed at eight years or 72,000 miles. All prices include things like fresh brake fluid and coolant, which are due every four years.

While petrol engines don’t have a cambelt, diesels do, and it needs renewing every 10 years/90,000 miles, for around £350. And don’t worry that there are no longer any Saab main dealers; a UK-wide network of officially endorsed Saab service centres exists, plus there are lots of independents.

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