Used Buyer’s Guide: Saab 9-3 Convertible

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

What to look for

• Biopower editions of the Saab 9-3 Convertible 1.8t and 2.0t arrived in April 2007; high emissions mean steep road tax.• Autos on 1.9 diesel can be wrecked if the heat exchanger fails; it’s in the radiator.• All engines have a dual-mass flywheel which eventually fails; listen for rattle as you pull away.

Recalls

The second-generation 9-3 has been recalled five times, and although Saab didn’t spell out whether any of these affected the Convertible specifically, the faults they concerned are likely to be relevant. So check that any potential buy has had remedial work done to the rear axle hubs, handbrake and brake servo, plus to the seatbelts (which were found not to retract properly) and the tilting front passenger seat (which failed to lock in position).

Driver power

Our viewThe 9-3 didn’t make it into our Driver Power 2013 satisfaction survey, but in 2012 it finished down in 79th. Although owners rated its comfort and performance, they marked the car down for pretty much everything else.

Your viewReader Jonathan Fabian from Southampton owns the Saab in our pictures. He says: “It has a fine image and is good to drive. Interior trim creaks don’t detract from what’s clearly a quality four-seat convertible. And my petrol Aero performs well, too.”

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