Home    Search    Gallery    How-To    Books    Links    Workshops    About    Contact

2002 Saab 9-3

Index of Other Reviews

2002 SAAB 9-3 SE

2002 SAAB 9-3 SE


More standard cargo room (21.7cf) than a 2007 Escalade (17 cf [Car and Driver, May 2006, p.83]), taxi or limo. Seats fold to give 46 CF!

More horsepower (205 vs. 200hp) and higher top speed (143 vs 135 MPH) than the V8 Ford Mustang GT I used to own.

Better fuel economy than any of them.

Turns almost as tightly as the microscopic BMW Mini Cooper

MSRP $30,295.

Steel Gray (279) with charcoal anniversary leather interior (K14) and real burl walnut wood dash.

The 2002 SAAB 9-3 is a fun, practical car that's powerful, good on gas and holds a ton of luggage, too.

2002 was the last year of the hatchback. It has a huge trunk and folding seats. It also features 25 year commemorative leather. The shifter and even the doors have leather on them in addition to the seats and steering wheel!

The trunk is rated at 21.7 cubic feet, more than a Ford Crown Victoria taxi/cop car. Fold the rear seats forward and the rating grows to 46 cubic feet, more like a minivan. This is what happens when you take a normal size car (182.3" long) and add a hatchback. It's fun to drive with a 7 second 0-60 time, powerful turbo and weighs only 3,060 pounds. Top speed rated at 143 MPH and V rated 205/55VR16 tires of course. Very tight turning radius, 34.4 feet, for easy parking.

Automatic transmission with normal, sport and winter modes, traction control, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, keyless remote, CD, OnStar, 205 horsepower turbo, factory alarm, headlamp washers and wipers, fog lights, cruise control, telescopic steering wheel, multi-function computer, heated rear view mirrors, EPA 21/29 MPG. I get 30 MPG on long freeway trips.

Photos from Olivenhain, CA. Dashboard computer photo from the other week. This time/speed/distance navigation computer is very easy to use and gives you gas mileage, miles left on the tank, and even estimates your time of arrival, and more.


DOHC 4-valve 4 cylinder Turbo, 1,985 cc, 205 HP @ 5,700 RPM.

Redline 6,000 RPM. Rev limiter at 6,200 RPM.


Front Wheel Drive. ASR Traction Control.

4-speed electronically controlled automatic. Direct lockup in 3rd and 4th. Made by Warner Japan. No overdrive. Top rated speed of 143 MPH comes up at 5,700 RPM, the rated horsepower peak.

Final Drive Ratio: 2.86 : 1.

Tire size: P205/55R16 91V, 834 revs/mile. (Pilot Sport cup: 837, Pilot Sport A/S: 823, Energy MXV4 Plus: 831, Energy MXV4 S8: 836, Pilot Primacy: 839, Pilot Exalto A/S: 839)

Top Speed @ 6,000 RPM
3.67 : 1
41 MPH (38 observed)
2.10 : 1
72 MPH (68 observed)
1.39 : 1
109 MPH (95 - 105 observed)
1.00 : 1
151 MPH (boost limited to 143 MPH)

SAAB warns against dropping the transmission selector into 3rd above 90 MPH (150 km/h).

SAAB warns against dropping the transmission selector into 2nd above 70 MPH (110 km/h).

SAAB warns against dropping the transmission selector into 1st above 30 MPH (50 km/h).

Normal, winter and sport modes. Winter mode starts in 3rd gear.


Also called ASR in Mercedes.


143 MPH (230 kph), boost limited.


4 wheel discs, ABS, electronic brake force distribution.


Two in dashboard. Two more in front seats.

SAAB Information Display (SID) Navigation Computer

CLEAR resets MPG, distance and average speed.


Glass sunroof with rear pop-up and inside sliding cover (standard).


Heated side mirrors, 15 watts each.


See the comparison between our 2002 and 2006 SAAB 9-3s here for far more detail about everything.

Home    Search    Gallery    How-To    Books    Links    Workshops    About    Contact