What do twenty thousand miles do to a Saab?

svss_9-3 Hirsch New alloysvss_9-3 Hirsh Rearsvss_9-3 Hirsh Front Lightssvss_9-3 Hirsh Rear with badge

Last week, my 9-3 kindly reminded me that it needed a service for the second time since I drove it out of the showroom back in 2011. I’ll be booking it in at my new local Saab Service Centre very soon, but it made me think about its first 20,000 miles.

Initially, I caused a few problems by changing so much of the standard set up to Hirsch components, this led to both front bearing hubs being replaced within the first 3 months. Since then, it’s had a number plate bulb, a small car park dink smoothing out and one shiny new Hirsch alloy, that’s it, a bit boring I know, but that really is it.

The 9-3 has given a flawless performance for the past 18 months now, adapting to varied driving conditions with all the grace and style I’ve come to expect from a Saab. Relaxed, effortless high speed cruising, congested city commuting or extremely enthusiastic country lane driving, the 9-3 is an absolutely superb executive car.

So what else has 20,000 miles thrown at it? A few annoying stone marks on the front grille, some anti social behaviour in the way of a size 12 boot mark on the bonnet, and a slightly shinier Hirsch leather steering wheel, no bad, and all taken care of.

And despite my rather erratic driving style (I blame that on Hirsch) the 9-3 has returned pretty decent economy. 20,000 miles with an average 550 miles per tank, that’s 36.3 tanks of diesel, costing around £80.00 per tank = £2904.00

Fourteen pence per smile.

This is officially the longest I’ve ever kept a car, and out of 50+ all I can say is, thank you Saab, thank you for such a stunning car.

Here’s to 20,000 miles, and the next, and the next


20 thoughts on “What do twenty thousand miles do to a Saab?

  1. I had to drive to Bristol on Monday for an interview, there and back in a day 354 miles.

    354 enjoyable miles in my 9-3, took it easy on the way down and say the on board puter say 54.3mpg on the return leg wanting to get home it dropped to 49.5mpg.

    I’ll now be doing manchester > Bristol run every Sunday and returning Friday for the next few months and I’m liking the idea that I’ll be spending more time in the 9-3.

    • Every time I have a long journey planned, I have to say, I really look forward to it, I’m planning on driving over to Sweden one of these days, maybe for one of the SAAB festivals.

    • I’ve thought about this recently and to be honest I think it will be for me either a BMW 320d or 330d

      • Unsure, 3 series just still don’t do it for me, and far to many around. Still love 5 series, but after 15 of so, I think I’d have to go for Alfas again 🙂

        Saab vs. Alfa Romeo maybe a new blog in the future as I’ll be holding on to at least 2 of our SAABs.

  2. Mine is on 75K now – it is a lovely car I definitely agree. Yeah I had the same dilemma the other day – what to replace with? I’m thinking of the new Lexus IS – had the old one back in 2003 loved it.

    By the way guys have you had any EGR problems? I’ve had to replace my EGR twice due to P0404 – I know you can clean it but limp mode on the motorway is no fun. I have a spare now so maybe I’m thinking of just swapping aroind every few months. I’ve just switched permanently to VPOWER diesel as well

    By the way, got the hirsch diffuser fitted – lovely! I’ll email you some pics of my TTID when the weather gets better!

    • Hi Mark, thanks for the comment, the Hirsch diffusers look stunning don’t they, send in a few pics when you can.
      Not heard of EGR problems, I’ll ask the SAAB service guys when I pop it in soon.

    • Now that’s a hugely difficult question for us SAAB lovers. I’m still not entirely sure i’d opt for a full electric just yet, but I’ll reserve judgement, saying that, they may not even be available to us here in the UK.

      My 9-3’s only 18 months old, so I’m good for a few years, then, I may be able to find a stunning and very low milage 9-3 Aero Carlsson 🙂

      Other than that, I don’t think I’d go back to BMW, far to many on UK roads for me, and not individual enough. I have a huge fondness for Alfa Romeos still, and judging by this, I would probably opt for this if I couldn’t get a SAAB.

  3. Here in the U.S the Giulia isn’t an option. I have a 2006 9-3 with 60,000 miles. I’m still good for a couple of years.

    I still enjoy getting in this car everyday. I’ve had so many cars in the past that I would be looking to trade in after 2 or 3 years.

    As for my next car right now it looks like the S60 or A4. But, I’m in no hurry.

    • The New Alfa is only hearsay here at the moment too, but look forward to hearing more, always sexy cars.

      There’s only 20,000 on my 9-3 TTiD, so plenty more fun filled years from that one. Our SportCombi now has 155,000 and showing absolutely no sign of being anything but perfect, so really, we don’t have to worry for a few years.

      I’ve owned a few Audi A6s and the gearbox has gone on each one, so I stay as far away from them as I can now 🙂

      Volvos are always an option, pretty robust, and less common.

      Thanks for your comments Owen

    • The guilia will be launched in the u.s just after the new 4c thus ending the Alfa Romeo drought for Americans….looks like it won’t be till 2014 however….

      • Our SportCombi will be close to 200,000 by then, maybe I can persuade my wife that she needs a new Alfa and I can get to keep my 9-3, or maybe, I can persuade a neighbour to let me park another car on their drive and keep all of the SAABs 🙂

  4. My aero has just hit 60k and just had its service at hallams and Sutherns saab specialist in Derbyshire….it still feels like a new car and I’m looking to keep her for the next four or five years…it looks like it will be a easy feat for her:-)

  5. The paint on your car looks like a new car. What products do you use? Do you use a buffer?

    • Thanks, Autoglym cleaning products for standard washes, and then as a treat Meguiars products http://www.meguiars.co.uk

      Saying that, I’m really not overly diligent, I’ve always been seriously impressed with SAAB paint quality, it seems to stand the test of time well.

      I started using the Meguiars products last year on the 900, and was really impressed with the difference they made.

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