mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/6/17 9:10 a.m.

As much as I love my Disco, I want something a little more efficient and lower profile for the daily grind. As I have owned a couple of Saabs over the years I find myself curious about their last creations. the NG900 I owned was a great place to spend time in aside from the issues of torque steer that car had. The interior was just a cozy place to sit for a couple of hours.

I find myself captivated by the 9-3 sport combi

As I am looking for a daily and not a mountain pass carver, I am wondering if the V6 cars are less temperamental? If these use the same basic GM v6 that all the other cars from GM used (3100 and 3400) I will stick with the spinning snails, but I really just want a quirky eurocar I can get in and just drive.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
12/6/17 9:42 a.m.

FYI the V6 is also turbo. The only non-turbo V6s in Saabs were the absolutely dreadful 54-degree engine shoehorned in the 900 and 9000 after they were already designed.

The 9-3SS turbo 2.8 V6 (NOT to be confused with the earlier 3.0 which is VERY different) is the LP9, which is related to the Cadillac CTS engine. The turbo four is an Ecotec.

The 2.8T V6s are decent, fast but harder to work on and get crappy fuel economy. I would go for the turbo Ecotec myself, that is more than enough engine for a daily.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
12/6/17 10:41 a.m.

I hear that the v6 is more tempermental. It is an odd motor that I think is the same family as the Caddilac Catera and first year CTS engine. I have 118k on the four cylinder and the only issue has been a broken guide on the chain for the water pump. Other than that, oil, brakes and tires. 

The seats aren't all that great, the interior is ok otherwise. MPGs is good but it takes premium. I get 28-31 mostly highway. It makes plenty of power so I doubt the v6 is really necessary. I would likely sell you mine (2010 SC 2.0T manual) but I think my wife would not be happy since then I would have to find something new. 

HFmaxi
HFmaxi New Reader
12/6/17 12:32 p.m.

The 2.8T also likes to eat coil packs. The turbo placement ends up making everything under the hood brittle and tends to reduce the battery life as well. Fuel pressure issues due to pumps getting tired can also cause problems, much cheaper to fix for the fwd than the xwd. Miss my '09 AERO Combi but it was a little maintenance heavy.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
12/6/17 1:27 p.m.

I think the v6 turbo is only on one bank of exhaust. So it's like a half turbo.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
12/6/17 1:58 p.m.

Robbie - I think that is the older 3.0T from the 9-5. Which was a silly, silly thing. The 9-3 SC/SS has a 2.8L twin turbo. 

Edit: I feel like an idiot. Correct info in below post. I didn't know that was a considered a  gm high feature. Much better than what I understood it to be. 

HFmaxi
HFmaxi New Reader
12/6/17 2:07 p.m.
singleslammer said:

Robbie - I think that is the older 3.0T from the 9-5. Which was a silly, silly thing. The 9-3 SC/SS has a 2.8L twin turbo. 

When the 2.8T is up and running it's pretty great, just takes a little bit to get there and is super tunable.  ~320 HP / 400 lb-ft  is considered stage 0 and, like all SAABS, it will still be slow off the line. Single turbo, fed from both banks.

 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
12/6/17 2:59 p.m.
singleslammer said:

I hear that the v6 is more tempermental. It is an odd motor that I think is the same family as the Caddilac Catera and first year CTS engine.

Robbie said:

I think the v6 turbo is only on one bank of exhaust. So it's like a half turbo.

That is the old 3.0T. Single-bank turbo, impossible timing belt changes, questionable parts availability...terrible engine.

The 2.8T is more closely related to the modern 3600, has a timing chain instead of a belt, and actually runs the turbo off of both banks. Much better engine, but I still prefer the Ecotec for a daily.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
12/6/17 3:38 p.m.
mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/6/17 7:30 p.m.

good to know, looks like I will start looking for a turbo4. Now to see if the Sportcombi could be had with a manual

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
12/7/17 7:29 a.m.

I have when I try to provide correct  info and find out I am wrong . sad sorry everybody...

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/7/17 2:29 p.m.

I am surprised how few 9-3 SportCombis there are with a manual transmission. There is one in Delaware I may have to look at

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
12/7/17 3:14 p.m.

I found the only one in the Midwest when I got mine 4 years ago. Took an all day trip to Iowa for it. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/7/17 11:07 p.m.

well, I sent out an email to the CL seller. Anything I should look out for in a 2006 9-3 Turbo 4?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/13/17 7:38 p.m.

well, I went out and looked at a localish Sportcombi. 2006 in black, looked nice inside and out. I absolutely hated the cheapness of the interior. The steering wheel felt like hard plastic and I know the shifter was hard plastic. I understand the reviews when these cars were new about how badly GM had discontented these cars, I have been in Hyundai's of that era with nicer interiors.

 

The car itself ran very well, but it is a bomb waiting to go off. The clutch is very soft and very high, it's missing the glass out of the passenger side mirror, and the owner was not really the owner. To judge by the red rag in his back pocket and the smell of oil about him, he is a mechanic and I think got the car in leu of payment as he is a diehard mustang guy (he compared the clutch to his mustang's) as he still needed to transfer the title to himself before he could transfer it to me.

I know it was only a $3000 car, but I expected a little better. I think I will just drop that cash into my 87 900 Turbo

asoduk
asoduk HalfDork
12/13/17 8:48 p.m.

I daily a 2006 9-3 2.0T combi auto. Its been great. Note that there is a 2.0t and an 2.0T in some years... you want the big T. I had an early 2.0T aero for a while too, with a manual. Fun car. The previous generation 9-3 feels faster to me, but I think its just all of the torque steer and not being as smooth into the power as the ecotec cars. Trim levels really matter on the interior too. I have no idea what mine is, but the wheel and the shifter are leather covered and the wheel has the bumps at 10 and 2 . The only cheapness I really think there is on the interior is the black coating on the center colsole, and the shift boot on the manual cars. On lesser optioned cars, the stereo and HVAC controls look cheap too. You want the dual climate control and stereo 2 or 3 (all versions are on the fiber bus though). My wagon has a sub mounted in the spare tire. Its factory, but not sure if it is on all or just stereo 2+3. 

For $3k, its a great car! The only annoying engine thing for me has been the effect of ethanol fuel on the plugs. They usually foul up right about now every year. $8 and 15 min later, I'm in business. There are some odd torx and reverse torx fasteners with a scary amount of torque on them you will encounter if you have to do a front hub. Body wise, the front lip hangs down really low and they are all damaged in some way. 

As a wagon, I've hauled A LOT in mine. With the seats folded down, a 65" TV will lay flat in its packaging. On a few occasions I've had 4 adults, luggage and ski gear in mine. On that outing, make sure the drivers side rear passenger doesn't bring a ton of snow in on their feet as it will melt and short out "AMP1".

Doing the stage 0 or 1 tune really makes a nice difference too. Do it!

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
12/13/17 9:31 p.m.

maybe, but not this car. It may look good, but it's going to need a few grand in less than a year to keep it running. The Clutch going at 115,000 miles tells me it has been beat on.  Like I said, I will dump the cash into my 900 turbo and enjoy that.

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