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Peter ASKED THE GUIDE

Quality of SAAB 9-3 convertibles as a used buy?

There seem to be quite a few SAAB 9-3 convertibles around for $5-7000 with low kilometres, less than 100,000 km, and they appear good value if you're willing to accept that the company no longer exists and parts may be harder to find. Is there anything big to watch out for with them?

SAABs have fallen off the radar since the company exited the market, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should be avoided. With their discounted price they could be a good buy. When the brand was taken out of the market guarantees were made that parts would be available for 10 years, so that should ease your mind a little. But even if parts weren't readily available there are enough second hand parts around to keep your car going, and there are specialists who know the brand backwards and know were to find any part that might be needed. The 9-3 is getting on in years so look for rattles and squeaks, particularly in a convertible, which isn't as rigid as a sedan or wagon. It's important also with a convertible to check the operation of the roof to make sure it's working, and working smoothly. They can be expensive to repair if they don't go up and down as they should.

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