The Best Used Saab To Buy

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The 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen is the best used Saab to buy. Its turbocharged-engine, aggressive aero kit, performance upgrades, and limited production earn this thunderbolt collector-car status. Putting this Saab on Jerry’s best-used list was a no-brainer!
Only 4,600 Saab 9-3 Viggen were built, but its rarity is not the only thing that makes it the best used Saab. This little sports car is outfitted with a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine and a host of performance upgrades. A new Saab could come with a bigger price tag with all the bells and whistles, but a used Saab can come with the extra features without the additional costs.
Although Saab vehicles are no longer in production since the company became defunct in 2011, it had a classic lineup of cars. Collectors looking to hold a piece of Saab history may be wondering which model to get, so
, the used-car expert and top-rated
car insurance
broker app, has determined which model is the best used Saab. We'll also show you how Jerry can help you save on your
Saab insurance costs
, so keep reading!
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The best used Saab to buy: 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen

Saab was once known to produce high-performance vehicles that pushed boundaries. The Saab 9-3 Viggen did just that. Named after one of the company’s fighter jets, the 9-3 Viggen (Swedish for ‘thunderbolt’) is a feistier version of the original 9-3 model, that could go from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds

What makes the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen a good used car?

A used Saab is a great choice if you want to get a used sports car that makes for an exciting drive with high collector value. Here’s what sets the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen apart from the rest of Saab's lineup. 
For a fair comparison, our rating was based on four main factors: true cost to own, safety features, reliability, and customization
  • True cost to own: Although a used Saab can be more affordable, the maintenance and insurance costs can increase the overall cost. The best used Saab was chosen based on its average used-car sale price, cost of maintenance, insurance rate, depreciation rate, and cost of repairs. 
  • Safety features: An older used car could mean a lack of modern safety features. For the best used Saab, we reviewed the available driver assistance technology and overall safety ratings. 
  • Reliability: One of the most important aspects of buying a used car is its longevity. You want to get a Saab that will last a long time and not break down once you drive off with it. 
  • Customization and styling: Although you can’t choose any add-on features for a used car, we picked the best used Saab based on the range of options available for body styles and trim levels that can keep it looking timeless. 

The true cost of owning a 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen

A car’s true cost of ownership is the overall cost of how much you end up paying to own the vehicle. On top of your purchase price, this factors in the ongoing costs, including gas, maintenance, insurance, and interest rates from the loan. 
When you choose to buy a (vintage) sports car, the maintenance and repair costs tend to be higher, especially if the parts are rare. This can become a higher financial burden compared to a regular sedan. Insurance rates are also higher for sports cars as they are often driven more recklessly. 
On the other hand, since the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen has an abundance of safety features, the true cost to own this used car could be lower than you expect. Below is a breakdown.

Purchase price

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for a 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen started at $38,095. However, you can find a used car at an average of $14,200. The actual cost of the car will depend on its condition, mileage, trim, and any add-ons. 

Costs of operation

With a good credit score and a large down payment, you can be eligible for lower interest rates, which means lower monthly payments for a 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen. 
If you are looking for a good deal, opt for the Liftback sedan trim. Although it doesn’t look as aggressive as its convertible counterpart, the Liftback sedan is virtually the same across all the trims—all sporting the 230-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter engine and safety features. You can usually also benefit from a lower insurance premium with lower trims, which can significantly reduce your total cost of ownership. 
Fuel costs for the 9-3 Viggen are the same between the trims. Surprisingly, this speedy sports car can take regular gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Your cost of ownership will be much lower since you are only using regular gas.  
Key Takeaway: A low MSRP, rate of depreciation, and lower gas grade requirements help keep the total cost of owning a 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen relatively low. 
“I was paying roughly $180 a month for insurance, but
hooked me up with an Allstate full-coverage plan for only $89! I’m so glad I trusted Jerry to find me a better plan.” —David A.

Safety features of the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen

The 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen is equipped with standard safety features and earned a decent safety score from the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
. The safety features on the 9-3 Viggen include: 
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags
  • Front Seatbelt Pretensioners
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Emergency Interior Trunk Release
  • Front And Rear Ventilated Disc Brakes
  • Passenger Head Restraint Whiplash Protection System
  • Rear Center 3-Point Belt
  • Rear Door Child Safety Locks
Unfortunately, the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
does not have a safety rating for the Saab 9-3 Viggen.
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Is the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen a reliable used car? 

The 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen is above average in terms of reliability, according to J.D. Power. 
If you follow the 9-3 Viggen’s
regular maintenance
schedule diligently, you can maintain this reliability. Routine maintenance for used cars is essential so that its parts are protected from normal wear and tear, and, in turn, increases longevity. It also lets you find any potential issues to prevent serious damages which can be costly to repair.  
Overall, the 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen can last between 200,000 and 300,000 miles

Customization and styling

The 2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen comes in three trims, each with several color options. Many car enthusiasts love the 9-3 Viggen’s power, handling, and classic-car appeal
The 9-3 Viggen is available in the following trims: 
  • Liftback Coupe
  • Liftback Sedan
  • Convertible
Each trim could have been upgraded with the Aero specs for even more features. The 9-3 Viggen looks great inside and out with crazy power for a small car, putting it in a league of its own.
You’ll also find that the 9-3 Viggen has a premium leather interior, a four-speaker system, and an upgraded Saab Information Display (SID). The upgraded Aero spec will have a six-speaker system, memory seats, and electric passenger seats.

How to find affordable insurance for a used Saab

Sports cars are more expensive to insure compared to regular sedans, and the average cost to insure a Saab 9-3 Viggen is over $1,500 a year. Although this is lower than the average annual insurance cost for a Saab, you can find even better rates with the help of
It’s this simple: download Jerry's
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By Tiffany Leung
Updated on Jan 24, 2023
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor.
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