Turbocharged Rarity: 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen – Sold?

Jan 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

February 24, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

It’s easy to forget that BMW wasn’t the only game in town for factory performance models just a few years ago. However, the landscape has shifted dramatically, especially as performance cars give way to performance SUVs. The Saab brand has also been retired since models like this 2003 9-3 Viggen originally listed in January 2022 on Craigslist near Denver, Colorado roamed the Earth, another reminder of how much has changed in just 20 years. Saab’s Viggen lineup represented the next generation of SPG, the in-house skunkworks charged with building upgraded models that still carried a factory warranty. The seller is asking $9,000 for this car, while the NADA Price Guide says a five-door Viggen is worth $4,475 at the top of the pricing heap, but that doesn’t take into account the growing scarcity of the model.

The Viggen was everything you wanted a factory hot-rod to be: lower, louder, more powerful, and equipped with all sorts of factory components that represented an upgrade over the base model. The trouble with Saabs is they make very good power but it’s all driven through the front wheels. On a personal note, I spent a week with a 1995 Saab 9000 Aero I thought I would own for a spell and quickly realized I am not a high-strung, four-cylinder kind of guy. Many of the Saab faithful love the Viggen for its impressive power delivery, but it’s a poorly-kept secret that keeping a Viggen in a straight line isn’t the easiest of feats. There’s plenty of exaggeration out there, but there’s also more than one real-world test editor who cited the Viggen for being a wonderful chassis but also loaded with torque steer.

The MotorWeek RetroReview Channel features this test of a 1999 Saab 9-3 Viggen:

The Viggen came in a few different flavors, with most of them like the video shown above: a three-door hatchback. The seller’s car is a bit unusual for being one of the rarely-seen five-door examples, which makes it on par with a four-door E36 M3 in terms of being an enthusiast’s car with a practical side. Like so many other turbocharged Saabs, the seller has modified his car with upgraded components that he claims help to deliver a reliable 300 horsepower. Suspension upgrades include Bilstein struts with lowering springs, along with a set of BBS RK wheels. There’s no denying you’re buying a modified car, but the seller claims his has been well-maintained and is ready to drive anywhere. Good luck with the purchase if you bring this rare Viggen five-door home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale is my 2000 Saab Viggen. The car sits at just over 144k miles and has had a ton of maintenance done in the last two years. Runs perfectly, has zero issues mechanically and pulls hard.

– Forge 3” Intercooler
– GS 3” Downpipe with HF cat
– GS Open air intake
– GS steering rack stabilizer
– SnailWerks stage 2+ tune on 22psi
– Bilstein B8 struts with Maptun lowering springs.

Super light car, makes just over 300whp and is a blast to drive. The Viggen is a rare car and will just continue to get rarer and rarer.


Do you have a Saab Viggen story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous

    As a former Saab owner from 1977 through 20015, no doubt the most fun car to drive, and I’m in a BMW 128i now.

    All of the turbo engine Saabs suffered from torque-steer. That with the whine was how you knew it was working for you.


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