Swedish Steal: 2005 Saab 9-3 Arc Convertible – Sold?

by | Dec 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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December 30, 2022, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.

December 5, 2022 Update – The seller elected to reduce the asking price in their current Craigslist ad from $5,000 to $4,000.

The last few years of the Saab brand were not particularly glorious. Of course, the entire Saab story typically lays all the blame at the hands of GM. While there is some truth to that, it’s also true that GM provided financial “stability” when Saab was sorely lacking anything resembling it. The final offerings included models like this 9-3, built upon the Epsilon platform that also saw duty in the Opel Vectra and Chevrolet Malibu. While purists may turn up their noses at the GM-blessed Saabs, the rest see a cheap and stylish four-seater convertible. Check out this 2005 9-3 ARC convertible, once listed in November 2022 on Craigslist in Miami Beach for $5,000 with 162K on the clock. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking below the going sale price rate, currently pegged at $10,601.

The trouble with letting hardcore enthusiasts dictate which cars you should buy is that you may overlook decent cars in the process. The end-of-the-run Saabs definitely fit into this category. Any Saab made after GM took over pretty much got labeled with a fat red “X” that deemed them undesirable, especially when compared to the classic 900 Turbo convertible. As a former classic 900 owner, I didn’t notice anything particularly magical about the chassis. The car drove nicely, and the turbocharged motor was perky, but it was not a particularly deft handler. That’s why I say if you’re looking for an affordable European convertible, not to let the folks who despised the models built under GM influence because of the perception that the brand was somehow defiled. Saab’s engineers were defiant and found plenty of ways to circumvent the cost-cutting GM prescribed when adopting the Epsilon chassis.

The Mackenzie Rough YouTube Channel features this 2004 Saab convertible ad highlighting the year-round capabilities of the Saab 9-3 convertible:

The seller’s car is a mid-range model, wearing the “Arc”-trim level packaging. One constant between the Saab eras was that the “Aero” badge got you the best of everything in terms of performance and options; this car came equipped with the mid-range 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-four. While a manual gearbox was standard equipment, this 9-3 convertible features the optional automatic. The bodywork on this 9-3 looks to be in good shape with no major scars aside from some faded trim and cloudy fog lamp lenses. The seller provides a short description that claims the 9-3 is in mint condition despite its generous odometer mileage and has a clean history file with no accidents. The biscuit-colored interior is in good shape overall, with some soiling present on the driver’s seat, and there’s no word on whether the top or the air conditioning is functional. For the money, this seems like a safe bet for a stylish and cheap summer cruiser.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“2005 SAAB ARC 9-3 2.0T RARE CONVERTIBLE $5000

160k miles mint
Zero accidents
Flawless clean Fl Title Private sale
FLAWLESS GORGEOUS BEAUTY TO THE CORE

2.0 T turbo rare find
Absolutely Mint

End of an era: would you buy a clean Saab product from the GM era?   

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