Is buying a 3 year old unsold new car problematic?

Hello I live in phoenix and I was looking at buying a part-time fun convertible toy. I was looking at various certified used bimmers and audis when I came upon an unsold 2008 saab 9-3 2.0turbo convertible with only 300 miles on it. Normally these go for 40k+ new but I think I can talk the dealer down to 30k out the door due to steep depreciation. My question is, will it be a maintenance nightmare for me since the car was sitting in the desert sun baking for 3 years barely driven? It will still have the full new car warranty (4yrs/50k) miles as well as 3 years of free scheduled maintenance. I tend to hold onto cars for the long haul and don’t want a host of extra problems from this car sitting around. Any ideas folks? Thanks, Omar

I would have a lot of concerns buying a Saab, with GM selling (really giving it away) to a tiny company with no track record. They’re troublesome to begin with, certainly no better than BMW or Audi. And the BMW or Audi will almost certainly be a better car.

I wouldn’t do it, not because it’s been sitting idle for three years, but because it’s a Saab. The company is essentially belly-up, they have always been troubled cars, parts are hard to find, and it can be difficult to find someone who can work on them. I have driven them and worked on them, and for the money, you will do much better with something else. The only thing really special about a Saab is where you put the ignition key.

Have you considered a Nissan Z or Infiniti G series for a fun car? I’m not sure if The G series is offered as a convertible, but these cars are in your price range, they are a lot of fun to drive, reliable, and easy to work on. If you’re driving a Nissan or Infiniti (really the same thing), at least your mechanic won’t cringe when you pull up like they would if you were in a Saab, BMW, or Audi.

There is a reason this car did not sell for three years. Run away fast! If you want a part-time, fun summer convertible, get a three or four year-old Miata for $10k, or less.


Edmunds says that this car is worth $25,000 if the only option is an automatic transmission. If it has every option, it’s worth about $30,000. Low mileage is worth $1200 and outstanding condition (showroom) is worth about $950. You can price it yourself with the exact options here:

I wouldn’t pay more than the average usd price after adjustment for mileage and condition. If you drive off the lot and the beer truck hits you, you lose big unless you buy it for nearly the replacement cost. It seems to me that the Swedish government will be more likely to deal with Spyker (the new owner) than they would with GM. Spyker has been building high-end sports cars since 2000.

Stop kidding yourself, it’s NOT a new car…It’s a 3 year old SAAB!! A high-maintenance, not very reliable vehicle…If you are in love with it, offer them $20K and wait for your phone to ring…

I wouldn’t touch this car with a ten foot pole.

If you tend to keep cars a long time you do not want a Saab. Especially one that no one has been able to sell for three years.

This will be trouble, with a capital T.

Three years in the sun = Time for a new top. I would expect a few other problems as well due to the three year delay

Make mine another vote to avoid this Saab and look for something else. The Miata is a good suggestion. Those I know that own and have owned Saabs all had recurrant problems. CR’s data supports my impression. They are not famous for reliability.

We had a similar post for an unused 2008 BMW 328i that coincidentally had 300 miles on the odometer. If this car is on a dealer’s lot, there is something wrong with the dealer if he can’t sell a car in this length of time.
Three hundred miles, three thousand miles, or 30,000 miles, it is still a three year old car. If you buy the car and it is totaled in an accident, the insurance will compensate you for a three year old Saab.

In late 1988 when the 1989 were beginning to appear, I found a 1987 Pontiac 6000 on a dealer’s lot that had never been sold. I asked for the best price the agency could give. The saleswoman consulted with sales manager and she came back with an offer to take $100 off the sticker price. I walked out. The dealer went out of business several years later, and this was when Pontiacs were selling reasonably well.

The dealer where you are trying to make the deal doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

As soon as you leave the lot your new car is a “used” car. In this case your used car is 2008 when 2011 models are coming soon. You have to check prices of low mileage used cars on to see if you are getting a good deal. I’d suspect you need to get this car at a price the dealer won’t go for, which is why it is still sitting on the lot.

Since it comes with complete maintenance they should put in new brake fluid, new coolant, new transmission fluid and any other fluid that deteriorates in 3 years. I’d offer the dealer about 20K for the car. If you get it for about $25K that is what the car is worth. At $30K you are still paying too much.

What would a Duesenberg be worth if it hadn’t been driven or titled and had been sitting on the dealer’s lot since it was new in the 1920’s? I’m certain Jay Leno would pay full sticker price. I think the dealer who has the Saab is waiting for the Saab to appreciate and someone like Jay Leno to come along. The dealer is going to have a long wait.

He’s doing the same thing with his lot full of Hummers…

SAABs and especially this model, have become an over hyped lesser performing shadow of years gone by. (if they ever were) They are just a label meant to entice the unsuspecting into the world of automotive exclusivity, much like all the other over hyped luxury/performance cars that are common model rip offs. Lot’s of people found them for what they were when they started selling Sabarus and Chevy Blazers under their logo.
SAABs, might as well be a Slab.

Deal killer. Turbo. A three year old car has a three year old convertible top too. You’ll have to change it three years sooner. It won’t be as good as new either. The hurrier you go, the behinder you get.

If you keep cars for a long time, maybe you should get one with newer parts on it.

A three year old full size Chevy pickup, yes, but get a good discount. The Saab is an orphan and a complicated one at that. This is probably the worst case scenario car you can buy.


Use the search feature above for Saab.

No one else would touch that car with a ten foot pole in all this time.

That dealer needs to GIVE it away to clear it from his books. They need to completely ignore what those books say it ‘cost’ them.
You’re doing them a favor if you take it.
Play that card and offer them mere peanuts for it.

You decide.

I think that the OP has found “the perfect storm” of problematic new car purchases.

As was already said, this car is worth–at best–about the same as a 2008 Saab that had been driven ~10k miles per year, due to the wear of the convertible top and the aging of “soft” parts such as the timing belt, hoses, and serpentine belt.

Then, factor in the “orphaned” status of this marque and the resale value of the car takes a REALLY bit hit.
And, then you have to consider the unknown policies of the new owner of this marque, which could certainly impact your warranty coverage. This car will definitely need good warranty coverage, being that it is a Saab–and a 3 year old one at that.

If you really want to defy logic by buying this car, I would suggest offering $28k. If they balk, walk away.