Saab Convertibles – show us your 4-seasons drop-top

The Saab Convertible has been referred to in the past as the 4-seasons, 4-seater ragtop. Whilst many convertibles of the last few decades were small, cute affairs, Saab rocked the world in the mid-1980’s by building a robust convertible with 4 useable seats. Best of all, it wasn’t just a pretty little show pony. The Saab Convertible has always been a car built to cope with true winter conditions.

I thought it might be interesting to see how many people get their Saab Convertibles out during the colder months. Better still, do you get the heater cranked and the top down?

If you do, send me some photos of your Saab Convertible doing one of the things it was designed for – looking awesome and delivering driving fun even in the winter.

Send your photos to [email protected] with Winter Convertible in the header.


One such Convertible owner with no fear of the cold is Fredrik A, from SU sponsor Maptun.

Fredrik’s Saab 9-3 Convertible was built in 2004 and runs on E85 thanks to some tuning from his employer. The car has several other tweaks to the exhaust and suspension, helping it put around 280hp and 400Nm to ground.

Fredrik drives his Convertible all year round….

I doubt there’s anyone who drives around with the roof down as much as I do, at least in this kind of climate. If it’s above –5 and sunny – the roof goes down! The manual says you’re not supposed to operate the roof below –5 C , but since my car is nice and comfy in a warm garage I’ve dropped the roof as low as –10 C.

Today’s reactions include : Heads shaking, staring, wide smiles, thumbs up, and something I only expected to happen in the movies; a girl actually dropped a cigarette that she was about to light from her lips.


I know there are more of you 4-seasons Convertible drivers out there.

Get some photos and share the love!

40 thoughts on “Saab Convertibles – show us your 4-seasons drop-top”

      • It’s quite simple and not very interesting; It was the only airbag I could get my hands on at the time of changing the steering wheel. It will be replaced with a proper badge in due time 🙂

    • Yep.
      And those numbers are divided on:

      Saab 9-3: 892 (with 172 being TTiD).
      Saab 9-5: 211.

      So compared to november a decline for the 9-5, but an increase for the 9-3.

      • I remember when a saw Fredrik with his roof down on save Saab-event in Trollhättan..and it was like -15 outside?….;) 🙂 😀

        btw, i really want to see a convertible-commercial with 4 season-theme:)

      • Pretty ok sales figures i would say, it has been a tough year for the sales team but i am confident that Jan-figures will be higer.

        lets wait in the figures from US&UK also:)

      • Looking at the 9-3 figures, gives some positive signals. The top four sales in Sweden are;
        1. Volvo V70 4 643
        2. VW Golf 1 240
        3. Volvo V60 926
        4. Saab 9-3 892
        Of these 892, the break-down was;
        Bio-Power 506
        Diesel 172
        Petrol 214
        Thus, the second place is within reach, especially when the Diesel sales starts to kick-in – in Sweden > 50 % of the sales are Diesel cars.

          • WordPress has censored my post 🙁

            Now as text.
            Saab has sold 362 Diesel 9-3 (SS,SC and Conv), but 172 of those Diesel cars have been TTiD Sedans with less than 120g/km CO2, the rest (190 units) emit more than 120 g/km.

        • And do keep in mind that the <120g Diesel (TTiD) is not available in the SC yet. And I wonder how many of the VW Golfs that are a kombi-model. When they get the SC below 120g, then we will see an even larger increase in sales.

        • To really “fly in diesel sales” the SC must get under 120g, then we take the second place I think (in Sweden). Is there any news about that?

          BTW: There´s a good price on 9-3SS TTid/130Hp in Trollhättan(ANA), 229.900 (from 260.800). Buy that one and maptun it folks!

          Fredrik, can you guys map the TTid/130, it´s not on your site?

    • NL data:
      Just 8 cars were sold in December 2010 (52 in November 2010). This was expected because most car lease companies halt registrations during the last two months.

      A total of 530 Saab’s was sold in 2010 (vs 521 in 2009). Up 1.7%, although the market grew almost 25%.

      • Tim,
        you should take into account, that the sales values for the first quarter were almost non existent. So if you say that Saab sold 530 units in 9 months and extrapolate this to 12 months (using the month average of about 59 cars), Saab could have sold 706 cars in 2010, which is an increase of 35% over 2009 (slightly better than the market average). 😉

        • Probably not. Orders where taken in the months then no deliveries (and registrations) where made. The January – Mars orders where delivered later in the year and shows up the statistics of the following months. Some potential customers did not place orders becuase of the long deliverytime but stating that could have sold 706 cars in 2010 is not very realistic.

          • Håkan,
            do you see the smiley at the end of my comment?

            35% is not realistic, but 2010 has not been a full year for Saab, thus the 1.7% also doesn’t show the real sales increase in 2010.

        • Actually NL sales figures in the first quarter weren’t that bad…

          January 66
          February 33
          March 46
          April 42
          May 16
          June 40
          July 56
          August 55
          September 35
          October 84
          November 52
          December 8

          Hopefully they will manage to increase sales to previous levels (~3500 per annum).

          • With those numbers for each month the total number for 2010 is 533 Saabs in the NL. So is the 530 number you presented earlier correct or are these the correct numbers? I’m just curious as I’m trying to gather as much sales data as possible from as many markets as possible to try to build up a database about it.

          • @Carl-Henrik: Not sure… I have used two sources. Both should be using the same base information but somewhere there’s a difference…

    • 280 bhp on E85. On regular petrol it’s only around 255 or so.

      The changes made to the engine are 630 cc injectors and a cat-back exhaust.

      Normally 400 nm is too much for the standard clutch, but I need a reason to get something a bit meatier installed later 😉

      • Hi Fredrik!

        I have a 2010 9-3 1.8t BioPower with 780 mil driven. Do you think its to early to get a Stage -1 (software) upgrade?

        • I’d say it’s never too early to upgrade 🙂
          Quite often we have people coming directly from the Saab dealer with their brand new car and want to have it tuned.

          A Stage 1 or Stage 1+ does wonders with the 1.8t BioPower.

  1. The V70 frenzy bodes well for the 9-5 Wagon arrival. For every new S60, two V60’s are sold. Attractive entry diesels are essential for successful sales. (Sweden)

    • Every market in Europe needs low emission diesels. For most countries 120g/km will do fine, except for NL were you won’t benefit above 116g/km.

        • I hope they will be able to. When the roomy Ovlov V70 Drive returns this spring it will emit 99g/km and use 3.8l/100km. 115hp though but from an economical point of view it’s very impressive.

          • Joe,
            those are the values of the much lighter V50 Drive !!
            The V70 is about 300kg heavier.
            If the mange to got those values, then they will have all my respect, but by now I doubt they can.

      • Same is true for Belgium: the treshold is 115g. But you only get 3% of the car’s value back. When you dip below 105g, you suddenly have a rebate of 15%. At least, that’s the case when you buy a car as a citizen. When it’s a company car, the calculation changes.

  2. I wouldn’t touch a ovloV drive as it uses the same 1.6 tdi engine as the ford focus. This engine in the focus has had serious issues with the turbo and dpf that can cost about £2500 to fix. More than one mechanic told a friend of mine that it’s a well known problem. As my mate said “I wish he’d told me before it blew up!” of the 9-3 is a vectra in disguise the c30 / s40 / v50 is just a rebadged focus. How come this isn’t used by journalists to bad mouth the ovloV to the same degree that Saabs are painted as gm rubbish in disguise?

    • SteveW,
      thank you for the hint. I’ve got a Frenchie with that engine and first symptoms of a turbo problem. I was thinking about trading it in for a 9-3 Griffin, as soon as it comes out, but now I know I have to get rid of that engine. 🙂

  3. Hmmm, the timing of this post is interesting to me. A recent long drive behind the wheel of our ’07 Combi got me thinking I’d like to have a new(ish) 9-3 as my daily driver. My wife mentioned getting her a convertible and me driving her Combi (which would be fine by me, although I’m kind of wanting a manual trans).

    Any 4-season daily drivers out there – in places with real winters? (I’m in Madison, Wisconsin, USA). I’d love to hear your thoughts on a ‘vert as your main car.

    • This is the third winter I’m driving my convertible as my daily driver.

      The only thing I can complain about is that the interior squeeks and rattles a bit more because of the cold. A strut brace helps a lot in this case to stiffen the body up.

      Heating is not an issue, the top is very well insulated against the cold. I’d say the ‘verts get hot a bit faster than its metal roof siblings, partly because of the smaller cabin.

      The last two winters have been proper ice age winters with temperatures reaching as low as -30 C. Top that off with tons of snow. The car hasn’t skipped a beat.

      We all know that Saabs are great winter cars and the convertible is no different.

      Anything particular you had in mind?

      • I don’t really have specifics in mind – your comment is exactly what I was looking for, just some thoughts from a 12-month convertible driver.

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