2008 Saab 9-3 vs. Its Competition

2008 Saab 9-3 4-door Wagon SportiCombi Side Exterior View
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

In base form, the 2008 Saab 9-3 sedan competes with the A4 2.0T, which also comes with a torquey turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Next to the 9-3, the A4 has an especially upscale interior, even though the Saab’s cabin feels pleasantly different than other cars in its class.

The Subaru Legacy GT, with its 250-horsepower turbocharged version of the automaker’s flat-four engine, is priced about the same as the base 9-3 and offers similar performance, though it comes with standard all-wheel drive, a feature only offered on the top 9-3 Turbo X.

Its Swedish rival, the S60, is also worth consideration; the S60 has more passenger comfort but doesn’t feel nearly as sporty.

At the top end of the 9-3’s range, the BMW 3-Series might also be considered, especially in top 335xi trim.

This is where the less recognized 9-3 seems priced a little high, at about the same as the BMW.

2008 Saab 9-3 4-door Wagon SportiCombi Side Exterior View2008 Saab 9-3Browse Used Listings2009 Audi A42009 Audi A4Browse Used Listings2009 Subaru Legacy 2009 Subaru LegacyBrowse Used Listings2008 BMW 3-Series 2-door Convertible 328i Side Exterior View2008 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2008 Volvo S60 2.5T2008 Volvo S60Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.6
Although the 2008 Saab 9-3 isn’t as stylish and recognizable, it is a unique and stealthy alternative to more frequently seen small sport sedans.
8.4
The 2009 Audi A4 has grown into a more useful luxury sedan, though it goes overboard with optional, programmable handling.
7.4
The 2009 Subaru Legacy appeals to rugged, sporty, and practical types, but not those who expect top refinement.
8.6
The 2008 BMW 3-Series sedan has the best overall driving experience in its class and remains the gold standard among mid-size sport sedans.
7.4
The 2008 Volvo S60 is a comfortable, safe all-weather sedan, but if you want top sport-sedan performance, you should look elsewhere.
MSRP From    
$28,445$30,700$20,795$32,700$30,975
Gas Mileage    
16 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4-CylGas I6Low-Pressure Turbo Gas I5
EPA Class    
CompactCompactCompactCompactCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan CVT 2.0T FrontTrak Prestige *Ltd Avail*4-Door H4 Manual4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV4-Door Sedan 2.5T FWD w/Snrf
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveAll-Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
ManualCVTManualManualAutomatic