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The Car Connection
Best Car to Buy
(2004 model shown)
The mid-size 9-3 is the sportiest model to be built off of General Motors' global "Epsilon" platform, which also provides the underpinnings for the Chevrolet Malibu and the new-for-2005 Pontiac G6. Still, the 9-3 carries Saab-exclusive styling and preserves such traditional quirks as the ignition key being located on the floor between the two front seats. The car comes in three trim levels: The base Linear, luxurious Arc and sporty Vector editions get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates either 175 or 210 horsepower, depending on the model. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard on the Linear and Arc versions, while a six-speed manual gearbox comes with the Vector. A DVD-based navigation system is available for the first time on 2005 models, along with several newly offered exterior colors.
2004 Saab 9-3 ConvertibleEnlarge Photo
2003 Saab 9-3 Vector by Marc K. Stengel
Saab takes a calculated approach with its striking new 9-3 Vector sport sedan.