2011 Saab 9-3 Review

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

While Saab tries to bootstrap itself as an independent automaker with a three-vehicle lineup, its oldest model gets a trim for the 2011 model year.

Spyker-owned Saab has dropped the turbocharged V-6 from its 9-3 lineup of sedans for the 2011 model year, while it launches its large 9-5 sedan and wagon, and preps for the introduction of its 9-4X crossover vehicle.

With few changes other than the loss of the turbo six, and the repackaging of some features and options, the 9-3 is pretty much where it's been since a 2008 revamp. It's a roomy compact model that borders on mid-size, despite the fact that it's now the smallest model in the company's lineup. The 9-3 comes in sedan and versatile wagon (SportCombi) body styles, as well as a convertible.

The 9-3 comes in two models: Turbo4 and Aero X. A 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine propels both models; the high-performance 280-hp, 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 engine has been dropped from the Aero X, leaving it as more of a trim package on the standard-issue car.

A six-speed manual is standard equipment on the 9-3 Turbo4 with front-wheel drive; it's a no-charge option across the board. A five-speed automatic is optional on the Turbo4 FWD, while it's specified as standard on the Aero FWD model. A six-speed automatic is standard on both models when they're equipped with Saab's XWD all-wheel-drive system, which is optional on either model. Fuel economy ranges from 21/31 mpg on the front-drive, six-speed models to 17/27 mpg on XWD versions.

A navigation system and rear parking sensors are the major options on the Aero models; base models must opt up to a power passenger seat, Bluetooth, and XM satellite radio, though all 2011 9-3 sedans come with power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control, and leather upholstery.

Safety features include dual front, side and curtain airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes and stability control. No rearview camera is offered, though rear parking sensors are available on Aero models, bundled in a package.

We're awaiting a test drive of the Saab lineup under its new owners. While we're readying a new review, see our most recent coverage of the 2009 Saab 9-3 lineup.

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August 22, 2015
2008 Saab 9-3 4-Door Wagon SportCombi Aero

This was my first Saab and I now own 3 of them due to falling in love with Saab engineering; 1st Class.

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A car that does everything right and nothing wrong. This car is a true 4 season car. Great road car too and has been on several multi state outings. Always plenty of room for our bags and things acquired. Yes... + More »
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July 23, 2015
2008 Saab 9-3 4-Door Sedan

Excellent Car for the long haul

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This is my 3rd Saab 9-3 in a row and the engineers did nice job making the improvements needed for a solid built car. My car has only experienced one issue in over 80000 miles and that being a power-steering... + More »
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August 22, 2016
2007 Saab 9-3 5-Door Wagon Automatic

Little Red Wagon

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We bought this car with the Saab overseas purchase program and have enjoyed over 170,000 miles since. I liked it enough to buy a 9-3 convertible used It is a great car I'm mad at GM for killing it
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