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2009 Saab 9-3 Photo
7.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
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BASE INVOICE
$28,933
BASE MSRP
$30,360
Quick Take
Despite rather conservative styling, the 2009 Saab 9-3 is one of the boldest performers in its class. Read more »
7.6 out of 10
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To bring you this inclusive review on the 2009 Saab 9-3, editors scoured the Web for input and insight from reviewers and combined them with their own firsthand driving impressions, so you can feel confident that you have all the information.

Likes:

  • Base turbo engine is both strong and fuel-efficient
  • Crisp steering and great handling
  • Nice interior design

Dislikes:

  • Pricey, even compared against luxury competitors
  • Too-firm ride in Aero and Turbo X
  • Cut-rate GM switchgear is obvious in a few cases

The Saab 9-3 is a roomy compact model that borders on mid-size, despite the fact that it's now the smallest model in Saab's lineup. The 9-3 comes in sedan and versatile wagon (SportCombi) body styles, as well as a convertible.

The 2009 Saab 9-3 comes in two models: base and Aero. A 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine propels the base model, while the high-performance Aero model gets a 280-hp, 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 engine (the figures represent a new boost in horsepower for 2009). At the top of the range is the Turbo X model, which brings a stronger, 280-hp version of the turbo V-6 and an all-wheel-drive system. Both models come with a six-speed manual transmission, with an automatic transmission optional on each: five-speed for the base, six-speed for the Aero. For 2009, Saab's XWD all-wheel-drive system is optional on 2.0T models.

Saab's electronic limited-slip differential manages power from side to side to help maintain grip and poise in very enthusiastic on-the-road driving. For 2009, it's standard on the Aero V-6 XWD, as well as the Turbo X.

A lowered sport-tuned suspension is added to the 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero models to take advantage of the added power, and the Turbo X gets an even more aggressive setup, along with upgraded brakes, Y-rated tires, and rear body leveling. Inside, it also garners carbon-fiber trim and a different steering-wheel design, and it's available in only Jet Black Metallic.

Next: Interior / Exterior »
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