The 2008 Saab 9-3 delivers a refined experience overall but misses the mark on some finer details.
Up front, ConsumerGuide appreciates that “comfortable seats provide good all-around support. The 9-3's standard tilt and telescopic steering column helps tailor a comfortable driving position, though the tallest drivers might want it to go higher and may wish for more rearward seat travel.” Edmunds concurs, stating “the Saab 9-3's cabin offers decent ergonomics and very comfortable front seats.” Kelley Blue Book describes the seats in Aero models as “seriously sporty.”
In the rear, ConsumerGuide notes “good head clearance” but warns that “knee space in sedans…is disappointingly tight if the front seats are set far back. The same goes for foot space if the front seats aren't elevated.” “Backseat headroom and toe space are abundant,” offers Cars.com, “but legroom suffers if the front seat is adjusted rearward. The center occupant must endure a high, hard perch and straddle a tall floor hump.”
Ergonomics and space efficiency generally garner respect, but materials, fit, and finish drew some jeers, as did overall levels of refinement. “Any 9-3 has more tire noise than the class norm,” points out ConsumerGuide. Edmunds contends “the cabin is attractive at a glance, particularly with the two-tone leather option, but closer inspection reveals low-quality plastics and inconsistent fit and finish.” All seem to like the Saab’s unique center-mounted ignition key, and Kelley Blue Book admires the instrument cluster, which they feel “was clearly developed for easy and helpful reading.” ConsumerGuide judges sedans to have “a tall trunk with considerable volume.”