A Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for three years running, the 2008 Saab 9-3 scores somewhat lower ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“A long list of standard safety equipment includes seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, Active Head Restraints, traction control, and an electronic stability system with all-disc antilock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution,” reports Cars.com. Moving up a level, Aero models are equipped with slightly larger disc brakes for greater stopping ability to match their sportier driving abilities.
MyRide.com notes the 9-3’s “crash-resistant structure and features” that help it garner IIHS Top Safety Pick status. Edmunds explains that this award is “based on its 'Good' ratings (the highest possible) in the agency's frontal-offset crash, side-impact crash and head-restraint effectiveness tests.”
In NHTSA testing, the 9-3 sedan scores four out of five stars across the board, with the exception of side impact protection for the driver, where it scores the top five of five stars.