Interior / Exterior » 7
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STYLING | 7 out of 10
“distinct Scandinavian charm - refreshing break from the mainline aesthetic”
“inspired by the sleek Aero X concept”
“bold new nose”
“a mid-cycle enhancement”
“radical new front and rear-end redesign”
New York Times
The 2008 Saab 9-3’s redesign increases Saab’s unique, stand-alone style with aggressive exterior and subtle interior modifications.
So says Car and Driver, “the new face does what every freshening hopes to accomplish—make the old car look seriously dated.” Apart from the Saab show car-inspired styling (from the Aero-X), subtle improvements to items like door handles and taillights “give the 9-3 a more-expensive-looking demeanor.” The New York Times notes the “radical new front and rear-end redesign,” which Kelley Blue Book finds “distinctively fresh.” Autoblog feels it’s “a handsome face for Saab.” Edmunds notes its “distinct Scandinavian charm - refreshing break from the mainline aesthetic.”
In general, there are cheers for the interior, which changes less than the exterior but is blessed with subtle improvements like a switch from gray to black. Says MyRide.com, “there was little left over to redesign the interior, which is why it looks so similar to the interior in the outgoing version of the 9-3.” Autoblog appreciates “a simpler interface with less buttons than recent Saabs we remember.” Inside, the Turbo X model also gets carbon-fiber trim and a different steering-wheel design, and it only comes in Jet Black Metallic.
Saabs have always been unique, but the 2008 Saab 9-3 takes big steps in the direction of handsome and aggressive.