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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
a hot Bose 11-speaker sound system
all-wheel drive system should have more people talking
Kelley Blue Book
plenty of...cool stuff
The 2009 Saab 9-3 offers a range of features and amenities that will please most drivers.
Mechanically, even the base 2.0T model comes well equipped for its intended mission. "Rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a built-in tire-pressure monitoring system" are included, comments MyRide.com. Kelley Blue Book likes the sport button on the automatic transmission, finding it "keeps the transmission in each gear long enough to boost responses smartly," but discovers it works better with the base engine.
Widely praised is the XWD system, which is now standard on all 2.0T models for 2009. Calling the system's operation "compelling," Autoblog remarks that "the genius is that the system does all this in 80 milliseconds, long before the rear wheel on the low-grip side even hits the icy patch." It normally "sends more than 90 percent of engine power to the front wheels. Under acceleration or in low-grip situations, the system's electronic brain sends torque rearward to enhance traction," states Edmunds. The system may also be combined with an eLSD (electronic limited slip differential) for the rear, which increases the 9-3's abilities in poor traction even further. Electronic limited slip differential is standard on the Aero V-6 XWD for 2009.
In the realm of convenience and electronics, XM Satellite Radio and GM's OnStar have been made standard for 2009. MyRide.com notes that "a hot Bose 11-speaker sound system" is a big draw, and they mention the optional Profiler system, which "consists of a set of steering wheel-mounted controls and a 6.5-inch-wide color display screen at the top center of the instrument panel" that has readings for most functions such as climate control, clock, and vehicle speed. This option, as well as the rest of the dash lighting, may be turned off completely with the exception of the speedometer, a feature Saab has offered for years. Also optional are a DVD-based navigation system and a moonroof, and 2009 brings the updated OnStar 8.0, with turn-by-turn navigation and Bluetooth.
The 2009 Saab 9-3 is competitively equipped and covers most of the bases.