Saab Spreads XWD Across 2009 9-3 Line

September 15, 2008
Putting a bunch of turbocharged torque through the front wheels alone can make for a car that likes to choose its own steering direction. Saab's been doing turbo front-drivers for decades, and the firm finally extends the AWD (pardon, XWD in Saab vernacular) option to all of the base 2.0T models in its 9-3 lineup for 2009.

The availability of XWD, sourced from the Haldex firm, should both help quell torque steer and give soccer moms and suburbanites everywhere that extra measure of confidence in urban gridlock and mall parking lots alike. And for the skiers, snowboarders, and Montanans (they actually do buy quite a few Saabs) who want Eurocar manners with their four wheeling, the Haldex system's lightning-quick activation, ability to transfer 100 percent of power front or rear, and normal front-drive operation ensure surefootedness, no compromises, and the economy of a front-wheel driver, respectively. Additionally, the rear wheels are engaged "pre-emptively" at takeoff to ensure max scoot from a standing start. Nevermind Rumsfeld, it works better here.

Note that Saab will not be offering this feature on the 9-3 convertible. We can only guess that Saab doesn't think Elle Woods deserves the safety and security of XWD when cruising Rodeo Drive. We object!--Colin Mathews

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