Saab Automobile is a Swedish car manufacturer. The Saab 9-3 is one of the vehicles offered from the company. It is a compact executive vehicle that was first based on the GM2900 platform. It was then changed over to the Epsilon Platform. Some of the other cars that are based on this platform include the Cadillac BLS and the Opel Vectra. The current model of the 9-3 is still based on the GM platform, but the current owners of Saab are currently developing a new platform called Phoenix that is set to debut in the model year 2015. Currently, the only model Saab has is the 9-3 and it is offered in a saloon style. Soon it is going to be available in an estate and a convertible body style as well.
The first Saab 9-3 made its debut in the year 1999. The 9-3 took over for the 900 that had been offered in the past. The Saab 9-3 was similar to its predecessor with the main differences being that it had a revised chassis and an interior that had been mildly upgraded. Other than these things the new 9-3 was the same as the models of 900 offered from the year 1994 through the year 1998.
The first generation of the 9-3 is said to be one of the last true Saabs manufactured as it was designed before General Motors took over the company in the year 2000. The first generation had all of the Saab eccentricities that Saab lovers consider to be sacred.
The current Saab 9-3 is now sold in 3 different body style options; the sedan, the wagon, and the convertible. There are 2 trim styles for each, the 2.0T and the Aero. The wagon is also available in an all-wheel drive trim that is called the 9-3X.
Both the sedan and the wagon models have a spacious feel and have upright windows, low floors and will seat 5, but 3 in the back can be a tight squeeze. The convertible model offers a back seat for 2 medium to small sized adults. There is a generous amount of cargo room available in each of the models.
All of the 9-3s use a 2.0 L turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that has a production of 210 horsepower. The front wheel drive version has a standard 6 speed manual transmission and the option for a 5 speed automatic.
The interior boasts a 2 tone color scheme that includes a lot of black finishes that create a Scandinavian ambiance. While the materials and the overall look are not quite as upscale as some of the competitor luxury cars that are available, they are decent.
There ignition switch is mounted to the floor and there is a night panel button that will darken all of the dashboard lights that are not essential in order to help reduce eye fatigue. The climate and the audio controls are quite generic.
The 9-3 has been praised as being a decent handling front wheel drive vehicles on the market.
There are a number of different luxury model car choices offered from the United States, Germany, and Japan, which makes it quite easy to overlook the Saab 9-3 from Sweden. At one point in time the 9-3 was a good choice for consumers that were looking for a comfortable, safe, spacious car that had a proven safety record. For those looking for a used car, this is still true. However, if in the market for a new entry level sedan style vehicle, most will find that the 9-3 lags behind the times.