9-3SC reviewed by UK AutoExpress - SaabCentral Forums
Home Saab Pictures Saab Classifieds Saab Dealer Listings Saab Forum Saab Forum

Go Back   SaabCentral Forums > Saab Cafe > SAAB Corporate News

SAAB Corporate News For corporate news strictly about SAAB & NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB)

SaabCentral.com is the premier Saab All Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10th March 2005
SaabKen's Avatar
SaabKen SaabKen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004                                                
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
My Saabs: '06 9 2.0T Combi, BCB Stg 2
Posts: 31,043
Default 9-3SC reviewed by UK AutoExpress


One of the hottest stars of the Geneva Motor Show received a surprisingly frosty reception - but then it was minus 10 degrees Celsius outside! Auto Express was granted exclusive access to Saab's new 9-3 Sport Wagon two days before the world's press saw it for the first time on the stands. The catch was we had to travel to a secret location in the French Alps to get behind the wheel for this preview of Saab's latest load-lugger. The car is expected to account for 40 per cent of 9-3 sales, with Saab hoping it will push its compact executive challenger through the 100,000 barrier worldwide next year. Many buyers will be tempted by the looks alone. Using General Motors' Epsilon platform, the Sport Wagon shares the same wheelbase as the 9-3 saloon, but has a longer rear overhang for extra boot space.

It is all-new from the B-pillars back, though, with a distinctive window line and unique, bold tail-light styling. Simon Padian, Saab head of project design, admitted that during market research customer clinics not everyone had liked the white LEDs, but said: "We wanted to do something that would cause a stir." The rear certainly achieves that, while the estate previews other 2005 model-year changes for the range, including body-coloured door handles.

Open the tailgate, and the first thing that impresses you is not the space on offer, but what appears to be a flat metal plane in the middle of the floor. Designed to reflect Saab's aeronautical expertise, this is a handle to access the 20-litre underfloor load area. Boot capacity is good, but not class-leading; fold the seats and the 419-litre bay expands to 1,273 litres, putting the 9-3 on a par with the Audi A4 Avant (442/1,184 litres) and Volvo V50 (362/1,257 litres).

Further forward, things remain much the same, but the reshaped back doors and higher roofline give passengers easier access and more space, while cabin detail changes aim to boost quality.
However, the Aero we sampled has another ace up its sleeve - an all-new 2.8-litre V6 turbo engine. To be offered in all flagship 9-3s, this potent unit delivers 250bhp and 350Nm of torque.

Yet while Saab engineers are known to be keen to develop a 4WD system, the Sport Wagon is front-wheel-drive only for now. Low-speed traction has never been a Saab strength, but technicians claim to have revised the front suspension to cope with the power. Once up and running, though, the firm's turbocharging expertise means searing mid-range acceleration is guaranteed. The 7.3-second 0-60mph sprint time may be unremarkable, but in-gear the Aero is likely to better the A4 Avant 3.2.

Will it be as good to drive, though? Our time with the Sport Wagon was too brief to give a definite answer, so a final verdict will have to wait until the May launch. However, first impressions suggest this car is better balanced than the saloon, thanks to Saab's recent work on refinement and damping. What is certain is that buyers will have a lot of choice, with six petrol and two diesel models, plus an optional six-ratio auto (with steering wheel-mounted shifters) in place of the slick manual gearbox. - Oliver Marriage
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 11th March 2005
Swade's Avatar
Swade Swade is offline
Saab Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2005                                                
Location: Hobart, Australia
My Saabs: 1999 9-3 Monte Carlo, 1978 99t
Posts: 815

Great find, Ken. Man I've missed being on the net this week!!!

The line about Saab negineers being keen to develop 4WD is a cause for hope. I can't wait to test one of these babies.

Last edited by Swade; 11th March 2005 at 01:10 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SaabCentral Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

top of page | sitemap | email us

copyright © 2003 - 2011 saabcentral.com, All rights reserved http://www.whiter.co.uk - valid xhtml - valid css
SaabCentral is an independently run website and is not affiliated in any way to Saab Automobile AB.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.