Saab 9-3 Convertible Review

Saab 9-3 Convertible
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Saab 9-3 Review

Saab 9-3 Convertible ReviewSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part ThreeSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part FourSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part FiveSaab 9-3 Convertible Road Test

The Saab 9-3 2.0t Vector is powered by a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, light pressure turbo engine which produces 175 bhp at 5500 r/min enabling the Saab 9-3 Vector to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds (automatic 10 seconds) and continue to a top speed of 137 mph (automatic 134 mph).

How It Drove - Performance

The Saab 9-3 2.0t Vector is powered by a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, light pressure turbo engine which produces 175 bhp at 5500 r/min enabling the Saab 9-3 Vector to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds (automatic 10 seconds) and continue to a top speed of 137 mph (automatic 134 mph).

The all-aluminum 2.0 litre light pressure turbo engine features Saab's in-house developed Trionic 8 engine management system which provides adaptive torque control and power on/power off management to eliminate shunting or jerks under sudden throttle movements. This system works well and irons out any unwanted jerky throttle inputs.

Saab first adopted turbo technology more than 25 years ago and it is now an iconic part of its heritage. The down side of turbo technology is the inevitable turbo lag at low speeds but you soon get used to this characteristic and enjoy the engine for its mid range responsiveness.

The engine is superb being both quiet and refined - if you change down a gear or two it becomes more vocally pleasing and rewards you with a reassuring raspy growl and adequate power making the Saab 9-3 2.0t Vector Convertible a good touring car rather than a sports car.

The five-speed manual gearbox is superb and is very satisfying to operate, the gear changes are light and easy.

Fuel economy is very good with the Saab 9-3 Vector 2.0t returning 31.7 mpg on a combined cycle.

How It Drove - Ride and Handling

The Saab 9-3 Convertible combines turbo performance with responsive handling and the supple suspension absorbs uneven road surfaces and pot holes well.

It also has the personality to match and the 9-3's agile front wheel drive chassis has been tuned to offer a balance between handling stability and ride comfort offering an exhilarating yet reassuring drive. The electro/hydraulic power steering is well-weighted and in our opinion it is more responsive than the Volvo S60.

The unique Saab ReAxs chassis system enables the rear wheels to steer slightly when turning to help move the car in the intended direction making the 9-3 extremely responsive to every twist and turn limiting understeer.

The multi-link rear axle which employs extensive use of aluminium cuts the unsprung weight promoting faster chassis response and improves handling and comfort.

Most fixed head cars rely on the roof to give the car extra rigidity and obviously the Saab 9-3 Convertible doesn't have a rigid roof. As with most Convertibles built from a fixed head platform there is some 'scuttle shake' and the 9-3 Convertible is no exception but you do get used to it.

With the roof in place and the windows up the vibration is reduced and it does not really present a problem. For those concerned about safety the Saab 9-3 Convertible was the first ever soft-top car to achieve the maximum five-star safety rating under the Euro NCAP collision test programme.

Saab 9-3 Convertible ReviewSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part ThreeSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part FourSaab 9-3 Convertible Review | Part FiveSaab 9-3 Convertible Road Test
Saab 9-3 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedSaab 9-3 2.0t Vector
  
Body TypeConvertible
ColourGlacier Blue Metallic
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph8.5 Seconds
Top Speed 137 mph
  
Transmission5-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban23.7 mpg
Extra Urban39.8 mpg
Combined31.7 mpg
  
Insurance Group15
Euro NCAP Rating5
Warranty3-Year, 60,000 mile warranty
AA Saab Assistance coverage for three years
Price (when tested on the 11/10/05)£ 28,304 OTR
Car as tested, £32,699
Includes the following options:
Convenience Plus pack £1,300
Electronic Stability Programme £350
Saab Infotainment System Upgrade to ES4-13 £2,150
Bi-Xenon headlamps £595

The information contained within this Saab 9-3 review may have changed since publication on the 11 October 2005. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Saab dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2018