During our time with the Saab 9-3 Vector Convertible we were impressed with the level of thought that has gone into the ergonomics of the vehicle.
Comfort and Refinement
During our time with the Saab 9-3 Vector Convertible we were impressed with the level of thought that has gone into the ergonomics of the vehicle. The cabin is spacious with excellent head and leg room in both the front and rear (more rear head & leg room than the Volvo S60). The large flexible interior has ample cabin space for 4/5 people. The doors are large and open to reveal wide access points which make it a very easy car to get in and out of for both front and rear seat occupants making the Saab 9-3 an excellent choice for people with mobility problems. Saab has joined the Motability scheme, bringing affordable premium segment cars into the scheme for the first time.
The seating position is excellent with the drivers seat feeling direct and in line with the steering wheel this results in a relaxed neck and back. The body hugging leather seats are supportive and comfortable with excellent under thigh support which is important on longer journeys. Whilst the seats were undoubtedly excellent they are not quite as good as the Volvo S60 which are class leading.
The Saab 9-3 Convertible features easy entry powered seats for ease of access to the rear seats.
The hydraulically-powered triple layer roof has automatic self latching to the windscreen head and deploys at the touch of a button in 20 seconds. Optional Comfort Opening enables you to open and close the roof via the key fob annoyingly you have to keep your finger on the button it is not a one touch operation but this is probably due to safety.
The interior of the hood is colour-matched to the upholstery for a light and airy feel and is very well-made. With the roof up the cabin is exceptionally well sound proofed.
At speed with the roof down wind turbulence is certainly intrusive although the optional wind deflector would undoubtedly ease this considerably.
Automatic Climate Control (ACC) is standard on the Vector model which enables you to select different temperature zones for driver and passengers. Saab was one of the first manufacturers to introduce CFC free air conditioning as standard. Cooling of the glove box - for soft drinks, chocolate etc. - is also included.
On a practical level the Saab 9-3 Vector incorporates electrically operated/heated door mirrors, remote central locking, front door bins x 2, front centre armrest with storage box & 12v socket, drinks holder in the centre tunnel, a clever folding cupholder that unfolds from the dashboard, ashtray & cigarette lighter, rear ashtray, air-conditioned & lit glove box, 2 x lit vanity mirrors, front map reading lights, front footwell lights, seat back pockets, rear armrest with lidded tray and puddle lights.
How It Looks - Exterior
The Saab 9-3 Convertible is a truly beautiful piece of design and unlike some premium convertibles it is the epitome of understated classic elegance.
The coupe silhouette incorporates a steeply raked windscreen and rear window and short front and rear overhangs, communicating a strong, sporty stance and a dynamic and well-balanced look.
The shape of the windows, wedge-like profile and integrated headlights & grille give the car its distinctive Saab identity.
The Vector model features lowered sports chassis, unique 17" light alloy wheels, integrated foglights and body-coloured front and rear apron with sill covers.
How It Looks - Interior
The interior styling of the Saab 9-3 Convertible is classic Scandinavian design at its best.
The cabin exudes a high level of build quality and our test car featured standard leather sport upholstery and leather trimmed sports steering wheel with extra-thick leather-trimmed rim and metal-finish inserts. The switchgear is sturdy yet elegant and the Vector model features brushed metal-finish door handles, gear lever surround and dials and instrument bezel for a crisp modern look.
Saab 9-3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Saab 9-3 2.0t Vector|
|Colour||Glacier Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||39.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-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