Saab 9-3 SportWagon Review (2009)

The Saab 9-3 SportWagon
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Saab 9-3 Review

Saab 9-3 SportWagon Review | Part TwoSaab 9-3 SportWagon Road Test

Ahead of the imminent launch of the Saab 9-3X crossover, Saab decided to put its acclaimed XWD technology into the existing Saab 9-3 Saloon and SportWagon, making them even more appealing.

Ahead of the imminent launch of the Saab 9-3X crossover, Saab decided to put its acclaimed XWD technology into the existing Saab 9-3 Saloon and SportWagon, making them even more appealing.

Since the company announced that it was distancing itself from the mighty but troubled General Motors and taking matters back into its own hands, things have gone a little quiet. However, Saab has a few new things up its corporate sleeve; the Saab 9-3X being one, so it's a case of watch this space.

In the meantime, the Saab 9-3 XWD also goes about its business in a quiet manner, building on the traditional values of the marque and adding more benefits. Of course, there is a charge - Saab 9-3 XWD test car is priced at £28,745.85, which is £1,658.84 more than the standard 2.0T in Aero trim (£27,087.01).

The Saab 9-3 XWD is an all-wheel-drive system that is not only 'on-demand' but has pre-emptive capabilities, too. It continuously monitors and distributes the torque to the front and rear axles as needed to maintain traction and stability.

When taking advantage of the Saab 9-3 XWD’s 0-62mph time of just 8.2 seconds, drive to the rear wheels is automatically activated just in case the front wheels lose grip. Saab believes this function sets a new benchmark in AWD systems, offering immediate traction from the get-go and making the most of the available acceleration.

The system also incorporates an eLSD or electronically-controlled Limited Slip Differential at the rear axle, which can transfer up to 50 per cent of the available torque to the rear wheels and more specifically, to whichever one has more grip. This comes into play under fast cornering or lane-changing on the motorway, while, when cruising at higher speeds, the torque to the rear axle is generally around 5-10 per cent. It works very well, offering good responses and excellent handling, and a measure of its capability is that the driver doesn't even notice.

Saab 9-3 SportWagon Review | Part TwoSaab 9-3 SportWagon Road Test
Saab 9-3 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedSaab 9-3 SportWagon 2.0 XWD
  
Body TypeEstate
ColourJet Black
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph8.2 Seconds
Top Speed 146 mpg
  
Transmission6 Speed - Manual
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban23.7 mpg
Extra Urban42.2 mpg
Combined32.8 mpg
  
Insurance Group16E
Euro NCAP Rating5 Star
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 28/05/09)£28745.85

The information contained within this Saab 9-3 review may have changed since publication on the 28 May 2009. 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 © 2017