SportWagon One of the benefits of an on-demand XWD system over a full-time set-up is in fuel consumption although, with the extra weight it is a tad thirstier than a standard transmission.
One of the benefits of an on-demand XWD system over a full-time set-up is in fuel consumption although, with the extra weight it is a tad thirstier than a standard transmission. Taking the Saab 9-3 XWD test car's 2.0-litre, turbo-charged, petrol engine as an example; it produces 210PS at 5,300rpm and 300Nm of torque between 2,500- and 4,000rpm, with or without the XWD, but the comparative fuel economy figures differ. Those for the Saab 9-3 XWD are posted as: 23.7-, 42.2-and 32.8mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively. The 'normal' transmission on the other hand can achieve 25.4-, 47.1- and 35.8mpg on the same relative cycles.
There is also a difference in CO2 emissions, with the Saab 9-3 XWD producing around 20g/km more than the standard car at 207g/km. But there is generally not a great deal of difference across the board.
The statistics quoted are for the 6-speed manual gearbox but there is a 6-speed automatic transmission available, too. Engine options for the Saab 9-3 XWD are limited to that in the test car and the £31,236, 2.8V6 Turbo, both of which are petrol-powered.
Available only in top-of-the-range Aero trim, the interior of the Saab 9-3 SportWagon is 'Saab-smart' and comfortable. The heated, leather-faced sports seats come in Parchment or Black and the large side bolsters offer plenty of support as you sit in the driver-focussed cockpit.
Saab is quite generous when it comes to on-board goodies, equipping all of the cars in the range with some items that might be considered extras, elsewhere. Take, for instance, the powered and heated door mirrors, halo lighting, the heat-absorbing glass and night panel function that fades out everything on the instrument panel but the speedometer - if anything requires attention it automatically illuminates.
Secondary audio controls for the single CD/radio, and telephone controls for the already-prepared hands-free system, are mounted on the rake and reach-adjustable steering wheel. There are further audio options and satellite-navigation systems can be ordered separately or as part of the £1,938 Business Pack, which is one of ten on offer.
The Aero trim adds a rear parking sensor, interior metal trim finishes and a sports leather steering wheel, amongst other things but curiously, a headrest for the rear centre seat is a £49 extra.
Saab 9-3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Saab 9-3 SportWagon 2.0 XWD|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||146 mpg|
|Transmission||6 Speed - Manual|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||42.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Star|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 28/05/09)||£28745.85|