Unfortunately for choosers, it is a fact that there are many so-called crossovers on the market.
But it is the 2.0T, petrol engined Saab 9-3X that has the advantage of Cross Wheel Drive known as XWD. This is a Haldex Generation 4system that is constantly pushing the torque to the wheels that could use the extra traction and it takes just 80 milliseconds to make the decision. The system also has pre-emptive element acting on the rear wheels. That means that it doesn't have to wait for the front wheels to loose grip before the torque is distributed to the rear axles, which is what usually happens with AWD systems. The result is better handling and stability together with a sportier drive.
In terms of performance and production figures, the petrol unit, with the aid of a turbocharger, is not far off those of the diesel unit. We have a power output of 210PS (154kW) at 5,300rpm and 300Nm of torque. It can reach a top speed of 143mph, after a 0-62mpg dash taking 8.2 seconds, that just 0.1 second less than the diesel.
Of course when it comes to fuel consumption, there is no comparison between the two but the 2.0T does return 24.8-, 45.6- and 34.9mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively while CO2 emissions are rated at 194g/km.
It has to be said that the 2.0T Saab 9-3X is equally impressive in its performance and its handling. The acceleration is linear and the super smooth, just like the suspension. The car has a comfortingly substantial, weighty feel to it and remains totally unflustered on country roads and just as composed on motorways.
Unfortunately for choosers, it is a fact that there are many so-called crossovers on the market. They all have their merits and take various forms as the definition of the label is pushed and pulled to allow for new models. However, the Saab 9-3X offers superbly delivered performance; it is traditional but stylish in its design and very capable. In short, it is one that should not be overlooked.15 December 2009
Saab 9-3X Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Saab 9-3X 2.0T XWD|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||143 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||45.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 15/12/09)||£25,995|