Our car was fitted with the optional Saab Infotainment System Upgrade (£ 1640) which included a 10 speaker system (7 are standard), colour touch screen DVD powered Satellite Navigation and Advanced Voice Recognition.
Our car was fitted with the optional Saab Infotainment System Upgrade (£ 1640) which included a 10 speaker system (7 are standard), colour touch screen DVD powered Satellite Navigation and Advanced Voice Recognition. This didn’t include a CD autochanger, so you are stuck with the single slot player.
Being touch screen the navigation system is simple to use and it is quick to enter addresses and saves fumbling around with knobs and buttons. When purposely making wrong turns the system is quick to up date the route. It benefits from TMC (Traffic Message Channel) which in the UK is transmitted via the classic FM radio signal (no need to tune in, it is all done behind the scenes). This automatically updates the navigation system with live traffic information, without human intervention re-routing you around accidents and delays. There are also visible and audio warnings for the problems that lie on your route. It worked well and we avoided one partially nasty delay on the M4 that if we had got stuck in, we would probably still be there
The only downside to the navigation system is that you cannot enter post codes; otherwise this is amongst the best systems we have tested.
How It Looks -
The 9-3 SportWagon's styling is distinctive and it is instantly recognisable as a Saab. It pretty much shares the same front end as the 9-3 Saloon, which can be traced back to the infamous 'combi-coupé' Saab 99 Turbo. The SportWagon is compact in appearance, with its steeply raked rear screen, its short rear overhang with a small glass area behind the C-pillar and the absence of roof rails are all features that visually distinguish it from the usual estate car. The essential design motif of the SportWagon is the 'Saab signature' belt-line that rises from the trailing edge of the headlamps and extends the entire length of the car. The traditional, swept-back Saab 'hockey stick' shape is defined by a taut line in the side body pressing that culminates in a strong, forward-angled D-pillar.
We particularly liked the exterior styling but one thing that we could not decide on was the frosted rear lens - they are either interesting, giving the car distinction or they are simply vulgar.
How It Looks - Interior
Scandinavian minimalist design at its best - Saab traditionalists will be happy that they have stuck to their aircraft heritage with an ergonomically simple interior based around the concept of an aircraft cockpit.
There is the Saab trademark ‘night panel’ which when used at night turns off all the instrument panel lighting and navigation, bar the speedo. If something goes adrift, such as running low on fuel then that particular instrument lighting will come back on.
Saab 9-3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Saab 9-3 SportWagon 1.9 TiD (150 PS) Vector Sport|
|Colour||Fusion Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||124 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||58.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year/60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 01/07/07)||£24,710 OTR (£28,875 OTR With Optional Extras)|