Saab’s “real-life safety” philosophy has earned the 9-3 Sport Saloon a “Double Best Pick” designation from the tough US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The model is the first passenger car ever to achieve the distinction, which followed a series of 31 mph side impact crash tests.
This rating is in addition to last year’s 40-mph frontal offset crash tests in which the 9-3 Sport Saloon earned the Institute’s “Best Pick - frontal” ranking.
The 2004 result was achieved with standard safety features like adaptive, dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags engineered into the front seats, seat belts featuring crash pre-tensioners and load limiters, and the 9-3’s “second generation” Saab Active Head Restraint (SAHR 2). In a rear-end collision, the award-winning SAHR system limits the head movement of the occupant during the impact, helping to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.
As well as the seat-mounted side-impact airbags, the 9-3 also features side-curtains. This added protection is especially effective during an offset frontal crash, as the IIHS test duplicates, when the vehicle rotates after the collision.
In the IIHS's side-impact test, a moving deformable barrier strikes the vehicle’s driver side at 31 mph. The 3,300 lb barrier is shaped to simulate the front of a typical pick-up or sports utility vehicle.
The Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon, 9-3 Convertible and 9-5 models have also each earned five stars, the highest rating possible, in the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) frontal and side-impact crash tests.
“The IIHS “Double Best Pick” distinction is very rewarding for us”, says Per Lenhoff, head of Saab’s crash safety development department. “These truck-to-car tests have formed part of Saab’s own crash test matrix for many years, which is based on our experiences from our studies of real-life accidents.”Published 5 October 2004