With an ultra-competitive starting price for the Entry model of just £16,995 on the road, the new Saab 9-3 1.8i range will offer more power-per-pound (£) than any of its premium saloon competitors, as the following examples clearly illustrate.
When compared with the entry 102 bhp, £18,145 Audi A4 1.6, the new Saab 9-3 1.8i offers livelier performance with 20 bhp more, yet has a retail price of £1,150 less, with a £290 company car taxation advantage over three years, due to the Saab’s lower P11D liability, and comparable CO2 emission levels.
Against the commonplace 115 bhp, £18,840 base BMW 316i, the Saab is more affordable by a sizeable £1,845, despite the 9-3 offering a higher level of standard equipment. The pricing and running costs of the new Saab 9-3 1.8i also compare very strongly with less exclusive, sub-premium saloon models, such as the VW Passat, Honda Accord and Rover 75.
The 9-3’s 1.8i engine will be offered in each established Saab Form (Linear, Arc and Vector), with the Linear costing £1,000 more than the new 1.8i Entry model, and the Arc and Vector models priced at an additional £2,000 over the Linear. The new 9-3 1.8i Entry derivative has an exclusive black cloth interior, air conditioning and Saab audio system as standard. The specification of all other 9-3 1.8i models is as per the existing turbocharged equivalent.
Each new 1.8i model will benefit from the same, best-in-class 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating as all other 9-3 variants, as well as retaining Saab’s benchmark SAHR anti-whiplash head restraints, plus the award-winning anti-theft system that What Car? magazine recently rated first, being one of only two cars in the UK to achieve a 100 per cent attack test security pass (the other being the Lexus LS430, costing three times more than the Saab).
Saab GB Managing Director, Jonathan Nash, says: "The new 9-3 1.8i engine enables Saab to compete strongly in the expanding entry premium saloon sector. This naturally-aspirated model, Saab’s first for six years, represents the best value medium-size premium saloon in Britain, and is a key element in Saab’s expansion plans for 2004."
New Saab 9-3 1.8i Sport Saloon Summary
- New 122 bhp (167 Nm torque) 1.8 injection engine added to 9-3 Sport Saloon range
- Competitive £16,995 starting price
- The UK’s best value premium mid-size saloon
- Exceptional whole life costs, with low CO2 taxation liability, and strong residual values