2006 Saab 9-3 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Saab 9-3 Sedan

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Saab 9-3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Saab 9-3

  • Roomy and fun to drive, the 2006 Saab 9-3 is a solid buy among entry-level luxury cars. Just don't expect the razor-sharp reflexes and highly refined interiors of its German and Japanese competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Handles well for a front-drive car, frugal yet powerful engines, generous passenger room, class-leading trunk space, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Suspension should be stiffer on Aero models, ride can be harsh over bumps, interiors lack upscale look and feel, V6's turbo lag.

  • What's New for 2006

    A new wagon body style called the SportCombi has been added to the Saab 9-3 lineup for 2006. Additionally, Aero models get a new, more powerful turbocharged V6, which packs 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Linear and Arc trims have been merged into a single base 2.0T trim, and the Aero's old 210-hp turbo four is standard on this model. Finally, all 9-3s now come with body-colored door handles.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (46 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I miss my swede racer

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Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

sold my '06 9-3 Aero Aug 2013 & replaced it w/a 2009 2.0T for fuel efficiency & I regret it every day. The 2.0T is plagued w/sensor probs that throw the car into limp home mode. Bought my 2.0T in Nov w/69k miles & it's been in the shop 2X & will be going again next week. I've only put 2500 mi on it. But I digress, this review is for the '06 Aero. The car was perfect for me. Sold it with 116k mi & it was still running beautifully. Needed a new radiator & some minor suspension repairs but the car still moved like it did when i bought it w/31k mi in 2008. Selling the 2.0T to look for another '06 Aero with the button dash. Feel like I gave up a child in August. haha




2006 saab aero

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Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

The car drives beautifully. The ride is firm, sporty firm that is. Some may find it uncomfortable on the cracked roads of Michigan. Performance wise, the car will provide more power than you'll ever need. Don't be surprised if you find yourself driving at 110mph the first week or two you get it. The ride is so smooth you don't even realize you're driving at high speed. The acceleration is simply astonishing. Whether you're already driving at 70 or 30mph you'll feel the same phenomenal pull! I have been able to drive the car on all surfaces and I must say it handles horribly on the snow. I ended up facing the wrong direction when I took a Michigan left (at only 5mph!!!)



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Best car for the value

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

After looking at similar class cars nothing beat the value of the 93 Aero. Cheaper than the competition with little difference between featured and performance. Fun to drive. It is terrible in the snow, I was expecting better from a front wheel drive car.



101 of 101 people found this review helpful

2006 saab 9-3 aero

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Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

The turbo V6 has more power than you’ll ever need without sacrificing power over fuel economy. Love the buttons, once you get used to them the entire car is extremely convenient to operate. Love the white with black trim leather sport seats, extremely comfortable. Great car in the city with the blind spot pass. mirror, drivers information center up top on the dash – quick glance and your back to traffic, acceleration, compass, display rear parking sensors, and the car itself is easy to see around you. I love driving in the snow, traction control is set perfectly for ice and the tiptronic shift is easy to slow down. The car is a ton of fun driving through the mountains. Cool keys!




Solid car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

Excellent car. I don't drive everyday, but when I do drive, I often take trips from 100-200 miles in a day. The car is very comfortable, even after a couple of hours. The mileage is very good on the highway (30+mpg); decent on country roads (22-26mpg); not as good on short trips (20-21mpg). The sound system is good, but not great by any means. The radio reception is very good, especially by SAAB standards.




Long live my saab

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero 4dr Sedan (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)

Love the car. Fun to drive. More than enough power that you could ask for. stylish inside and out. Warranty has been great



Full 2006 Saab 9-3 Review

What's New for 2006

A new wagon body style called the SportCombi has been added to the Saab 9-3 lineup for 2006. Additionally, Aero models get a new, more powerful turbocharged V6, which packs 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Linear and Arc trims have been merged into a single base 2.0T trim, and the Aero's old 210-hp turbo four is standard on this model. Finally, all 9-3s now come with body-colored door handles.

Introduction

The 9-3 is one of a long line of small sedans and coupes from Saab. Although Saab has sold cars in the U.S. since the late '50s, it wasn't until the debut of the 900 in 1979 that mainstream car buyers really became aware of the Swedish carmaker. Sales grew throughout the '80s, as the 900's unusual styling and turbo power plants made it an offbeat alternative to the typically staid offerings from Germany. The original 900 enjoyed a long production run of nearly 15 years until it was finally replaced by an all-new version in 1994.

For the 1999 model year, the 900 became the Saab 9-3. Along with the name change came upgrades to the suspension, steering and interior furnishings, as well as a minor exterior freshening. This was also the year that GM took full ownership of the company. Minor enhancements over the next several years kept the Saab 9-3 fresh, but stiff competition in the entry-luxury segment called for an all-new design. The sedan got a roof-to-rubber makeover in 2003, and the convertible followed suit in 2004. For 2006, a wagon called the SportCombi joins the ranks.

Even though Saab's signature hatchback body style is gone, the 9-3 is still easily identifiable as a Saab car because of its familiar body lines to its aircraft-inspired cockpit. The tradition continues under the hood where the 9-3 relies on two turbocharged engines for motivation. There's a base 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 210 hp and a more muscular 2.8-liter, turbocharged V6 capable of 250 hp. Power is sent through the front wheels, but improved steering system design all but erases the torque steer that plagued previous models. When compared to the competition, the Saab 9-3 stacks up favorably as one of the better-handling front-wheel-drive cars on the market. With the arrival of the SportCombi this year, the 9-3's agile handling characteristics may now be enjoyed in a practical sedan, a utility-packed wagon, or a top-down weekend cruiser. The brakes on all three are powerful, and the steering is quick and responsive in the turns. The base turbo feels more powerful than its 210-horsepower rating would suggest, and the 2.8-liter boasts even greater athleticism.

On the inside, the Saab 9-3 offers a modern-looking design and plenty of high-tech features, including a rollover protection system in the convertible. The sedan and SportCombi wagon offer more passenger space than the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, while the trunk is one of the biggest in its class. There's no doubt that the new turbo V6 provides a welcome boost to the 9-3 range, which was previously at a bit of a disadvantage against German and Japanese competitors. Whichever body style you choose, the 2006 Saab 9-3 is a distinctive alternative, with enough performance, style and practicality to keep all the smart money from leaning toward a 3 Series and A4.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Saab 9-3 is available in sedan, wagon (called the SportCombi) and convertible body styles, all of which come in 2.0T and Aero trim. The 2.0T trim offers full leather seating, a 150-watt stereo, keyless entry, stability control, an eight-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and 16-inch alloy wheels. The sporty Aero model adds bolstered sport seats, chrome instrument surrounds and interior trim, a lower body kit, a lowered sport suspension, a 300-watt stereo and 17-inch alloy wheels. Convertibles come with a fully automatic power top. Options across both trims include seat heaters, bi-HID headlights and a DVD-based navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

Two engines are available on the Saab 9-3. Standard on 2.0T models is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four that makes 210 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. Aero models get a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 capable of 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. All 2.0T models get a standard five-speed manual gearbox, while Aeros get a six-speed manual. A five-speed automatic with manual-shift capability is optional on 2.0Ts, while Aeros are eligible for a six-speed automatic.

Safety

The Saab 9-3 features active head restraints and seat-mounted side torso airbags. The sedan and SportCombi wagon come with full-length side curtain airbags, while convertibles get a rollover protection system that integrates pop-up roll bars, reinforced A-pillars and the front seatbelt pre-tensioners. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and traction and stability control are standard on all models. The Saab car was named a "Best Pick" in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the IIHS.

Interior Design and Special Features

Some climate and stereo controls can be difficult to operate, but a standard "profiler" system allows drivers to program a host of individual settings that can be recalled at the press of a button. The sedan and the wagon are sufficiently roomy, but legroom can be tight for adults seated in the back of the convertible. The Saab 9-3 can carry more than most cars in its class; it offers 15 cubic feet of trunk space in the sedan and 12.4 cubes in the convertible. The wagon offers 14.8 cubic feet of storage space with the backseat up, and 45 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear bench seat folded flat.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Saab 9-3 is one of the better-handling front-drive cars on the road. A stiff chassis translates into a car that's easy to place in the corners and satisfyingly precise on the highway. Still, we wish the sporty Aero model felt a little sharper when driven aggressively on twisty roads. Both engines deliver a strong pull throughout their power band. The V6 is especially impressive, though it does suffer from turbo lag at low rpm. The automatics downshift quickly but can be slow on upshifts, while the manual transmissions shift just fine but tend to feel rubbery through the gates.

Talk About The 2006 9-3

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs