A fine car - overlooked by consumers and reviewers alike
By carter63 on
Vehicle2008 Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi 4dr Wagon (2.8L 6cyl Turbo 6M)
ReviewI'm 5'9" / 160lbs, btw
I owned a '99 SAAB 9-3 for 11 years and replaced w/ this car.
Tho a SAAB owner, I wasn't very impressed with the prior 9-3...this one is better.
Seats B: Prior 9-3 was an A+ perfect
I love the light steering touch, but the sport suspension is jouncy. Revised new rating with addition of Bilstein HD dampers & 3pt undercarriage brace.
Interior A: Old school SAAB charm
Exterior A: Outstanding
Hauling B+: Good use of space for gear
Mileage C: City - 17mpg / Hwy 26.4 (w/500lbs of occupants & luggage: 500mi journey on I5 in California; 60 degree weather, traveling 72mph on cruise)
Brakes B: They work, but have GM spongy feel with pulsing ABS at work
Best FeaturesRemarkable safety...and OnStar for $200 yearly offers additional peace of mind. I find the styling inside and out to be superb, thrilling, even. A hoot of a V6 engine: fast to 60mph, insanity from 30 to whatever. Feels like 50 at 100mph...gr8. Fusion Blue Metallic and this body style is simply amazing....I am conspicuous no longer as heads turn as I pass. I have not had this much fun driving since my '91 VW GTI. This is an impressive vehicle in most ways after adding the Bilsteins and 3pt. undercarriage brace. Before adding it, it's good - it was a $1500 outlay I do not regret.
Worst FeaturesTurbo lag..better than prior 9-3, but noticeable still. I'd have expected better Hwy mileage than 26.4 - prior 9-3 weighed ~300lbs less, 5 speed manual and got 29mpg on the same stretch of road with 500lbs of occupants and luggage inside Disappointing seats (wife agrees) as prior 9-3 was perfect. Seat bottom does not lie flat enough & puts strain on tailbone after 2 hours. Will invest in seat wedge to alleviate this (longer, heavier drivers may not find issue w/ this as body will depress the seat cushion flatter) Std suspension is barely better than mediocre....Bilstein dampers & GenuineSAAB 3point undercarriage brace takes handling to near BMW territory...at a barely Mazda price
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