Although the 9-3 wagon is sporty and comfortable, the snow performance leaves much to be desired. The ground clearance is so low even a dusting of snow made driving treacherous (despite studded snow tires). The front wheel drive did little to propel the car through the mountainous roads in Vermont, leaving me stranded in driveways and scared on the highway. The seats are comfortable but close together, allowing my toddler to kick my elbow while driving. The trunk is small, not able to accomodate a bike trailer. Although the seats are comfortable they are very close together so my toddler can kick my elbow as I drive. The trunk was too small to accommodate a bike trailer.
Well I got suckered by the lure of a 'Good deal" I needed a cheap family vehicle and I found a 2006 SportCombi Aero with 56K miles for only 11.5K, paid cash and now I know why it was so cheap. It started having problems on the way home from buying the stupid car. It's got this weird surging hesitation under partial throttle. A grinding clanking from the engine, and a weird high pitched whine from the audio system even if it's turned off. This is a one owner dealer maintained car with full service records, so I know it was taken care of. I'm really disappointed because I liked the performance in a car that I don't see dozens of every day. UNIQUE, I like that. Unreliable and broken NOPE.
My wife and I were looking for a sporty station wagon. While we liked the BMW 3 wagon, no way was it worth $10K more. I thought the Saab was more fun to drive – turns out it weighs 500 lbs less with the same power. The car really feels tight and quick. The Saab quirks like the center console ignition give it character and separate it from the generic feel of the Japanese and American designs.
I have driven this car enough to know that I am very happy with my choice. The car looks sharp, it handles great, and is well engineered. I had previously heard that the suspension is too soft and that the turbo doesn't feel right. I'm fairly picky, and I think the suspension is perfect for casual or "aggressive" driving. The turbo seems fine to me, though this is my first car with turbo. The cargo area is very useful - I needed this for work, and it holds plenty. The folding seats, cargo cover, and nets are logically set up and functional.
Having two small, sporty cars (Contour SVT and Focus SVT), I had been looking for a car with more room that still had a sporty feel to it. This car has it all. Lots of room, plenty of power and smooth torque from the V6 twin turbo, and great handling. Added bonus - no torque steer, (and very quiet, especially compared to the Fords). It is very easy to go faster than you think in this car, so watch out! Fusion Blue paint is really good looking, and the seats are extremely comfortable as well as attractive. EPA estimate is 18/28 for this car (6 speed manual). So far I am getting around 18 in town, and got about 29 mpg on a 1000 mile trip. No quality problems after 1600 miles.