Performance: great in snow! turbo lag is very high though Comfort: over roads freshly paved-perfect, anything else-horrid! Value: compared to other cars I have driven/ ridden around in it is not the best, seats are rock hard Fun to Drive: Oh yeah! Interior Design: great the first year it was out, but got old fast Exterior Design: they are like Chevy, they keep almost the same design for a few years, then finally get the idea that people want to see something new Build Quality: the best, except for a tank, I was behind a dump truck hauling logs (one lane road) it dropped a log 6" in diameter, I ran it over, the car suffered no damage Reliability: I can do everything at home (change oil, etc.)
Took advantage of SAABs troubles to purchase a 9-3 at 0.0% financing. Got the stripper model - no roof - manual passenger seat - 6 speed manual. Bright red. Great car. Downside - no heated seats - no fog lights. Upside - roomy. No matter what Consumer Reports said, build quality is top notch. Shifter little balky, but no worse than previous Audi's. Clutch very easy. Turbo took a week to get used too, but concerns over torque steer overblown. Gas mileage is really good - surprisingly so. Went from a Cad CTS to a Mazda6 to cut payments and get more gas mileage - after 1 year - went to SAAB with - lower payments and better gas mileage!
Just purchased a new 2009 9-3 Comfort loaded. Xenon, tiptronic, sun roof, bluetooth, heated seats,... Sticker was $38k, paid $22k. I'm amazed by this car! it's fast, fun to drive, comfortable, quiet, and I'm getting 32 MPG on my 100 mile per day commute. If GM does the right thing and sells the brand I WILL buy another one. We've been a Volvo family for years but this Saab blows Volvo away (we've owned 5 Volvo's)
The 2009 9-3 performs well in every category. Excellent handing meaning just the right feedback from steering and feel of the road. The steering wheel is thick with thumb support that adds to the sense of control. A sense of control of the car in every situation - even in snow storms and driving rain. Comfortable seats that are appreciated more on longer driving trips. Easy to reach and understand dashboard - nothing too fancy like most higher end cars. Good views of the road. A safety record unmatched by most cars - check out the insurance loss chart on the IIHS site - Saab is either the safest or the top two or three safest cars on the road. Why? Re-read my comments.
The editor or writer has it totally wrong on gas mileage. Around town will be 20 - 24 , and highway is 29 - 32. Your listing of 18 - 23 is really not accurate. I think one of the better cars made. Saab never gets a fair shake from the press or internet outlets. Drive one and form your own opinion. Most people that have one, usually buy another.