2007 Saab 9-3

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2007 Saab 9-3 Review


In the highly competitive compact premium sedan market, Saab's 9-3 may not be on everyone's radar screen, but it is an aggressive competitor worthy of a test-drive. Built to take on such strong market competitors as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, the 9-3 seeks to match those cars in power and performance for thousands of dollars less. On the other hand, competitors like the Volvo S40 seek to play the same game with the 9-3, and while both the Audi and Volvo offer the option of all-wheel drive, the 9-3 is driven solely by its front wheels. The 9-3 also has a ways to go to match the excellent repair records and high resale values held by many of its European and Japanese rivals.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want European design and handling at well below $30,000, the Saab 9-3 delivers both. Also, Saab cars are known for exceptionally comfortable seating, excellent safety records and road-hugging performance.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're seeking all-out driving excitement, you may be somewhat disappointed. The turbocharged four-cylinder model provides plenty of power, but Saab's front-wheel-drive system is not as satisfying to drive as a similarly-powered rear-wheel-drive BMW or Lexus. Also, there is no all-wheel-drive option available in the 9-3 lineup.

What's New for 2007

The 9-3 receives a minor interior upgrade, with a revised instrument panel and additional chrome accents.

Driving the 9-3
Driving Impressions

The 9-3 is solid as a rock, stable at all speeds and sports a sense of newfound athleticism. Though pulled by its front wheels, the new 9-3 exhibits none of...

... the torque steer suffered by its predecessors. The driving dynamics are not as good as those found on rear-wheel-drive cars like the BMW 3 Series, but they are not far off. The 9-3's steering exhibits good on-center feel and very little play.

No matter which model you choose, you'll enjoy brisk acceleration with only the slightest hint of turbo lag in the lower rpm ranges. The excellent passing power of the four-cylinder model can have you well into illegal speed ranges before you know it. You'll also enjoy one of the best manual transmissions ever to be fitted to a Saab.

Sport Seats
The Aero Sedan's sport seats are extremely comfortable and uniquely styled.

Blackout Dashboard
Saab's blackout dashboard allows you to cut off all the panel lights except for the speedometer.

2007 Saab 9-3 Details
2007 Saab 9-3 photo Interior

Inside the 9-3 you'll find the signature Saab oval dash has been neatly integrated to suit the new car's more angular appearance. If you like seats you sit in rather than on, you'll love the 9-3's front buckets. They have a nice feel with solid side and lower leg bolsters and a head restraint specially designed to reduce the incidence of whiplash.

2007 Saab 9-3 photo

All the traditional Saab styling cues are visually in place, though the 9-3 Sedan shuns the old hatchback design that was the calling card of previous generations. The fastback-like rear end still looks as though it could be a hatchback, adding a sporty flair not found on more traditionally-styled sedans.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 9-3 comes with a six-speed manual transmission, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stability control, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, remote keyless entry, power driver's seat, dual heated power mirrors with turn signals, front side-impact airbags, head-curtain airbags, AM/FM stereo with CD, split folding rear seats with pass-through, leather seating, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt wheel with touch controls and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Aero adds a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6, rear fog lights, power passenger's seat, metallic trim interior and 17-inch wheels and tires.

Optional Equipment

Options include a five-speed automatic with manual shift control (2.0T), six-speed automatic (Aero), Cold Weather Package that includes heated seats and headlamp washers, power glass moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, six-disc CD changer, GPS navigation, Bose audio, XM Satellite Radio, rain-sensing wipers, Rear Park Assist, xenon headlamps and OnStar.

Under the Hood

Don't be upset if you can't afford the Aero model. Sure, the turbo V6 is a screamer, and the Aero seats can't be beat, but the base car's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is plenty quick and easy on gas.

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
210 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 21/30 (automatic)

2.8-liter V6 Turbocharged
250 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (manual), 17/28 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?