2008 Saab 9-3 Pricing

Convertible 2D Aero Turbo

Consumer Reviews

Own this vehicle? How would you rate it?

My Rating

Braking
Fuel Economy
Interior Comfort
Acceleration
Dependability
Handling
Ride Quality
Overall Rating

My Review

Type your review and click the Submit button
0 of 600 character limit


Customer Review


Be the first to review this 2008 Saab 9-3.


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2008 Saab 9-3
Jim McCraw

Introduction
Saab is a small Swedish car company with a long history in rallying on the one hand and safety research on the other, with a small but loyal following around the world. It has been effectively turned into the American marketing arm of Germany's Opel by its owner, General Motors, using many parts, systems and chassis also used by GM's German brand.

For 2008, Saab 9-3 benefits from more powerful engines and a radical new front and rear-end redesign. The cabin is largely unchanged. Saab claims that, in addition to the new look, front, side and rear, it has made some 2157 changes to the details of the 9-3.

On freeways, we found the 9-3 rides quietly and lets you listen to the music. The front-wheel-drive Saab 9-3 Aero V6 we drove was smooth and quick. On back roads, the handling was responsive; it handled bumps well, in corners and over rises. The seats are comfortable.

All-wheel drive will be available on late-2008 Saab 9-3 models. The XWD all-wheel-drive system is made by the Swedish company Haldex, which also supplies systems to Volvo, Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen, and Audi. It's the fourth-generation system, and it is said by Saab to be the fastest-acting, best all-around system in the world, moving engine torque from front to back and side to side as needed, and using an optional eLSD electronic limited-slip differential at the rear that can juggle up to 4 percent of the supplied torque between the left and right tire as necessary. Saab claims an Aero V6 XWD can outrun a $150,000 Porsche 911 Turbo through a slalom with this system. Model Lineup
The 2008 Saab 9-3 lineup includes six models, starting with the 2.0T sedan ($28,385) packing the turbo four-cylinder engine. The 2.0T is available with a choice of six-speed manual, five-speed automatic or six-speed automatic.

The 2.0T Convertible ($39,710) and 2.0T SportCombi wagon ($29,630) are similarly equipped.

The Aero models all carry turbocharged V6 engines and some additional standard equipment here and there, and are restricted to the six-speed automatic transmission only. The Aero V6 sedan ($35,365), the Aero V6 convertible ($45,665), and the Aero V6 SportCombi wagon ($36,265) are similarly equipped. All models come with a $745 destination charge built into the stated price. When you buy an Aero version of any model, a two-day trip to the Saab Aero Academy driving school at Road Atlanta is included.

Options include a moonroof package ($1200), a premium package ($1695), cold weather package ($550), and a touring package ($895). There are two levels of navigation systems, at $2145 and $2840, two levels of sound system upgrade with CD changer, $895 and $995, metallic paint ($550), a roof rack ($250), leather upholstery ($1500), automatic transmission ($1350), and five-spoke alloy wheels ($750).

When the XWD (cross-wheel-drive) versions arrive this winter, they will come only as Aero V6 models, and they will come only with a special high-output, high-boost-turbo engine package that makes 280 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. Although prices haven't been set yet for this new top-of-the-range model, we expect it to be about $2000 more for the big engine and all-wheel-drive system. It will be available on the sedan and SportCombi versions, but not on the convertible, which uses a reinforced floor pan that won't accommodate the rear-axle assembly for the drive system.

Safety features include front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, traction control, and electronic stability control as an option. With its crash-resistant structure and features, the 9-3 has been awarded a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for three years in a row. Walkaround
The bold new nose on the 2008 Saab 9-3 is a direct descendant of the nose on the Aero-X concept coupe that Saab displayed on the auto show circuit a couple of years ago, and that, coupled with the complete absence of Saab's traditional black side-molding for door protection, is the biggest clue that this is the new 9-3.

The tail lights have been redesigned for 2008 along with the hood, grille, bumper, and headlights. Also new are the doors and door handles. All models have side sill extensions for an extra measure of sportiness.

That adds up to a total of 70 percent new body panels.

The new nose works very well in the wind tunnel, yielding a drag coefficient of 0.28 for the sedan, a very good number. Interior
Saab spent all of its budget money for the 2008 9-3 update on the body, the engine upgrades, and the XWD system, so there was little left over to redesign the interior, which is why it looks so similar to the interior in the outgoing version of the 9-3.

All models will come with black, not gray, instrument panels, and have OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a built-in tire-pressure monitoring system as standard equipment. A hot Bose 11-speaker sound system will be optional on late-2008 models.

A few subtle differences distinguish the cabins of the 2.0T and Aero models, with the latter getting metallic trim on the steering wheel and some additional standard equipment.

The ignition key is mounted in the center console, although it is now a fully electronic key, and there are up/down shifting buttons for the automatic transmission mounted on the three-spoke steering wheel. There are storage cubbies in the dash, console and doors, and the console can be customized to an extent when ordering.

The Saab born-from-jets design ethic is nowhere more apparent than in the design of the seats, steering wheel, and instrument panel.

The seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, with lots of adjustment range built in, the steering column is adjustable for both rake and reach, and the wraparound instrument panel is high-mounted and compact, so that only quick glances are necessary to monitor all functions.

An optional Profiler system consists of a set of steering wheel-mounted controls and a 6.5-inch-wide color display screen at the top center of the instrument panel that will read out climate control, clock/alarm, speed, wipers, anti-theft system, seat heating, park assist, telephone, voice activation, and other functions. The Profiler, and the rest of the dashboard displays, can be dimmed or turned off completely, with a Night Panel feature Saab has used for years. Driving Impressions
We wish we could tell you more about the XWD all-wheel-drive system, but the fact is, we were only in the demonstrator vehicle for a couple of minutes, testing the car's abilities through a full-throttle slalom course where it worked beautifully.

The rest of the time, we were in a front-wheel-drive 9-3 Aero V6, with its dazzling new looks in jet black and 10 more horsepower than the previous 9-3. We could feel the extra power through the six-speed automatic transmission, a transmission we left under manual control pretty much all day long so we could use the shifter paddles on the steering wheel.

The turbocharged V6 may be small by competitive standards at only 2.8 liters, but, at just under nine pounds of boost, it is a model of efficiency, smoothly and quietly bringing the power on and keeping it on until it runs out of revs. Saab says this engine will propel the new 9-3 from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, and it certainly feels strong and sounds good doing it. One of the 2157 changes Saab boasts is the addition of a quiet package standard on all models, so the car definitely sounds more refined than before.

The dynamics of the new 9-3 are very similar to the outgoing model, because nothing major has been changed. The body and chassis are extremely stiff. The suspension is nicely isolated and very good in handing terms, with built-in rear-steering. The steering is both light and quick, the brakes are very big for the car's size and weight, very powerful and highly resistant to fade.

Driving this car, with all of its chassis, suspension and electronic aids, is a pleasure because it responds so quickly and so well over bumps, into holes, around corners and over rises. Driving on freeways, the 9-3 just settles down quietly and lets you listen to the music. Summary
The 2008 Saab 9-3 is the prettiest, sportiest Saab ever built. It offers a great combination of performance, comfort, and space, and real-world gas mileage that won't break the family piggybank. The 9-3 does business in a crowded part of the market, the $35,000 near-luxury segment, and it's a worthy competitor, with lots of built-in value and a long-standing reputation for active and passive safety.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Jim McCraw filed this report from Washington.

Model as tested
Saab 9-3 Limited sedan ($28,385)
Basic Warranty
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in
Trollhattan, Sweden
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
N/A
Base Price
28385
Price as tested
35365
Options as tested
none

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Saab 9-3 2.0T; Aero; Aero XWD
Safety equipment (standard)
frontal airbags, side-impact airbags, curtain airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control, ESP
Safety equipment (optional)
N/A
Engines
2.8-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions
6-speed automatic

Specifications as Tested
leather upholstery, air conditioning, power steering, power disc brakes, keyless entry, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, console, cruise control, floor shift, driving lights, AM/FM/CD

Engine & Transmission
Engine
2.8-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Drivetrain type
front-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
255 @ 6250
Transmission
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
16/26
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)
N/A

Suspension
Brakes, front/rear
disc/disc with ABS, EBD
Suspension, front
independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, gas shocks. stabilizer bar
Tires
P235/45R17
Suspension, rear
independent, 4-link, coil springs, gas shocks, stabilizer bar

Accomodations
Seating capacity
5
Head/hip/leg room, middle
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, front
39.6/56.3/41.4
Head/hip/leg room, rear
38.9/55.1/35.1

Measurements
Fuel capacity
N/A
Trunk volume
15.0
Wheelbase
105.3
Length/width/height
182.5/69.0/56.4
Turning circle
39
Payload
N/A
Towing capacity
1000
Track, front/rear
59.9/59.3
Ground clearance
6.1
Curb weight
3285


Vehicle History Report

Get answers to buy with confidence
  • Check for accidents
  • Confirm the reported mileage
  • Purchase multiple reports and save

Car Buying and Selling Resources





Rough Trade-In - Rough Trade-in values reflect a vehicle in rough condition. Meaning a vehicle with significant mechanical defects requiring repairs in order to restore reasonable running condition. Paint, body and wheel surfaces have considerable damage to their finish, which may include dull or faded (oxidized) paint, small to medium size dents, frame damage, rust or obvious signs of previous repairs. Interior reflects above average wear with inoperable equipment, damaged or missing trim and heavily soiled /permanent imperfections on the headliner, carpet, and upholstery. Vehicle may have a branded title and un-true mileage. Vehicle will need substantial reconditioning and repair to be made ready for resale. Some existing issues may be difficult to restore. Because individual vehicle condition varies greatly, users of NADAguides.com may need to make independent adjustments for actual vehicle condition.

Average Trade-In - The Average Trade-In values on nadaguides.com are meant to reflect a vehicle in average condition. A vehicle that is mechanically sound but may require some repairs/servicing to pass all necessary inspections; Paint, body and wheel surfaces have moderate imperfections and an average finish and shine which can be improved with restorative repair; Interior reflects some soiling and wear in relation to vehicle age, with all equipment operable or requiring minimal effort to make operable; Clean title history; Vehicle will need a fair degree of reconditioning to be made ready for resale. Because individual vehicle condition varies greatly, users of nadaguides.com may need to make independent adjustments for actual vehicle condition.

Clean Trade-In - Clean Trade-In values reflect a vehicle in clean condition. This means a vehicle with no mechanical defects and passes all necessary inspections with ease. Paint, body and wheels have minor surface scratching with a high gloss finish and shine. Interior reflects minimal soiling and wear with all equipment in complete working order. Vehicle has a clean title history. Vehicle will need minimal reconditioning to be made ready for resale. Because individual vehicle condition varies greatly, users of NADAguides.com may need to make independent adjustments for actual vehicle condition.

Clean Retail - Clean Retail values reflect a vehicle in clean condition. This means a vehicle with no mechanical defects and passes all necessary inspections with ease. Paint, body and wheels have minor surface scratching with a high gloss finish and shine. Interior reflects minimal soiling and wear with all equipment in complete working order. Vehicle has a clean title history. Because individual vehicle condition varies greatly, users of NADAguides.com may need to make independent adjustments for actual vehicle condition. Note: Vehicles with low mileage that are in exceptionally good condition and/or include a manufacturer certification can be worth a significantly higher value than the Clean Retail price shown.