This year, the 2008 Saab 9-3 gets some minor styling renovations and the addition of available AWD, the first time it’s ever been offered. Available in a 2-door Convertible, a 4-door Sedan or a "SportCombi” 4-door Wagon body style, buyers have the choice between a Base version in all three or an Aero version with a more powerful engine. The Base versions feature a 210 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and the Aeros feature a 255 horsepower 2.8-liter V6, with your choice of either an automatic or manual transmission. Safety equipment includes ABS brakes and traction control.Read more Read less
After getting a substantially redesigned interior for 2007, the Saab 9-3 family gets a completely restyled exterior for 2008, along with some additional cosmetic changes inside. The exterior changes are inspired by the flashy Aero X concept car and include a larger grille, redesigned front fenders, and a new V-shaped hood, along with new headlamps and taillamps. The interior, including door inserts and arm rests, is now available in semi-aniline leather, and a new black interior replaces the former Grey. Also, the cup holder design has been improved. The convertible also has some cosmetic changes; in addition to those affecting the sedan and wagon, it gets a black window frame and front pillar, and the soft-top is now a Parchment color. There are a number of other new features, including cornering headlamps on the Aero, redesigned wiper blades, new alloy wheel designs, and a premium Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system. Availability of OnStar and XM Satellite Radio have been expanded, and rain-sensing wipers are now on the standard equipment list. Also, the Aero model's turbocharged V6 gets a boost in power, and late in the model year all-wheel drive is expected to be available for the first time in the 9-3.
Interior appointments; solid handling; lively acceleration (Aero); newly available all-wheel drive.
The Saab 9-3 has long been a sportier looking, sportier driving alternative to other European luxury sedans, and the convertible model remains one of the most practical choices among drop-tops for day-to-day utility. The 2008 9-3 already stands out for its tight, crisp handling; the expected availability of all-wheel drive should make the 9-3 more appealing in its class for those in snowy climes. And for those who are especially fashion conscious the 9-3, now fully and dramatically redesigned inside and out, is much more of a head-turner.