It’s been a little while since there’s been a new road test available, so it’s fantastic to see Carpages testing the 9-3TiD.
We’ve covered the diesel dilemma here at Trollhattan in the past. Whilst they’re popular and commonplace in the UK and Europe, they’re rare in the US. North American readers will have to wait until around 2007, when new legislation comes into play regarding the sulfur levels in diesel fuels.
Some of you may also recall when I posted on Fred, a guy in the US who was so impressed by the TiD 9-3 that he personally imported one to the States.
So what’s all the fuss about?
Simply put, the 9-3 Sport Sedan in diesel form is one very powerful puppy, with great economy to boot. It’s been leading a huge sales resurgence in the UK for Saab.
And what did the guy from Carpages think of the car?
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better-handling sports saloon than Saab’s 9-3. There’s something tactile and immediate about the driver feedback from this Swedish reworking of Vauxhall’s Vectra floorpan that makes it come alive on a demanding road….
….It’s good, but is it a true Saab? Too much General Motoring tinkering has tainted the traditional image of Trollhättan’s products. They’re watered-down versions of the unique Saab style and some consider them little more than rebadged clones of Vauxhall and Opel cousins. But that’s unfair. After two weeks with a 1.9-litre 9-3 TiD turbodiesel in Vector trim I’m back on side.
Look at it this way – General Motors pays the bills and makes some unpalatable business decisions; but Saab engineers design and build the 9-3, and it shows.
The author had a 1.9 litre Turbo Diesel, the 16-valve variant producing 150hp and a complimentary 236lb/ft of torque on tap.
A few more quotes:
Drive the pragmatic 9-3 TiD quickly over a twisty B road and the rewards are fantastic.
If you buy this fine car I see no reason why the 120bhp option makes any sense. This is a car for a keen driver. The Vector’s 150bhp output leaves nothing wanting and in my opinion could only be bettered by spending another £1000 for the practicality of the fabulous new Sport Wagon.
The more I drove the TiD 9-3 the more it delighted.
Go check it out, and if you’re in the US – just hold on a little longer!!