Channel 4 on the 9-3 ‘vert

Here’s another road test spotted this morning:  Britain’s Channel 4 site testing out the Saab 9-3 Convertible.  It’s a pretty comprehensive and well constructed writeup too. 

They’ve driven the new 2.8l V6 as well as the new 1.9l TiD model.  Being Brits, they’re quite partial to the diesel and the tax breaks it offers.

Developing 150bhp and 236lb-ft of torque, it’s offered in the Saab with either six-speed manual or six-speed auto gearboxes and has been engineered for performance characteristics as near to the traditional turbocharged Saab petrol engines as possible. Up to 25% more economical than the entry-level 1.8t petrol engine, the 1.9 TiD is presented as a strong-performing yet sensible choice

Another good feature of this writeup is that the author had the good fortune to test the Volvo C70 convertible only one week prior to the Saab, so he offers a timely perspective on both cars (and yes, he’s favourable towards the Saab).

Yet despite the C70 being thoroughly well-engineered and offered with the great five-cylinder T5 turbo engine (220bhp) ….. it’s an uninspired drive, lacking the character of the Saab – something which continues to shine through, despite parent company General Motors’ best attempts over the years to stifle the tiny Swedish firm’s individuality

There’s no tickertape parade here, but it is a good, honest assessment of what the ‘vert has got, and perhaps what it lacks for the future (hardtop, anyone?).

I’d encourage you to check it out: 4Car feature: Saab 9-3 Convertible.

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  1. I particularly like the comparison to the Volvo ‘vert – it has always seemed to me that five cylinders offer no real advantage over four cylinders.

    I’ve always wanted someone to make a straight-seven cylinder, though, just for the hell of it. It’d be interesting to see if it would be as smooth or smoother than a straight-six.

  2. As the cabrio is made in Graz, probably the most biodiesel-friendly city ever, maybe some marketing effort ala biopower is warranted. Maybe get the guvernator in one.

    BTW Greg…5 cylinders fire 13524 every 72′, no balance shafts and smaller pistons, almost same block length. Seems smoother to me.

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