Whilst the new 9-5 is (unfortunately) not settting the review pages on fire, the 9-3 SportCombi Aero is becoming a firm favourite with the motoring press. And deservedly so.
This latest review of the SportCombi is a pretty important one as it comes right from the heart of Motor City.
Mark Phelan, automotive writer for the Detroit Free Press, puts a 9-3SC Aero through it’s paces. I like Mark because he likes Saabs. It’s great when someone gets it. I’ve got to get into one of these for a weekend, and soon.
Some of Mark’s love:
I expect a good sport sedan to feel light and nimble — to drive smaller than it really is.
Lively acceleration and responsive handling are hallmarks of the best sport sedans, cars like the BMW 3-series. I don’t generally expect that sensation in a station wagon, even one with the word “sport” in its name, but the 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi wagon delivers the goods.
I’ve thought of the 9-3 as a worthy 3-series contender ever since I first drove the Sports Sedan in 2003. Call me optomistic, but that car drove amazingly well on that first drive and my time in a 9-3 Vector on a track day last year only confirmed that opinion. I can’t imagine the SportCombi being that much different, and having driven the V6 in a sedan, I can understand Phelan feelin good about it.
His final words are encouraging and ones that I’m sure will be fulfilled in time.
Saab pioneered front-wheel-drive, and the company remains committed to it. However, as it builds more powerful and sporty models, Saab would be smart to add a good all-wheel-drive system so drivers can take full advantage of its cars’ powerful engines and excellent chassis.
The review is well worth your time.