Autoweek drive the 9-3 SportCombi

Just when I was starting to think that Automotive magazines had stopped doing road tests all together…..

Autoweek have taken the 9-3 SportCombi for a spin and the resulting review is typical of why Saab USA believe that the SportCombi is a potential flag bearer for the brand in 2007.

I’d say Autoweek agree. Here’s a few of the best snippets from the review:

We think Saab designers made the conversion to a wagon successful in terms of both body stiffness and looks. With its steeply raked windshield, short overhangs, small windows behind the C-pillars and no roof rails, the car is handsome and sporty—maintaining much of the cool look of the 9-3 Sport Hatch concept from Frankfurt ’03. Owners agree, one calling the SportCombi an “aesthetically beautiful car.”

….One of our biggest impressions when we first drove the Opel Vectra-based SportCombi was that the car drives like a Saab, and not just because the ignition sits between the front buckets. The turbocharger, relatively long-travel suspension (MacPherson struts in front and four-link in the rear) and a little steering play all add up to a driving experience that says “rally bred” for less-than-perfect surfaces—no thumps, no suspension crashing and a well-controlled body. True, there is some body roll, but the car can be driven hard into corners, and the steering is accurate…..

….torque steer and turbo lag, two of Saab’s historic quirks, are largely absent now….

And finally, a quick line that shows that Saab and the 9-3 are getting their act together in a bit to tell those jokers at Consumer Reports where they can shove it:

Owners we heard from were, for the most part, happy with their purchase and had no problems recommending the car to others with what they described as its remarkable acceleration, balanced handling and unique looks.

Having driven one myself recently up in Brisbane I’d have to say a Vector SC would be my model of choice if I were in the market for a new car right now. The 2007 9-3 SportCombi seems to have the combination almost perfect.

If the worst think Autoweek can say about it is that it doesn’t have one-touch auto-up windows, then I think they agree.

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Following is the GM Showrooom video for the US-market 9-3 SportCombi. It’s the 2006 model, so you’d need to check with Saab in your local market to find current specs and prices..

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