MY08 Saab 9-3 Snippets

Auto Motor & Sport have kindly allowed me the use of these most recent MY08 SportCombi spyshots.

These originally appeared here at Auto Motor and Sport and are accompanied by an article there (in Swedish).








There’s several interesting things here:

1) The front-on shot. Book those daytime running lights in now, please. That’s a rather poorly taped strip of daytime runners above the headlamps. Was it a poor taping job, or poor quality tape?

2) Notice also the wonky side strips. Again, another tape job. The sides should be free of the black bump strips, I’d imagine.

3) Back to lighting. Go to the original shots at the AM&S link if you need to. Have a look at the front bumpers. There’s more tape between the air intakes and the central section and there’s a sliver of light peeping through there as well, just next to the driving lights. Low-runners?

4) You know, the front-end may be the last reminder we have of the 9-2x. It’s a lot like a cross between the 9-2x and the Aero-X. Less gap between the grilles, but it ain’t that far away.


In case any of you are thinking this is a bad thing, the best bit about the 9-2x insofar as it’s dressing up as a Saab was concerned was indeed the front end. I don’t see a downside to this. It’s just an observation.

5) Someone at the factory might want to note that the RHS tail lights don’t appear to be functioning.

6) We still haven’t seen a sedan version of this car yet. If there’s surprises being held close to Saab’s chest prior to June (and you can be sure that there are) then it must be something to do with the sedan.


I’ve received one email from a guy mentioning that the press will see this car in May.

That’s quite likely true, but only in the form of an electronic press kit. I’ve mentioned here previously that the mainstream press are going to be receiving their press kits in mid-May. This is so they can prepare their magazines etc to go to print with the news.

It’ll be interesting to see who, if any, of them break the press embargo. I’m quite sure there’ll be some shots circulating prior to June 10.

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  1. Swade, a few comments

    The lower light – is that not just a reflection (or maybe snow). There are already low fog lights down there.

    The clam shell hood. From the side it looks like a clam shel, but look at the front picture – is there not a “line” for teh hood to open above the lights?

    With regards to the sedan, yes i think you are right. Would not be surprised if it get the aero X lights in the back, similar to a 9000CS

  2. I almost like the tape strips on the side panels 🙁 hehehe. It reminds me of some of todays Saabs, and contrasts well with the tinted windows, but that’s just me…

    CJ: dont forget the rest of the 9000s 🙂

  3. CJ, If you look at the photo the light at the lower part of the bumper is to bright to be a reflection expecialy since the front of the car is in shadow, also it occures in the same position on the other side of the car. with the hood, they have used the black tape again to mark in the line of the existing hood to try and make it look as close to the existing as possible. also note the silver tape on the lights. (GM must own a tape manufacturing plant with the amount that SAAB is using)

  4. I too very much liked the front end styling of the 9-2x. Really, the only thing I didn’t like about the appearance of that car was the entire interior.

    Also, and someone has mentioned this in a previous comment… I am not completely convinced that the light we are seeing behind the tape is LEDs or daytime runners or anything else. It may just be light from the main lamps reflecting around in there. Hey, as long as it isn’t covering chrome, I don’t really care.

  5. Hi,

    I currently own a Honda Accord Euro and as good a car as it is, doesn’t seem to have the character i found while test driving a SAAB Linear sport.

    On top of this the service by Honda is nothing short of wanting. I have worked out so far that after sales maintenance may be easier (service intervals of 20K rather than 10K in the Honda).

    This is why i plan to trade in my Honda for a SAAB Linear 2.0.

    Which, as a future customer leaves me with my opinion of the stying of the next model. Sorry guys but i think its awful. I think SAAB stylists can think different without being regressive and still maintain the look which is unmistakeable for a SAAB.

    The pics almost look as if there has been a direct american influence. This is ok for American cars but not SAABS.

    I am hoping that the sneak pics showing that awful grill design are disguises. It simply does not look balanced to me. I believe the nose of the concept car can be easily adapted to suit the production model by some clever shaping.

    Just in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the last pic is a subaru and shouldn’t be confused with anything else.

  6. I’m torn with the MY08 now.

    I’ve made a decision recently. I am currently consulting with my dealer to see if I can wrangle a SportCombi (details to follow).

    The downer is they will only give me $10k for my 9-2x on trade in. What the —-?

    Depressing. I’m liking my Saabaru more and more now.

    And I think I like the 07 more than the 08. ?

  7. Nevitz,

    congrats on your almost-there!


    Come on over to the dark, cough, light side. I hope you’ve been following the discussion and are aware of the massive tape job on top of the real nose.

    That may be a Saabaru, but it’s a nice looking one at that :)…

  8. Hi Again,

    Sorry, haven’t followed all of the discussion. Just came across a few other ‘spypics’ and just don’t like those lines.

    I can see through the tape, unless it is holding up disguise panelling.

    The WRX wagon never really appealed to me.

  9. Craig, Nevitz, and all others – all I can advise is suspend judgement until June.

    The few that I’ve spoken to who have seen final product shots all say it looks great. Remember, what you’re seeing here is a car with tape all over it and covered with snow. Not the best light to be seeing a car in.

    And aside from the look, the mechanicals should be getting a further tweak as well. And not just XWD. The 2007 featured improvements over the 2006 – such that a dealer I spoke to from Europe would have taken a 2007 over a 2006 with the SaabUSA discounts (I posted on this a few months ago).

  10. Hi Saaboy,

    I am familiar with the clamshell hood from my memory of the old late 1980s models i used to drive to the dealers in a former life. I could be missing something here though.

    It always reminded me of a tupperware lid.

    But i have to say i’m not keen on the grille or bumper especially.

  11. Absolutley i’ll reserve judgement until the day.

    I’m not even prepared to say at this stage that it would change my mind. SAAB has a lot going for it and could embarrass GM to build better cars across its other more mundane range.

  12. I love my 9-2x. A whole heck of a lot more than $10k worth. I’ve fallen into a dilemma.

    I’m scouting a SportCombi 60th Anniversary. What better than that? I’m getting it at GMS Employee pricing minus the $4k in rebates!

    Here’s the rub, the over-under in my 9-2x is nearly $8k, and that makes the purchase $35k no matter how you cut it.

    I love Saab. I’ve wanted a Combi since they came out. I love my wife’s 9-5.

    But should I even dare flirt with the Subaru dealer? I mean, those new Hyundai-inspired Impreza’s actually look nice. And I bet I’d get more than a mere $10k for mine on trade in.

    Or should I suck it up and sign the papers?

    Or hold out for an MY08?

    The dealer first offered $11k which was low, but easier to swallow, then said $10k due to needing tires and touch-ups. 🙁

    Sorry this isn’t the forum to field such a quandary, but I needed some opinions. Besides, Swade, you brought up the 9-2x! (pblt!)

  13. I’ve been pondering the 07/08 dilemma myself. Those are some **really** tempting deals on the 07s. I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to at least see the 08s in their fully revealed glory, before making your move.

    I, on the other hand, am left feeling a bit cold by the 07s and what I’ve seen of the 08s. So I’m shopping for a Viggen. :p

  14. I’m liking this. One thing i’m liking very much is with all these spy shots we’re not hearing “It looks like a Subaru/Honda/Toyota/Merc etc. etc” from anyone. I think the end result will be quite distinctive.

    I think the taped off lights you refer to are just the way the light diffuses to the top of the reflector due to the tape. There’s a not disimilar effect here on my 9-5 if you look at the very top of the headlight lens.

    Just an excuse to show off the 9-5 really :>)

  15. With earlier spy pics showing a potential XWD setup and most of the recent spy pics are taken in the snow, maybe they really are test driving the anticipated XWD setup. Just a thought. Then again, maybe they just have a lot of snow this time of year.

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