MY2008 Saab 9-3 Snippets

As was noted by ctm in comments a few days ago and here on the site several times, press kits for the new Saab 9-3 range are due to go out to the mainstream motoring press in mid-May. I’d assume that this is so they can get their print articles organised prior to the unveiling of the car in June.

I don’t think there’s been a press embargo in the last 12 months that hasn’t been broken, so it’ll be interesting to see who blinks first.


A three-week press event will be held immediately after the conclusion of the Saab Festival in Trollhattan.


I’ve heard from ‘the continent’ that there’s some MY07 cars driving around with MY08 mechanicals. Too late for testing, I’d suggest, but there’s a lot of people that need to get a feel for this car prior to it’s release.

Several dealers in North America have also had an advance opportunity to drive the new 9-3 and of course, are muttering very good things.


Three things we don’t know yet:

1) What will the sedan look like? They’ve done a great job keeping this covered.

2) Will there be any changes at all to the interior? My bet is that there won’t be, but my suggestion would be to include the Hirsch carbon leather dash as standard on the highest spec models.

Here’s hoping.

3) Are there any big surprises coming? We know a fair bit about this car already, but is there something Saab are keeping up their sleeve that’ll just blow us out of the water?

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  1. Hello!
    About the sedan: I ‘ve seen the car driving around Gothenburg once(had no camera with me…) with the same tape on the front and the rear end hasn’t changed except for the rearbumper as we have seen on the combi.

  2. I too am hoping that they include the Hirsch Leather feature on the higher end models. Aero’s especially. It really is a HUGE difference.

    Even if it is only on the V6 (or rumoured 5 pot diesel) Aero models I’d be happy, as then one would feel that the interior befits what a £30,000+ motor should have (talking of the convertible here with that price point, read £28K for the SS and Combi 🙂 ).

  3. I should also add that I hope they improve the handling a little as well.

    As things stand, the 9-3 understeers a little too much in my opinion (hopefully the XWD system will sort that on the higher spec models).

    We know about XWD, but what changes, if any, are happening for the front wheel drive cars? Will there be chassis tweaks?

    The main thing that needs to be improved is that interior, it desperately needs better materials.

    I was lucky enough to own a TT some time ago, and have sat in some recent Audis and their interiors are exquisite. Lovely materials, even if the ergonomics aren’t as well thought out as the 9-3’s.

    I just hope they haven’t missed a trick here and decided to just stick with the ’07 interior without improvements. That would be a real shame.

  4. Well, that would be very disapointing if they have not changed the rear end of the Sedan, as I feel it is the rear end that really dates that car and it is the sedan that is the oldest of them all. It also has resemblance to the previous shape ovlovs.

  5. They not only need to tweak a bit here and there, as a dealer of multiple brands I really see on daily basis, that the competition is doing something as well. We are currently selling the facelift version Volvo V50 in fair amounts, Audi is going for a whole new A4 this year, Bimmers are wanted everywhere and even Mercedes decided to built their latest C-Class as a “SportSedan”… Its the lack of Range that hurts the beloved Saabs. Not everyone likes em in the first place and even if I could make aware my customer of what a nice alternative a Saab would be, they can only sort through SS / SC / CONV [the 9-5 is simply a no go in Germany and at least 5 years behind competitors, sadly]… Volvo has a C30/C70 – S40/S60/S80 – V50/V70 – XC70/XC90 and within the next three 3 years a V60 and probably V100… Saab needs a jump, instead of a facelift. I can only hope, they are up to it! A person I know told me some 3 months ago [!!] that Saab will have this sort of new facelifted front, these handlebars on SS/SC and he even said at that time, Saab would include iced backlights!!

  6. Again,

    Sorry to those who like this but the only real prob i have with this is the front, especially the hood.

    As one has earlier said its too flat and incongruous. The shape of the headlights exaggerate this. If the hood where more rounded and the grille matched to it, thats paydirt. It looks too much like a tupperware lid.

    It also seems to be a mismatch when you consider the shape and lines of the rest of the car, especially the rear.

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