The Chicago Sun-Times has a pretty down-to-earth review of the 9-3 Sport Sedan. I’d imagine it mirrors what a lot of people that love it are feeling about the car.
Our reviewer is Jill Ciminillo and she is, in her own words, embroiled in a love affair with the 9-3. She has been for 4 years now. But the 9-3 is slowly slipping in her esteem and it’s most-favoured-car status is almost in jeopardy.
While much of the Saabness remains, I am starting to see some GMification.
The most obvious place the 9-3 has been GMified is the audio interface…..it’s generic and unattractive.
….Some of the interior materials have also been GMified. By that I mean they do not show the level of quality that should be associated with a luxury brand….
….Then there was the issue of the sliding armrest….. I don’t know if it was broken or poor planning, but either way it didn’t win any points with this driver.
Jill points out that there’s still plenty to love about the 9-3 and she’s 100% correct. I’m more of a SportCombi fan myself, but the sedan still makes for great value, especially in the US market with the 60th Anniversary package included.
She had the 2.0T four cylinder version, and she’s not the first reviewer I’ve read to say that it provides more than enough horsepower for her needs. At 210hp and with the 6-speed gearbox I could well understand that point of view. That 210hp engine, whilst not being the biggest that Saab offers, is no slouch and provides a pretty decent value-for-money argument in the US model range.
But GM do need to fix those interior issues like the corporate radio. A review like this where a motoring writer is in a diehard love affair with the 9-3 and is starting to blink…… it’s got to be a wake up call, hasn’t it? If you’re not going to listen to us, then at least listen to them.
A quick search through the site sponsors, Dealix, shows a base invoice price of just under US$25K and for 210hp and everything else that the 9-3 offers, I think that’s pretty darn good. Chuck in some SaabUSA incentives and it has to get even better.
For what it’s worth, US$25K translates to about $30,000 here in Australia – and our base 9-3 sells for $39,990.