Thanks to Turbin, this is the best and most comprehensive review of the 2008 Saab 9-3 I’ve seen so far. And it’s from Australia. I’m so proud.
The review is published online at Go Auto and is well worth the time it’ll take you to read it.
Our reviewer, Byron Mathioudakis, takes you step by step through all the design changes and then all the technical changes in the new 9-3. There’s some especially good stuff in there about the XWD system and the time taken to prepare this piece is evident in the quality of the material written.
Being an Austrlian article, there’s also a fair bit of attention to Saab’s place in the market here, and what the new 9-3 might mean for it. The good news for Saab in Australia is that we’re likely to eventually get all the new features, from XWD to the new TTiD and perhaps even BioPower – and all three got a resounding thumbs up in this instance.
Even after all that, which is about as much as what many publications have offered, Byron then takes us for a drive:
Pre-production examples of the XWD ‘Cross-Wheel Drive’ SportCombi wagons, powered by the new 206kW version of the 2.8-litre V6 petrol turbo engine, shocked us with its much higher levels of wet, slippery and rough-road surface grip and control…..
On the TTiD:
…..Much more impressive is the TTiD 132kW/400Nm turbo-diesel number. Adding a two-stage turbocharger, with an extra turbine to help plump out the already healthy torque curve, has resulted in a rip-snorter of a 1.9-litre engine.
In no uncertain terms, this premium powerplant puts Saab right up there with the diesel engine leaders……
….Any doubts about the driveability of E85 vehicles will be dealt a blow in the 9-3 2.0t BioPower. For simply getting people to consider the implications of their actions, we say ‘bring it on.’
That last quote about BioPower is particularly encouraging as E85 is still facing a groundswell of ignorance-based negativity as a possible alternative fuel. The only way people are going to get past fears that it’ll hurt engines etc is to read first-hand accounts like this one of how good it is and eventually, drive it for themselves.
This is a highly recommended read for all people interested in the new 2008 Saab 9-3, and especially those Aussies visiting here.