Carsguide hearts Saab 9-3

Coverage for the 2008 Saab 9-3 has been widespread and the good news is that it’s all been…..good news!

XWD has, of course, been the dominant point of interest, with the brilliant new TTiD engine coming in a close second.

CarsGuide is the automotive section of the Murdoch press here in Australia. I received a couple of emails yesterday from Saabisti on the mainland to tell me that the Saab 9-3 featured in CarsGuide with a full picture on the back page of the newspaper liftout.

Well, I’m pleased to report that the Tasmanian issue of CarsGuide went one better and featured the 2008 Saab 9-3 on the front cover, with a pretty decent headline to go with it:

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That’s some pretty good coverage and I’m quite sure it’s going to get a few people into the showroom here.

The article itself isn’t online yet as far as I can tell (carsguide top stories are here), but here’s a few of their thoughts:

Given Saab’s ability and penchant for loads of torque and front wheel drive, there are a number of models in the brand’s history that could have warranted AWD before now – involuntary lane change in a Viggen anyone?….

….We did 1650 (sales) last year and this year we’re tracking 16.5% up on that. We’re aiming for June 30 to be over 20% up. It’s a great start” Mr Batish says…..“The new 9-3 will help boost sales and you’ve got to make money to invest in products”

With memories of the Viggen still strong, it was almost a relief to be sitting in behind the wheel of an all-wheel drive Saab…..

…..Flinging the first car through the U-shaped dirt course certainly kept the minders alert, but the grip, poise and general ability of the all-wheel-drive system felt considerable….

….Repeated laps did little to diminish the first impression, with the turbo V6 getting plenty of grunt to ground and building speed quickly down the short back straight….

….the new diesel is a big step forward for Saab…The new 9-3 has been fitted with more engine bay insulation and the new turbodiesl is much quieter as a result, although you’re still aware of its design at idle.

The power delivery has been improved considerably, offering broad spread of torque and power delivery in the upper rev ranges – most un-diesel like and more like a petrol engine than ever.

I’m a bit sick of all these journos being scared of Viggens 😉

But seriously, you all need to go drive this car and see for yourselves the improvements they’ve made. Most of them are unseen, but the total package really is great.

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8 Comments

  1. I wish the face-lifted 9-5 got the same welcome 2 years ago… And I’m kind of scared for the following moths. I wonder what the new 9-3 gonna do to the sale of the 9-5…

    One weird thing. On the Swedish Saab site, when you build your car it’s still MY07. I thought they were sold out.

  2. indeed very encouraging to see the mainstream press aknowledging Saab more positively for a change.

    WRT CTMs comments – there are still good deals on basically new MY2006 93s floating around here. I hope that the Saab sales machine is going to do justice to the new product its got to work with but to be frank, I’m not holding my breath in my neighbourhood.

    Must admit that the diesels got me thinking although I know its not the kind of turbo that I should be getting excited about as a signed-up Saab tragic.

  3. “involuntary lane change in a Viggen anyone?”
    It’s an overstatement. If you know Viggen, you should be prepared for some torque steering and if you prepeared you can handle it.
    Ok, there could be some slight movements, but lane change… never!

  4. Good to see your comments back PT !!! I agree that the local jurnos are for once stating some praises to Saab as a whole. The world press effectively killed any potential progression for the Viggen. That the car has some massive torque at the front no one denies that but to make the statements aka involuntary line changes is simply vitriolic. I look forward to Swade’s comments once he adds the rescue kit, ARB and lower suspension. If any criticism is warranted this will have to be for these additions not coming standard. But the car itself is simply a brilliant piece of classic vehicle !!!

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