Kaz got a new baby boy on the weekend and a new baby Saab just a day ago. Kaz has some sweet contacts, so he gets to renew his Saab every four months or so – a very good basis for writing this 07/08 comparison.
He’s a very happy boy.
Now, before you prospective 2007 owners read this, I just want to say that it’s normal for a car that goes through some refreshing and re-engineering to come out a bit better than its predecessor. Such is the case with the 2008 Saab 9-3, but the 07 is still very much a worthwhile purchase, especially at the current runout prices.
You think I’ve been talking the 2008 model up? Get a load of this:
Snow silver looks soooooo much better in the flesh than in the pictures. The way the light hits it is fabulous.
The car itself is a massive leap forward over the ’07 model. Not just aesthetically externally either. The interior has had an upgrade in materials in just the right areas. The handbrake no longer feels like cheap plastic and icky, it now has a nice soft touch material. The slot cover has also been endowed with the same soft touch material.
The steering wheel in the Aero V6 is a godsend!! No more silver plastic trim. The rim is now covered in lovely leather and it just fits much better in the hand, adding the impression of more quality. So, steering wheel and handbrake, much needed improvements sorted there then.
Now the rest of it…..yes, there is more, much more.
The ride is much more compliant, the ’08 model seems to caress sudden bumps where the ’07 model used to almost crash over them in comparison. The engine management has also improved. The ’08 revisions to the power delivery are so smooth and linear, without losing any of the responsiveness.
One of the biggest improvements? The gear change, without a doubt! No longer does one hit reverse when trying to engage first, no longer does the gearbox feel notchy and no longer is it a lottery as to which gear is actually going to be engaged. The last ’07 model I had was woeful in
comparison, perhaps woeful is too strong a word, maybe average would be a better one to use. Either way, the ’08 model’s gear change is very welcome. I read that they spent a lot of time and effort improving the gear linkages, and it has most definitely paid off! Well done gearbox boffins!
Another huge improvement is the refinement. The car as a whole feels more solid, and that shows in the general driveability. The steering has better weighting as well, and loses none of its accuracy. It turns in well and there isn’t the kickback one sometimes had with the pre ’08 models.
I took it briefly over some of the same roads I know well in the area and the above all adds up to much more likeable machine around the twisty stuff, especially the gearbox, engine and steering improvements.
If you are still deciding between a run out ’07 model offer or a new ’08, stop right now, the ’08 model is more than worth the extra expenditure, and I for one am incredibly impressed. I honestly wasn’t expecting the difference to be as large as it is, but I am happy to be proven wrong.
I went to a store earlier, and was stopped several times, everyone wanted to hear about the car. The light pipes are a huge hit! Everyone likes them. I have the euro version of the sat nav system in there, the screen and UI is superb. Traffic monitoring as well, and it automatically changes your route if the traffic is too bad, well, it offers you the option first. I really feel for our American friends having to put up with OnStar.
I really am very impressed with this ’08 version. I have a list of family members who now want to come for a drive with me tomorrow.