2008 Saab 9-3SC review – Post Gazette

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have published their review of the 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi – this time in Aero form. So how did it go?

Well, if you’re picking on the click sound of the turn signal, you know that you’re reaching for negatives – correct?

Don Hammond admits as much, too. He likes the car a lot, and it shows.

In terms of driving feel, it certainly does not feel like other GM cars. It feels European, nimble, light on its feet and thoroughly agile…..driving the Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi was a turbocharged treat.

The niggles that he had included the cupholder, which he didn’t seem to understand, and he had trouble getting the tailgate up and down, which is a new one. Like many, he also had trouble with the interior materials – which I think is the one serious matter they need to attend to in the coming years.

The good bits were numerous and run as follows:

    The Saab styling, which carried both the interior and exterior.

    Smoothness in highway driving, with notice paid to the turbocharger

    Agile sport suspension

    Interior ergonomics

    Usefulness of the control settings, incl Night Panel.

It’s a good, considered review, and another one for you prospective 2008 shoppers out there.

Saab 2008 9-3 SportCombi

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  1. I have a 07 SC Aero and I would have to agree, the dash cup holder while a novelty does not inspire confidence. The one at the base of the gear shift is not much better.

    With the hatch, I don’t have any problems getting it opened but its mush and a click, not solid feeling.

    Closing I really have complaints with. I can see the engineer putting his hand in the handle and pushing down over and over again and saying ‘yes that works well.’ But its like shooting free throws (basketball) If you do it over and over again you have a high percentage but if you do it infrequently your average goes down. I find I that unless I make an effort to grab the handle and pull down with some effort the rear hatch doesn’t latch all the way. If there was less resistance in the last 2 degrees of closure I’m sure it would work every time.

    I would have bought my SAAB with or without a review like this, Im on my fifth. On the other hand the reviewers have to find something to criticize and as someone who owns a car for the most part identical to the one they reviewed, I would say they found a few of the 9-3 SC’s faults.

  2. The cupholder is as useless in practice as it is funky in design. My girlfriend has had coffee and tea spilled all over her numerous times, and I always have to pour out half my cup before I “secure” it in either of the cupholders.

  3. This review is pretty right on in most respects. I have to agree with both the good and not so good points.

    I haven’t known anybody to open or close the tailgate for the first time without difficulty. Safest bet with closing is to puncture the eardrums of all passengers with a highly percussive thud.

  4. I saw the MY08 yesterday in person in Milwaukee. I have to agree that the interior looks cheap compared to similarly priced cars in its class. The exterior, compared to an ’07, looks a little sleeker. But the difference isn’t that appreciable. Hate to say it, but I’m not 100% positive I want to upgrade my ’05 9-3 for such a similar car.

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