Canadian Driver review the Saab 9-3

Chalk up another happy journo on the scoreboard!

There’s been another review of the Saab 9-3 this week and it comes from Canadian Driver.

I’ll let you click through and read the particulars, but this review is notable for it’s section on the XWD system. If you’re a non-techie like me then the more easy-to-read info about the XWD system you get, the better. I found this to be pretty good:

In normal driving conditions, the front wheels receive 90% of the power, but get on the gas and power is seamlessly directed to the rear wheels. Push the car to the limits of traction and an electronic limited slip differential comes into play, transferring up to 40% of the torque between the drive shafts and sending power to the wheel with the most grip. The system measures wheel speed, yaw rate and steering angle to balance oversteer and understeer characteristics, improving stability and road-holding.

This means that the car relies less on the electronic stability program (applying brakes and cutting engine power) and more on the distribution of torque to maintain stability – a much better situation for drivers who like to drive. By momentarily applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels, the limited slip differential can keep the car better balanced and more tightly controlled without requiring “outside” intervention from electronic stability aides.

It’s stuff we knew, just explained a little different. Every explanation helps.

Canadian Driver seem to like the car a lot, especially in the 2.0T form. They praise the new look, as well, citing Saab’s slippage into the mundane as a genuine reason for the re-style.

All in all it’s a good read, and worth your click-through if you’re considering the new Saab 9-3. Every bit of info helps.

XWD Canadian Driver

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5 Comments

  1. Good summary. I must confess that I didn’t really delve into the specifics of the XWD system since I drive a freakin’ 20-year-old Saab, and have no real intention of buying a 9-3. Admire, yes. Buy, not so much.

    I must say that this car is BEGGING for a 3-door version.

  2. They did a tiny mistake in the article – they included this picture of the rear interior:
    http://www.canadiandriver.com/galleries/images.php?info=2008%20Saab%209-3%20Aero&src=http://www.canadiandriver.com/galleries/2008/images/saab/2008_saab_9-3/08saab9-3_gy_007-1594.jpg

    Someone in the Canadian Driver forums picked it up, and this produced a two-page thread about how miserable the rear legroom is in the car, following by quick assessments that the car is not worth buying.

  3. All the reviews of this car make me laugh. I just find it hilarious as they include pictures of the 9-3 tearing through grass or gravel and such. I know its to show how amazing XWD is, but I could never do that to a car or the paint.

    Regardless the car looks stunning flying through the grass/dirt picture above.

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