Saab 9-3 TTiD quick review

Here’s one that’ll be of interest to a few of you European types…..

Autocar have written up a review of the TTiD, the new twin-turbo diesel engine in the 2008 Saab 9-3. This is the model I drove back in June and was so taken with. The Autocar guys seem to like it, but being motoring journalists, do the usual must-pay-homage-to-the-Germans thing. In other words, this one gets a pretty big tick.

The 9-3 1.9 TiD is good for up to 150bhp. But even this sort of power in a diesel-powered small exec saloon is quickly becoming the equivalent of turning up at a party with a cheap bottle of plonk, when everyone else has brought vintage Puligny Montrachet……

…..Enter then, the new Saab 9-3 1.9 TTiD.

One of the things that impresed me so much about the TTiD was the familiarity I felt when driving it. Apart from having it sound a little diesel-ish at idle, it drove like a Saab with heaps of torque and the dual exhaust on the Aero made it sound brilliant inside. The masses of torque gets you up an d moving very quickly.

Autocar seems to have a similar experience:

you can’t fault the zestiness with which the new motor endows the baby Saab. It’s got impressive urge from near tickover, all the way through to the red line. And it feels remarkably free-revving for a diesel.

I can’t paste too much more as it’s a short write-up. Well worth a read for anyone that’s not afraid of looking at something that’s not German.


And by the way, they mention that the TTiD is coming next year. I’ve heard recently from someone who’s ordered one and they’re expecting delivery in mid-to-late November.

So if you’re in the market then check it out. Get your dealer to make some real enquiries. You might be surprised.


Thanks Padam!

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  1. What the hell are they writing? Far superior?? I have driven BMWs and Audis and they are more expensive [EUR 3-5k] and certainly do not handle that much better [the Audi never did] !! I thought Saab is well recognized in the UK??
    Quote “Should I buy one?
    Only if you want to be a bit different. Most other cars hovering in the Saab’s price bracket are far superior to drive, so despite the new diesel it’s hard to commend it over a BMW or Audi.”

  2. My family has had three Audis — and each time the same thing happened: once the warranty was up it was cheaper to just trade it in and get a new car payment rather than maintain it.

    As to why it took three times to learn this, I’m not sure. But I’ll never buy one! (And I wasn’t one of the three in my family that ever has!)

  3. I’ve driven and A4 and a Saab 9-3 one after another. The 9-3 in my opnionis a much better drive. The understeer and slow reactions of the stock A4’s (S4 and RS4 are totally different kettles of fish) is laughable when compared to the direct pinpoint steering of the 9-3.

    In the A4 it is almost like, turn the wheel, make a cup of coffee, drink coffee, tap fingers on dashboard and THEN the car decides to turn.

    The 9-3 rolls a little more than the A4, but the payback is a much better ride, that little extra roll doesn’t actually affect the 9-3s handling ability, but it may seem that way to some.

  4. Why can’t we get these diesels in the states? 50mpg?? Damn… With the new low-sulfur diesel fuel available now, I hear even us folks in NY can buy diesels again (they have been out of the market here for several years). There are precious few diesel cars available here now. Most people who decide on a diesel that isn’t a truck end up buying one of the TDI models from VW. I’m sure they’d love a larger choice. Why couldn’t Saab push diesel here in North America? As the cost of a gallon of gasoline hovers around $3, everyone’s looking for alternatives, and not all of us want to drive a road-numbing japanese hybrid, an unreliable VW diesel or (gasp) an American car. 🙂

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