2008 Saab 9-3 is IIHS Top Safety Pick

Following on from the tradition set by 9-3s before it, the 2008 Saab 9-3 has been included in a growing field of Top Safety Pick award recipients from the IIHS in the United States.

The first requirement for a vehicle to become a Top Safety Pick is to earn good ratings in all three Institute tests. A new requirement for 2007 is that the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control.

The official report is just being released and isn’t available on the IIHSs website yet, but it’s believed that the criteria stated above from 2007 hasn’t changed in 2008.

Newsday are reporting that the 2008 Saab 9-3 was amongst the Top Safety Pick winners. This is still a sought-after award, though the recipient list is growing. Only 13 models received the award last year and that number has grown to 34 in the 2008 model year.

I’ll publish the list as soon as I can find it, but Newsday report that only three vehicles from GM made the list. Eight vehicles from the Ford group were awarded (including three Volvos) and none from Chrysler. It’ll be interesting to see the makeup of the rest of the winners.

A notable omission from the list was the Toyota Camry. It seems it’s not only as ugly as a bashed crab and made from horrible plastics, it’s not as safe as some of its competitors, either. Amazing how much a car can trade on reliability.

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In part 3 of the interview published last night, Steve Shannon mentioned that the #1 response on owner’s surveys about why they buy their Saab is “Fun to Drive”. #2 is safety.

Steve indicated that they’ll be playing up those factors more in future BFJ advertising. With a growing list of safety award receipients, let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later so that it’s still a notable point of difference.

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3 Comments

  1. Any word on how the 9-5 did? If three ovloVs made the list it’d be nice to see both (I’m not counting the 9-7X) Saabs make it. I’m worried that the 9-5 might not be able to keep-up with the rest anymore. Car manufacturers seem to be getting a clue and are considering crash test-worthiness in their designs now, so while the 9-5 was an excellent performer for many years, such things as a lack of rear side air bags might find it falling behind in crash ratings.

  2. It wasn’t mentioned and it hasn’t been awarded the Top Pick previously, IIRC.

    As you mention, there’s a lack of airbags compared to the newer competition. Still a very safe performer in real-world conditions, but not an award winner in this scenario.

  3. Well, I’m sure the next-gen 9-5 is being designed to do well both in the real-world and in the crash tests. Hopefully it’ll perpetually be named “best pick”.

    It’s not related to safety, but I’m hoping Saab gets the 3.9-liter direct-injected flex-fuel V6 with cylinder deactivation the 2008 Chevrolet Impala just got. If Chevy can get 233 bhp out of it without a turbo, imagine what kind of blistering output Saab could get. If they can design-in a D.I. cassette maybe they can BioPower-ize it for even more output. I could see a 350 bhp BioPower 9-5 XWD Aero which gets 28 mpg (U.S.) highway.

    I also hope that Saab gets the 2.9-liter diesel engine (in Europe) which debuted in the ’08 Cadillac CTS for Europe.

    Saab, as one of GM’s “premium brands” should get all the most advanced, high-tech engines to work with, IMHO.

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