Saab 9-3 TTiD vs the Top 10 green cars in Sweden

I’ve talked a little bit over the last few months about what Saab engineers were able to do with the Saab 9-3 in terms of reducing emissions. Today, you can order a Saab 9-3 TTiD with a full 180hp (or 160, or 130) that emits only 119g of CO2 per kilometer.

The powers-that-be didn’t think that was possible with the 9-3, and yet Saab achieved this figure, first with the Sport Sedan and then with the SportCombi, in just a matter of months after being freed to pursue this goal. It’s a prime example of the engineering expertise that exists here at Saab Automobile.

Some of you, like me, may not come from a country where vehicle taxes are based on emissions and the significance of this might be lost on you. Others will understand a bit better right from the get-go.

In Sweden, a ‘green’ car is referred to as a miljöbil and this vehicle class attracts quite a few benefits. Firstly, a new car that is compliant with Euro5 and has CO2 emissions of max 120g/km attracts zero vehicle tax for its first five years. Company car drivers who choose a miljöbil for their company vehicle may also benefit from reduced fringe benefits tax rates compared to non-miljöbil choices (which would be a massive drawcard for Saab).

There are other benefits, too, which some will make use of more than others. In Stockholm, for example, miljöbil drivers pay no congestion charge and there are parking zones in many cities around Sweden that miljöbil drivers can use for free.

So, some significant benefits are there if you’re driving the right sort of car. It’s not just tax benefits and parking convenience, though.

A car has to fit in with your lifestyle. One of the biggest criticisms of a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, for example, is range anxiety. That is, the car might be able to run on pennies per day, but if it can’t get you where you need to go (and back) without running out of battery power, then it’s not really suitable for anything other than a short commute.

Some of the cars you’ll see on the list below have wonderful emissions figures and prices, but do they allow the average family to live their normal lifestyle, to travel with comfort, performance, safety and adequate space – AND accrue the various benefits of a miljöbil?

To give us all a better picture of what Saab have been able to do, of what Saab can offer in this segment of the Swedish market (and some others that incentivise the same way), I thought I’d put together this table.

The following table shows the Saab 9-3 TTiD range as well as the current top 10 selling miljöbil offerings in the Swedish market.

[table id=26 /]

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So what’s the point?

The Saab 9-3 TTiD involves no sacrifices. Some cars on the table have equal (or better) cargo capacity, but the driving experience will be compromised due to much low power and torque.

Others lose out on the driving experience as well as the storage capability, relying on their small engine size and weight to get under the emissions limits.

Saab engineers re-worked the 9-3 TTiD SportCombi so that owners can have a complete vehicle experience – all the comfort, performance, safety and amenity that the car offers in its normal configuration – PLUS the benefits of a miljöbil.

Bottom line: You don’t have to drive an underpowered rollerskate to get the benefits of driving ‘green’.

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13 Comments

  1. My friend driving BMW claims that Saab is cheating saying it has sooo much power, in printing, but that you cant really get that power out of it. I dont know what he means. 🙂

    Why are not BMW in that table? Dont they have a competitorin this area?

  2. There is only another Brand trying to go the “green” path without compromising the driving experience, but they are RWD, and RWD is not the best thing for a Nordic country.

  3. Stefan,
    Your friend has taken a look at the performance values, and has seen that the BMW 320d ed has a lower 0-100 value. There are many reasons for that. Firstly BMW is RWD, and as such it will always have better acceleration from start as during a 0-100 sprint front axle is unloaded and the rear  axle has a higher load, thus the grip on the rear axle is better.. Secondly, the 9-3 Griffin is lighter than the MY10 9-3 but it is still quite heavy in its class.

  4. Stefan,
    Your friend has taken a look at the performance values, and has seen that the BMW 320d ed has a lower 0-100 value. There are many reasons for that. Firstly BMW is RWD, and as such it will always have better acceleration from start as during a 0-100 sprint front axle is unloaded and the rear  axle has a higher load, thus the grip on the rear axle is better.. Secondly, the 9-3 Griffin is lighter than the MY10 9-3 but it is still quite heavy in its class.

  5. Saab has (once again!) done a very good job here!
    One thing I have to say, Swade, is that this is absolutely not only a question off taxes and expenses for the single car-user! The globe are getting in a very bad condition and it is very important that we all do what we can to reduce emissions and consumption! Taking care off the environment have furthermore always been an important part of the Saab-philosophy and should – even more – be so.
    Actually, I see it as one off the most important reasons (among many others..) to fight for the survival off Saab: Their ability to innovate progressive environment-friendly(er) solutions.

  6. STOCKHOLM -(Dow Jones)- Swedish car maker Saab Automobile AB has proposed a
    new ownership structure for itself to former owner General Motor Co. (GM) that would reduce Chinese
    investors Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. (601258.SH) and Zhejiang Youngman
    Lotus Automobile Co.’s stake in the troubled Swedish brand to 20% each, Swedish
    daily Dagens Industri reports Wednesday.

    Under the proposal, a Chinese regional investment fund would, according to
    the paper’s sources, buy the remaining 60% of the shares in Saab Automobile.
    ————————————-
    is this news true, my dear steven?

  7. STOCKHOLM -(Dow Jones)- Swedish car maker Saab Automobile AB has proposed a
    new ownership structure for itself to former owner General Motor Co. (GM) that would reduce Chinese
    investors Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. (601258.SH) and Zhejiang Youngman
    Lotus Automobile Co.’s stake in the troubled Swedish brand to 20% each, Swedish
    daily Dagens Industri reports Wednesday.

    Under the proposal, a Chinese regional investment fund would, according to
    the paper’s sources, buy the remaining 60% of the shares in Saab Automobile.

    ———————————————-
    is this news true, my dear steven?

  8. Great post Steven…and this is why many of us love Saab! Saab engineering…making bricks without straw for over 60 years! 🙂

  9. Good article Swade. As a Volvo V50 1.6D owner, I would like to point out the added value of not forcing “green customers” like me to accept a sport chassis. AFAIK, the 9-3 TTiD still retains the great Saab comfort.  I hope the Saab production line gets rolling again!

    Cheers, Nils

  10. This is a great engine which become better as soon as the engineers were able to reduce the CO2 to under 120g/Km (very important arround here:) )

  11. Please give us the TTiD in the USA! 

    If a TTiD were offered today I’d buy it right now. I need a new car, but I’m reluctant to buy a VW TDI. I want a Saab!

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