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 /]
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’.