Quijote currently owns a Viggen over in the US but is looking to update to a fresher Saab drop-top. His options are:
- A 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible (V6, 250hp), or
- A 2008 or 2009 Saab 9-3 Convertible 2.0T (4cyl, 210hp)
Some other factors to consider:
Quijote’s a little put off by the faux-aluminium trim that can accompany the Aero models, especially on the steering wheel.
The 2.0T is around 15% cheaper to buy than the Aero.
Quijote wrote to me to get my thoughts on the purchase. Here’s what I sent back:
I’m always partial to the 2.0T. I’ve not spent much time in convertibles, to be honest, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. I loved the 9-5 2.0T, however, compared to the V6. The V6 was much more powerful but I felt the 2.0T was more enjoyable to drive. One of those with a tuning package would have been perfect (never happy!)
You really need to drive both for yourself and see what you think. I can definitely see the attraction in the V6 and I enjoyed driving a 9-3 V6 quite a lot when I first tested one. Instant power and very smooth. But personally, I’m used to smaller, more nimble cars and the V6 is a heavy engine to have up front.
I should clarify my thoughts on the 9-5 a little. The V6 was much more powerful than the 2.0T, that much was very clear. I loved the 2.0T based on its potential, according to my own judgement, on it being a more fun car to drive.
With a Hirsch or Maptun tune on it, the 2.0T would deliver plenty of power. In standard trim it was quite OK, but not outright fast.
What the 2.0T had over the V6 was lightness. The four cylinder version of that car felt a lot more driveable to me. It really made the car feel a lot smaller on the road than what it actually was.
The 9-5 was a wonderful illustration of just how much a difference weight and lightness can make in a car.
Of course, we’re talking 9-3 Convertibles here, not the Saab 9-5. As I mentioned to Quijote, I’ve not had a whole lot of experience with Saab convertibles, so I figured it might be good to open this question up to people who do.
Have you had experience with both the 2.0T and the V6? Do you have some advice to offer on which one is more fun to drive?
Personally I’d be going for the 2.0T with some pepper added from my mate Fredrik at Maptun, but that’s just me. What say you?