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Used Saab 9-3 is Distinctive 3 Series Alternative

The used Saab 9-3 is a distinctive alternative to the BMW 3 Series

By Stephen Turvil
Jun 21, 2010
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The used Saab 9-3 is a distinctive alternative to the BMW 3 Series, and a capable vehicle for those who want to avoid the obvious executive choices. The current generation of this compact executive vehicle was introduced in 2002, and improved in 2007 with sharper lines and an upgraded interior.

There are numerous engines available including the 1.8-litre 120bhp petrol, but those who fancy something more powerful will be drawn to the 2.8-litre XWD V6. This 276bhp monster roars to 60mph in 5.9 seconds, and on to 155mph. Pretty impressive, but the inevitable downside is that it drinks fuel at a rate of 26mpg. A more economical choice is the smooth 1.9-litre 147bhp diesel that averages 48mpg, and still hits 60mph in a more than adequate 9 seconds.

The 9-3's handling is very composed with excellent body control, impressive traction, and pin sharp steering. The ride, at least on standard models, is very comfortable and wafts along without fuss. However, the sporty 'Aero' variants have firmer suspension and low profile tyres which, although great in corners, makes the ride far less comfortable on rough roads.

Safety-wise, the 9-3 was one of the first vehicles to earn the maximum five Euro NCAP safety stars. Long term reliability is also pretty good which is important as a broken Saab can empty your wallet quicker than the tax man. The only major downsides to owning a 9-3 are that it feels a little dated, and lacks the ultimate status and finesse of some German rivals.

Motoring.co.uk's used car database reveals two year old examples of the the used Saab 9-3 are available from £12,000.

More On This Car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Request a SAAB 9-3 brochure
Request a SAAB 9-3 test drive
By Stephen Turvil
Jun 21, 2010