Avg. Price Paid:$8,610 - $13,693
Original MSRP: $31,790 - $44,885
MPG: 19 City / 29 Hwy
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2009 Saab 9-3 Wagon Performance

This performance review was written when the 2009 Saab 9-3 Wagon was new.

The 9-3 SportCombi has to a strong powertrain and nimble handling. These qualities and an all-wheel drive system make the SportCombi a reviewer favorite among wagons for performance.

Acceleration and Power

Most describe the 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi's 2.0T's engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder with 210 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, as an adequate performer. However, the general consensus prefers the Aero's 2.8-liter, six-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower. Both the 9-3 SportCombi's trims come standard with an imprecise six-speed manual transmission.

With a manual transmission, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2.0T SportCombi at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 29 miles per gallon on highways. The Aero SportCombi with an automatic transmission receives a rating of 15 miles per gallon in the city, 24 on highways, and 16 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on highways, with manual transmission.

  • The SportCombi base engine "generates acceptable acceleration" Forbes while
  • On the 2.0T engine, "passing response dulled by brief turbo lag," Consumer Guide
  • The Aero's V6 is "terrifically smooth and quiet." Road and Track
  • "The [V6] engine pumps out 258 lb-ft from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm, which make it a member of the flat torque curve club. Most amazing, however, is that the SportCombi puts that power to the pavement without any torque steer." Edmunds
  • The transmission is "a bit notchy," The Detroit Free Press

Handling and Braking

The 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi is generally regarded as a smooth handler with just enough sportiness to live up to Saab's reputation. The ride and suspension get particular praise, while the steering is seen as a little light.

  • Handling is "firm, poised" and "nimble." Consumer Guide
  • The suspension is "tuned to please both Mrs. Smith when she's carting the kids around and Mr. Smith when he wants to crank the pace up a notch." Road and Track
  • The brakes are "firm yet progressive, nose dive is minimal, and we didn't detect any ABS vibration or brake fade over several repeated hard stops." Edmunds

All-Wheel Drive

The 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi is available with Saabs XWD all-wheel drive system. XWD sends most of its power to the front wheels when the vehicle is moving at a steady cruising speed but routes torque to the rear if grip is unsure.

Review Last Updated: 11/30/09

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