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in 2009 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $8,213 - $16,259
Original MSRP: $30,360 - $51,330
MPG: 15 City / 24 Hwy
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Used Car: 2009 Saab 9-3 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/18/12

Impressive cargo space and available all-wheel drive help the 2009 Saab 9-3 stand out from the pack. However, rival cars offer nicer interiors.  

The 2009 Saab 9-3 is ranked:

Test drivers thought the 2009 Saab 9-3 was a solid performer regardless of which engine you choose. The base model has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while a turbocharged V6 engine is available on the Aero trim. Additionally, Aero and XWD trims come with all-wheel drive, which may appeal to used car shoppers looking for extra grip on slippery roads. The base 9-3 sedan averages 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. That rating decreases with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine. The 9-3 does fairly well in crash tests, but rivals like the 2009 Volvo C30 and 2009 Audi A3 offer better safety scores. The 9-3 also has a good reliability score for the class, however, with Saab’s bankruptcy, long-term availability of replacement parts is uncertain.

The 9-3 has comfortable front seats, and both the sedan and convertible have class-competitive trunk space, but like many 2009 small cars, reviewers said that the back seat is cramped. Some reviewers weren’t impressed with the 9-3’s interior quality, and expected more from a European car. They said the cabin looks good, but the interior isn’t as nice as those found in more refined small cars. Standard features on the 2009 Saab 9-3 include dual-zone climate control, a seven-speaker stereo with an auxiliary port, Bluetooth and satellite radio. A Bose stereo and navigation were optional.

See the full 2009 Saab 9-3 specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Volvo C30 has a similarly good reliability score and a stylish exterior, but if you choose the C30 for its retro looks, you’ll give up some interior space. The C30 only seats four, and for a hatchback, it offers little cargo space. It does, however have plenty of standard features and excellent crash test ratings. Reviewers were also pleased with the C30’s performance, though it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2009 Volvo S40 is also available with all-wheel drive. The S40’s high-class cabin includes a competitive list of standard features, but the base model doesn’t stand out for its performance. Still, with best-in-class reliability, the S40 makes a solid case for itself as a dependable used car.

Compare the 9-3 to the C30 and S40 »