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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2009 Saab 9-3 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Inside the Saab 9-3 retains its trademark quirk, and sports very comfortable front-row seating and intuitive controls. But some controls are seen as cheap-looking by others.

  • "The Saab 9-3's cabin offers comfortable front seats and good ergonomics, but the quality of the interior materials can't measure up to competitors in the class. Fit and finish also leave something to be desired." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior materials are assembled with care, but the overall ambiance is more tasteful, sporty simplicity rather than luxurious. Not all cabin plastics have the texturing and tactile feel that match class pacesetters." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Decently equipped with comfort and convenience items, but the center console bin doesn't hold much and a plastic cupholder that pops out of the dashboard for the front passenger seems rather flimsy." -- MSN
  • "The Saab 9-3 Sedan has a tidy, leather-lined cabin that remains quiet on the highway and is sufficiently spacious for four adults, with a fifth able to squeeze into the backseat for short trips." -- Forbes

Front Seats

The majority of auto reviewers heap praise on the 2009 Saab 9-3's  front seats, saying they provide the right balance of luxury and support.

  • "The seats are among the most comfortable and supportive we've tested, on par with the BMW 3-Series'. They're supple, but with the right amount of support in just the right places for long-term comfort." -- Forbes
  • "The seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, with lots of adjustment range built in, the steering column is adjustable for both rake and reach, and the wraparound instrument panel is high-mounted and compact, so that only quick glances are necessary to monitor all functions." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Comfortable seats provide good all-around support. The 9-3's standard tilt and telescopic steering column helps tailor a comfortable driving position, though the tallest drivers might want it to go higher and may wish for more rearward seat travel." -- Consumer Guide

Rear Seats

Space in the Saab 9-3's second row is tight, but auto writers do point out plusses like abundant headroom and good foot space depending on the front seats' position.  

  • "Backseat headroom and toe space are abundant, but legroom suffers if the front seat is adjusted rearward." -- Cars.com
  • "Good head clearance. Knee space in sedans and wagons is disappointingly tight if the front seats are set far back. The same goes for foot space if the front seats aren't elevated." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers generally like the 9-3's standard features and their placement. They especially praise Saab's continued tradition of thinking outside the box for design.

  • "The clean layout and well-designed controls are a nice contrast to the overly complex interior of so many luxury sedans." -- Forbes
  • "Mostly unchanged from 2007, the 9-3's interior features logically placed controls, large, easily readable instruments, comfortable seats and a laudable climate-control system." -- Road and Track
  • "Audio and climate controls are intuitive and easy to operate. All 9-3s have their ignition switch on the center console -- a Saab tradition we find unobjectionable. The available navigation system absorbs audio controls, complicating what should be simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide


Auto writers agree the 9-3's 15 cubic feet of trunk space is very good for a small sedan.  

  • "Sedans have a tall trunk with considerable volume. All have plenty of interior storage space." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Saab 9-3 can carry more cargo than many cars in its class." -- Edmunds