Saab are the most experienced designers of four-seat, four-season soft-top cars, they have been doing it for twenty years. Distinctly Saab and extremely safe, the 9-3 is a solid and well equipped convertible.
There is a choice between four diesel and two diesel engines. There are also the two environmentally-friendly biopower units that use Bioethanol. None of the engines disappoint, with plenty of torque. Overtaking is a breeze and cruising is effortless.
Unfortunately, this is the area in which the 9-3 does disappoint, unresponsive steering and limp handling removes much of the pleasure when driving and the suspension struggles with potholes and large bumps.
The reliability record of Saab is a good one and this will give those looking to buy or lease confidence. The cabin materials are not up to the grade of Audi or BMW’s A4 and 3-series respectively.
Euro NCAP awarded the Saab 9-3 Convertible five stars for adult occupation, three stars for child occupation and one star for pedestrian protection. Six airbags are fitted and all but the base model feature stability control. Roll-over bars, strengthened windscreen header rail and A-pillars are able to withstand a load 2.2 times greater than the weight of the car.
As with all convertibles, load capacity is severely reduced when the roof is stowed. However, there is enough space for four adults, a novelty in a cabriolet. If you want to take luggage with you on holiday you will be best served leaving the roof up until you reach your destination and unpack.
The Saab 9-3 Convertible is an attractive car and residual values should be around the 44% mark. It is well equipped; all models come with four electric windows, dual-zone climate control and cruise control. There is a large selection of engines to choose from but the smaller engines may better financial sense.
Submitted: 18/06/2008 10:04:59
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