Turmoil at Saab has shaken things up over the past year, and the 2011 Saab 9-3, the oldest model currently on sale from the brand, gets a shake-up as well. MotorAuthority rates the Saab 9-3 5 out of 10.
The turbocharged V-6 model is no longer offered, and the options have been shuffled around, but there are still three familiar body style: the sedan, the convertible, and the SportCombi wagon. Two trim lines are available, the Turbo4 and the Aero X--previously among the higher trims available. Both cars derive their power from the same engine: a 2.0-liter, 210-horsepower turbocharged inline four-cylinder.
Both cars also get a five-speed automatic transmission, though it's an optional upgrade on the Turbo4 and standard on the Aero X. The Turbo4's standard transmission is a six-speed manual. Both models are also available with a Haldex XWD all-wheel drive system, and when so equipped, both come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Base configurations for both the Turbo4 and Aero X are front-wheel drive.
In terms of handling, the 9-3 is nothing exciting, as it's a bit heavy for its 210-horsepower engine, but at the same time, it's not your average workaday sedan or wagon, either. The all-wheel drive option adds some all-weather capability, but at the expense of fuel economy: the FWD models get 21/31 mpg, while the XWD models get just 17/27--not exactly top-notch for a turbo four-cylinder car.
Options are pretty standard, though they hint at the fact that the 9-3 was last seriously updated in 2008. Navigation is available, as are rear parking sensors, a power passenger seat, Bluetooth, and XM satellite radio--but none are standard on either trim. Standard options include leather upholstery, cruise control, and power locks/windows/mirrors.
For an exhaustive look at all of the Saab 9-3's features, read our most recent full review at TheCarConnection.
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