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Saab 9-3

saab 9-3

Saab 9-3

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Voor het model uit de jaren 1955-1960 zie Saab 93

De Saab 9-3 is een automodel van de Zweedse autofabrikant Saab. Het model is sinds 1998 in productie, en werd in 2002 vervangen door een geheel nieuw model met dezelfde aanduiding. In September 2007 werd het model uit 2002 voorzien van een facelift. De Saab 9-3 is verkrijgbaar als drie- en vijfdeurs Sport-sedan, een stationcar die door Saab Sport-Estate genoemd wordt en als cabriolet.


Second generation (2003-present)

Second generation
2006-2007 Saab 9-3 2.0T SportCombi (US)
Production 2003–present
Assembly Trollhättan, Sweden (sedan and wagon)
Graz, Austria (Magna Steyr) (convertible 2004-Present)
Body style(s) 2-door convertible
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Layout FF layout
F4 layout (2008-present)
Platform GM Epsilon platform
Engine(s) 1.9 L diesel I4
1.8 L Ecotec I4
2.0 L Ecotec I4
2.8 L LP1 V6
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed "sentronic" automatic
6-speed "sentronic" automatic
Wheelbase 2675 mm (105.3 in)
Length 2003-07 Sedan: 4635 mm (182.5 in)
2008-present Sedan: 4646 mm (182.9 in)
2003-07 Convertible: 4633 mm (182.4 in)
2008-present Convertible: 182.9 in (4646 mm)
Turbo X & Wagon: 4653 mm (183.2 in)
Width Sedan: 1753 mm (69 in)
Convertible: 1760 mm (69.3 in)
Turbo X & Wagon: 1763 mm (69.4 in)
Height 2003-07 Sedan: 1443 mm (56.8 in)
2008-present Sedan: 1450 mm (57.1 in)
2003-07 Convertible: 1433 mm (56.4 in)
2008-Present Convertible: 56.6 in (1438 mm)
2003-07 Wagon: 1540 mm (60.6 in)
2008-present Turbo X & Wagon: 1496 mm (58.9 in)
Curb weight 2008-present: 1,410 to 1,690 kg (3,109 to 3,726 lb)[5]
Related Fiat Croma
Cadillac BLS
Chevrolet Malibu
Opel Insignia
Opel Signum
Opel Vectra
Saturn Aura

The second-generation model was launched at the North American International Auto Show in early 2002; the most drastic visual change was the elimination of the hatchback design. All U.S. market gas-powered variants featured a 2.0 L straight-4 engine derived from General Motors' Ecotec family. There are three different versions of the turbocharged I4, with the amount of turbo boost determining the power output. The 150 hp (110 kW) version (though two litre, it is called 1.8t) was standard in the non-U.S. market Linear form (trim-level). The 175 horsepower (130 kW) version (2.0t) was standard in U.S. market Linear or non-U.S. market Vector form, mated with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed Sentronic automatic, which allowed for shifting without a clutch pedal. The 210 horsepower 2.0T was available in both the Arc and Vector forms, and the same Sentronic transmission was available, though in the Vector, paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel were added. In 2003 Arcs and Vectors, the manual transmission was a 6-speed.

[edit] 2004

2005-2007 Saab 9-3 convertible (US)

Supposedly due to a request from Vector Aeromotive, the Vector form was replaced with the Aero in the United States. In addition, the Arc received the 5-speed manual in lieu of the 6-speed.

The 9-3, like all Saabs, is a front-wheel drive car. It is available as a four-door sedan, a wagon (introduced late in 2005, known as the SportCombi, SportWagon or Sport-Hatch depending on the markets), and a two-door convertible. It includes a number of safety features, including innovations such as Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR II) to reduce whiplash and ReAxs, passive rear wheel steering to reduce understeering and passive toe-in under heavy braking. In certain markets, the local distributor sells versions unique to that market. For example, in Singapore, 2.0t are not imported. Rather the 1.8t (which is actually a 2.0 litre low pressure turbo with a 150 hp (110 kW) output) is sold with a Hirsch modification to increase the horsepower to around the output of a 2.0t. Furthermore, in Singapore 1.8t cars are available only with automatic transmission unless specially ordered.

9-3 SportCombi

The 9-3 and the Opel Vectra were the first of the global GM Epsilon platform, which was then lengthened to accommodate four new cousins, the Chevrolet Malibu/Malibu Maxx, the Pontiac G6, and the Saturn Aura. Even so, this platform was heavily re-engineered by SAAB, making it 60% exclusive[citation needed] and rendering it impossible to build outside its Trollhättan plant[citation needed]. A proprietary fiber-optic electric/electronic system, the possibility of AWD (exploited from 2008 on, dubbed Saab XWD), and ReAxs as described above, are just a few of the features exclusive to the 9-3.

[edit] 2005

United States versions were sold with 16" wheels standard (17" for the Aero) unlike the 15" wheels which were previously found in the Linear version. In the United States, but not in most countries, the 2005 was the last year of the Linear and Arc versions.

[edit] 2006

A special "20 Years Edition Aero Convertible" for the American market was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006 to celebrate 20 years since the introduction of the Saab 900 convertible. For 2006, the two optional engines were a 2.0 liter turbo 4 cylinder and a new 2.8 liter turbo 6 cylinder. The 4 cylinder option had 12.3 psi maximum turbo boost pressure and turned out 210 hp (160 kW), while the 6 cylinder had 8.7 psi boost and turned out 250 hp (190 kW). The 2.0 liter 16 valve turbo 4 cylinder model was marketed in the United States as the 2.0T, replacing the Linear and Arc models sold until the 2005 model year. The United States 2.0T version was similar to the 2005 Arc except for U.S. Linear wheels were used. The Linear and Arc versions continued to be sold in most other countries. In the middle of the 2006 model year, at least for cars made for the United States market, the trunk release button on the driver's door was eliminated, possibly to save costs. Cars made in the first half of 2006 have the trunk release mechanism mounted on the driver's door. After it was eliminated, the only way to open the trunk is to use the key fob (and the emergency release located inside the trunk for use by people who climb into the trunk ).

[edit] 2007

The dashboard was completely revamped for 2007, with the Saab Information Display moved from its high mounted position to the main instrument binnacle, and a return to the look of the classic Saab 900 dash. The button-heavy climate control system disappeared, replaced by the Saab 9-5 climate control system, OnStar was re-introduced and required when Nav was ordered, and the corporate GM head unit debuted, which allowed for satellite radio and MP3 CD capability. While the 2008 model is touted as all-new, the majority of under skin enhancements occurred for the 2007 model year. The suspension went from borderline harsh to firm, and the cabin was quieted considerably. Steel Gray was also replaced with Titan Gray as an exterior color choice. In the U.S. market, only the 210 hp 2.0 litre 16 valve turbo engine and the 250 hp 2.8 litre V-6 turbo were available. The manual transmission in the 2.0 model was changed from a 5-speed to a 6-speed.

[edit] 2008 facelift

2008-2009 Saab 9-3 sedan (US)

Saab claims over 2000 changes were made to model year 2008 cars. The 2008 range, first presented at the Saab Festival in Trollhättan, Sweden (June 10, 2007) included new frontal styling inspired by the Saab Aero-X, new door panels, a clamshell hood, and frosted rear lamps. Slight exterior modifications are available on the limited-edition XWD 280 horsepower (210 kW) 9-3 Turbo X, presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show (9/07).[6] The Turbo X made its North American debut at the New England Auto show in late November.[7] Saab also released an all-wheel drive version of the Aero, with the system dubbed "XWD", in March 2008.

[edit] 2009

The 2009 9-3 series expands the trim levels while dropping the limited-edition Turbo X[8] sedan and wagon from the lineup. The 2.0T and some of the Aero models are now available with Saab's all-wheel drive(XWD). The new Saab 9-3 is virtually unchanged from the 2008 model, which underwent subtle design and performance enhancements.[9] During 2009 the 9-3X was launched at the Geneva auto show. The 9-3X is a four wheel drive XUV version of the 9-3 SportCombi.[10]

[edit] Engines

Note: diesel engines are not available in North America. Starting from 2005 diesel engines are Fiat sourced common rail units.

  • 2003-2004 - 2.2 L GM D223L diesel I4, 125 PS (123 hp/92 kW)
  • 2005-present - 1.9 L TiD I4, 120 PS (118 hp/88 kW)
  • 2005-present - 1.9 L TiD I4, 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW)
  • 2007-present - 1.9 L TTiD I4, 180 PS (178 hp/132 kW)
  • 2004-present - 1.8 L Ecotec I4, 122 PS (120 hp/90 kW)
  • 2003-present - 2.0 L Ecotec I4, low-pressure turbo, 150 PS (148 hp/110 kW)
  • 2003-present - 2.0 L Ecotec I4, mid-pressure turbo, 175 PS (173 hp/129 kW)
  • 2003-present - 2.0 L Ecotec I4, high-output turbo, 210 PS (207 hp/154 kW)
  • 2006-present - 2.8 L HFV6 V6, low-pressure turbo, 230 PS (227 hp/169 kW)
  • 2006-present - 2.8 L HFV6 V6, turbo, 250 PS (247 hp/184 kW)
  • 2006-present - 1.8t BioPower 1998 cc I4, turbo 175 PS (173 hp/129 kW). Flexfuel (E85) vehicle.
  • 2006-present - 2.0t BioPower 1998 cc I4, turbo 200 PS (197 hp/147 kW). Flexfuel (E85) vehicle.

[edit] Saab Turbo X

Turbo X at Frankfurt Motor Show, 2007

Saab Turbo X is a limited edition special version of the 9-3 revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. It was made to celebrate SAAB's 30 years of turbocharging. All Turbo X were offered in metallic jet black with matte grey trim. The Turbo X is SAAB's first production car with the XWD all-wheel drive system from Haldex Traction (actually the first car ever) and eLSD. It is powered by a 2.8 litre V6 producing 280 PS (210 kW) mated to a six speed manual or automatic gearbox. It also has larger brakes as well as stiffer springs and shocks. The dash, shift lever and door panels have carbon fiber look and the turbo boost gauge draws its inspiration from the Saab 900.[6]

[edit] Awards and achievements

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009


  • Wards 10 best engines 2.8L V6 Turbo
  • Top Safety Pick - Gold Award, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, USA.


  • Best Pick in side-impact crash tests, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Sport Sedan repeats the "Best Pick" rating from last year's IIHS frontal offset crash test and is now the first car with standard safety equipment to receive a double "Best Pick" honour.
  • Received highest rating, "Good" in the IIHS & Thatcham studies into the safety of car seats and head restraints, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety USA, Thatcham, Great Britain.
  • Awarded Compact Executive Car of the Year, Auto Trader, Great Britain
  • Voted Top Small Executive Car, Top Gear Magazine's New Car Buyer's Guide, Great Britain
  • Awarded one of "10 best Cars of the Year", Hong Kong Car and Driver, Hong Kong
  • Awarded Best European Intermediate/middle sedan, Car Plus Award, Hong Kong
  • Recommended buy, US Consumer Reports magazine, USA
  • Awarded maximum five star rating in EuroNCAP collision test, Saab 9-3 Convertible, EuroNCAP
  • Named UK's Most Secure Open-Top Car, British Insurance Car Security Awards, Great Britain
  • Prestigious Sporting Open Top award, The Institute of Vehicle Engineers (IVehE), Great Britain


  • Awarded maximum five star rating in EuroNCAP collision test, Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan, EuroNCAP
  • Best Family Sedan, Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, PBS's MotorWeek television, USA
  • Prestige Car of the Year, Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, Brisbane Courier Mail, Australia
  • Best Buy, Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, Expressen, Sweden
  • Best New Car, Saab 9-3 Arc Sport Sedan ($30,000 - $40,000 range), Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, USA


  • Among the Top Ten Cars of 1999. Fortune Magazine, USA


  • One of the Top Ten Cars - Fortune Magazine, USA
  • Among Top Ten Family Cars - Consumer's Review, USA