2009 Saab 93 | new car review

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 by

The Arabia website advertises ‘The New 9-3’, but don’t be fooled.

The current 9-3 is merely a facelifted version of a car that has been around since 2003 and despite various little tweaks and upgrades, is showing its age. In , the 9-3 is available in quite a variety of guises – four engines, three trim levels, and a convertible version as well as station wagon model, known as the SportCombi. This range of choice may compensate for the aging foundations.

It’s an attractive looking machine despite its age, Saab is a manufacturer born out of aircraft manufacturing in Sweden, and this influence can be seen in its designs. The 9-3 has an aerodynamic exterior design and the dashboard is very clearly lifted from the cockpit of a plane. The rear lights are in a funky clear design while the front – redesigned in 2008 – is a sharp affair.

2009 Saab 9-3

Standard features include a leather steering wheel with audio controls, as well as automatic air conditioning and a cooled glove box. Saab has a reputation for safety features, so all cars also feature as many bits of technology to keep you from harm as you can think of.

Options on all models include bi-xenon cornering headlights and a more highly tuned suspension package. Saab is famed for its comfortable seats, and the 9-3 is no exception. The car seats five, with a roomy boot easily big enough for a golf bag.

The engine line-up starts with a turbocharged 1.8-litre with 150bhp and moves on up to a 2.0-litre version with 175bhp. Then there is another turbocharged 2.0-litre with 210bhp. To differentiate the different versions, the more powerful is known as the 2.0 Turbo and the lesser as the 2.0t.

2009 Saab 9-3

The top-spec engine is a 2.8-litre V6 with 255bhp. All the engines power the front wheels only, through either a five or six-speed manual gearbox or an optional five or six-speed automatic, depending on the engine. The units are available across the range, with the exception of the Aero, which comes only with the 2.8-litre V6.



Speaking of the range, three trim levels are available. The Linear comes with 16-inch steel wheels. A comfort package is also available as an option, which includes floor mats, a very cool cup holder that slides out of the dash in a ballet of engineering, and an adjustable front armrest.  These are standard on the other trims. Half-leatherette interior is standard.

2009 Saab 9-3

The Vector wears 17-inch five-spoke alloys and a full leather interior with metallic trim inside. The steering wheel is a sports one and front fog lights are standard. The Aero, with its more powerful engine, comes with 17-inch alloys and its own sports steering wheel, as well as a body kits and dual exhausts. Cruise control is also included, and there’s the option of a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The 2009 9-3 is getting on in years, but it is crammed with features and looks good. Thousands of buyers across the globe can’t be wrong, so the 9-3 is worthy of consideration.


Body TypeEngine (litres)Power(bhp)Torque(Nm)Transmission
Sedan / Convertible /2.0210300M/A
Station Wagon2.8255350M/A

Price Range (AED) 105,000-205,000


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