Worst of the Geneva motor show 2009 - 5. Saab 9-3X

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Saab might be filing for bankruptcy protection, but it's not all doom and gloom at its Geneva motor show stand - where the 9-3X is the main draw.

The new high-riding estate is powered by a turbocharged 207bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a four-wheel-drive system, or a 177bhp 1.9-litre diesel linked to front-wheel drive.

The 2.0-litre unit produces 221lb ft of pulling power, and can accelerate the 9-3X from 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with an automatic gearbox available as an option. Linked to the manual, the petrol 9-3X will return 34mpg and emit 199g/km of CO2. With the automatic it will return 28mpg and emit 242g/km of CO2.

The diesel engine has 295lb ft of pulling power.

It also comes with a manual gearbox as standard, with the option of an automatic 'box. With the manual it returns 51.4mpg and emits 144g/km of CO2, while with the automatic it returns 40.9mpg and emits 182g/km of CO2.

Off-road credentials
To boost ground clearance, the chassis is 35mm higher than the standard 9-3 estate on the four-wheel-drive version, and 20mm higher on the front-wheel-drive model.

Emphasising the car's rugged appeal, the bumpers, side sills and wheelarches are finished in a dark grey protective covering.

'The 9-3X is an efficient all-rounder for anyone who doesn't want or need an SUV-type vehicle,' says Simon Padian, Saab brand design chief.

The interior
Inside, the 9-3X has 419 litres of boot space with the rear seats up, and 1287 litres with them down.

The rear seats fold 60:40 and incorporate a ski hatch that folds down.

The 9-3X has a revised trim from the standard 9-3, including dark metallic detailing and sports seats.

Prices will be released around May, but they're expected to begin at around £28,000.

Why we didn't like it Some will say it's cruel to kick a brand when it's down, but others will agree you have to be cruel to be kind. The 9-3X is bland and uninspired from its best angles, and downright ugly at its worst.

Worst of the Geneva motor show 2009 - 6. Mazda 3 MPS

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