What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The 9-3 has a strong image, coupled to a spacious, well-built interior

Against Not nearly as good to drive as its German rivals

Verdict The 9-3 is a cost-effective way into a classy small executive car; just don't expect fireworks

Go for… 2.0t SE 5dr

Avoid… Viggen

Saab 9-3 Hatchback
  • 1. The timing chains on petrol engines must be replaced at 60,000-mile intervals
  • 2. The 2.2 turbodiesel does a decent job, but it’s noisy and sluggish compared to most rivals
  • 3. Clonks from the suspension are most likely due to worn shock absorbers, which are simple to replace
  • 4. The front tyres can take a pounding with any of the turbocharged petrol engines, so check them for wear
  • 5. Air-con, a CD player, heated seats and a sunroof are standard on most 9-3 models
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