The ride is comfortable, given the 35mm increase in ride height (20mm in 2WD versions). It's only the worst potholes that upset it, and over the standard 9-3 it's refined on the motorway. In fact, the 9-3X rides better than standard 9-3s. It's no great handler, though – and it's much poorer than similarly priced rivals. However, the worst facet of the car is its steering – it feels indistinct and distant, and doesn't give you confidence to push on through bends.