IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saab 9-3 SportCombi - a second hand test

The Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten has done a test of a second hand Saab 9-3 SportCombi. From the test one can read that when buying a second hand Saab 9-3 you get a car that is fun to drive and very safe. Below is a translation of the test.

Nimble and safe Saab
The nimble Saab 9-3 Sport Combi tempts you to pressing down the accelerator. The car also has superb comfort and high safety. Not even the problems in Trollhättan casts any shadow over this second-hand Saab.
Saab has long been on everyone's lips. Will the brand survive? The crisis in the production of new cars makes current Saab owners and future buyers of used cars ponder. Many has certainly considered the issue of availability of spare parts.

In conjunction with this test, a Saab dealer said that availability of spare parts has been uncertain during the summer - among other things, it was difficult to get hold of spare keys - but that the situation has stabilized. The subsidiary Saab parts can reportedly produce spare parts no matter what happens with the main company. That is the current situation.

Soft and supple
As far as I can judge, the tested SportCombi from 2006 does not need any repairs. It has the 1.8t engine with 150 horsepower, has been driven over 97,000 km and behaves exactly as I expect, that is nimble and powerful when accelerating.

It has excellent road handling. It is soft and supple in steering and suspension. It is not too hard or bumpy and the car calls for active driving. In other words, it makes me want to press down on the accelerator, preferably through challenging bends. The balance of the car feels good and the cabin is well isolated from noise.

A bit fiddly
SportCombi came in 2005, a few years after the SportSedan, which for the first model years have caught note of the Motor Vehicle Inspection (Bilprovningen) for poor suspension springs. The Combi has done better. The three year old 9-3 got a better score than the average car in both 2009 (except for the diesel) and in 2010. After five years, both the petrol and diesel cars are slightly worse than average.
The comfort is excellent. The seats are good and are slightly curled to give side support and there is electronic adjustment in the driver's seat. Large instruments straight ahead showing speed, rpm and fuel level. The middle console has a maze of buttons, including for the climate control and audio. You don’t have to be a pilot to sort out all the functions, but before you get used to it, it feels a little fiddly.
At night you can turn off all the instrument lights except the speedometer with the so-called night panel fuction.

Easy to load
The space in the rear seat is limited, but headroom is good thanks to the sloping seat. The large rear door opens the entire rear end for an easy to load baggage compartment. Cars with the repair kit in stead of a spare wheel, has extra storage space.

The 9-3 got five stars in the safety test from Euro NCAP, with stability control as standard from 2005.

Saab 9-3 Sport Combi 2006

The Saab 9-3 was launched in 2002 and was at the time undoubtedly the most fun to drive model from Saab. The engines are essentially the same as in the Saab 9-5, the most common are gasoline turbo engines of 150 and 175 horsepower. In 2005 a 2.8 litre V6 engine and new diesel engines was introduced. In 2007 the ethanol Biopower engine was introduced. In 2004, the convertible was lanuced and in 2005 the 9-3 SportCombi. It has a sloping rear and relatively bulky hinges on the ceiling. It is not a huge loader. In 2009 a four-wheel drive 9-3 was launched.

Approx price: SEK 93,000 (test car's price: SEK 94,900)
Taxes: SEK 1,740 / year
Service cost / service interval: 90,000 km SEK 3,300, 120,000 km SEK 5,300 / 30,000 km or 2 years

Repar costs (workshop)
Timing belt / replacement interval: Timing chain, maintenance free
Front brake discs and pads: SEK 5,000
Rear brake pads: SEK 1,600
Spindle and ball joint: SEK 5,700 each side, Shock absorbers: SEK 3,400 front, SEK 2,900 rear
Headlights: SEK 3,900
Fuel: Petrol
Fuel consumption: 7,9 l / 100km
CO2 emissions: 189 g / km

Power: 150 hp
Displacement: 2 litre
Gearbox: Manual, 5 speed
Weight: 1,580 kg
Maximum load: 450 kg
Luggage capacity: 419 litres
Length / width / height: 467/180/147 cm

Three-point seat belt all over: Yes
Airbag driver / passenger: Yes / Yes
Side airbags: Yes
Anti-lock brakes: Yes
Headrests all places: Yes
Stability control: Yes
Euro NCAP crash test: Five stars out of five, Saab 9-3 2002.
Folksam’s accident statistics: Good Security

This is how the used car test is conducted
The car is tested on different road types and in city traffic. The quality of cars of the same the make and model year can vary based on factors such as driven distance and general maintenance.

The price for a single car can vary depending on mileage, equipment, condition and place of purchase. Deviations of plus or minus 10 percent from the stated retail price is common.