By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2008 Saab 9-3 Sedan

Day 1:

2008 Saab 9-3 Sedan
Click Image to Enlarge

It never ceases to amaze me how many different brands and models of vehicles there are out there these days. This is the first time I have reviewed a Saab, and I’ve been doing this for close to two years now. There are other brands and many models out there I haven’t reviewed, but this week the Saab 9-3 is my focus.

Saab has always been affectionately known as a quirky brand, yet safe, and with a driver-focused personality. Saab even today still tries to promote its models as being the cars built by aircraft engineers. This is how it started out — although now owned by GM, I have my doubts on how much different below the skin Saabs are from other GM vehicles.

2008 Saab 9-3 Sedan
Click Image to Enlarge

Some of the quirkiness has been removed from late-model Saabs but some still remains, such as the key in the centre console and the drive-train: a front-wheel drive layout powered by a turbo-charged engine.

My tester is a 9-3 sedan model, powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo-charged engine with a healthy 210hp and 221 ft-lbs of torque power output. Of course, this is all channeled to the front wheels, but later this year Saab will be introducing its new Haldex based all-wheel drive system called cross-wheel-drive (XWD), which will be mated to their 2.8-litre V-6 turbo-charged engine.

Base price of the very well equipped 9-3 sedan is a reasonable $35,950. My tester adds an extremely pricey glass sunroof for $1,600; an audio package which includes a Bose surround system with 11 speakers ($995); and the premium package that, again, seems a little pricey at $1,590.

The 9-3 certainly is a stylish and fairly unique vehicle in a sea of “me-toos.”

2008 Saab 9-3 Sedan
MSRP as tested inc. destination & delivery: $42,630

For more information on Saab and the 9-3 visit GM Canada

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