2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test

If the noise wasn’t obvious enough, the massive sign-writing on either side of the car was sure to give it away. Saab have finally stepped out of their comfort zone and ventured into new technologies, creating vehicles powered by Diesel and 85% Ethanol.

Inside, the new Diesel Saab 9-3 range is much the same as a regular 9-3, the difference lies in the drivetrain. The new 1.9-litre Diesel motor is mated to either a six-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual gearbox. Fuel consumption figures achieved by the respective gearboxes are 5.9-litres/100km and 7.2-litres/100km. The torque’y new Diesel motor produces a commendable 320Nm of torque and 110kW’s of power, providing enough poke for day-to-day driving.

Driving a Diesel powered vehicle requires slightly more forethought, especially in the Saab’s case. Often Diesel’s suffer chronic bouts of turbo-lag, whereby you lay down the throttle and there is a momentary lapse before the turbo spools and things are in motion. The new Diesel in the Saab range is no exception, it suffers from quite a decent slab of turbo lag from a standing start, and as such; it became a bit tricky when power was required right away.

Through the bends, Saab’s new Diesel can be quite a hoot to drive if kept in its torque band. Acceleration is brisk and once the turbo is spooling, the car can be quite rewarding to drive. The six-speed automatic gearbox – optioned in the test vehicle – can be quite lifeless and irritating at times. It’s seldom in the right gear and doesn’t really know if it’s coming or going. If I was paying, I’d stick with the 6-speed manual version any day of the week.

2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test

Interior room – both front and rear – is quite generous, complying with the regular demands of family haulage. The 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi being test driven features a groovy set of 17” alloy wheels, along with fog lights, electric driver’s seat and a sports tuned chassis. Other standard features include: Automatic climate control; leather seats; rear parking sensors; CD-player; rear fog light; leather bound steering wheel; electric windows; cruise control and rain sensing windscreen wipers.

Safety features include: Electronic Stability Program (ESP); ABS Brakes; Cornering Brake Control (CBC); Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD); driver and front passenger airbags; front seat side airbags; roof rail airbags and pre-tensioning seatbelts.

The new Saab Diesel range starts from $44,900 for the 9-3 TiD Linear Sport Sedan and then moves on to $47,400 for the 9-3 TiD Linear Sport SportCombi and finally ends with the 9-3 TiD Linear Sport Convertible at $67,400. Automatic gearboxes are available across the range for an additional $3,000.

This new Saab Diesel is a good thing. It’s pretty quiet inside the cabin and the handling characteristics are good enough to correlate to a sporty drive. The six-speed automatic gearbox is nothing special and can be quite frustrating at times, so save your dollars (all 3000 of them) and stick with the slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox.

With looks that won’t offend and fuel efficiency figures to brag about, the new Saab 9-3 Diesel range is well priced and fun to drive…just make sure you don’t buy one with ‘Diesel’ plastered down each side.

2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test
2007 Saab 9-3 Linear Sport SportCombi Diesel TiD Road Test

- by Paul Maric

CarAdvice rating (out of five):




  • jasjas

    Great engine and the facelift looks better. Seen a newer front end overseas is that coming out soon here? Great cargo area compared to VOLVO V50 but essentially its still a 10year old car. Update your range SAAB, carry over the engine – isnt that the way most manufactures work?

  • Luke

    The current 9-3,and its architecture, were launched in 2002. The new nose coming gives the car a much needed presense now.

  • Duck

    Hey my Anti-Spam word was Saab,

    But um………yeh this is defintly better than Volvo V50, but the dash looks old.

Saab 9-3 Specs

Car Details
Make
SAAB
Model
9-3
Variant
S
Year
1998
Body Type
5D SEDAN
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
2.3L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
210Nm @  4300rpm
Max. Power
110kW @  5700rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
81.2W/kg
Bore & Stroke
90x90mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
4 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
2.65
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
68
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
14.8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1354
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1428mm
Length
4629mm
Width
1711mm
Ground Clearance
127mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1600  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.5
Front Rim Size
6.5Jx15
Rear Rim Size
6.5Jx15
Front Tyres
195/60 R15
Rear Tyres
195/60 R15
Wheel Base
2605
Front Track
1452
Rear Track
1442
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Alloy Wheels
Driver
Cruise Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Compact disc player, Radio Cassette with 4 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Power front seats, Power Sunroof
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
24 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-G-12
Country of Origin
SWEDEN