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$30,360 - $51,330
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2009 Saab 9-3 Review

Impressive cargo space and available all-wheel drive help the 2009 Saab 9-3 stand out from the pack. However, rival cars offer nicer interiors.  

Pros & Cons

  • Sedan and convertible have impressive trunk space
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Powerful engines
  • Back seat needs more legroom
  • Some cheap interior plastics




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Saab 9-3 Overview

Test drivers thought the 2009 Saab 9-3 was a solid performer regardless of which engine you choose. The base model has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while a turbocharged V6 engine is available on the Aero trim. Additionally, Aero and XWD trims come with all-wheel drive, which may appeal to used car shoppers looking for extra grip on slippery roads. The base 9-3 sedan averages 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. That rating decreases with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine. The 9-3 does fairly well in crash tests, but rivals like the 2009 Volvo C30 and 2009 Audi A3 offer better safety scores. 

The 9-3 has comfortable front seats, and both the sedan and convertible have class-competitive trunk space, but like many 2009 small cars, reviewers said that the back seat is cramped. Some reviewers weren’t impressed with the 9-3’s interior quality, and expected more from a European car. They said the cabin looks good, but the interior isn’t as nice as those found in more refined small cars. Standard features on the 2009 Saab 9-3 include dual-zone climate control, a seven-speaker stereo with an auxiliary port, Bluetooth and satellite radio. A Bose stereo and navigation were optional.

See the full 2009 Saab 9-3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Volvo C30 has a stylish exterior, but if you choose the C30 for its retro looks, you’ll give up some interior space. The C30 only seats four, and for a hatchback, it offers little cargo space. It does, however have plenty of standard features and excellent crash test ratings. Reviewers were also pleased with the C30’s performance, though it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2009 Volvo S40 is also available with all-wheel drive. The S40’s high-class cabin includes a competitive list of standard features, but the base model doesn’t stand out for its performance. 

Compare the 9-3 to the C30 and S40 »


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