1999 Saab 9-3 Review

1999 Saab 9-3 Review

Pros

  • Comfy interior, versatile hatchback model, torquey turbo motor, quirky personality.

Cons

  • Controls not always intuitive, offbeat image, spotty build quality.

What's new

Saab changed the car's name to the 9-3, giving it a mild exterior freshening to boot. Around midyear, a high-output version of its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (making an amazing 200 horsepower) becomes the standard engine in the uplevel SE five-door and SE Convertible models equipped with a manual transmission. All SEs also get new five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels. All five-speed manual 9-3s get revised gearbox ratios and a numerically higher (4.05-to-1) final drive ratio for better off-the-line feel. A revised 9-3 interior headliner provides more padding for increased protection in the event of a crash. And five-door SE variants add an integrated driver-seat armrest and a centrally located cupholder that swings out from the instrument panel.

Styles

9-3 Hatchback

9-3 Convertible

9-3 Viggen