New Car Review of the 2005 Saab 9-3 Near-Luxury Compact Sports Sedan and Convertible
Description: Near-Luxury Compact Sports Sedan and Convertible
Base MSRP Range: $26,850 - $42,600
Invoice Price Range: $25,330 - $40,172
Where built: Sweden
Saab's compacts include three versions of a premium sport sedan and three more for the drop-top convertible variation. Themes for 9-3 sedans are Linear, Arc and Aero, the latter dressed with a sporty flair.
The convertible appears in Arc and Aero trim plus new base Linear. Saab developed the convertible 9-3 concurrently with the sedan so there are shared features like chassis and powertrains, although the drop-top was fortified with a ring of steel around the cabin to unify its structure and maintain rigidity in the absence of a roof. And Saab's DynaCage concept goes to work in the event of a roll-over incident with pop-up roll bars concealed at the rear of the cabin.
9-3 cars offer a choice of two aluminum engines, each a 2.0-liter four-in-line with turbo boost. Base 9-3 Linear sedan or convertible draws from a version rated at 175-hp with a 5-speed manual shifter. Arc and Aero get the more powerful plant for 210-hp. A 5-speed automatic is optional for all, as is Saab's Sentronic manual shift mode.