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One for the grown-ups


SAAB's 9-3 Aero V6 is a car for very grown-up girls.

The shape impresses – smooth and sleek, and it sits on alloys.

Open the door and slip into the most comfortable seat you could find. The only thing missing is the movie and the popcorn – or perhaps the caviar to match the car's style. Play with the switches at the side and the seat goes forward, backward, up, down or tilts. The driver's seat has three different memory settings so it's simply a case of fitting everything to your requirements and then hitting the button.

Buttons are everywhere – they cover the dash and make it look as if you could take the SAAB to the airport and line up for takeoff.

But all these buttons deliver great gadgets – all the sound you'll ever need and even an in-car phone. While SAAB has packed the Aero with features, they're trying to attract a wider customer base with lower prices.

A favourite is the trip computer which shows how much farther to go before the fuel runs out.

Little orange warning lights telling you to fill are one thing – a read-out telling you there are just a few kilometres until you stop is harder to ignore. And the best thing is it resets, depending on how hard you're driving. A perfect feature for those well accustomed to walking the road, trusty fuel can in hand.

SAAB has dropped a Holden-built V6 under the bonnet but its SAAB-driven tweaks mean that this drives with much more grunt and style than your average family sedan.

Plant the foot on a country road to overtake and the tweaks are apparent – be prepared to be flung back into those comfortable seats. Grown-up girls who like their grown-up comforts also need a little space and there's enough room in the back seat for a passenger or two – although a third could struggle with a cup holder popping out between their legs.

If you're taking a few passengers for a country picnic in one of the state's great wine-tasting regions, rest assured – there's enough room in the boot for the picnic basket and the odd carton of grape juice.

LOVE IT LEAVE IT

Saab 9/3 Aero V6

Price: $69,900 (man) $72,400 (auto)

LOVE IT

Front seats – electronic, heated and more comfortable than a lounge chair.

Power, and plenty of it.

Gorgeous shape, leather interior.

Screen telling me how far until I run out of fuel.

LEAVE IT

Not-so-great visibility when backing.

No middle back headrest for a bigger family.

Not enough cup holders.