SAAB 9-3 SportCombi 2006 Review
Last years paltry 1510 sales will certainly be overtaken this year especially with the appearance of some sexy new models including the new 9-5 soon, the 9-3 Aero sedan and Convertible and now the 9-3 SportCombi.
It's a funny name and would have immediate recognition with baby boomers - as a VW not as a Saab although there was a Saab Combi three door back in the 1970s.
What does the name mean?
Who knows and does it matter?
The Saab SportCombi is a sport wagon aimed at the likes of Subaru Liberty, Audi Avant and BMW Touring, oh, and Volvo V50.
Two models will be available in manual and auto: the 110kW, 2.0-litre Linear with a turbo four cylinder engine and the 184kW Aero which has a turbo 2.8-litre V6 engine.
The Linear transmission is a five speed manual with optional five speed auto while the Aero has six speed manual or six speed auto.
The cars are essentially the same to look at carrying typical Saab styling DNA at the front but a funky new rear end with large upright, clear lens LED tail lights, aluminium tailgate and some classy looking metal bright work.
The accentuated wedge profile with a high waistline adds to SportCombi's visual urgency and so do the gorgeous wheels in 17in or optional 18in diameter.
They are five star NCAP cars with six air bags and ESP among an impressive safety inventory.
And as expected, luxury abounds inside complete with a distinctive "crayon" smell.
Standard equipment levels are high in both cars and the interior is roomy and comfortable with a large expandable load space at the back. The spare is a full size and there are some clever storage systems dotted through the cabin.
The Aero is a potent piece of kit offering rapid acceleration in manual and auto with tidy sporty dynamics to match. It feels totally controlled at all speeds if a little jiggly on rough roads. We'd go for the auto.
The Linear is much more sedate but more sensible for everyday use. Oh, and it's about thirty grand less to buy into the bargain.
Once again, the auto gets the nod because it's so smooth and easy to drive in the city. Pricing starts at $45,400 for the Linear manual.
Range and Specs
|Aero||2.8L, PULP, 6 SP||$8,800 – 13,200||2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Aero Pricing and Specs|
|Linear||2.0L, PULP, 5 SP||$6,200 – 9,680||2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Linear Pricing and Specs|
|Linear 20TH Anniversary||2.0L, PULP, 5 SP||$7,300 – 11,330||2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Linear 20TH Anniversary Pricing and Specs|
|Vector||2.0L, PULP, 5 SP||$6,900 – 10,670||2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Vector Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data