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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2009 Saab 9-3 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2009 Saab 9-3 Overview


With its trademark Saab styling, room for four persons and a power-operated soft-top, the 2009 Saab 9-3 Convertible is a favorite with sun worshipers and Saab enthusiasts everywhere. Compared to the first few generations of Saab convertibles, the new 9-3 is far more rigid, far more reliable and a fair bit quicker. The 9-3's upswept beltline creates a tall trunk that allows for plenty of luggage even when the top is retracted, and the choice between turbo four- or six-cylinder engines means no matter which model you choose, sluggish acceleration will never be an issue.

If you've always admired Saab's distinctive convertibles, you'll be especially excited to know that the latest iteration offers a newfound sense of solidity and refinement.

With BMW and Volvo moving to a retractable hard-top designs, those who don't like the unsure feeling inspired by a cloth top (not to mention its eventual wear over time), might think twice about the 9-3.

For 2009, the 9-3 Convertible receives an aero-type performance and appearance package for the 2.0T models, and the V6 turbo gains more horsepower, up to 280. A Special Edition package is also available, which includes design elements from the 9-3 Turbo X model including front fascia, steering wheel and carbon-fiber effect interior finishes.

Driving It:

The 250-horsepower turbocharged V6 in the 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero model is a wonderful engine, providing increased performance and refinement in a vehicle that stakes its appeal on both. The bigger engine does add some weight to the nose of the 9-3 so, if you're partial to taking the curvier road home, and in a highly enthusiastic manner, you may be happier with the smaller, and lighter, four-cylinder turbo. The 9-3's strong engines are complemented by responsive steering, strong brakes and a choice of four smooth-shifting transmissions. While the rear-wheel-drive BMW 3 Series Convertible still sets the category standard for driving dynamics, the 9-3 delivers more athleticism than most drivers will ever care to attempt to wring from such a vehicle.

Roll Bar
Especially when driving the 255-horsepower Aero model, it's nice to know you have pop-up roll bar protection.

Console-Mounted Ignition
The center console-mounted ignition continues a long-standing Saab tradition.

Vehicle Details:

Like the Sedan, the 2009 9-3 Convertible sticks to the traditional Saab instrument panel and center-console ignition key design (except that now you don't have to have the car in reverse to remove the key). An excellent set of sport seats holds you comfortably for hours and, with the power top in place, the interior is nearly as quiet as a 9-3 Sedan. The rear seat has been narrowed to accommodate the top, but you can still squeeze two passengers back there for short trips. The 9-3's trunk is surprisingly accommodating.

The sleek look that has always defined Saab convertibles is present in this one as well. The new three-port split grille, low front air dam and wraparound headlamps work perfectly with the low-slung body and high rear deck. The convertible top stows neatly beneath a body-colored tonneau cover, which produces an uncluttered silhouette. Aero and Sport models get 17-inch wheels, a sleek rear spoiler and more aggressive lower body cladding.

The 2009 Saab 9-3 features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, five-speed manual transmission, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stability control, automatic climate control, rear fog lights, remote keyless entry, power driver's seat, dual heated power mirrors with turn signals, front side-impact airbags, AM/FM stereo with CD and auxiliary audio input jack, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, a power top, glass rear window, leather seating, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt wheel with touch controls and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Aero features a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine, front fog lights, xenon cornering lamps, two-tone leather seating, eight-way power front seats, wood trim interior, 300-watt 10-speaker audio, 17-inch wheels with V-rated tires and a six-speed manual transmission.

Options include a six-speed automatic with manual shift control, heated seats and headlamp washers, 17-inch alloy wheels, six-disc CD changer, GPS navigation, rain-sensing wipers, rear park assist and xenon headlamps.

The 2009 Saab 9-3 2.0T models offer a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions, and Aero models offer a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, the latter with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. According to Saab, with the V6 and manual transmission, the 9-3 will reach 60 miles per hour from a stop in 7.0 seconds.

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
210 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 (manual), 19/27 (automatic)

2.8-liter V6 Turbocharged
255 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 (manual), 15/24 (automatic)

Pricing Notes:

The 2009 Saab 9-3 2.0T Convertible's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $42,000, while the Aero trim level pricing begins closer to $52,000. A fully loaded Aero tops out around $56,000. The New Car Blue Book Value shows real-world transaction prices for the Saab 9-3 Convertible in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiating. For comparison, MSRPs range from over $40,000 to more than $55,000 for a BMW 3 Series Convertible, from over $38,000 to more than $55,000 for an Audi A4 Cabriolet and from nearly $40,000 to more than $49,000 for the Volvo C70 that features a retractable hardtop. Predicted resale values for both the Saab and the Volvo are lower than those for the Audi and BMW convertibles.

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