NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2011 Saab 9-3 Preview

1/1/2011
Highlights:
  • Refreshed for the 2011 model year
  • New wheel design
  • New front fascia
  • Two new trim choices: Vector Griffin and Griffin Aero
  • New direct-injected 2.0-liter engines
  • Replacement due in 2012
Introduction
The Saab 9-3 succeeded the Saab 900 for the 1999 model year. Touted as the "new-generation" model, the automaker claimed more than one thousand changes had been made for the new 9-3. Compared to the outgoing 900, the first-generation 9-3 featured a new suspension and sleek, upgraded styling, but it continued to offer the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from its predecessor.

The second-generation model debuted for the 2003 model year. It gave up its prominent 5-door hatchback design in favor of a more traditional 4-door sedan configuration. The engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, was sourced from General Motors (Saab's parent company). Saab added a convertible 9-3 model in 2003 and followed up with a "SportCombi" (station wagon) in 2005.

In an effort to return it to the retro-classic appearance of the Saab 900 dashboard, the automaker updated the 9-3's cockpit in 2007 and made changes to improve the model's suspension and interior sound quality. In 2008, the 9-3 received a significant facelift. The styling was updated, the hood and doors were changed, and new engines debuted.

On the heels of an all-new, third-generation Saab 9-3 (expected for the 2012 model year), Saab has made several enhancements to the model for 2011. In addition to a minor facelift, small interior improvements, and new wheels, the engines are upgraded with direct injection (although they continue with a 2.0-liter displacement).

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