The Saab 9-3 SportCombi wagon might be in its last year of sale, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Though the Swedish auto brand has disbanded, its models will stand the test of time with Saab enthusiasts. The 9-3 was produced from 1988, but it was first badged as the 9-3 starting in the 1999 model year. The 9-3 was preceded by the Saab 900 and was first produced as a compact executive car. For the 2011/2012 model year, however, the entry-level 9-3 comes in several different forms: the Saab 9-3 sedan (which comes in Turbo4 and Aero trims), the Saab 9-3 convertible (which comes in Turbo4 and Aero trims), the Saab 9-3 wagon (SportCombi) (which comes in Turbo4 and Aero trims), the Saab 9-3x. The Sport Sedan has a starting price around $28,900-$35,340, the SportCombi has a starting price around $30,330-$37,020, and the Convertible has a starting price around $39,990-45,080. For this review, we'll focus on the SportCombi model.
There are no significant changes to the 2012 Saab 9-3 SportCombi, which carries over from the 2011 model year. (It first premiered for the 2006 model year). There are two different engine choices for the Saab 9-3 SportCombi, though they are the same for both the Turbo4 and the Aero trims. These include: a 2.0T Manual and a 2.0T Automatic engine. Fuel consumption comes in at 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway/and 24 mpg combined for the manual and 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/and 22 mpg combined. Both come standard with the starting price of $37,020 for the Aero trim, while the manual has a starting price of $30,330 for the manual Turbo4 trim and $31,680 for the automatic Turbo4 trim. The manual goes from zero-to-sixty in 7.5 seconds, and the automatic achieves zero-to-sixty in 8.6 seconds.
Standard features are ample and include five-spoke double bridge 16-inch alloy wheels, Automatic Cruise Control with a Saab Car Computer, audio controls on the steering wheel, a night panel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a unique night panel driving feature that focuses on Saab's aircraft history, Saab Active Head Restraints, a Saab Infotainment system including an MP3 player, and an Electronic Stability Program for the Turbo4 trim. The Aero trim ups the wheels to five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, Bi-xenon cornering headlights, integrated front fog lights, electrically-operated passenger's seat, a Sports chassis, integrated roof rails, and an electrically-operated moonroof. Options include a Premium package with Saab Parking Assistance, electrically-adjustable front seats, and auto-dimming mirrors with a garage door opener.