Used Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (2005 - 2011) Review

Review by Dan Harrison on
Last Updated: 02 Jun 2014
3.5
Estate cars used to look like saloons with some extra bodywork grafted on, but this is no longer the case and the Saab 9-3 Sportwagon is an excellent example of how designers seamlessly integrate the estate body so the car looks like it was designed as a wagon from the outset. The engines are the same as those found in the saloon with the diesel versions the pick of the range.

Saab 9-3 Sportwagon (05-11)
Sharp styling on newer models, strong turbocharged engine performance, comfortable ride
Lack of rear space, feels dated inside, alternatives are better to drive, boot isn't particularly generous

New price range:

£18,350 - £34,550

Used price range:

£558 - £6,935

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

3.5 out of 5

Estate cars used to look like saloons with some extra bodywork grafted on, but this is no longer the case and the Saab 9-3 Sportwagon is an excellent example of how designers seamlessly integrate the estate body so the car looks like it was designed as a wagon from the outset. The engines are the same as those found in the saloon with the diesel versions the pick of the range. While there were some engine changes over the time of production, they were still some way behind those found in the big rivals. The modern interpretation of the Saab interior continues through this car, but it is marred by what looks like too many obvious cost savings in the trim. Sadly the model is starting to feel dated and although Saab promotes it as being sporty to drive, it's not as enjoyable as other similar-sized cars. The fact it's an estate adds practicality but if you want outright carrying ability, look elsewhere. In mid 2007 the car was given a bit of a facelift, which brought a much more aggressive look and a redesigned interior too.

Engine line-up

There is just the single diesel option and some interesting petrol engines available in Saab the 9-3 Sportwagon. Buyers can choose between two strong petrol engines, in the shape of a 175bhp and 210bhp 2.0-litre engines. The car was also initially available with a top-of-the-range V6 petrol that produced 255bhp, though what customers gained in performance they took a rather substantial hit on running costs. The highlight of the engine range is the 1.9-litre diesel engine, badged TTiD. This initially produced 150bhp, but improvements and two turbochargers upped the ante to a rather impressive 180bhp.

Small bootspace

Of course the 9-3 Sportwagon is more practical than the standard saloon, but it is some way behind many of the key competitors when it comes to boot space. The Saab is capable of carrying 419 litres. The generation of the Volkswagen Passat Estate on sale during the same time as 9-3 Sportwagon boasts a load capacity of 513 litres. The Saab is also dwarfed by the BMW 3 Series Touring and Honda Accord Tourer. If you’re after a more spacious and practical 93 then the Sportwagon is the choice, but is it good enough to rival the estate competition? Read the full Saab 9-3 Sportwagon review to find out.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

3.5 out of 5

Performance

4 out of 5

Handling

3.5 out of 5

Comfort

3 out of 5

Practicality

3.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

3 out of 5

Safety

4 out of 5

Reliability

4 out of 5

Running costs

3 out of 5

Green credentials

2.5 out of 5

Buying used

3.5 out of 5

Selling

3 out of 5

Equipment

4 out of 5

What owners say...

 Great family car, plenty of room in both front & rear, great load space in the boot. Good fuel economy.  

4 out of 5

M G ,   01 Jul 2014    ... read more

 It's large load capacity. Anything you can buy from Ikea will fit in a Sedish estate car! Also has roof rails. Roof bars and a tow bar added by me. The ultimate practical car.  

4 out of 5

Anonymous ,   20 May 2014    ... read more

 Boot space is great. Rear legroom poor, especially if you have a rear facing child seat on an isofix base and you're over 6ft in height!  

4 out of 5

Richard Lessels ,   20 Feb 2014    ... read more

See all Owners' Reviews

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