Saab has with the 9-3 TTID4 a strong environmental diesel in the program. Actually, I'm not a diesel fan, for the diesel faction is Saab Blogger Marco in charge, but what should you do when you get pressed in the Saab center Frankfurt, the key for a brand new Saab 9-3 TTID4 in the hand?
We drove the Saab both on the highway and in the Spessart over third-class highways and were thrilled. The car has only a very bad problem, but we'll come to that later.
We get in, start, and start rolling towards the highway. At the traffic light our first surprise. Next to us is a BMW, the driver craning his head and inspecting our Saab exactly. Well, the Saab is in the color Java Metallic an eye-catcher, but so striking? We get used to it, because this is how we are on the whole route, drivers of German premium makes find the Saab chic. Audi and BMW drivers in particular are turning their heads in recent years.
The Saab Bi-Turbo Diesel:
The engine is undeniably a gem. Although our Saab was not yet a Griffin version, which was not yet available because of the bottlenecks in Trollhättan, but the 180 PS strong twin-turbo fuel oil burner from our 9-3 is the current drive unit.
When starting you notice for a few seconds the diesel, then the machine runs around. Starting from low speeds is great and gives the Saab 9-3 TTID the feeling of a lot of displacement and a lot of torque. That has the Saab, 400 NM are available, you have power in every situation. The engine is never intrusive and always reminiscent of its presence with a very pleasant, dark background noise very subtle, never annoying or droning. The power output is remarkably cultivated, no turbo lag, but also no brutal onset of turbo boost.
Our Saab was equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. In contrast to previous years of construction, the leadership was not uneasy to always shift the gears cleanly and precisely. The gear ratio is suitable. I personally would always prefer an automatic transmission for a diesel with this pleasant "marine diesel characteristic".
Chassis / brakes:
The Saab 9-3 TTID4 Vector comes in series on 7,5 × 17 ″ aluminum rims, is full and confident on the road. Both in city traffic and on the motorway, you always feel safe and master the vehicle in every situation.
Even at high speeds, the diesel runs a maximum of 225 km / h, the Saab is without blame. Early 9-3 II years of construction became nervous at higher speeds, the rear was lighter, this feature has the current 9-3 no longer.
On country roads it goes well through the curves, but denies not being a front-wheel drive when accelerating out ambitiously. The messages on the "Super Sport steering wheel", which is great to hold, are clear but never critical. The Saab remains a pure joke even when flying over the country road.
The ESP is well coordinated and intervenes very discreetly but effectively. The brakes are such that you can only say one thing: perfect.
Interior / Cooling / Navigation:
A Saab is a Saab - isn't it? If you get into a Saab 9-3 at night, everyone who is not a Saab driver will immediately find his way around. Well, drivers from the southern German premium group have to find the ignition lock first, but then nothing stands in the way of pure driving pleasure. The cockpit is clear and self-explanatory, matured over the long construction period. All operating units are easy to find and the displays are easy to read. The divided, typical Saab speedometer is back - after it had fallen victim to the GM savings delusion for some time.
The sports comfort seats with a fabric-leather combination are Saab's typical comfort and long-distance fit. There is more space in the back seats than you might think, but for longer distances you should allow a maximum of 2 people.
The 2 automatic climate control system works precisely and unobtrusively. The operation is very simple. The extra charge navigation system, with touchscreen and voice control left a shared opinion. The handling is simple and fast, the voice control also accepts operators with Hessian tongues. Outdated is the graphical representation of the system. Cheap, mobile navigation systems can do this better.
Processing / quality:
From the early years of construction of the Saab 9-3 II series, we were not very enthusiastic. After the last facelift and Saab independence, the build quality has been steadily increasing and is now at a high level. There was no rattling or creaking in our test car. Everything is done routinely, the gaps are correct. Our two-tone interior was classy and friendly, the wood decor made a good, high-quality impression. One dares the whole thing to be durable and durable.
Our 9-3 cannot compete with an Audi, the world champion of “bling bling” in the interior. Too much plastic and hard plastic has been processed. The choice of materials is more at the level of some BMW models. A real annoyance are the door handles, which are simply cheap and badly deburred, as well as the hand brake lever and the “Smart Slot” insert, for which the same applies.
From Hirsch Performance, the Swiss and we agree, there is a remedy in the form of leather door handles and handbrake levers.
Environment / consumption:
The Saab is indicated with 4.5 liters of diesel and a CO / 2 emission of 121 g / 100 km. This makes the Saab 9-3 TTID4 one of the most environmentally friendly diesels in its class. In order to reach these values, one must diligently switch the 6 gearbox. In order to educate the driver on environmental friendliness, a discreet reference to a sensible gear change appears in the central display.
What we think about the Saab 9-3 TTID4:
The 4,5 liter diesel as a consumption target can be safely forgotten. Because, and that's the big problem with the Saab, you're always in the car, and we really always think we're traveling too fast. The diesel is so sovereign, the noise insulation is effective, that you are startled when you look at the speedometer needle. Added to this is the handling, which in conjunction with the powerful engine creates a “driving pleasure” that you no longer want to get out of.
Is the 9-3 TTID4 a real Saab? We say yes, even though it was made during GM times, the 9-3 carries a lot of Saab DNA. The “welcome home” feeling when you get in is typical Saab, even more Saab than, sorry, in the current Saab 9-5. The 9-3 is an exotic on our roads. The Swedes sell so few cars here that the manufacturer has dropped out of the registration statistics. This gives the 9-3 an attention value that otherwise only expensive exotics enjoy.
Our test Saab has a list price of almost 45.000 €. Shock. The list prices are negotiable at the Saab center, which makes the high price appear in a different light. In addition, the car was very well equipped with Xenon bend light, the large navigation, sunroof, a heater and many other goodies. The price is at the level of the German competitors, to which the 9-3 comes up to the selection of some materials loosely.
To buy ? Absolutely, because in our case you are not buying an old model, but a 9-3, continuously improved over the years, in its very best form. If you wait a few more weeks, the 9-3 Griffin is available from the dealer. It's even cooler, more Scandinavian, even more Saab.