drives the Saab 9-3 TTID4: A strong part.

Saab 9-3 TTID, power diesel, strong performance
Saab 9-3 TTID, power diesel, strong performance

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.

400 NM, 180 PS, Bi-Turbo
400 NM, 180 PS, Bi-Turbo

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.

Bi-Xenon, bend lighting, LED parking light
Bi-Xenon, bend lighting, LED parking light


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.

Ergonomic, Saab typical cockpit
Ergonomic, Saab typical cockpit

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.

Asymmetric Saab speedometer, turbo boost pressure indicator
Asymmetric Saab speedometer, turbo boost pressure indicator

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.

Door panel with walnut wood decor
Door panel with walnut wood decor

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.

Saab 9-3 TTID4 rear seat to unlock from the trunk
Saab 9-3 TTID4 rear seat to unlock from the trunk

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.


More reviews:

Saab 9-5 TTiD4 Vector XWD

Saab 9-3 TTiD4 Aero Sports Suit

40.000 kilometers with the Saab 9-5 Biopower

Saab 9-5 BioPower 2.3t Deer Performance

8 thoughts on " drives the Saab 9-3 TTID4: A strong part."

  • I have been driving a TTiD sports suit for 3 years. I'm very satisfied, also always too fast…. with an annual average consumption of approx. 5,5 liters per 100 km. “Record” with one tank of 4,9 liters.
    Hopefully the story in Trollhättan will end positively….

  • I can not understand the problems with the automatic transmission. It works pretty well on my new 9-3 convertible, as well as the Powershift transmission in the current Ford Galaxy, though the Saab automatic transmission is not a dual-clutch transmission. I almost never use the sport mode.

  • It would be better to keep your hands off the automatic!

    I drive a 9-3 TTID4 SportCombi MY 2008. A good car with a good engine and - unfortunately only at most - an automatic transmission that can be called marginal. Although I tend to drive a rather grandfatherly style, even I sometimes get into situations in which I want or have to accelerate quickly. If you press the accelerator pedal in normal mode, nothing happens at first. That has put me in dicey situations one time or another. For example, you should have a lot of respect for a quick lane change in the city after a previous braking maneuver because of an obstacle that suddenly appeared (as happened yesterday). It feels like paralyzing seconds pass before the hustle and bustle finally decides to shift down, and the engine electronics take up their duty and the vehicle accelerates.

    In sports mode, however, this changes for the better, so that I meanwhile before each overtaking maneuver on the highway press the Shift key. If this is not done, you extend the overtaking path and increase the risk. However, it can not be in the inventor's interest to switch from normal to sports mode as soon as you want to overtake. Apart from that, there are situations in which one just has to react quickly (see above), and in these things it gets dicey because the key is anything but blind to be found. Incidentally, staying permanently in sports mode is only recommended if one is a potentate of an OPEC state or related to one.

    The consequence for me was that I ordered the convertible with the TTiD engine in April, but consciously decided against this - at best suboptimal - automatic drive. May the gods help me that I will not only be supplied after the Chinese.

  • Nice driving report. However, I had to look twice to see the color

  • Thank you, ask my dealer. My Griffin was finished Friday and will be coming early next week. (The car happens to be seen in the “Production Restart” video on Youtube.

  • Yes, therefore, can not say how it affects consumption. Consumption is between 7,5 and 8,2 l / 100km.

  • @ Hkk9-3c

    Did you have the Hirschkit imported directly at delivery?

  • Drive yourself since the beginning of April an 9-3 convertible TTid4 with additional deer tuning (200 PS, 430NM).
    Can fully confirm the test report. A great car with an outstanding, in all areas extremely sovereign engine, to which the automatic transmission actually fits very well. If the engine noise is not reflected from the outside into the interior, nothing is felt to drive a diesel engine. Overall, the car makes a very mature impression.

Comments are closed.