Are we satisfied? Yes, it is us, we have now covered 6000 kilometers with the Saabine and have not regretted our purchase at any time. The small 150 PS engine in the Saab 9-3 is a gem, but in combination with the high vehicle weight requires a dedicated gear, you want to be fast on the road.
Remedy comes from Switzerland by Hirsch Performance, 195 horsepower and 310 instead of 240 NM are the goal. Our performance update was carried out in Frankfurt at the Saab center, at the same time an engine block heater was installed for the cold season. The price of a good 1.300,00 € for the Hirschkur is not a special offer, with other brands, there is more power for less money. So is the update from Switzerland worth its money?
Rene Hirsch, the Saab pet tuner, and his crew have invested a lot of tweaking in the small 9-3 engine. Even in the lower rpm range, everything happens with a little more emphasis and also in city traffic, the whole feels a little better and, above all, richer. The turbo is very harmonious and cultured to the point. If you want a performance album, as Hirsch does on some old Saab 9-5, you will be disappointed. Because everything happens very unspectacular. But, today, few want to feel that they are driving a turbo. Perfection is the order of the day, which definitely fulfills Hirsch's performance.
The big hour for consciousness to have made a good investment comes on the highway. Before the performance cure, the gear with number 4 was used to accelerate and the number 6 was - yes, actually - just boring.
Now you can voluntarily get into gear number 5, accelerate, continue on gear number 6 and realize with astonishment that you can accelerate in this gear well. The ride on the West German highway is relaxed, because you can drive quite schaltfaul due to the power reserves.
With stated 230 kilometers top speed Hirsch may have fallen a bit too optimistic. With a long run, in the morning at 3 clock on an empty highway, yes the runner from Sweden ever 230. But everything about 200 remains tough and a heavy station wagon is not a racing car even with 195 horses. However, our Saab 9-3 with 6000 kilometers has not even come in properly, according to our Saab experience, full performance is only achieved at higher mileages. Let's wait.
Won the long-distance fitness and in our eyes, the cure has succeeded. 100 points go to Switzerland.
After 6000 kilometers, there is also a little criticism of everyday usability in all praise. Since the Saab is moved by both my wife and me, it is different perspectives.
On the one hand, the operation of the tailgate, which does not have a well-defined pressure point and is not optimal for women's hands with corresponding fingernails is disturbing. Then missing in a car of this price range storage nets or compartments in the loading compartment, which are available at the competitor.
What strikes me after a long drive, that is whining at a high level, is the quality of the seats. In the current Saab 9-3 they are good, but, I'm sorry in Trollhättan, in the old Saab 9-5 I like the seats better. And that is the point where we disagree. The female faction sees it the other way around.
Another word for the space. The first row seat is great, the rear seats are only suitable for children on long journeys. 4 adults in the Saab 9-3 long-distance sports combination is possible but not advisable.
Always fun again, now after the deer upgrade even more, makes the Sabine on winding roads. The little Saab is very agile and curious, combined with the ingenious exhaust sound makes the 9-3 want more.
Is the Saab 9-3 1.8t Sports Suit to recommend ? Yes, you buy it with a manual gearbox.
Now we come to the Saab that I don't like. As written on Friday, my friend Silvio came by with a 9-3 convertible, 150 hp and automatic. "A terrible car," he said.
And he's right in my eyes. 150 hp, heavy convertible and this very strange automatic. That makes a lot of noise and a lot of frustration when accelerating. The kickdown increases the speed frequency, brings little power. We also missed the very “Saabige Sound” of our station wagon in the Cabriolet.
After a few kilometers I did not want to leave and put the box down. Point.
Is it a special problem of automatic and this engine? Or is the vote in the Cabriolet another than in the station wagon? Anyway, the convertible was nicely done with nice features, but in that case we were disappointed.
My 13 year old Saab 9000 is much more fun with its antique 4 automatic stages and 150 horses. Switch on, have a great sound and is well underway despite low performance.
So, eyes on the convertible purchase. Maybe take off with the 1.8t Cabriolet to Hirsch or another engine.
How our little station wagon beats in the winter is the next question. The test report continues.
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