TO THE POINTWhat’s New? This is a station wagon version of the updated 2006 Saab 9-3, which gets a new turbocharged V6 engine and trim modifications this year. Selling Points: Safety, front comfort, steering, brakes, fuel economy, free maintenance Deal Breakers: No AWD option, lacks refinement, small rear seat, engines require premium fuel Our Advice: Saab doesn’t build the 2006 9-3 SportCombi we’d want to buy. But you might still want to take a look at this safe, comfortable, fun-to-drive, and useful automobile nonetheless.
FAQReasons to consider a 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi: Unique, safe, comfortable, fun, value, fun to drive, utilitarian, free maintenance, free driving school, European delivery. Not bad, eh?
Q. Why should I consider a 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi when so many popular alternatives exist?
A. If you’re even looking in the Saab’s direction, you probably want to drive something nobody else has. That’s the first reason. Next, it’s a very safe and comfortable car, with a reasonable price tag, and is genuinely fun to drive while simultaneously offering the utility of an SUV. Dwellers in high-altitude regions will love the turbocharged engines, which are not affected by thin air like other motors. If you get the Aero model, you go to a free two-day driving school if you can pay your way to Georgia. Plus, there’s the cool European Delivery option, making for a memorable vacation. And don’t forget free maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Q. Why should I skip the 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi?
A. It’s not particularly refined, and if you regularly carry large rear seat passengers, they’ll complain all the time. Folks living where it snows don’t have the option of all-wheel drive with the 9-3 SportCombi. The control panel is an ergonomic nightmare of similarly sized, look-alike buttons, and can be daunting to operate while driving. Both engines require more expensive premium fuel. Finally, you can’t pair the fuel-efficient but still strong base motor with the Aero’s sport-tuned suspension, brakes, and appealing 17-inch wheel-and-tire combo.
Q. Is this reviewer biased because he has fond memories of learning to drive in a Saab and his father owns a new SportCombi?
A. Let’s see: 10 accolades and 6 criticisms in the first two FAQs. Seems like a good mix to us, and a balanced look at the new 2006 Saab 9-3 SportCombi.