Saab has staked a reputation on performance-oriented vehicles that are made to deal with cold climates. A "four-season car" is how they put it. Well, when you drive a 9-3 Convertible, it's not difficult to determine what your favorite season will be.
The fully automatic top retracts at the touch of a button into its stowage compartment, where a tastefully camouflaging cover conceals it until it's time to close up. When those top-down days are still months away, you won't feel a chill, thanks to the triple-ply insulation within the fabric.
The 9-3 Convertible 2.0T's signature turbocharged 4-cylinder engine produces 210 horsepower and 221 lb.-ft. of torque; you can expect 22 miles to the gallon in city driving and 30 on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard issue, but a 5-speed Sentronic automatic transmission, which allows for clutchless manual shifting, is a popular option.
Saftey features abound on this car, as with every Saab, some designed to protect passengers and others designed to prevent collisions in the first place. The list includes a full complement of airbags, Active Head Restraints, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, the Traction Control System, the Electronic Stability Program, and Load-Shift Protection, which keeps cargo from moving into the passenger compartment in a frontal collision.
Auto climate control joins the list of standard amenities this year, joining other comfort-enhancing items such as the well-designed leather seats (with 8-way power-adjust for the driver). The interior is appealing enough with its wood-effect trim, leather trimmed steering wheel, and carpeted floor mats, and respiratory irritation is staved off thanks to the standard cabin air filter. Get this one: the glove compartment doubles as a cooler, as it can be chilled to 45 degrees! Exterior amenities range from all-season tires on 16-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and a rear fog light to side direction signals and heated power mirrors.
Items for fully loading your 9-3 Convertible tend to be grouped into packages, although individual items can be added in a few cases. There are two optional convertible-top colors: Sand and Blue, and a Navigation System is available as well as the OnStar system.
As far as the packages there's the Premium Package (express open/close for windows and moonroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, fog lamps, red walnut interior trim, power seat for front passenger, Saab Park Assist, and upgraded 16-inch alloy wheels) and an upgraded Premium Package that adds 17-inch wheels. The very popular Cold-Weather Package adds high-pressure headlamp washers and heated front seats.
It's a milestone year for Saab, so they've put together a 60th Anniversary Package for special commemoration on the 2.0T and some other models (the Aero trim receives many of the packageÃ¢Â?Â?s amenities as standard, so it is not available as such). The package starts with an additional available paint finish, Ice Blue Metallic. Other features in this package are its specially embossed leather seats with grey panels, black and grey floor mats, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power passenger seat, rear spoiler, fog lamps in front, and dark walnut interior accents. If you purchase the 60th Anniversary Package you may then also add the Premium Audio Package to get a 9-speaker Bose system with 6-CD changer.