The Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible sports a sleek new exterior design for 2008, which includes a more prominent grille, iceblock-inspired taillights, and an overwrap (raised) hood. In addition, the Aero's power soft convertible top has been equipped with a simplified operation, which includes remote control opening and express-close windows.
The 9-3 Aero Convertible also comes equipped with a number of new standard features for 2008, including a tire-pressure monitoring system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, XM satellite radio, a year of OnStar, and 16-inch, 14-spoke alloy wheels.
A 252-horsepower, 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine powers the front-wheel-drive Aero convertible. The engine links to a full synchromesh six-speed manual transmission with a hydraulically activated clutch, or an optional six-speed Sentronic automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode.
The 2008 9-3 Aero Convertible rides on a sport-tuned chassis and comes equipped with leather-appointed sport seats and a leather-trimmed Aero sport steering wheel with aluminum accents. Other standard features for the 2008 9-3 Aero Convertible include a cooled glove box, metallic trim, automatic climate control, antilock brakes, traction control, daytime running lights, and an electronic stability system.
Later in the model year, Saab will also add an optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system, called XWD, or cross-wheel drive.
Test drivers and reviewers have noted that while the Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible has a sleek new exterior design and a comfortable, well-appointed cabin, it still lacks in areas such as the suspension, steering, and overall handling, especially when compared to some of its competition. However, stability and handling greatly improve with the addition of the new XWD system, according to some reviewers.