2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen (391)

Overview:

There is no question you’ll feel the excitement of driving the Saab 9-3 Viggen that shares its name with the delta-wing jet fighter also built by Saab. Saab has, for many years, built quality Swedish made cars that are fast and fun to drive with precise handling characteristics.

confident about their cars performance because market studies show that nearly 70% of those who test-drove a Saab purchased the car. Therefore they have embarked on a new Real Life Road Test program to over 25 cities in 2002.

After testing this car over some of its 54 year history, it is easy for me to believe that test-driving is the best sales aid because this car sells itself.

Saab is one of those few cars that have a “Cult” following. Of course the Edsel had a similar following, I believe for its uniqueness.

Saab says it intends to double its U.S. sales by the end of 2004 and will roll out six new models or concepts over the next five years, beginning with the 2002 Saab 9-5.

General Info:

Parts – Sweden 32%; Germany 24% US / Canada 1%, Engine – Sweden.

Assembly –  Nystad, Finland

Class:  -Mid-Size

Saab Cars: – 9-3, 9-5, 9-5 Wagon

Handling & Performance:

The Swede’s are great engineers and it is no surprise to me how well this car handles and the turbocharged performance is outstanding. It’s impossible not to be impressed. In fact you will need to hold the wheel with both hands when you put the pedal to the metal. It will flat twist the wheel in you hands as the front wheel drive and the torque of this turbocharged engine join together.

For those interested in a professional driving school, the price of this car includes the Viggen Flight Academy high-performance driving school in Atlanta, GA.

Styling:

This is always very personal, but although the Saab is easily distinguished from all the rest it just doesn’t light my fire, know what I mean?

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Conveniences:

Abundant, but you pay for them.

Cost:

It’s at the higher end of the competition, and a little pricey for my taste.

Consumer Recommendation:

The numbers in parenthesis, in the competition section below, rank the cars in order of average price of the range. Drive them in that order if you can.

Manufacturer Recommendations:

Get more competitive price wise.

The Competition:

(1)Volkswagen Passat $22-29,000, (2) Audi A4 $25-33,000, (3) Cadillac CTS $29,000, (4) Infiniti I35 $29,000, (5) Chrysler 300M $28-32,000, (6) Volvo S60 $27-34,000, (7) Acura TL $29-33,000, (8) BMW 3-Series $27-42,000, (9) Saab 9-3 $28-45,000, (10) Lincoln LS $33-41,000, (11) Mercedes Benz C-Class $25-50,000.

Good News:

Powerful, fun to drive, lots of cargo area, comfortable and very little “Bad News”.

Bad News:

Low front end tends to drag going up a driveway for example.

Standard Equipment:

2.3 liter 230 horsepower Inline 4 Turbo engine, 5-speed manual trans, traction control, front wheel drive, 4-wheel power disc anti-locking brake system, OnStar, front and side airbags, anti-theft with remote, power windows and door locks, power sunroof, climate control, 8-way power front seats, leather seating and steering wheel and shift knob, telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, power & heated mirrors, stereo with anti theft and in-dash CD player,

Gas Stats:

19 City and 28 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $38,095.

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