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MSRP Range: $28,445 - $45,640
Fuel Economy: 19 MPG city / 29 MPG highway

New looks, more power; available all-wheel drive.

Introduction
Saab is a small Swedish car company with a long history in rallying on the one hand and safety research on the other, with a small but loyal following around the world. It has been effectively turned into the American marketing arm of Germany's Opel by its owner, General Motors, using many parts, systems and chassis also used by GM's German brand.

For 2008, Saab 9-3 benefits from more powerful engines and a radical new front and rear-end redesign. The cabin is largely unchanged. Saab claims that, in addition to the new look, front, side and rear, it has made some 2157 changes to the details of the 9-3.



On freeways, we found the 9-3 rides quietly and lets you listen to the music. The front-wheel-drive Saab 9-3 Aero V6 we drove was smooth and quick. On back roads, the handling was responsive; it handled bumps well, in corners and over rises. The seats are comfortable.

All-wheel drive will be available on late-2008 Saab 9-3 models. The XWD all-wheel-drive system is made by the Swedish company Haldex, which also supplies systems to Volvo, Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen, and Audi.

It's the fourth-generation system, and it is said by Saab to be the fastest-acting, best all-around system in the world, moving engine torque from front to back and side to side as needed, and using an optional eLSD electronic limited-slip differential at the rear that can juggle up to 4 percent of the supplied torque between the left and right tire as necessary. Saab claims an Aero V6 XWD can outrun a $150,000 Porsche 911 Turbo through a slalom with this system.

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