Saab 9-3 TTiD – A Star is born

Last time Auto Express tested the Saab 9-3 TTiD was when the new engine made its debut in the latter part of 2007.

Back then, AE gave the car with a new power plant 3 stars out of 5.

Their new review, published this week, covers the 2011 iteration of the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. This new model comes with a choice of three new TTiD engines that emit less than 120g of CO2 per kilometer, making the car a very attractive option for those who are more conscious of their road tax costs.

How big an impression has the new engine lineup made?

You might have expected the Saab 9-3 to lose half a star given its advancing age relative to the competition. But the opposite has happened.

The Saab 9-3 is awarded 4 out of 5 stars in this new review and the praise for the new TTiD engine lineup is significant.

It has a mighty 400Nm of torque available from only 1,850rpm, so it’s powerful and flexible in any of its six gears. In addition, it’s superbly quiet and smooth on the go, feeling every bit as refined as the benchmark 2.0-litre TDI units from Volkswagen.

Saab has achieved the hikes in performance and economy by reducing friction in the engine, adding low-rolling resistance tyres, thinning some of the metal bodywork to reduce weight, and using lighter materials with the same soundproofing qualities…..

…..It all adds up to a car that hasn’t the slightest whiff of being an ‘eco’ model, yet delivers fuel economy that keeps up with the best the BMW 3-Series can offer. The front-wheel-drive Saab will never quite match the dynamic prowess of the 3-Series, but it still grips well, turns in sharply and is refined on the motorway. The only gripe is the lumpy gearchange.

You can click here to read the full review.

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