Changing faces of Saab

Back when I first showed a spyshot of the Saab 9-3 Griffin earlier this month, there were some people who were finding it hard to pick out the changes that were being made to the car.

The changes are subtle, sure, but they are there.

Carl-Henrik has done us all a favour by laying out three portraits, side by side, so that the changes to the ‘face’ of the Griffin (Aero) model can be seen a little easier. He’s also included a Saab 9-5 so you can see the family connection a little easier.

From left to right:

  • ‘old’ Saab 9-3,
  • Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin,
  • Saab 9-5.


  • The lower section of the front air dam is now painted
  • The grille in the lower air dam is now a mesh type
  • The foglamp ‘holes’ have changed shape to be more like the 9-5 surrounds
  • The foglamps themselves have a chrome surround directly around the lamp
  • The Saab wordmark is much more prominent on the front grille, a-la the 9-5

The headlamp glass also looks different, but I have a feeling that’s more to do with image processing than it is to do with the actual headlamps.

My thanks to Carl-Henrik!

26 thoughts on “Changing faces of Saab”

  1. i believe the headlight materials have been changed as they are now more of a ice block finish like the 9-5, or were you referring to shape of the lights?

  2. This is the best looking 9-3 to date. I never really cared for the 2008 face because it always looked a bit angry to me. The black hole in the lower front of the Aero was just very awkward looking. But this new design looks happy and stylish.

  3. I agree with Wulf. I think it looks very nice. I currently have a 2009 SAAB 9.3 XWD with every possible option on it fog lights etc…It’s very tempting to trade it in on a newer 2011/2012 9.3 with the twin scroll 220hp Direct Injection engine. My current SAAB has very noticeable turbo lag that the newer engine does not have….Plus I think the engine may be E85 capable…added plus. Hmm……decisions…plus my current car is paid off (No car payment)……

    • Yes…. but your current car wipes the floor with any currently sold 9-3… (or even 9-5 depending on your setup).

  4. Personally I prefer the look of the old 9-3. But I had one until two weeks ago, so I’m biased.
    I always liked the “I’m going to eat you” aggresive design of the 2008 9-3.

  5. The lower section of the front air dam is now painted

    It’s not my style. I can see why they designed it like this, but I always loved that never-ending black shape on the front of the Aero series. The Griffin Model style now makes to me only very little difference when it comes to decide whether to get a regular 9-3 or an Aero.

  6. I think the Griffinis the most “saabish” face for SAAB lately. It is better than the NFG 9-5 which looks way too tame (compared with the rear end). I ‘ve always felt that the face is somehow letting the whoule design of the new 9-5 down. There is lots of place for face design improvement and the griffin is the way to go.

  7. The 9-3 is still so darn good looking. The “air vents” sorounding the fog lights in the 9-5 is not good looking. They are to big, they should change to the proportions they have on the 9-3

    • It seems Spyker sells the sportscar division to Antonov for 32million euros, of which 15 is paid directly and the rest until 2016. Spyker will change name and focus on Saab. Antonov buys Spyker sportcars through the holding company CPP Global Holdings Limited. Muller will remain chairman for the sportscars until a new person is appointed.

      I think this is a good idea. Focus is important!

  8. Yes, the 9-3 is still a very good looking car, my favorite is the new Griffin.
    And combined with the new 220 hp direct injected, twin scroll straight four, easily unused to 260…
    Hmmmm tempting…. Still waiting to see how big (if any) this years bonus will be… SC Aero maybe…

    • Great, you can see the new interior panel in the 9-5SC! That will put an end to those complaints about the interior of the 9-5. It looks fantastic!

      • It turns out the answer is ‘yes’.

        I think they heard what I did to my own 9-5, so when I arrived the SC was roped off and nobody were allowed within 1 meter of the car.

        I am sure that as soon as I left, people were climbing all over the car, but I have no proof of this, yet. I will return to the museum in the weekend and retrieve the hidden camera I planted to document what took place afterwards. 🙂

        It was a good event. I had wished to be able to sit in the 9-3, but can’t have it all.

  9. In a German forum, the 2008 9.3 was called “Darth Vader” due to its aggressive looks.
    I still love it, but I am biased as well…
    Would love to have the bigger SAAB logo on the grille.
    And I am thinking about making the middle strut of the lower grille black.
    This togehter with the yellow lower strut would then give a kind of new 9.3 looks.

    And I found the Independence model on the mosaic. Hope to win the trip to Trollhättan…

  10. The new face of the 9-3 looks good, but I prefer the 2008 aero look. This looks like it should be the 2.0T model, just nice and soft and pleasing.

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.