Geneva Snippets – 9-3x Edition

I’ve finally made my landing in Geneva and it was great to hit terra firma again after 36 hours from door to door. There’s just no easy way of getting from Tasmania to Europe. At least I’ve signed up for frequent flyer points this time 🙂

I met my hosts, Marc and Priska at the airport and got a ride to their home in their Saab 9-3x. More about them and that car later, it’s a great story.

Tomorrow night, we dine with Dimitri and Fredric (from, our unofficial ambassador Saab in the UK, Robin M and Mr Redj himself. If others are in the area and want to join us, just let me know. I’m sure we can expand the booking.


And speaking of the Saab 9-3x, a comparative test has been published pitting the smaller Saab Softroader against the Volvo V60. The magazine is a Danish one called Dine Penge.

I’ll let you go there and do a full Googletrans (they might not like it if I post the full test here), but it’s encouraging reading considering their setup of a brand new model vs an eight-year-old platform.

Jesper has provided an edited version and here are some highlights from it:

When you consider that the Saab 9-3 in its current form is merely a continuous facelift of a model which was introduced way back in 2002, then it is in its place with a solid and heartfelt “Wow!” It has oceans of surplus, a tight and comfortable chassis, lots of equipment and so have the X factor. It has its own on an amazing charming way, with the key located below the front seats and the curved aircraft windscreen. While most new cars today will run in the same direction, then Saab is not afraid to stick out. To be completely his own. And particularly in the tested 9-3X version has more character than Ole Ernst’s eyebrows together…..

…..Volvo comes to a basic version with D3 diesel engine 503,000 crowns ($93,000). But you must have it in an equipment level that matches Saabs, then it will come much closer to 600,000 crowns ($111,000). The 9-3X is priced at 499,900 crowns ($92,000), and it is really well equipped. Oil burner(parking heater?), xenon headlamps, electric chairs, cool rims and everything you expect of comfort features in a car in half million is present in the Saab. Only thing missing is a navigation device, but it can be bought for 42,500 crowns together with a solid upgraded stereo and it’s close to what they in the U.S. call ‘Fully Loaded’. That speaks so much to the Saab’s advantage when accounts must be made up.

Audi A4 Avant with 170 horsepower costs about the same as the Volvo, while the BMW 320d Touring is 100,000 crowns ($18,000) more expensive. Seen in this light, the Saab 9-3X is a really very prestigious estate car for the money. Volvo, is in itself the best car of the two Swedes – and it would be strange otherwise, because the basic structure is eight years later. But should I choose, I would be in doubt. Because the Saab is so damn cool, and it turns significantly more heads in traffic than the Volvo.

It’s a review well worth the reading. The above seems like a long passage, but it’s really just a small part of it.


You wouldn’t believe it, but here in suburban Geneva, at around 3pm, I just saw a black Dodge Challenger.

And earlier this week, back in Hobart, I saw a new Chevy Camaro. Considering they don’t sell them in Australia, someone’s gone to great expense to pay an importer to get one here and swap the steering to the other side. They’ve possibly paid upwards of $100K for what is a $30,000 or so car in its home market.


Saab’s press conference is scheduled for 11:45am tomorrow, Geneva time.

RedJ has already noted the live coverage that the Geneva people will be providing. We’ll be getting all we can up on site as soon as possible.


A couple of CSI-watching Saab fans noted a Saab 95 being shown in a recent episode. Here’s a couple of screencaps…..

46 thoughts on “Geneva Snippets – 9-3x Edition”

  1. The CSI-Saab looks like the car Charlie Sheen drives in the movie “The Arrival” (
    If that’s the case it’s a 1968 V4.

    I have read lots about the 9-3x. But I still don’t really know which one is the best; the 2WD diesel or the 4WD biopower. Has anyone here driven both?

  2. In Geneva there is 5-7 Challenger rolls and only two 9-3X (including mine)
    I hope that always goes well, remember that there are Coke in the fridge
    see you soon


    • Wouldn’t it be wise to import it from GB – to save some of the costs.. as then you get the steering on the correct location at once?

  3. Still now sneak peak or more in depth info on the concept car. No nothing! It’s something like 17 hours to the show and we know less about it than about the 92 that Victor has been talking about and isn’t even in the business plan, just a vision. This must be the best kept secret by Saab on any auto show. =P It’s really frustrating =D

    I think some sort of sneak peak would build up more interest for the car and the presentation tomorrow. As it is now only Saab nuts and some general car nuts in Sweden have heard about it. They need to build up media interest so Saab’s presentation gets a good coverage. This is supposed to be the Aero-X of this decade and the future of Saab. We need a bigger momentum!

    And I’m dying to see it!!! ;P

      • Yes I’ve seen it (obviously, as I’m a Saab nut 😉 )
        Still nobody actually knows what part of the car it shows. According to a comment in it’s play with the lights, so Tiago’s rendering wasn’t even close (even though it looks great too).

        Usually Saab’s, and other maker’s, cars are shown or leaked before the actual showing. This time Saab has been really tight. Maybe it’s because there are fewer cooks involved now (swedish saying), without GM =)

        • That’s the good thing with a sneak peek.. 😉 We don’t know.. and thus.. we become even more obsessed with wanting to get more information. 😉

        • Tiago’s angle of the car is right. But the real picture is … well unimaginable (no offense Tiago). To give you a clue I would comment this car with a classic Saab Tagline from UK:

          Nothing on Earth comes close.

  4. Read the review of the 9-3X comparing it with Volvo. I could only agree – I have driven the 9-3x through a really could winter in Sweden and the car has been great. Starting early morning for work in minus 25 degrees, fueled with Ethanol. No problems even without a heater. The handling is greaton icy roads. I just think is a bit sad that this car has not been promoted and talked about enough. It is a pearl in the Saab line up. I just love it.


  5. If you like the review in “Dine Penge”, you might like this video of the 9-5 as well.

    He likes the Night Panel 🙂

    The conclusion: Saab can still add to the build quality but its a very nice alternative to sexless german transport.

    • Confirmed? I suspected it but I wanted to keep my mouth shut 😛 Really hope that’s what they went with!

    • Hm, giving it the same name as the 9-3 platform could lead to a bit of confusion.

      Not too many birds in Norse Mythology, couple of ravens, that’s about it.

      • I don’t see a problem in that, as one thing is just a technical platform while the other is a concept car.

        We can call it.. hm… Woodpecker, Crow, Swan, Eagle, Magpie, House Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Bullfinch, or just Phoenix… 😉 😉

        • It’ll be Phoenix, but if were up to the result of a poll, I’d vote woodpecker 🙂

          Calling it any sort of swallow would just lead to disputes about the top speed, whether it was measured whilst carrying a coconut, etc…..

          Plus, I’d just love to hear Saab booth attendants offering for people to come and see their wonderful new pecker!


  6. From

    The Saab 9-4X is there and a quick test sitting gives much Saab vibes. Fine intimate environment for the driver, a rear seat that nicely accommodates two adults and a Saab-styled boot that is probably not the biggest in the class. It’s not a shy car.
    Saab 9-5 SportCombi is still hiding under a white drape, but tomorrow we’ll see the interior which is said to be a little more premium and the back seat will be checked out.

    But we are waiting the most for the concept which will be named after a bird. I will not say more at this time…
    The design is done by Saab’s new design director Jason Castriota who himself says that “you will either love it or hate it”.
    Saab hopes that the new concept sports car will give the same starting point in the future as the Aero X once did.
    It will have the technology as the next generation 9-3 will have.

    • Well, I loved the look of the Aero X, so here is hoping I will be in the “love it” group for Jason’s concept vehicle. I am hoping that the “love it or hate it” statement is in reference to it being a hatchback….something people either seem to love or hate. 🙂

    • One of the commenters at AMS suggested that the bird might be named “Fenix”. That sounds pretty likely to me. And cool!

  7. Swedish AMS ( Waiting for the Saab-bird ) states the JC concept will be given a bird-name.

    They also have a photo of the Saab stand with large ice-blocks and a covered 9-5 SC. The reporters have had a sit in the 9-4X and they liked it, but didn’t write so much about it. More to come!

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