Fleet News

Saab 9-3 TTiD

BIK List Price
£25,940
Saab 9-3 BIK list price
BIK Percentage
13%
Saab 9-3 BIK Percent
CO2
119g/km
Saab 9-3 CO2
Combined MPG
62.8
Saab 9-3 MPG

Review

Few carmakers, if any, have had a time quite as torrid as Saab recently. Misunderstood and under-funded by parent company GM, the Swedish outfit languished for years with a range in need of revitalisation.

Now in the hands of Spyker, Saab is ready for revival.

So, the eight-year-old 9-3 is resuscitated with a twin-turbo diesel engine in three power outputs, spearheaded by the TTiD 180.
And while a new diesel engine can’t turn back the clock on the ageing Swede, it does give it one very compelling new statistic: 119g/km.

Of course, that’s not a mind-blowing CO2 emissions figure compared to the average eco hatchback – but consider that this 9-3 has 180bhp.

That’s more power than the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics. Granted, the BMW’s 109g/km emissions are marginally lower, but nonetheless the Saab is, all of a sudden, flying with the eco superpowers.

In addition to the twin turbos, Saab has reduced friction in the engine, added low rolling resistance tyres, lightened the car by replacing the sound deadening material, improved the aerodynamics and altered the gear ratios.

It means the Saab now circumvents first year VED and costs just £30 per year thereafter.

It also means 62.8mpg.
And it will be music to fleet users’ ears that the 9-3 has dropped below the all-important 120g/km threshold for the first time (except Aero models). With that comes BIK tax at 13%.

Estate and convertible drivers get a slightly worse deal: those cars emit 122 and 137g/km respectively, both pushed into the 18% BIK bracket.

All trim levels get leather upholstery to a greater or lesser extent, climate control, cruise control, parking sensors and alloy wheels.

For those wanting to keep their P11D price figure down, the old 120bhp and 150bhp TiD diesels are replaced with TTiD units boasting 130bhp and 160bhp. Both have identical CO2 and economy figures to the 180bhp version.

The 180bhp diesel engine is a real cracker and the 9-3 balances responsive handling with pothole-smothering comfort. Tall gearing means it settles at low engine speed on the motorway, nice and quiet.

The gearshift is the car’s real weak spot. It’s lumpy and imprecise.

That and a cabin that’s starting to look its age now are the only real gripes; the 9-3 isn’t a benchmark car in any area, but nor does it feel a generation behind any more.

Verdict

In a nutshell, the 9-3 diesel is better and cheaper than it was before – and you can’t really ask much more than that.

 

Top Speed
N/A
Saab 9-3 Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Saab 9-3 Ved
Fuel Type
Saab 9-3 Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £6,575
4 Year 80k : £4,750
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 46.52
4 Year 80k : 41.68

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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Comments

  • yerrun - 08/12/2010 07:52

    I got the chance to drive this 9-3 (the 160HP version) and it was A PLEASURE. Silent and the most interesting thing was that I could get the car really above 50mpg in practice, must have been the most efficient car I have tested in this range (not counting the prius)! I compared them to a few competitors: Not Audi, not BMW not Volvo gets the same ammount of HP out of so little fuel. Impressive for that small company. Signature front lights look great. My company will order a few TTID's for the next fleet-year.

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