8.27.2008

Saab 9-3 Turbo X Sport Combi Review




WWDVD?

What would Darth Vader drive?

From the right angle, the Saab 9-3 Turbo X Sport Combi looks a bit like Lord Vader, all-black and menacing.

What's the X for? It's Saab-speak for all-wheel drive. Saabs have been front wheel drive since....well, forever...but when you put enough, or too much, power through the front wheels, you get the phenomenon known as torque steer...the steering wheel going through some nasty motions as it tries to deal with all that oomph.

All-wheel drive balances that out nicely...applying the power equally to all four wheels. Tromp on it and it simply goes, no dramatics apart from the G-forces and the reactions of your passengers.



Saab is only sending 500 9-3 Turbo Xs to the United States. Only 100 of them will be Sport Combis and the majority of them will have automatic transmissions, which makes our manual tester a very rare example. Rarity has a price...ours stickered close to $47,000...which for a compact station wagon is pretty hefty. But the power, the lack of torque steer and the fact there will only be a handful sold here adjusts the value equation significantly.

If you've gotta have a wagon, but want to have some fun (and don't mind scaring the neighbors), the Saab 9-3 Turbo X Sport Combi might be just what you need.

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