http://www.topgear.com/jsp/individua...Number=28.html Top Gear BBC UK [June 2005]
Feel the need for Swede...
The 9-3 Aero 2.8 V6T is a good-looking car. Sober-suited good-looking, a bit magnolia, but it's got that slick Saab charm that makes you think of cleanliness and efficiency that likes to get drunk at weekends. The 19-inch alloys help the stance, the subtle bodykit helps the aesthetic and the twin exhausts either side of the rear valance help with the noise, as well as hinting that it's not quite as tame as you may have initially imagined it was.
The deal is that this is the fastest Saab they build, hitting 62mph in just under seven seconds for the manual, a second slower for the auto, and on to 'more than' 155mph. But not much more, I would say. Nonetheless, power comes from a 2.8-litre V6 packing a not-insubstantial turbocharger and producing about 250bhp and 258lb ft; Saab's deep knowledge of blowers showing itself off rather well in this particular application.
The turbo is almost lag-less, building a nice spread of push without troubling the front tyres as much as you think it might. It's fast, and the ride is pretty good even on those enormous 19-inch wheels, meaning that you really can crack on with confidence. It has to be said it's not massively exciting, but that competence suits the 9-3 Aero. It's simply not a car for the frivolous; it's a car for the person that wants a fast Saab that won't attract too much attention.
We say: A left-field choice for the executive express market, but you won't have much to regret here