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2005 Saab 9-3 Overview
The Saab 9-3 sedan is an honest contender among sports sedans in its class. It's tight, it handles great, and there's lots of power from the 210-horsepower turbocharged engine on the Arc and Aero models. It's also smooth and quiet, comfortable and nicely trimmed. It feels like the upscale car it is. The 9-3 convertible is a near-luxury drop top that seats four passengers. It's delightful to drive and quiet with the top up, with creature comforts galore and intuitive fixtures. With the top down, it wraps occupants in the panorama and aromas of the world around, setting a new standard for the class in all respects. Sedan or convertible, the 9-3 stands apart from the crowd. It looks like a Saab and manages to remain a Saab, yet it's a thoroughly modern car with no quirks or foibles. The 9-3 was completely redesigned and re-engineered for the 2003 model year. And the all-new convertible followed for 2004. For 2005 the line-up includes a Linear convertible that drops the price of dropping the top. DVD navigation is available for 2005 Arc and Aero models. Saab has always dared to be different. Influenced by its aeronautical background, Saab borrows aircraft design elements for its cars. Past examples of this have been the wraparound, near-vertical windshields and aircraft-style dashboards with instrument lighting that can be switched off at night. Small map lights looked like they came from a cockpit. Outside mirrors were bent at the edges to reduce blind spots. Even when American buyers stopped wanting hatchbacks, Saab stoically shipped them over. General Motors absorbed Saab a few years back, but it didn't turn out to be the deal with the devil the Saab faithful feared. Granted, the idiosyncratic styling cues have been softened somewhat, edging the car closer to the automotive mainstream, but in exchange, GM funded a long-overdue development of newer and better-engineered cars. In short, these are the best 9-3s Saab has ever produced.