What is it?
The car you’re looking at is the new Saab 9-3 2.0 XWD. It combines Saab’s 207bhp turbocharged petrol engine with the variable four-wheel drive system previously only available in the V6 Turbo X and 1.9 TTiD models.
What’s it like?
The Saab 9-3 2.0 XWD offers all those commendable Saab qualities of understated image, a comfortable interior, good safety levels and, er, that’s about it.
The 2.0 XWD gets a much more comfortable ride than most other models in the Saab 9-3 range, with good damping and body control making for unruffled progress over most road surfaces, though the occasional deep break in the road can have the car jarring noisily.
And the four-wheel drive system works brilliantly. Even in the harshest of winter conditions the torque-sensing system works unobtrusively to keep the car moving forward.
A limited-slip differential is available as an option, and though it wasn’t fitted to our test car we know from experience with the Turbo X that it works well.
The four-wheel drive also makes the engine’s 221lb ft of torque much more usable than it is in the standard front-wheel drive car, but it’s still no precision tool.