Saab's Dynamic Aero 9-3 SportCombi

Sporty and well-priced, the Saab 9-3 SportCombi is a great alternative to German wagons. So why isn't it selling better?

Editor's Rating:

The Good: Handling, distinctive looks, relatively low price

The Bad: Front-wheel drive only, no third-row seating

The Bottom Line: A sporty, European-style wagon at a lower price than the German competition

Up Front

The other day I was whipping along the autoroute in eastern France and couldn't help noticing how many cars on the road are almost exactly like the ones in the U.S.—Volkswagen Passats and Golfs, Honda CR-Vs, BMW X3s and X5s (see BusinessWeek.com, 2/6/07, "BMW's Exceptional X5"), and Ford's (F) Volvo XC90s (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/10/07, "Volvo's Exceptional XC90"). At one point I even saw a guy taking his family on spring break vacation in a gigantic white 1960s-era Oldsmobile station wagon. One model you see fairly often in Europe but rarely in the U.S. is the Saab 9-3, which comes as a sedan, a convertible, or the new SportCombi (a station-wagon-like crossover vehicle).

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