At that time new Saab 9-3 was eventually launched in July 2002 for the 2003 model year. The convertible version of the second-generation 9-3 began with the MY04, and SportCombi with MY05 – known as the SportWagon, SportCombi or Sport-Hatch dependant on the market).
It was a real small revolution for Saab, because until then, this company had not produced station wagons of its cars for a long time, practically from the Saab 95 model (in fact, three years ago, a station wagon version of the 9-5 appeared). And, also at that time completely unexpected, the most drastic change from the former generation was the elimination of the hatchback design.
The Wagon version was only a few months old and the first award has rolled in. Add this to the Gold Award received by the 9-3 range from the IIHS and the Top-10 engine award from Wards Autos and one could say it was been quite a good times for the 9-3.
Saab 9-3 SportCombi Wins 2006 “Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year” Award
Based on feedback from automotive journalists and elite and recreational athletes from across the United States, at that time, the Saab 9-3 SportCombi received the ‘2006 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year’ award in the best value, on-road category at the San Diego International Auto Show today. Presented by Active.com and Gen-A Network, creators of the Active Lifestyle Vehicles program, the award was designed to connect active consumers with car manufacturers to create the ultimate vehicle for active lifestyles.
Saab 9-3 Sportcombi – The Top vehicle for active lifestyle consumers.
Millions of active consumers visit Active.com to tap into the services and resources that will make participation easier and enhance their active lifestyles. These same consumers have similar needs in their personal vehicles.
The Active Lifestyle Vehicles program showcases the industry’s top vehicles for active lifestyle consumers. Thar year, San Diego athletes and a team of the nation’s leading automotive journalists test drove 16 finalists chosen from a field of 32 entries submitted by 14 auto manufacturers.
Models were evaluated based on handling, cargo space and special active lifestyle features, including roof racks, bike transport and towing capability.
“The 9-3 SportCombi is a unique vehicle, designed and built in Sweden”, said Nina Russin, head of the automotive journalists jury and an accomplished marathon runner. “Longtime Saab aficionados will appreciate its peppy performance, user-friendly interior and Scandinavian design. Newcomers will love the SportCombi for its fun ride, class-leading safety and cargo-friendly interior – all for a price within the limits of many new car buyers.”
It was the third distinction that Saab has received for the 9-3 in a short timeframe. Earlier that month, the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was the only luxury car honored with the ‘Gold Award’ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, the editorial staff of Ward’s Communications voted the new 2.8 V6 Turbo V6 in the 9-3 Aero one of their ’10 Best Engines’ for 2006.
Sportcombi – A distinct alternative to conventional 5-door designs
The 9-3 SportCombi is an important extension of the 9-3 range, which also includes the Sport Sedan and Convertible. Its 5-door body style pays tribute to highly regarded Saab hatchbacks of the past, in particular the Saab 99 Turbo ‘Combi Coupe.’
In addition to Saab’s signature styling cues like the rising beltline and hockey stick-shaped D-pillar, the 9-3 SportCombi features dramatic rear quarter styling and an integrated spoiler atop its steeply raked tailgate. It features a twin load floor cargo deck and 72 cu. ft. of cargo space with the rear seats folded.