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Saab has a long history of making aircraft-inspired automobiles. 2008 marks Saab’s sixtieth birthday as a car manufacturer, and all of Saab’s cars seem to be based on platforms that old. Despite those brittle bones, all of Saab’s cars – the 9-3, 9-5, and 9-7X – manage to make it into the new year.
The 9-3 receives a desperately needed face lift (its last freshening was in 2003) that resembles the Aero X Concept shown at the 2006 Geneva auto show. The new 9-3 looks downright futuristic with in its sleek new metal that features updated lights and panels all the way around. Besides the updated body, a more powerful engine is now available. The top-of-the-line motor is a turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 that makes 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
For those who need more room, next up the Saab line is the 9-5. The 9-5 is still available as a sedan or a wagon and motivated by a turbocharged 2.3-liter in-line four. A few packages and options have changed for the new model year, but otherwise the 9-5 is just how your Grandmother remembers it.
To address the needs of the SUV crowd, Saab has the 9-7X. The mid-size SUV, essentially a rebadged Chevy Trailblazer, remains unchanged in the new year, which means that buyers can choose between a 290-hp in-line six and a 302-hp V-8.
Last year’s 9-3 started at $27,000; the 9-5 started at $35,000, and the 9-7X cost about $40,000. Like the models themselves, we don’t expect the prices to change much.