Wagons are great SUV alternatives, especially for those who spend more time on paved roads than off them. Plus, they can make for excellent luxury cars; case in point, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon. And thanks to depreciation, the used market has some real bargains to choose from. One of them, in fact, is this week’s Bring a Trailer bargain: a 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi.
The Saab 9-3 SportCombi is one Swede wagon
Due to financial woes, first from GM and then from its subsequent parent company, Saab quit making cars after 2014. However, the Swedish brand managed to introduce a few models shortly before it went bankrupt. One was the 9-7X SUV. Another was the 9-3, available as a sedan, a convertible, and later as a wagon, MotorTrend reports. The latter is known as the Saab 9-3 SportCombi.
The Saab 9-3 SportCombi isn’t quite as quirky as some of the brand’s earlier models, Car and Driver reports, though it has some of the brand’s famed features. As in the 99 Turbo and 900 Turbo, the ignition is found between the front seats. And while the wagon rides comfortably, it also has accurate steering and “can be driven hard into corners,” Autoweek reports. Plus, even in front-wheel-drive form, torque steer is at a minimum, Road & Track reports.
The 2005 Saab 9-3 SportCombi was available with two different engines: a 210-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 250-hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6. The latter was available in the Aero models, which offered either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed manual. The base wagons also had a 6-speed manual, though the automatic was just a 5-speed unit. But even in 2.0T trim, the 9-3 SportCombi came standard with keyless entry, an air-conditioned glovebox, 4-wheel vented disc brakes, as well as stability and traction control, MT reports.
However, following its 2008 redesign, the Saab 9-3 SportCombi got a powertrain update in 2009, Autoblog reports. AWD was finally available, and on 2.0T models, swapped out the 5-speed automatic for a 6-speed one. The Aero models, meanwhile, received the electronically-active limited-slip differential, AWD system, and 280-hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 from the limited-edition Turbo X, Automobile reports.
The 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi on Bring a Trailer
The 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi currently listed on Bring a Trailer is a 2.0T model with a 5-speed automatic. And it’s a FWD wagon, not an AWD one. However, it’s a 1SB model, aka ‘2.0T Comfort,’ one trim up from the base Touring, Edmunds explains. And, as Bring a Trailer notes, this particular 9-3 SportCombi has a few aftermarket accessories, too.
From the factory, this 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi has leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, headlight washers, and automatic DRLs. Plus, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an audio system with Bluetooth and auxiliary input, and a rear-seat pass-through. This wagon also has front window vent visors, a Thule bike rack, a receiver hitch, and Saab roof rails.
Cosmetically, this Saab 9-3 SportCombi isn’t perfect. Bring a Trailer notes a few exterior scratches and a dent as well as some seat scuffing. Plus, it has “just over” 126,000 miles on the odometer. However, mechanically this wagon has been well-maintained.
The history report shows no accidents or damage reports. And in February 2020 the current owner had the brake fluid, oil, and coolant changed. At the same time the engine received a tune-up and a fuel-injection service, the transmission was serviced, and the battery, thermostat, coolant temperature sensor, and coolant expansion tank cap were replaced.
What makes it a bargain?
As of this writing, this 2009 Saab 9-3 SportCombi is listed on Bring a Trailer at $2800 with three days left in the auction. Admittedly, it’s not an AWD Aero or Turbo X model, which are the most desirable trims. However, it still makes for a comfortable and affordable commuter car.
In the past, 9-3 Turbo X SportCombis have sold for around $15,000-$20,000 on Bring a Trailer. Plus, as of this writing, 2.0T models of a similar vintage are in the $6000-$10,000 range on Autotrader. As such, this 9-3 SportCombi qualifies as a bargain.
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