The Saab 9-3 Sport Combi Turbo X Is a Sport Wagon You Never Knew You Needed

While SUVs and crossovers reign supreme in the automotive market, the interest in sport wagons is waning. But what’s not to like about sport wagons? They’re usually practical, with plenty of room for five and all of their stuff. And to top things off, a sport wagon typically has a high output engine under the hood, which is where the “sport” part of the designation comes from.

But which cars come to mind when you think of a sport wagon? Perhaps a Mercedes-Benz E 63 wagon, or maybe even an Audi RS6. How about a Saab 9-3 Sport Combi? Of course, you might be wondering what that is, so let’s take a closer look.

The 2008 Saab 9-3 Sport Combi had plenty of power

2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X
2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X | Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t remember the Saab brand name, we don’t blame you. In short, Saab was a Swedish automaker under the General Motors umbrella for a number of years before it went belly up in 2014. It’s a shame because it built sporty and practical cars like the aforementioned Saab 9-3 Sport Combi Turbo X.

What is so special about that car? The Saab 9-3 Sport Combi Turbo X is a turbocharged, all-wheel drive sport wagon that was based on the brand’s most popular model, the Saab 9-3 sedan. But instead of receiving the sedan’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, the 9-3 Turbo was outfitted with a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 that produced 280 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. According to Motor Trend’s testing at the time, the 9-3 Turbo X was able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds. That’s pretty quick for a practical wagon.

The Saab 9-3 Turbo was also agile

Performance numbers aside, the Saab 9-3 Turbo X also shined when thrown around a corner. In fact, Motorweek found the 9-3 Turbo X to be “shockingly agile,” thanks to its all-wheel drivetrain that can send power front to back and side to side. In fact, it can send up to 85% of the power to one single wheel to get traction. The Motorweek editors found that there is a bit of understeer when cornering hard, however, it’s a point-and-shoot affair for the most part.

Other notable features include ample space for up to five adults, a driver-centric dashboard layout, and a center console-mounted ignition system. That’s right, you have to turn the key in the center console like you would in jet. In case, you didn’t know Saab made (and continues to make) jets before it made cars.

Finding a Saab 9-3 Turbo X can be tough

2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X
2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X | Wikimedia Commons

If you’re in the market for something practical and sporty, then the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X is a great choice. The only trouble is that the Saab 9-3 Turbo X models are pretty tough to find on the used market. That’s because Saab only produced 600 units in total, so your chances of finding one for sale 13 years later is slim to none. In fact, we only found one that’s currently for sale in our nationwide search. And that one was listed for $20,000 and had over 100,000 miles on it.

But alas, if you really want one, don’t give up hope. The Saab 9-3 Sport Combi Turbo X is a rare car to find, but considering it’s turbocharged, all-wheel drive wagon that’s as comfortable on a race track as it is on the freeway, we won’t blame you for holding out.

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