Entries Tagged 'saab' ↓

Saab 9-3 Gas Mileage

While the long-running Saab 9-3 doesn’t top the charts when it comes to gas mileage, it is capable of producing respectable numbers when driven conservatively.

The 9-3 is well-outfitted. All current 9-3s are equipped with traction control, electronic stability, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, and six-speed manual transmissions as standard equipment. An electronically controlled five-speed Saab Sentronic automatic is optional in the 2.0T, while a six-speed Sentronic is available in the Aero; both offer manual gear selection.

2009 Saab 9-3

The 9-3 is available with three engine choices, all of which are intercooled turbos. The 9-3 2.0T is equipped with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that produces 210 horsepower (HP) and 221 foot pounds of torque. The 9-3 Aero is fitted with a 2.8 liter six-cylinder engine that prodices 255 HP and 258 foot pounds of torque. The Aero’s Cross-Wheel Drive (XWD) option takes the six up a notch to 280 HP / 295 foot pounds, and ratchets down the gas mileage (as is the case with all AWD vehicles).
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Saab Gas Mileage: 1979 – 2008

Saab gas mileage ratings have remained relatively steady over the years, with highway ratings that top out in the mid-to-high twenty mile per gallon (MPG) range.

The 2.0 liter equipped 9-3 Sport Sedan (shown below) holds the current high spot in the Saab lineup, scoring 19 MPG city and 29 MPG highway. While those numbers may have been sufficient while gas was cheap, the future is clear. Saab needs to begin offering a fuel-efficient diesel option in America, as quickly as possible.

saab 9-3

Over the years, Saabs have flirted with and have exceeded the 30 MPG milestone (although under the older EPA testing standard). 1984 appears to be the high water mark, with the 2.0 liter equipped Saab 900 hitting 37 MPG when fitted with the five-speed manual transmission.

In the UK, Saab offers the 9-3 with three diesel engine options, with the most powerful of the trio delivering 8 second 0-60 times and 50.4 miles per Imperial gallon combined (in a six-speed manual equipped Saloon) … that’s the equivalent of roughly 42 MPG here in the States.

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Don’t Blame It On All The SUVs …

I was stopped at a red light this week, behind the wheel of a kiwi green 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid … the most fuel-efficient SUV currently for sale in the United States. The Saab 9-5 idling at the light in front of me was sporting a holier-then-thou anti-SUV bumper sticker. I can’t recall the exact phrasing of the bumper sticker, but it was strongly worded.

With the Escape Hybrid’s gasoline engine at rest, it was perfectly silent inside the cabin. I pondered the absurdity of the situation for a few moments.

When the light turned green, I crept through the intersection under electric propulsion, as I focused on the fact … we can’t blame this mess on all the SUVs … for not all SUVs were created equally.

There’s a far cry between the most fuel efficient SUVs, like the Escape Hybrid, and the unapologetically gas guzzling behemoths. (I won’t name names … you know who they are.)

The Saab driver may never know this, but I was in the midst of driving an in-town loop. As it turns out, the front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid’s city mileage figures, which are officially estimated at 34 miles per gallon (MPG), can be easily exceeded with a prudent right foot.

With careful driving in-town, my front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid review unit scored as high as 40 MPG on average. A number of uphill segments eventually dragged the city mileage down to 38 MPG over an hour’s worth of driving. That’s not too shabby.

38 MPG city average … in a SUV.

That’s roughly twice the Saab 9-5’s city mileage estimate.

Come to think of it, I’ve yet to encounter an anti-Saab bumper sticker.