16 February 2005

Nearly three years after the 9-3 was launched, Saab has finally rolled out its much-anticipated estate version, due to go on sale in the UK in September from around £18,500. With European sales of compact estates hitting 250,000, the 9-3 SportWagon (called SportCombi outside the UK) could give the troubled Swedish firm a boost.

The styling – overseen by ex-design boss Michael Mauer – features ‘boomerang’ shape rear lights in a distinctive frosted finish. Saab says the car has the same body stiffness as the saloon.

The car also features Saab’s new range-topping engine. Based on GM’s new ‘global’ V6, it is a turbocharged 250bhp 24-valve 2.8-litre unit. Destined for top-spec Aero-badged models, the engine will also be fitted to the 9-3 saloon and the convertible. The SportWagon should attract die-hard Saab fans disenfranchised after the company dropped its signature hatchback format in 2002 when the previous 9-3 ended production.

Our Verdict

Nissan Pathfinder

The Nissan Pathfinder is a tough large SUV, but no Discovery. It's spacious but unrefined

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