• Feb 11, 2010
Saab 9-3 Sedan - Click above for high-res image gallery

Hopefully, and while Spyker's at it they'll bring back the 900 name. Don't count on that last bit, but according to a report by the Dutch site Auto Internationaal, Saab will be bringing back a five-door (as in hatchback) 9-3. To even the most casual Saab fan, this makes a ton of sense. In fact, Saab's decision (even though it was really General Motors' decision) to end production of the 9-3 hatch in favor of the 9-3 sedan is still both baffling and painful, all these many years later.

The thing is, Saab has always been, and will probably always remain a niche brand. The notion that by dropping the odd five-door (and three-door) body style in favor of a more conventional sedan body, stay a high-dollar front-dollar and poach sales away from BMW is as laughable now as it was back in 2002 when Saab/GM made the switch. Bringing back a five-door is most likely the brand's best shot at salvation.

Besides, five-door, luxury/performance niche vehicles seem to be all the rage. Look no further than the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and upcoming Audi A5 Sportback. Let's not forget about the Caddy CTS Sportwagon, either. Not only that, you have a lot of people getting older and richer who spent their formative years in Subaru WRXs, Volkswagen GTIs and MazdaSpeed3s now looking for something a little more grown up and sophisticated. We really can't see any downside to hatch'd 9-3. Now if Saab would only bring back the longitudinal, backwards engine... though probably not, as the next 9-3 will likely be Opel Astra-based.



[Source: Euro Car Blog via Auto Internationaal]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again I work at a Saab Dealership and all everyone says when they find out they have been bought by Spyker is that they want a hatchback well back. Alot of them held onto their older Saab's in hopes the hatch would return. If they do this Spyker will see their Saab brand have a sharp upspike in sales when they release the car.

      I know I may get some heat for this but Saab should take a upscale approach to what Mazda has done. Focusing on sporty handling and advertising it and since its Saab at some quirky but functional aspects with some upscale add ones and call it a day.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agree with most of what you said.

        Hopefully, someone at SAAB monitors these message boards.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The return of the real Saab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are a lot of other SAAB-ish things they could bring back too. I have an NG900 (1997) with some awesome features I would like to see in a new SAAB.

      -5dr hatch models (though I really like the 2006-07 9-3 sportcombi... My next car!)
      -Deadbolt for doors (a.k.a. double-lock) where you couldn't unlock the doors without a key, even if you broke a window and reached in.
      -That little pocket on the front edge of the front seat cushions.
      -All the buttons on the dash! Take a look at a 93 interior from 2006 and one from 2007. All the awesome buttons were replaced with GM style knobs. If you see a night shot, you'll know why that was bad.
      -Window controls in the center behind the ignition. (Why are they on the door? My left hand is for steering, while the right hand shifts and pushes buttons... I like it in the middle!)

      I know people rag on the NG900 for being the first 'GM SAAB' but it's really not. It was designed by SAAB with some parts from GM, but still had true SAAB innovation. I liked it way better than my 1989 'classic 900'. I would buy another, but it's getting hard to find them with low miles on 'em, and if you do, they probably weren't babied enough by their owners.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Front seat pockets... Done! (At least on my 2007 9-3)
      • 4 Years Ago
      "So one can stuff one's junk in the back door."

      Giggidy!
      • 4 Years Ago
      FINALLY! SAABs should be hatchbacks. A return to it's non-GM roots is what's needed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. The small Saab should be 3-door and 5-door hatches, while the large Saab should be a 5-door.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Epyx is right. A "hatch" is a great idea, but it needs to be styled a la the 900. The sport-combi is not an attractive car. In fact wagons in general are not attractive cars. They are supremely functional, but that function comes at the cost of form. It doesn't have to, though, as the Corvette, Panamera (yeah, yeah, but you haven't seen one in person), or Z4 coupe demonstrate. I think Saab could pull off just the right proportions.

        And to the guy further down who is being self-depracating about his 4-door 9-3... what the heck do you have to apologize for? The 9-3 sedan is a GORGEOUS car. It is much more attractive than the Japanese offerings in its segment, and really the only European competitor that can go toe-to-toe in terms of styling is the 3-Series. The C-class is just blah, the S40 is a brick, and the A4, while attractive everywhere else, has that gaping mouth-breather grill that's only mitigated by the mercy of front-mounted license plates.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not just hatchbacks but hatchbacks with the SAAB look. The 900 was in fact a hatch but it had a unique look that no other hatch had (or has).

        Bring back real SAAB design!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have been waiting for a new Saab hatchback forever....still driving 1993 900 and 9000 hatchbacks....they are the most versitile cars saab produced. Please hurry with a hatch ASAP!!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Absolutely Spyker-Saab - bring back the hatch. The brand lost me when they ditched the flexible and convenient body style that's popular across the whole of the Eurozone, and with very good reason.

      While you're at it S-S, please make sure Spyker-Saabs are snow-babies - my very first car was a 2-stroke 96 that was so capable I used to take it out to play in the white stuff while lesser cars cowered in safety off the road, or were left abandoned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop laughing at my 4 door sedan 9-3, I love it!
      But, hatchbacks and wagons are much cooler, I admit!
      Go Spyker-SAAB!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, a 5 door actually coming to America? It's about damn time. Everyone else is taking them away from us.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can anyone explain where and when this terminology that labels a hatch a "door" came to be?

      Somewhere in my mind around in the 80s it seems that 3-door and 5-door came into parlance. No one I know would have ever called a hatch (back) a DOOR.

      Serious inquires only. Snarky replies forbidden. ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is an easy, and obvious way to describe the difference between a trunk and a hatchback, but not a boxy hatchback. Cars with trunks may have fold down seats, but usually the trunk volume is considered separate from the interior, moreso than a 3-door or boxy hatchback, where the cargo area is more in common with the interior space.

        Kia Forte Koup is a 2-door Coupe with a trunk lid.
        Scion tC is a 3-door Coupe, with a hatchback, but not a boxy profile.
        VW Golf is a hatchback with a boxy profile.

        so there, you have similarly sized cars, that all have two side doors, but different aft access configurations.

        2-door
        3-door
        Hatchback

        For 5-door, the same applies, with the difference being four side doors, and the difference being the aft access configuration

        4-door sedan - Audi A4.
        5-door sedan - Audi A5 Sportback
        Wagon - Audi A4 Avant

        (Mazda 6, some older Saabs, Panamera, Rapide, etc... are also 5-doors.)

        The 3 door and 5 door descriptions are ways to describe cars that are not boxy profile cars, but have liftback access to the common interior/cargo space, rather than a distinct trunk of relatively fixed volume, and a narrower trunk-lid opening.

        Frankly, I prefer those sorts of cars. Sleek AND practical, not boxy, but not a hindrance to put a decent sized parcel in the back of the car. There have been several instances where items would have fit in the trunk of the cars I have, but the opening from the bottom of the rear window, to the bumper threshold has not been wide enough to let the item into the trunk space.

        But saying 3 door is faster, easier and more convenient than going through this description over and over again... of saying "a hatchback with raked rear glass, not like a boxy hatchback..." instead, just "3-door."
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just think of a hatch as a gullwing door that got lost and accidentally wound up on the ass of the car...
      • 4 Years Ago
      As long as it has TRI-SPOKES!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I totally agree with you on that too. I love the tri-spoke wheels. The TurboX rims are smokin'. I have the smooth three spoke alloys on my '97 900s (not the viking style, but the ones without the ridges) and they're quite sharp.

        Another thing I love is that the less intricate the rims are, the easier it is to clean and wax them so they're all shiny. I can wipe my three spokes down in a few minutes, but a 20 spoke rim? That's a headache...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 900 defined the brand. Not having the funky baseball cap design killed of all quirky cred the company once had.

      The 9/3 is a fine car but it fades to the back of the crowd, nothing special. The SportCombi is cool but still does not have the SAAB-tastic look of old.
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