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Saab 9-3 Hatchback (98-02) - rated 3 out of 5

At a glance

Read the latest Saab 9-3 review
Used price £295 - £11,995
Fuel economy 24 - 62 mpg
Road tax cost £30 - £570
Insurance group 18 - 41

The Saab 9-3 was brought out in 1998 as a replacement for the 900, and built on its predecessor’s solid build quality and reliability.

It promised to add some excitement to that formula and was available in its first generation as a three and five door hatchback, as well as a convertible.

Marketed on Saab’s aircraft heritage, the 9-3 provided a stylish alternative to BMW and Audi offerings available at the time. Deep down the first generation 9-3 was largely based on its GM stable mate the Vauxhall Cavalier.

Pulse-racing performance came courtesy of the 9-3 Viggen (Swedish for thunderbolt) which had a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine capable of 225bhp, and later 230bhp.

In 2002 a replacement came along in the form of the second generation 9-3, this time sharing a platform with the Vauxhall Vectra. Unlike its predecessor it took the form of a saloon, rather than a hatchback.