Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Saab is seen by many as an alternative to premium makes like BMW and Audi but the interior of the 9-3 Convertible is short of the quality you’d expect. It’s enveloping, with lots of gadgets and important-looking switches but the layout is rather haphazard with far too many buttons. A mid 2006 facelift simplified the cabin with a clearer look with fewer buttons.

The build is good but the finish and materials used aren’t particularly upmarket, however finding a comfortable driving position is easy thanks to outstandingly supportive seats with plenty of adjustment and a multi-position steering wheel.

The 9-3 is able to seat four adults, although rear legroom is tight as you’d expect. It can also feel quite gloomy in the rear with the roof up as there’s little light and a high window line. On the plus side, wide doors make access easy and Saab seats are some of the best around. The roof is very well insulated against noise and cold weather, but it’s still not as secure or quiet as convertibles that use a metal-folding roof.

With the roof down, buffeting isn’t overly excessive and you can have a conversation – but only if you have the wind deflector fitted in the back. It works well but is quite bulky and renders the back seats unusable. The heated seats are very good and the climate control switches to offering levels of heat output rather than set temperatures once the roof is lowered.