Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Saab likes to make associations with it's aviation heritage and the dash layout of the 9-3 certainly has a hint of aircraft cockpit about it. It's enveloping, with lots of gadgets and important-looking switches but the layout is rather haphazard - a mid 2006 facelift simplified the cabin with a clearer look with fewer buttons. Build quality 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.

Front-seat passengers fare better than those in the rear in the 9-3 Sportwagon, although Saab could argue it's designed primarily for four - it doesn't even offer a middle head restraint as standard. Even so, rear leg room is quite tight. Otherwise the 9-3 Sportwagon comfort levels are good with low noise levels. The front seats are exceptionally good and air conditioning is standard across the range.

Aero spec models feature low profile tyres and sports suspension which improves composure at speed, but results in a poor and noisy ride for everyday driving.