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Saab 9-3, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Sedan
#1 of 185 Legitimate 3 Series competitor?
by fst1 STAFF
Jul 16, 2002 (2:15 pm)
The new 9-3 has an interesting new look and an all-new chassis, does anybody think it will be good enough to compete with the 3 Series and Audi's A4?
#2 of 185 Well a couple of folks over in the UK believe it might be
Jul 19, 2002 (9:47 am)
a 3-series competitor. See the letters section of the new CAR magazine.
I doubt that any true Beemerhead is going to accept a fwd as a real competitor no matter how good the performance.
Jul 22, 2002 (7:26 am)
The letters were indeed interesting. If the performance were there, I'd get the new 9-3 over a 3-series any day! One thing I'm worried about though - doesn't the 9-3 look almost as big as the 9-5 now? Won't that cannibalize the latter's sales?
Jul 22, 2002 (8:04 am)
The 9-3 should be a legitimate performance car. Whether it is a direct competitor for BMW is another question. The FWD/RWD difference looms large for many buyers. Where I see the new 9-3 making its biggest impact is against the Lexi/Acura/Volvo/and non-AWD Audis.
Magneto: There is an article in TheCarconnection today where a Saab exec attempts to explain how the new 9-3 will not hurt 9-5 sales. Basically, he claims the additional luxury options on the 9-5 will suffice. The article did not even say when a 9-5 will be on the new Epsilon platform. I do not see how the new 9-3 cannot hurt 9-5 sales.
Jul 22, 2002 (10:55 am)
The new 9-3 is not longer than the old 9-3, but it is slightly wider and has a longer wheelbase, so it is roomier inside than the car it replaces.
The 9-5 is still slightly larger inside, and comes with the V6 instead of the 4.
I guess the 9-3 will somewhat cannabalize the 9-5, but probably no worse than the Volvo S60 cannabalizes S80 sales.
#6 of 185 Issues with the new 9-3
Jul 22, 2002 (3:30 pm)
I agree that it looks great, from what I have seen so far of this car. Looks gorgeous in Black
1. Will have reduced understeer than previous models but still an issue
2. Will be underpowered compared to competition (175 hp and 200 hp engines offered???!!!!)
3. Brand identity and uncertainty may still be an issue.
Also, the chasis is based off the Chevy Malibu platform (Car and Drive and Road and Track).
A Maxima can blow away this car for a much lesser price!
Jul 22, 2002 (3:44 pm)
Um it's not based on the Chevy Malibu. it's based on the Epsilon platform which is also going to be the basis of future Opel and Alfa Romeo products, as well as "POSSIBLY" the 2004 Chevy Malibu, which, if it will, is going to be a rebadged Opel Vectra.
Jul 23, 2002 (10:07 am)
Kev - the new Saab 9-3 has nothing to do with the current Malibu.
It's based on the new GM Epsilon platform, which it will also share with Opel/Vauxhall, and future Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn models.
#9 of 185 Just posting what I have read
Jul 23, 2002 (10:24 am)
I believe it is in the June version of Car&Driver, and Road&Track. Read it for yourself - "Based on the same platform used by the Chevy Malibu".
I could not believe it myself when I read it. I had to do a double-take.
Jul 23, 2002 (10:30 am)
They mean it's the same platform as the new Malibu - the GM Epsilon.