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Deal of the Week: Saab 9-3 SportCombi

Illustration for article titled Deal of the Week: Saab 9-3 SportCombi

Another Saab up on the Jalopnik DotW? Look at it this way, Saab's sales woes are your purchase gains. This week we're intrigued by a $4,000 rebate on the 9-3 SportCombi (among other models). Granted, GM's tenure as steward of the company birthed by aircraft engineers hasn't been the most fecund period in its history. And while things have been looking up for the 9-3, sales numbers haven't budged. The car's still hampered by cliff-face depreciation and GM's front-drive Epsilon platform, which puts it out of the running among RWD-only enthusiasts. But the poky base four — in the previously cryptic "Arc" and "Linear" models — is long gone, replaced in 2006 with a 2.0-liter turbo four producing 210 hp. The 2.8-liter V6 in the Aero model gets 250. Sure the transmission offerings are one cog light, and power numbers...

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...won't win any stoplight wars — oh, and the interior is still behind the best in class — but it still can handle a b-road without flinching. And look at what you get for a pre-incentive MSRP of between $27,495 and $33,700: standard ABS, traction control, stability control and front, side and head airbags, a five-year/100,000 mile warranty, including a transferrable powertrain component, 24/7 roadside assistance and courtesy transportation. And if you choose the Aero, there's a free two-day performance-driving program at Road Atlanta. Of course, the SportCombi paradoxically has 0.2 cubic feet of cargo space less than the sedan. But that's just fine; we're huge MC Escher fans. (NOTE: Better-looking 2008 model shown.) [Saab via MSN Autos]

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DISCUSSION

Where's Epsilon 2? Wasn't it supposed to launch with the all-new 9-3 for 2008?

Instead we get a facelift on what's an aged platform, arguably built for Malibu. Granted, the 9-3 is a massaged and dandified Malibu, but all the same...

Actual discussion with a Saab salesguy at an autoshow last year: I asked him why he would expect anyone to spend 30K for a Malibu/G6 with greater depreciation. Mind you, I was joking...to a point.

He smiled and said with a straight face: "there is nothing shared between Saab and GM. The 9-3 has absolutely no relation to a Malibu and if someone has told you that, they were lying."