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Car #1
Car #2

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2002. - 2007.
D - Large family car
wagon, 5 door
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
2001. - 2005.
D - Large family car
wagon, 5 door

Dimensons & Volumes

4654 mm
1762 mm
1492 mm
419 liters
1273 liters
58 liters
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
4478 mm
1739 mm
1409 mm
435 liters
1345 liters
63 liters


Opel / General Motors
2.8 Z28NET
6 - V config, 4 valves per cylinder
2792 cc
250 hp
350 Nm
6 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder
Nat. Asp.
2979 cc
231 hp
300 Nm

Performance (manual gearbox)

manual gearbox - 6 gears
1545 kg
6.9 s
245 km/h
15.5 l/100km
7.4 l/100km
10.4 l/100km
245 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
manual gearbox - 6 gears
1475 kg
6.7 s
250 km/h
12.9 l/100km
7.1 l/100km
9.3 l/100km
222 g/km

Performance (automatic gearbox)

automatic - 6 gears
1570 kg
7.8 s
240 km/h
17.2 l/100km
7.2 l/100km
11.0 l/100km
255 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
automatic - 5 gears
1510 kg
7.2 s
243 km/h
14.2 l/100km
7.2 l/100km
9.8 l/100km
235 g/km


1500 EUR
Price from
1100 EUR

Virtual Adviser's™ opinion


Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Large family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the SAAB and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Opel-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 250hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 231hp engine designed by BMW.


A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the SAAB being a slightly better choice apparently. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the large family car segment, which is generally a good thing safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Swedish car offers a marginal difference of 5% more metal.


I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that SAAB does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of SAAB with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed 9-3 30% below average, and 3 Series 19% above the first one. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the Swedish car rank it on average as 5.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.

Performance & Fuel economy

BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 250 kilometers per hour, 5km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 9.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (30 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 12% difference compared to the Swedish car.


BMW appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Swedish car offers much better overall protection, which launches it ahead of the other contender. From there things take a different direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the BMW. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.

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