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Performance (manual gearbox)
Performance (automatic gearbox)
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 diesel 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 Mercedes Benz). The first one has a FIAT-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 8-valves 120hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 116hp engine designed by Mercedes Benz.Safety
The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the SAAB being a slightly better choice apparently. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the large family car segment, which is generally a good thing safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. Furthermore, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the Swedish car offers a marginal difference of 3% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that SAAB does have a slight advantage, all the models observed together. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of SAAB with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the Mercedes Benz badge with 4.4 out of 5. Independent research findings rank 9-3 30% below average, and C 42% above the first one. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Swedish car rank it on average as 4.5, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.4 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
SAAB is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.1 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 200 kilometers per hour, 3km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the Swedish car, averaging around 5.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (50 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 18% difference compared to the German car.
Mercedes Benz 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. It all continues in the same direction, with SAAB being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but SAAB. 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. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.