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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the large family car segment and utilize the same 5-door wagon body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific diesel engine choice they offer. The first one has a Opel-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 125hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 5-cylinder, 20-valves 130hp engine designed by Volvo.Safety
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, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, V70 offers a marginal difference of 7% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, at least on all of the models level. 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 Volvo badge with 4.5 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed 9-3 30% below average, and V70 34% above the first one. That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as 9-3 rank it on average as 3.8, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
SAAB is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.4 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 200 kilometers per hour, exactly the same as the other car does. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be 9-3, averaging around 5.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (50 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 18% difference compared to V70.
Volvo is apparently more reliable, not too much, but just enough. 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, 9-3 offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with SAAB offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the SAAB. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. 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.