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Dimensons & Volumes
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 Opel-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 125hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 116hp engine designed by Mercedes Benz.Safety
Both vehicles got tested by European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), 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 it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. Furthermore, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, 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 official statistics, 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. The same official information place 9-3 30% below average, and C 42% 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 3.8, 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 thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.