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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 petrol engines and utilizing the 2-door cabriolet 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 4-cylinder, 16-valves 150hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 170hp engine designed by BMW.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 same number of safety stars gained in the process. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. 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? On the other hand, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the German car offers a marginal difference of 1% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears 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 BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed 9-3 30% below average, and 3 Series 9% above the first one. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Swedish car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.5 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.4 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 228 kilometers per hour, 23km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 19% 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 German car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with BMW 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 BMW. Anyway, that's the most objective conclusion I could've came up with and it's based solely on the information found on this website. Aspects such as design, practicality, brand value and driving experience are there for you to measure them out. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.