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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
We are here considering two somewhat similar cars, but we can't deny some of the obvious differences. For a start, they are not even classified under the same segment, with the Volvo being a sports car and the SAAB representing large family car vehicle class. The first one has a Volvo-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 5-cylinder, 20-valves 170hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 250hp engine designed by Opel.Safety
The fact that the SAAB got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, puts it sky-high safety-wise, in my eyes at least. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. The second vehicle is a large family car and that gives it a marginal advantage over the sports car competitor, at least that's what statistics show. Furthermore, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, 9-3 offers a marginal difference of 4% 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 Volvo with an average rating of 4.5, and models under the SAAB badge with 4.1 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed C70 as average reliability-wise, and 9-3 is more or less at the same level.We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as C70 rank it on average as 5.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
SAAB is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 245 kilometers per hour, 25km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be C70, averaging around 9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (31 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 18% difference compared to 9-3.
Volvo 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, 9-3 beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. It all continues in the same direction, with SAAB being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... 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.