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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 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Large family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (4 x 4 for the Audi and front in the case of the SAAB). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 8-cylinder, 40-valves 344hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 250hp engine designed by Opel.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. 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, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the German car offers a marginal difference of 6% 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. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Audi, as well as SAAB, with the same average rating of 4.1 out of 5. Independent research findings rank A4 15% below average, and 9-3 15% below the first one. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the German car rank it on average as 5.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Audi 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 250 kilometers per hour, 5km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the Swedish car, averaging around 10.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (27 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 29% difference compared to the German car!
Audi 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 slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with Audi 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. 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. 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 thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.