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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 (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
The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the SAAB being a slightly better choice apparently. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. 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, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the German car offers a considerable difference of 12% 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 results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Audi, as well as SAAB, with the same average rating of 4.1 out of 5. The same official information place 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 1.2 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 10.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (27 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 30% 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 this case though, it seems that both cars show similar levels of passenger protection all together, so that won't break a tie. But one thing that actually could is the performance, 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... It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the 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. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.