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Classic Future: 1999-2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen

Given the company’s defunct status, you could argue that all of Saab future classic. Even the last round of cars from the era common engine ownership worthy of their place in history. Seriously, how hot was last time 9-5?

Sleek design and quirky features are hallmarks of the Saab brand, and its cars are as premium as their main European competitors. But while other luxury automakers put a lot of effort into creating a full line of performance cars, Sweden only occasionally produces an oddly sporty Saab. One of our favorites is 9-3 Viggen from the turn of the century, and it’s a car that still makes us swoon to this day.

Why is Saab 9-3 Viggen a future classic?

Saab’s entire “jet-born” tagline never really made much sense, but at least the 9-3 Viggen name is a nod to the company’s aerospace roots. The word “Viggen” in Swedish means “lightning bolt” in English and the name was used on the Saab 37 Viggen aircraft that entered service in the early 1970s.

The 9-3 Viggen uses a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four, best remembered for its raised 20 psi turbocharger pressure. Rated at 225 hp – later increased 230 horsepower – and 252 pound-feet of torque, this engine is paired exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. Stiffer suspension components, firmer dampers, stronger drive shafts, heavy-duty clutch and revised exhaust are also part of the tuning package.

Viggen is relatively fast, with Saab quoting a 0 to 60 mph time of around 6.5 seconds. However, the 9-3 Viggen is largely remembered for things like ridiculous turbo lag and torque control – traits that make this car fun to drive, even if they do. loss of sharpness and overall composure.

What is the ideal example of a Saab 9-3 Viggen?

Saab offers the 9-3 Viggen as a three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and two-door convertible. And while this car is most often remembered for its launch color, Lightning Blue, Saab offered the Viggen in black, grey, red, silver and gold. You can even specify the interior with blue, orange or brown leather accents.

Arguably the most iconic 9-3 Viggen spec is a Lightning blue three-door hatch, but the other color much rarer. We’ve got a big weakness for a Monte Carlo Five yellow doors, but really, you can’t go wrong. However, the Viggen convertible can be avoided, unless you like the idea of ​​being covered to death with a blanket.

Our list of used cars It can be helpful to find a good deal near you. Narrow services down to the radius around your ZIP code and pay attention to the offer rating on each listing to see how the vehicle compares to others in a similar area.

Are there any good alternatives to Saab 9-3 Viggen?

Oh my gosh, yes. One of Viggen’s biggest problems is that it plays in the same space as some good performance cars – things like Audi S4, CAR M3 and Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG – all are objectively better to drive.

But no one misses a Saab for its edgy road manners. Instead, we remember things like the center console-mounted igniter, the weird flip-out cup holders, the upright dashboard and of course, night panel. For these reasons and more, the 9-3 Viggen will always be a highly sought after Saab.

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