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Saab 93 SportCombi

The performance of the Saab 93 SportCombi is such that other drivers won't see if the kids in the back seat are poking out their tongues or not.

For most of us, the name “Combi” conjures up images of the old VW Kombi vans, so it’s a little unclear why Saab chose the name SportCombi for the smooth-looking SportCombi, which is part of the prestigious 93 lineup. Is it because the Saab 93 SportCombi is at the bigger end of the 93 spectrum, being a family-sized estate wagon (stationwagon)? Or is it because this vehicle has a combination of sports-styled handling and comfort with size and power? I guess we’ll never know for sure, although whichever Saab 93 SportCombi you choose, Linear, Linear Sport, Vector, Vector Lux or Aero, you’re bound to find it a family car that you’ll love.

Two things are usually top of the list when it comes to choosing a family vehicle: the interior and the safety. It’s only after this that things like exterior styling and raw power come into consideration. Face it: if you had to choose between putting your children in a vehicle that was plug-ugly but safe versus something pretty and powerful but as safe as a cardboard box, which would you choose? This is not to say that the Saab 93 SportCombi is ugly or under-powered. Far from it – the Saab 93 SportCombi has great styling and performance to match: why else would they add “Sport” into the name?

Safety first is always a good policy, so let’s see what the Saab 93 SportCombi’s got. And it’s got plenty. While you’ll only see the passive safety features in an emergency, it’s good for peace of mind to read the list: tough body shell/passenger compartment, pretensioned front seat belts, active head restraints to prevent whiplash in the front, front and side airbags, and a roof rail airbag. And don’t forget the load shifting protection in the rear seat, which stops what’s in the boot slamming into the backs of the rear seat passengers during a collision – nobody likes getting a school bag or three in the kidneys. Being a family car, the Saab 93 SportCombi has three-point seatbelts in the rear and comes ready prepared with Isofix child restraint points.

The active safety features are more likely to be noticed, however, as they help to keep the big Saab firmly on the road and improve the handling as well as the safety. The list of standard active safety features even on the humble(?) Saab 93 SportCombi Linear has ABS brakes with EBD, brake assist and cornering brake control, plus and ESP package, traction control and the ReAxs passive rear steer, while the Vector Lux and Aero variants add in automatic levelling bi-xenon headlights. The Aero throws in performance brakes and a sports chassis… but these are almost too much fun to call safety features!

It doesn’t really matter where you sit in the Saab 93 SportCombi, as you’ll find all of the leather insert seats very, very comfortable. On a chilly day, however, the front seats are going to be the ones to bag, as even in the Saab 93 SportCombi Linear, heated front seats are standard features. However, the automatic climate control will keep everyone else comfy in the back seats. The driver’s seat is electrically adjustable as standard in all variants except the Linear, while the Aero and Vector Lux driver’s seats have a memory function thrown in as well. All variants have leather on the steering wheel somewhere, and that steering wheel is adjustable for reach and rake. And any driver is bound to love the front arm rest.

The lights on the Saab 93 SportCombi are worth mentioning, as the designers have incorporated several cunning little features that stop you stumbling up or down the driveway or dark garage trying to find keys and handles. These features are the “follow me home” function and the “lead me to car” halo lighting. “Follow me home” activates the headlights once you’ve left the car so you can find the door (just right for lighting a goodnight kiss after a date) but switches them off using a timer. “Lead me to car” allows you to switch the exterior and interior lights of the Saab 93 SportCombi from the outside as you find the car. This would be really handy in a big crowded car park – just press the button and you’ll see the car light up.

OK, now for the bit all keen drivers are waiting for: what can the Saab 93 SportCombi do once you sink into that seat and start it up? Well, it depends on which variant you have. The top of the range just has to be the Aero. Your engine choices in the Saab 93 SportCombi Aero are either a 2.8 V6 turbocharged DOHC petrol unit that packs a 188 kW punch at 5500 rpm and wrings out 350 Nm of twist throughout the 1800–4500 rpm range. When this unit is coupled with the six-speed manual transmission, it does the 0–100 sprint in 6.9 seconds, with the six-speed auto just a touch behind at 7.8 seconds. The other alternative for the Aero is the 1.9 litre TTiD diesel engine that has slightly less power (132 kW at 4000 revs) but more torque: a very, very grunty 400 Nm in the manual version at 1850–2750 revs. A sprint between the two Aero variants from 0–100 km would see the petrol version winning, however, as the TTiD Aero does it in 8.7 seconds.

At the other end of the performance spectrum comes the Saab 93 SportCombi Linear, but even this is no slouch. The Saab 93 SportCombi Linear has three engine choices on offer: the 110 kW 1.9 litre TTiD diesel, the 129 kW 2.0 litre petrol and the 2.0t Biopower that runs on E85 ethanol or petrol. The Biopower unit proves that being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be boring: anything that can manage 147 kW of power and 300Nm of torque, and is able to do the 0–100 km/h sprint in sub-10 second time (8.1 seconds for the 6-speed manual, to be precise) should be able to drag most things off at the lights. The Biopower unit is shared as a possibility by the Linear Sport, the Vector and the Vector Lux variants of the Saab 93 SportCombi, as is the 110 kW TTiD unit and the 129 kW two-litre. The Vector and the Vector Lux also have a 154 kW two-litre petrol engine available which maxes the torque curve out at 300 Nm when the rev counter reaches the 2500–4000 range.

The current model series includes the:

  • Saab 93 SportCombi Linear
  • Saab 93 SportCombi Linear Sport
  • Saab 93 SportCombi Vector
  • Saab 93 SportCombi Vector Lux
  • Saab 93 SportCombi Aero

For any more information on the Saab 93 SportCombi, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Saab dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!

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