The Convertible is price-positioned to compete with other premium convertibles in its segment. Owners will benefit from longer service intervals and reduced workshop times which, compared to the previous model, are intended to yield scheduled maintenance savings of up to 30 per cent. Saab has moved away from rigid time and distance restrictions, as it is now more important to monitor how the vehicle is actually used in real life by its owner. The maximum service interval is now every two years, or 30,000 kms. With engine coolant filled and sealed for life, the only major service items for the new 9-3 Convertible are the engine oil, spark plugs, air filter and drive belt.
Saab engineers have also tried to make repair and replacement work as simple as possible, minimising repair bills and and insurance costs. Low speed frontal collision protection, through 'self-repairing', energy absorbing bumpers (for impacts up to 8 kph) and deformable 'crash boxes' (for impacts up to 15 kph), now bolted in position for quick replacement, help protect the body structure from serious damage requiring expensive reinstatement. The innovative CargoWing rear spoiler converts to a useful ski or snowboard holder, further enhancing the Convertible's versatile qualities, and is among a wide range of accessories.
Other items include wind tunnel-tested styling enhancements and a wide choice of alloy wheels. A folding wind deflector, a bike holder and a cup, CD or ice scraper holder for the car's Smart Slot are among more practical features.
The new 9-3 range incorporates 'state of the art' security, developed jointly with representatives of leading insurance companies. The British Thatcham insurance research center has already awarded the new 9-3 Convertible a maximum five star rating for 'theft of the vehicle' and four stars for 'theft from the vehicle'.
'Freewheeling' lock cylinders and efficient 'shielding' of the locks inside the doors and trunk lid prevent tampering. Deadbolts make it virtually impossible for a would-be thief to forcibly break in.
The immobilizer system uses both an electrical steering column lock and disablement of the engine management system. The 'start' message from the key's transponder is encrypted in complex, rolling codes. An advanced alarm system, using ultrasonic motion sensors, can also be specified, together with an optional 'tilt' sensor.