The High Mile Club’s Newest Member

Saab 9-3X_Front storyHigh MIle Club

Our 2011 9-3X TTiD has just joined the ranks of the esteemed High Mile Club and is now proudly showing 100,000 miles.

Compared to some other club members its barely run in of course, and has a long way to go to catch our previous SportCombi with 185,000 miles (and still going strong).

We’ve loved it for the past two years, but the time has come for it to make way for another Saab project, alas, the High Mile Club’s newest member is for sale over on Ebay.

Those of you who read the blog will have read plenty about this Saab, but for those who know less, I’ll repeat the Ebay listing below.

Sad to see it go and hope it’ll find a home with another Saabist, it’s a very special Saab and will make someone else exceptionally proud.

In 2009 Saab launched the 9-3X – a Crossover AWD version of the SportCombi with a few rugged styling enhancements. Sturdy wheel arches and side skirts designed to protect the car from mud and gravel, an enlarged front grille, detailed skid plates front & rear, chunky twin exhaust, aluminium roof bars and an extra 35mm added to the ride height.

Although launched as an AWD, Saab couldn’t afford to connect their exceptionally capable TTiD4 engine with the necessary running gear, so the 9-3X TTiD was only ever available with 2 wheel drive.

Result, gorgeous rugged styling, but hugely efficient – currently returning between 45 – 50mpg.

As standard, this is 180bhp but has benefitted from a Hirsch upgrade taking it to a capable 200bhp.

This also has the very rare full leather sports interior and Sat Nav, both really nice touches.

It’s just covered 100,000 miles (low mileage for a Saab, we sold our last at 180,000 and that one’s still driving around the neighbourhood), has had a new timing belt, water pump and full service by one of the best Saab specialists I know of – Malcolm Miles.

Overview:

2011 9-3X TTiD
3 previous owners
100,500 Miles
MOT until November 2016
Solid Black
Heated seats
Roof Bars
Full sport Leather
Sat Nav
Boot Tray
Recent discs and pads
Full Service History

Some points to note:

Tyres good but will need changing within the next year or so
Sat Nav works intermittently (regular 9-3 issue, could be fixed with an updated disc)
Slight scuff on front bumper from a careless garage (being removed at present)
Private plate will not be with the car

Ebay listing here

Saab 9-3X_Exterior 4Saab 9-3X_Exterior rear 2Saab 9-3X_Exterior RearSaab 9-3X_Full InteriorSaab 9-3X_DetailSaab 9-3X_Detail 2

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The 9-3X Factor

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Over Winter, the 9-3X is really put into action, tackling rough country roads and private dirt tracks to take our son to various shooting estates – guns, dogs, wellies and wet clothes. Mountain bikes piled in the back or on the roof, driven to remote forests and used as a temporary pop up restaurant and shelter from stormy skies, it handles it all with ease, and more than a little style.

After all of its hard work, it was about time to give the interior a much need cleansing of Winter wear, as always I was utterly impressed with how fantastic the Saab interior handles the abuse. Not only has it come up beautifully again, but nothing seems to wear, the buttons and fixings, carpets and linings, all perfect. It’s like having a brand new Saab every time I clean it, and on the eve of it’s High Mile Club membership, I never fail to be impressed.

No doubt about it, the 9-3X is a seriously robust piece of kit, but then again, it’s going to be, it’s a Saab.

THE LESSER SPOTTED 9-3X

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Although the original Saab 9-3 SportCombi was launched some 10 years ago in 2005, the styling feels as fresh today as it did back then. With its 2008 facelift, it easily manages to hold its own alongside virtually any other prestigious estate out there today.

In 2009 Saab launched the 9-3X – a Crossover AWD version of the SportCombi with a few rugged styling enhancements. Sturdy wheel arches and side skirts designed to protect the car from mud and gravel, an enlarged front grille, detailed skid plates front & rear, chunky twin exhaust, aluminium roof bars and an extra 35mm added to the ride height.

Although launched as a petrol AWD version, Saab couldn’t afford to connect their exceptionally capable TTID4 engine with the necessary running gear, so the 9-3X TTID was only ever available with 2 wheel drive.

Our previous SportCombi had handled our lifestyle well; city commuting, school runs and fast motorway jaunts one day, rough, muddy potholed farm tracks and forests the next, but it was fast approaching 200,000 miles, so we decided to invest in a new one. We initially searched for an Aero, but couldn’t help falling for the rugged charm of the 9-3X, not being an AWD didn’t bother us, as our old SportCombi never failed us in any situation.

We ended up with a gorgeous 2010 9-3X TTID, Hirsch upgraded to 200bhp with full sport leather and Sat Nav – it really is an amazing Saab. Refined handling, slightly softer than standard SportCombis, wonderfully comfortable on our erratic UK road surfaces, exceptionally responsive, and amazingly, we’re averaging a whopping 53mpg, often achieving high 600+ miles per tank.

The 9-3X is a pretty rare sight here in the UK, and we’re proud to own one, it suits our lifestyle well, just as at home in the city as it is ploughing down muddy tracks with mountain bikes up top, it may have come late to the crossover scene, but when Saab did something, they did it perfectly.

X Rated Saab

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It was time to make a choice, either spend some money on my wife’s loyal 185,000 mile SportCombi or invest in a new one that would see us through many more years of Saabing – we chose to invest.

We’d briefly looked at other options, but nothing stood out or appealed quite like a 9-3 SportCombi, in fact my wife wouldn’t look at anything else. She had simple requests: it had to be black or dark grey, have bluetooth, leather, heated seats and parking sensors, the search was on.

We saw some the hadn’t been looked after, others that were too expensive and others that just didn’t feel right, then a pretty special 9-3 came along.

A black 2011 93X with 200hp Hirsch upgrade, full sport leather, Sat Nav and all of the above requirements. It came from S.A.B, a great guy who specialises in exceptional quality Saabs with many years experience.

It’s already settled in nicely, doing it’s job and carrying son and dog to a local country estate over the weekend, lots of mud, lots of 4x4s, but the 9-3X looked perfectly at home.

Looking forward to the next 100,000 or so miles in this great Saab.