The car is only a few months old and the first award has rolled in. Add this to the Gold Award received by the 9-3 range from the IIHS and the top-10 engine award from Wards Autos and one could say it’s been quite a month for the 9-3. As one wise commenter noted earlier this month – "Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Car & Driver!!" (or words to that effect)
This news release has just come in from Saab USA:
Saab 9-3 SportCombi Wins 2006 ‘Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year’ Award
San Diego, CA – Based on feedback from automotive journalists and elite and recreational athletes from across the United States, the Saab 9-3 SportCombi received the ‘2006 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year’ award in the best value, on-road category at the San Diego International Auto Show today.
Presented by Active.com and Gen-A Network, creators of the Active Lifestyle Vehicles program (www.ActiveLifestyleVehicle.com), the award is designed to connect active consumers with auto manufacturers to create the ultimate vehicle for active lifestyles.
“Millions of active consumers visit Active.com to tap into the services and resources that will make participation easier and enhance their active lifestyles. These same consumers have similar needs in their personal vehicles,” explained Jim Woodman, senior vice president at Active.com.
The Active Lifestyle Vehicles program showcases the industry’s top vehicles for active lifestyle consumers. This year, San Diego athletes and a team of the nation’s leading automotive journalists test drove 16 finalists chosen from a field of 32 entries submitted by 14 auto manufacturers. Models were evaluated based on handling, cargo space and special active lifestyle features, including roof racks, bike transport and towing capability.
“The 9-3 SportCombi is a unique vehicle, designed and built in Sweden”, said Nina Russin, head of the automotive journalists jury and an accomplished marathon runner. “Longtime Saab aficionados will appreciate its peppy performance, user-friendly interior and Scandinavian design. Newcomers will love the SportCombi for its fun ride, class-leading safety and cargo-friendly interior – all for a price within the limits of many new car buyers.”
“We are extremely pleased with the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Award for the 9-3 SportCombi,” said Jay Spenchian, Saab USA general manager. “It is the third distinction that we have received for the 9-3 in a short timeframe. Earlier this month, the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was the only luxury car honored with the ‘Gold Award’ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, the editorial staff of Ward’s Communications voted the new 2.8 V6 Turbo V6 in the 9-3 Aero one of their ’10 Best Engines’ for 2006.
The 9-3 SportCombi is an important extension of the 9-3 range, which also includes the Sport Sedan and Convertible. Its 5-door body style pays tribute to highly regarded Saab hatchbacks of the past, in particular the Saab 99 Turbo ‘Combi Coupe.’
In addition to Saab’s signature styling cues like the rising beltline and hockey stick-shaped D-pillar, the 9-3 SportCombi features dramatic rear quarter styling and an integrated spoiler atop its steeply raked tailgate. It features a twin load floor cargo deck and 72 cu. ft. of cargo space with the rear seats folded.
“The SportCombi enhances the 9-3 range with Saab trademark versatility and fresh styling that provides a distinct alternative to conventional 5-door designs,” Spenchian said. “It plays a very important role in Saab’s strategy for worldwide growth.”
The 9-3 2.0T SportCombi, with standard 210 hp has a base MSRP of $27,620. The Aero model with the award-winning 250-hp Turbo V6 starts at $33,620. Both prices include delivery charges. The 9-3 SportCombi’s base price is approximately $3,000 less than that of the Audi A4 2.0T Avant, a prime competitor.
Active.com (www.Active.com), a service of San Diego, Calif.-based The Active Network, Inc. and a leading online destination for active lifestyles, provides one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources to find, learn about and register online for participatory events and activities. Active consumers can search the site’s online database and find events in more than 100 sports, in cities nationwide, throughout the year. Participants can also access exercise, nutrition and health information to help maintain fitness goals. Other Active.com services include ActiveAdvantage, a customized membership benefits program for active lifestyles; and effective, interactive online training programs to track training progress online. For more information, visit www.Active.com.