The first generation of the Saab 9-3 was introduced in 1998 as a newer and better version of the Saab 900, which was Saab’s model from 1994-1997. The first generation of this compact executive car came as a 4-door hatchback and as a 2-door convertible. The 9-3 allegedly had more than 1,100 improvements from the Saab 900, including major revisions on safe use. The brake light was moved to the top of the rear screen. At the same time, side airbags and head rests were installed to caution the blow during vehicular accidents.
The second generation Saab 9-3 discarded its hatchback predecessors and came as a sedan, a wagon, and a convertible. It also switched from the its usual slanted inline-4 Saab H engine to a straight-4 GM Family II engine.
The third generation was set to be launched on 2012, but was delayed due to financial problems of the Swedish car company. The newest 9-3 would come in “saloon, hatchback, estate, X and convertible.”
This latest generation is crucial to the redemption of the financially fraught Saab after declaring bankruptcy in 2011. In 2012, it was reported that the National Electric Vehicle Sweden has bought the car company.