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Limited to just 600 units in 2008, the Saab 9-3 Turbo X was the flagship trim of the lineup. With increased boost over the regular 9-3 Aero, the Turbo X’s 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 pumped out 280 horsepower. Saab also debuted its clever all-wheel drive system, coined XWD, on the Turbo X that would mainly drive the front wheels for fuel efficiency, but used a wet-clutch system and an electronically-controlled LSD to send power to the rear wheels individually. The result is a Saab that performs and handles unlike any other. With bigger brakes and stiffer suspension, the Turbo X is sure-footed and confidence-inspiring to drive. Road feel is good through the thicker, leather-rimmed steering wheel and shifts through the optional 6-speed automatic are crisp.


Although plenty of boring cars boast 300+ horsepower today, the 280 ponies under the hood of the Turbo X feel like they’re on steroids. I was genuinely surprised at the capabilities of this car given its demure appearance. As the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. 


Inside, the Turbo X is a perfect example of Swedish stoicism and were it not for Saab’s unique ergonomic quirkiness, I’d almost call it stark. Inserting the key into the center console behind the shifter took some getting used to but was a fun treat compared to so many other cars. I also appreciated the simple buttons and dials and the orange and red boost gauge in the instrument cluster. All of the touch points are nicely appointed in leather trim and the faux carbon fiber adds a little visual interest to the all-black interior. Although this Turbo X features an upgraded touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and a backup camera, the original head unit is included in the sale.


History & Maintenance

This vehicle was purchased in Arizona, on 10/10/2008 and is a two-owner car. Carfax indicates that the vehicle was routinely serviced and well maintained. In 2018, the car was involved in a side swipe collision with another vehicle, airbags didn't deploy. The car was fixed and later sold to a dealership in June 2020. The car was later purchased by it’s second owner on 12/2020. Regular maintenance was performed throughout the ownership of the car.


3/5/33 Car had bumper repairs after a low-speed collision. Damage to the radiator support panel caused the bumper to not fit back in place. Repair/align radiator support and LF fender bracing so that the bumper fits. Repair broken left headlight mount tabs. Repair bumper impact damage and remove extensive cracked paint from the front bumper. Bumper and fog lights have been replaced and more detail of the service can be found in the supplied service documentation.


6/21/22 Haldex service was performed. A diff filter kit, Haldex oil, and rear diff oil were replaced. The vehicle also had a torn CV boot replaced and an AC recharge.


8/26/22 The front end of the car was repaired and parts were replaced due to a collusion with a raccoon. An oil and lube job also performed and vehicle was inspected. A new T-case motor was also installed.


11/6/23 Front rotors and upgraded ceramic pads were installed, an AC recharge was performed and the system passed a leak test. A new power steering coupler and power steering reservoir was installed.


A complete overview of service performed on the vehicle from 3/26/21 to 6/9/23

can also be found in the service documentation.


2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X


  • VIN: YS3FM42R481144926

  • Year: 2008

  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic

  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.8-liter V6

  • Miles: 71710

  • Exterior Color: Jet Black Metallic

  • Interior Color: Black

  • Title: Clean

  • Consignment: Yes

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN


The Turbo X was introduced to commemorate 30 years of Saab's use of turbocharging technology in production cars. Saab has a significant legacy in pioneering the use of turbochargers in mainstream passenger vehicles, and the Turbo X pays tribute to this heritage.


Saab has a notable history in motorsports, particularly in rallying events during the 1960s and 1970s. The Turbo X draws inspiration from Saab's racing roots, incorporating design elements and performance features that echo the brand's involvement in competitive racing. The special edition model aims to capture the spirit of Saab's racing successes.


Interior                   A

The interior of this 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X presents very well for its age and mileage. Everything works as it should and the upgraded touchscreen headunit adds useful features and modernity that weren’t available 16 years ago.

Exterior                 B

This Turbo X has been well taken care of under current ownership. Visually, there are some small scratches and minor dents that align with the age and mileage of the vehicle. Some cracks are present in the grey plastic trim along the lower part of the front bumper and the left-side headlight has some minor haze present. The rear bumper also has some small scuffs. No rust is present anywhere on the vehicle.

Mechanical          A-

The Saab 9-3 Turbo X drives beautifully. The thrust provided by the turbocharged 2.8L V6 is genuinely impressive and the car has great composure over a variety of road conditions. The XWD service light will occasionally come up on the dash, however all XWD components have been serviced and replaced recently and it’s thought to just need a reset from a Saab-specific scan tool.


Photographer's notes

I’ve never paid much attention to Saabs in the past but I was genuinely surprised and impressed by this 9-3 Turbo X. It’s a handsome car and has just the right amount of quirkiness to stand out from the crowd of compact European sedans without feeling compromised. For me, the highlights are the power delivery from the silky-smooth turbocharged V6 and I also really like the quirky wheel design which lends some edginess to the otherwise unassuming styling. The fact that it’s rare and unique are just bonus, in my opinion.

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