The decade-old, 1.9-liter twin-turbodiesel’s average mpg seems to be on par with the latest 4-cylinder diesel technology, including GM’s 1.6, Jarguar’s 2.0, and BMW’s 2.0.
We recently took a look at a garage full of modified Saab 9-3s, including a tastefully done Turbo X, a “weaponized” Aero convertible, and a daily driven, facelifted TTiD model. We were so caught up in talking about all of the time and effort Nathan had put into his cars that we breezed right over a rather significant aspect of the TTiD: its gas mileage.
The featured image (shown at the top of the page) was actually captured during a trip to Germany last year. Nathan and his partner, who reside in the UK, have also used the Saab to travel to France, and will do so again in April when they visit Paris. The 9-3 TTiD is their noble steed as it returns an average of 41 miles per gallon of diesel fuel, and on its best days it has returned as much as 60 miles to the gallon. To compare: the 1.6-liter diesel available for the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze has an EPA estimated 37 combined mpg-rating; the 2.0-liter diesel engine available for the 2018 Jaguar XF 20d Premium gets 36.5 combined mpg; and the 2.0-liter diesel available for the 2018 BMW 328d gets 37 combined mpg.
To make it even sweeter, the Saab’s 1.9-liter diesel makes more horsepower and torque than these newer competitors thanks to tuning by Maptun Performance. With an estimated 227 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, it outmuscles the Cruze’s 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, the Jag’s 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque, and the 328d’s 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. However, even without the tune the 9-3 TTiD makes a competitive 180 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The Glacier Silver finish is an uncommon color, according to Nathan, and that just makes it all the more worthwhile to own in his eyes. He’s fitted the TTiD with the cosmetic goodies we talked about in the previous post, including the carbon fiber spoiler and Turbo X options. It also features a Maxton body kit, just like Nate’s Turbo X, and a full, 3-inch, straight-piped exhaust, which amplifies the whistle of the twin-turbochargers. For an idea of what that sounds like, peep the embedded YouTube video below (disclaimer: audio quality isn’t the best)
If you’re thinking it’s a shame that this 9-3 doesn’t have the latest technology like the aforementioned newer cars do, well, Nathan addressed this issue by installing a Pioneer DA120 Apple CarPlay head unit, which also provides up-to-date navigation maps. The reverse parking sensors, rear fog lights, ‘follow-me-home’ HID headlights that adjust to steering input and road level, and other bells and whistles were already included from the factory. For what it’s worth, Subaru just outfitted the WRX and WRX STi with follow-me-home HID headlights for the 2018 model year.
There’s still one more stallion in Nathan’s barn that we’ve yet to take a look at, which would be the classic 900 T16s that he and his partner are in the midst of restoring. You can look forward to details on that build in the coming future.
Americans who wish to have a 9-3 TTiD as their own daily driver will be sorry to hear that it was never offered here in the states, and was only available over in Europe. You can indulge in your sorrows by watching the video below, which shows the original 30-second ad for the TTiD engine back in 2008.