The original 9-3 had secure handling, a large and versatile hatchback, and a full complement of safety features.
However, it rode stiffly, was noisy, and had a cramped interior.
For 2003, the hatchback was discontinued, leaving a four-door sedan, convertible, or wagon with a choice of turbo four-cylinder engines.
Good points were sporty and capable handling, along with good braking.
The front seats are well-sculpted, but the rear seat is tight.
Some controls are overly complex and the 9-3 isn't as comfortable as some competitors.