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Our fleet Saab 9-3 Sportwagon 1.9 TTiD SESaab rewards despite foiblesBy Stephen BriersSince Saab was separated from General Motors, the company has priced its models to compete squarely against the mass market segment.But it persists with the little idiosyncrasies that make a Saab: ignition in the centre console between the front seats, cup holder which shoots out from the central dash, flipping open in a feat of design flamboyance to create the holder, curved handbrake that forms part of a central arch seemingly designed to pinch lazy thumbs.However, it also includes some foibles which detract from the experience. The sat-nav/enter-tainment system takes a full 25 seconds from start-up to 'spring' into life. It's a £1,199 dealer fit accessory which is cheaper than the £2k-plus factory-fit option - but its tardiness is frustrating, particularly when wishing to tap in a location, and it refuses to stay on my preferred zoom setting. Give me a £150 TomTom any day.Saab has also sacrificed rear space in favour of boot space. It's not cramped, per se, there's just less room to stretch out.It does mean a reasonably sizeable boot - 477 litres seats up; 1,287 litres seats down - although this compares poorly against rivals, primarily because the Sportwagon design is based on the ageing 2002 saloon. Insignia (540/1,530), Mondeo (537/1,728) and Passat (603/1,731) are much newer models.The excellent twin-turbo 1.9-litre TDI engine offers potent straight-line speed, although the official fuel consumption figures of 62.8mpg are well out of my reach. We've struggled to get much above high-40s.Yet despite all the niggles, there is something rather appealing about this car. Saab has always been a little 'je ne sais quoi', tugging at the heart strings more than the head, and this 9-3 estate doesn't disappoint. If you can live with the foibles, it remains a rewarding family car.FactfileCost P11D price £24,759BIK tax band 13%Class 1A NIC £444Annual VED From £30RV £5,300Running cost 38.29ppmCurrent mileage 3265Test mpg 48.0SpecificationEngine (cc) 1,910ccPower (bhp/rpm) 180/4,000Torque (lb/ft) 295/1,800CO2 119Official mpg 62.8Max speed (mph) 1400-60 (sec) 8.3* Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

By Sarah ToozeIf a company car driver or fleet manager decides to opt for a smaller vehicle to save money, one of the trade-offs is usually less interior space.For a small three-door car, the Audi A1, however, fares pretty well on this front. The boot space was put to the test during a recent trip to the airport. With the rear seats up a suitcase and rucksack swallowed up a fair chunk of the space. That's fine for one person but not so good if you have luggage for two people or more. However, fold the split rear seats forward - which can be easily done in seconds rather than minutes - and you get a flat loading area. The boot space increases from 270 litres to a generous 920 litres.In comparison, the A1's main rival the Mini offers drivers just 160 litres with the rear seats up and 680 litres with them folded. The Citroën DS3, meanwhile, has the edge over the A1. With the rear seats in place it offers another 15 litres over the A1 Sales figuresNewsinsightManufacturernewsFleetprofileRemarketing analysisNews digestCar RecruitmentreviewsOur fleet Audi A1 1.4 TFSI 185 S LineFactfileCost P11D price £20,516BIK tax band 17%Class 1A NIC £481Annual VED £115RV £6,275Running cost 34.27ppmCurrent mileage 1,533Test mpg 36.4SpecificationEngine (cc) 1,390Power (bhp/rpm) 185/6,200Torque (lb/ft) 184/2000CO2 (g/km) 139Official mpg 47.9Max speed 1410-62mph (sec) 6.9* Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)Compact A1 surprises with space and versatility(285) and another 60 (980) with the seats down.But what about space for rear passengers? The DS3 comes out on top again as it can fit three passengers in the back while the A1 only has space for two adults.However, when a 5ft 10in colleague sat in the back of the A1 he found there was plenty of legroom. The coupé like roofline does cause a problem for headroom though. My colleague found his head was against the roof and he wasn't enthusiastic about the prospect of a long journey in the A1. We also discovered that putting the front seat forward to allow someone to scramble into the back wasn't as straightforward as it could have been. The headrest of the driver's seat skims the roof so you either have to put the headrest down or give the seat a decent push forwards. There are no complaints about space up front though and the driver's seat is one of the most comfortable I've sat in.Headroom in the back is tight for a man of average height