Saab, the Swedish marque owned by United States car giant General Motors, produces a compact luxury saloon that has been holding its own against the best Teutonic competition. The 9-3 saloon was voted one of the 10 best cars of last year by a leading local car enthusiast magazine, while being heralded the best compact executive saloon, ahead of the Audi A4 and the outgoing BMW 3 Series, by Britain's Top Gear magazine last year. Saab in Hong Kong recently lowered the price point for entry to its 9-3 club with the introduction of the new 'budget' two-litre Nordic model. The 9-3 Nordic is a car with a raft of active and passive safety features. Active safety measures include a multilink rear axle, which allows the wheels to toe-in slightly when breaking at high speed, helping to keep the car steady. There is also traction control and automatic braking system. Passive security features include eight air bags and active headrests to protect occupants against neck injuries in a rear-end collision, which helped it win a five-star rating from crash testers at EuroNCAP. The price of all this Scandinavian common sense is $271,380.