Saab’s safety philosophy helped earn the 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan a “Best Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the most recent series of 40-mph frontal offset crash tests, IIHS tested seven new or redesigned vehicles, including the 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. The Saab was one of five vehicles that earned the Institute’s “Best Pick” honor in this round of testing. The crashworthiness test evaluates vehicles on three primary elements:• Ability of the structural cage to protect the occupant compartment.• Risk of occupant injury.• How well occupant movement is controlled by the vehicle’s restraint system.The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan received the highest possible rating of "good" in all three categories.Among the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan’s standard safety features are adaptive, dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags engineered into the front seats, seat belts featuring crash pre-tensioners and load limiters, and Saab’s Active Head Restraint (SAHR 2). In a rear-end collision, the SAHR system is designed to limit an occupant’s head movement during the impact, helping reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.In addition to the seat-mounted side-impact airbags, the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan also features side-curtain airbags that deploy from the ceiling, offering protection to front and rear occupants. The side-curtain airbags are activated in side impacts and also in severe frontal impacts, when stage 2 activation of the front airbags is deployed. The side-curtain airbags remain inflated for up to three seconds in order to help prevent a passenger’s head from striking the side windows, roof pillars or exterior objects during the course of an impact sequence. This added protection is especially effective during an offset frontal crash, as the IIHS test duplicates, when the vehicle rotates after the collision.