Car reviews Malaysian style

I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but I think it’s a good review of the Saab 9-3 Convertible.  Maybe it’s just a good review of the function to publicise the 9-3 Convertible.  Then again, maybe it’s a good review of the women, or the vodka. 

It’s what happenes when you get a somewhat on-heat journalist to cover a function packed choc-full of nice Saabs, free booze and ladies in attendance.

Whatever.  From the New Straits Times.  At least it’s funny-lah!!!

Vodka, women and fast cars. Things can�t get any better for SHANNON TEOH at the relaunch of the Saab 9-3.

WAHHH, ladies� night! Can�t wait. So happy that my editor decided to send me. Better wear something nice. A clean T-shirt perhaps. And a pair of pants with no holes.

Should I shower? Guess I will, since I�ve run out of cologne.

This was going to be fun, cars and women. And not just any car. Premium cars. Specifically, the Saab 9-3, re-introduced this year in seven variants.

And sure enough, when I got to the Auto Eurokars showroom in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, it was full of boot… space. Yes, the Saab 9-3 was plenty roomy. Nice to know I can stash away a couple of dead bodies in the boot. I mean, just in case, you know.

And I hadn�t even stepped into the building proper. Those 9-3s were sitting in the car park. Strangely enough, the Saabs in the showroom were hidden under a veil. Damnit. Now I have to choose between curves of steel or flesh.

Fair enough. Inside though, plenty of curves belonging to a few people I knew.

LIFESTYLE PURCHASE: Women are apparently more receptive to open driving

�Hey, how are you? Fancy seeing you here. You into cars?� I offered, along with a glass of vodka to a fellow journalist � a bar run by Absolut was free-flow for the night.

�Oh, yeah, sure.�

�Lots of space, huh, to put shopping bags and all your girlfriends a la Sex in the City.�

�Wah, so stereotypical-lah you. Women can�t like fast cars, meh?�

�Umm, can, but you like because it�s fast or because it�s spacious?�

�Because fast-lah. Even the entry-level 9-3 has 150bhp and the Aero has 210. Some more can kit it up to 252 horses.�

�Whoa, you did your homework, huh?�

�Ya-lah, then? Like you-ah, looking for leg room only.�

Well, that didn�t go so well, I thought as I took a sip. Auto Eurokars senior marketing executive for Saab, Derrick Tan, came by and slapped me on the back.

�Actually, dude, we notice women are more into the driving experience nowadays. They used to go for practicality. These days women are comparing power specs, what�s the torque and when it comes in,� he explained.

Right, I�ll have to keep that in mind. I drifted towards the Apple booth, where the obvious draws were the minis, both iPod and Mac. Neat. Spec-savvy women would probably flock here.

�This monster player will go well with that monster car, huh?� I said to a fellow browser while picking up the top-of-the-line iPod Photo.

�Uhh, I guess,� she said, whilst fiddling with her cute iPod mini.

�Nothing like blasting a song with a thumping bassline to go with 300Nm of torque shoving you forward.�

�Is that all you guys can think about? Power? Look at this,� she said as she shoved the pink iPod mini into my face.

LOOKING GOOD: The Saab 9-3 might be one sleek machine but there were other dangerous curves to negotiate and admire that night

�It�s so much more functional. It�s got six gigabytes of storage. That�s already 1,500 songs. Having 300 whatever on your car is nice, but it�s got to look good-lah. That�s why I like the chrome green one outside. It�ll go well with the green iPod mini actually,� she replied, reaching for one and ignoring me.

Ok. Now, I�m confused. But she was right though. The convertible did look sleek and would be a great �handbag� for the stylish cutting-edge woman.

Derrick sighed as he approached me again.

�Friend, whatever it is, the first thing is still the looks. If they like how it looks, then they get into the rest of it. Especially with the convertible.�

Ok, that makes more sense.

I pretended to be interested in Ken�s Apothecary, YTL Hotels� Tanjung Jara Resort promotions and Kukubar�s and Energy Day Spa�s free demos � seeing if there were any other likely suspects.

If Saab was trying to associate itself to a pleasurable lifestyle experience, it was doing a pretty good job � except for the rather naff male dancer routine. Or maybe I was just biased.

�Women want to know what�s associated to the car. It�s a lifestyle purchase. All our convertibles are bought by women because they�re more receptive to open driving. It�s about what it speaks for you.�

�We believe women will choose Saab over our competitors chiefly because of it�s value for money. Ranging from RM212,000 to RM367,000, our cars cost less without sacrificing on size, specs or technology.�

Well, on closer inspection, it�s not 100 per cent without sacrifice. The 9-3 does cut away a bit of power and technology but makes up in room and safety � the Aero, which climbs to law-breaking speeds in a jiffy, also eats up corners comfortably, with its rigid chassis, electronic traction and stability systems. On top of that, it�s been accorded five-star status by EuroNCAP in its collision test programme.

It is also, in my honest opinion, a handsome looking car. Better looking than the dancers that night, for sure.

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