Independant 9-3SC review

If I may dare talk about a car review again……

Just spotted this one that’s apparently from the Independant, though I didn’t find it there: I stumbled over it on my webfeed as a story coming from Motoring out of South Africa. Now there’s a place I know nothing about in terms of the interest in Saabs.

Regardless of the geography, it’s good to see some interest in the SportCombi, with the article saying that Saab in the UK are expecting the SportCombi to be Saab’s biggest seller there (I wish they’d break that down rather than just give 9-3 sales as a whole).

I like this bit….

Saab had lost its design mojo and was churning out boring, blobby saloons in fewer and fewer numbers in countries that barely knew where Sweden was. Anxious black polo neck-wearing, home-coffee-grinding, naming-their-children-Olivia-and-Luca-type residents of Highgate formed action committees to see what could be done.

GM remains in dire trouble, of course, and there are still those who predict Saab still could go the way of Rover, but the last year and a half has seen a heartening – and rather startling – renaissance.

After praising Saab’s German rivals, the author continues….

But, of course, the Saab is not German, which has long been one of its chief selling points. And this particular Saab is actually rather lovely, which is another. It looks great, for starters, with its “iced-look” rear lights; dynamic Nike-tick carriage line; and earnest, chiselled front.

Saab has rekindled its Saabishness but, instead of looking faintly orthopaedic as its cars used to, this one is svelte and sexy.

I’m still yet to see a SportCombi eye to eye here in Tassie (which is almost as far from Sweden as you can get – that particular honour goes to Robin in New Zealand). Can’t wait to take one on a photo trip though. It’ll be interesting to see who’ll be the first person to buy one here. Tassie’s such as small place I’ll put $10 on the chance that I’ll know them.

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  1. Nice reading, absolutely! But “…..most are made outside of Sweden” (?).
    Anyway, great to see that SAAB finally seems to have reached V1 (explanation: Pilots of multi-engine aircraft calculate a decision speed (V1) for each takeoff that dictates action to be taken in case an engine fails. Below V1 the takeoff is aborted; above V1 the pilot should continue to take off). ;/)

  2. Just remember that the South African market supplies a number of adjacent countries, notably Namibia and Botswana. In Namibia, I can count the number of Saab around here: 2 MY02 9-3 Aero and SE in Walvis Bay (harbor); Windhoek (capital): 4 9-5 (I have two MY01 9-5 Aeros), another silver 9-5 Aero MY00 and one 9-5 SE estate. 4 9-3 (3 SE and 1 Aero MY01). The majority of the owners are either tax consultants, accountants, doctors and lecturers. I am the odd one being a supply chain professional, but having worked for Rio Tinto Group Procurement acquired the taste whilst studying in the Netherlands during 1995 – 1998.

    Saab in South Africa is highly regarded as a premium brand (you reported sometime back on Mario Lupini of Cars in Action on his 9-3 steroid fed car for racing purposes). I do not have the stats, but they are easier to come by if you delf the Naamsa figures or Cars in Action. The brand is a bit on the steep side in terms of price, but I will never trade my two 9-5 Aeros MY01 which I bought new for anything else. Bought a Renault Clio for the madam to potter around in town and got told to get rid of the thing if I wanted to preserve peace in the household.

  3. Yeah Olav, I wondered about that one too.

    Danni, thanks for the African perspective. I do recall the recent racing stuff I printed from there, but I really had no idea as to how Saab were perceived.


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