Thursday Snippets

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has your “Platform Sharing 101” course. A good basic intro if you’re new to such things and our favourite car company, predictably, gets a decent mention.

“It’s hard to say whether it’s GM’s fault or Saab’s, but that was a car company that had quirky, distinct Swedish personality, and then somewhere in the ’90s, GM started to base every Saab design on a relatively mundane Opel chassis. It lost some of it’s flavor,” Mr. Shenhar said. “You have the Saab 9-2x, based on a Subaru, and a Saab 9-7x based on the Chevy TrailBlazer. Both of these two are basically what they appear to be. You can’t fool consumers and customers.”

Personally, I don’t think they tried to trick people with the 9-7x. Perhaps they did a little with the 9-2x. And perhaps that’s a little bigotry on my part.


The new, facelifted 9-5 is finally going to be released in Australia tomorrow. Unlike the US, we’re still going to have the carious ‘forms’, stretching form the Linear at around $58K to the Aero at $85K.

Carsguide seem pretty excited about it. I assume they’ve been reading the press release about the crisper handling and boosted output. Their say?

We can’t wait to drive it. Watch this space.


I don’t know if I’ve ever posted about it here, but many of you may heard of Saab’s Alcokey system. Apparently it’s actually in use in the Swedish market, sort of a market-based trial.

There’s news today that a similar (but different) type of technology might be made mandatory in the USA by 2009. The new technology they’re all trying to perfect is a system where a sensor picks up the amount of alcohol in your system by readings taken off your skin. I’m not sure if that sensor would be in the key, the steering wheel or the gear change (or all three).

Current models, like the Alcokey, involve blowing into a tube-based detection system, similar to a basic police breath test.


A few 9-5 tests are floating around.

One such test is from Cnet and I’m resisting the urge to comment about the reviewer personally, but let’s take a look at a few things that have been written instead…..

Safety rating (from the reviewer) – 7 out of 10.

This is the Saab 9-5 we’re talking about. A five-star rated car for safety and an award winner as recently as late last year. Seven out of 10. With 3 points out of 10 deducted, that leaves room for an almost 50% improvement in the author’s eyes before the car should be rated a 10. I’d love for her to explain where that 43% or thereabouts of improvement is supposed to come from.

Comfort rating – 6 out of 10

Assuming that, say 50%, is a pass rating, this means that she considers a 9-5 to be barely above a passing grade?! It’s got possibly the most comfortable seats on earth. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I think it’s definitely better than just passable. Her important problems? Read on:

Space is plentiful in the glove compartment, as well as in the trunk, although–in another of Saab’s quirks–the trunk-release button is on the driver’s door, which we found counterintuitive and inconvenient.

Rediculous. It’s all in what you’re used to. The trunk release is placed perfectly for the driver to open it as they get out of the car. Couldn’t be easier.

My final dig:

….city dwellers beware: The car falls short when it comes to stop-and-go driving. By the time the turbocharger kicks in, it’s time to stop at the next red light.

Further confirmation that car reviewers rarely test their vehicles according to real-world conditions. Or know very little about the vehicles they’re actually testing, especially if the vehicle in question is not labelled Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Chevrolet etc etc.

All up, despite my hair-pulling here, it’s not such a bad writeup. I just wish some of these assclowns would do their homework and assess something a little more objectively rather than whether a vehicle fits their own personal assumptions like a glove.

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  1. Regarding the Cnet review, I was going to say that I wish all reviewers were forced to allow uncensored feedback, but then I saw they have a “Write your own review” button for the 9-5.
    Hopefully, someone who actually owns one will offer some counter arguments and comments.

  2. My favorite part is about the rearview mirrors and how it is distorted on the the outer edge, especially on the passenger side………… well I think ( sarcasm) they did that on purpose since it is angled to see more effectively around the car. You would think they would be informed about the features of the car before they spout their mouth off!

  3. From the cnet’s article: One concern: We noticed that the side-view mirrors tended to warp images on the outer edges, especially on the passenger’s side. This made it somewhat difficult to see nearby traffic and judge distances.

    The passenger side mirror is bent on purpose. This is not a defect. The bent extends the viewing range and permits changing lanes on a highway without having to turn your head to check the blind spot. There is no blind spot with this sideview mirror. It is very, very convenient feature of the car.

  4. It amazes me how little most auto journalists know little about cars.
    It appears to me,untill Saab starts building the best car they ever made by far,ie. 1993 900c turbo sedans and cabrios,their rebadged Saabs just won’t secure Saab future.

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