That picture to the right is the front page of the LA Times motoring section, Highway 1. And the picture in that picture to the right is a nice, big, prominent Saab 9-3 SportCombi – the subject of their main review.
Do they like it?
Is the Pope a Catholic?!
Writer Dan Neil entertains with a mixed bag of compliments, GM-labels and jibes. He scores bonus points from me for managing to fit the Jerry McGuire-ism – "qwan" – into the story, too.
It’s a concern to me that there aren’t more of these selling in the US, where sales numbers look like they’re starting to steady out. Neil doesn’t like the BFJ ad campaign, calling it "a rusty anchor" to Saab’s high-flying heritage.
Is this a contributor?
I know Saab USA are very happy with it. I think it’s once again a problem of bums-on-seats. If Saab can get more people to drive cars like the 9-3 SportCombi, then there’s a very good chance that they’ll sell more of them.
If Dan Neil’s anything to go by, I’m sure they will. The 9-3 SportCombi does indeed have plenty of qwan. The versatility of a wagon with the handling of a sedan. In Aero mode there could hardly be any argument IMHO. The challenge ahead is to get people in the right market to drive the car.
Here’s how Dan Neil sums it up at the end:
Saabs remain an acquired taste — but I guess I’ve acquired it. True, the SportCombi doesn’t have available all-wheel drive like competitors Volvo V50 and Audi A4 Avant. Nor does it have rear-wheel drive like the BMW 330xi, so at the theoretical handling limits the car suffers by comparison. But in the real world, few cars under $40,000 are so lovable, likable, practical and cool.
If I were in an argumentative mood, I’d say that the Audi, Volvo and Bimmer don’t have the qwan, but right at this point I can handle it.
Thanks to 1985Gripen for the photo.