This is a test that managed to sneak under my radar. Thanks to Petar for letting me know.
There’s a persistent problem with Saab road tests. Most jockeys that manage to get the keys to a Saab want to measure it’s takeoff speeds from the lights and thereby qualify it as a fast car (or not). They throw it around some cones on a test track and this is supposed to give them an idea of how the car is as a day-to-day driver.
What I like about this test is that the journo appears to have driven the car how it’s supposed to be driven, how most of us tend to appreciate a Saab – out on the road. The more open the road the better.
Regular visitors to this site will know that I have two pet hates in a car review: use of the word “quirky” and any importance being placed on cupholders. Well, this review has both. But I’m so pleased that a writer has actually managed to place this car in it’s element and appreciate it that I don’t mind.
The relevant bits to driving a Saab the way it’s meant to be driven:
….where the Aero’s V6 might fail to impress right out of the gate, it more than makes up for it in on the road. Simply put, this car is a natural-born sprinter. Acceleration from 0 to 60 is a very respectable 7 seconds, but the car really shines as it leaps without any hesitation between 30 and 60 mph and again between 70 and 100.
Over the course of a weekend I found myself ceasing to ask “can I get over in time” and coming to accept that, yes, pretty much, unless there was a car right next to me, I could always get over to the next lane. Merging into high-speed traffic, the Aero is confident and silky smooth. I can’t help thinking it’s a little like the wallflower at the dance who can really bust a move, but only after a few cups of punch.
In town, the sport-tuned suspension didn’t feel as stiff as I would have imagined, or preferred for that matter, but the Aero threw itself into and out of country road curves with genuine aplomb. There’s no over-roll and the handling is crisp enough at the limits, though I did manage to make the wheels chirp slightly on particularly quick turns. I was also surprised and pleased to note no turbo lag during my time in the car.
He finishes as follows:
I wish Saab would explore a rear-wheel 9-3 either as a sedan, convertible or both. That would allow—I believe—the Swedes to finally and definitively take on BMW’s sport stronghold, the 3 Series. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend the 9-3 Aero Convertible to those looking for a fun, sporty, and even quirky alternative to similar offerings from BMW, Audi, and Volvo. All in all, it more than stacks up.
There’s plenty of other stuff to read about in this report and I commend it to you. I drove a Linear Convertible for a weekend late last year and it was a blast. Should we get an Aero down here in Tassie you can bet I’ll be knocking on the dealership’s door.
Finally, one of these clowns gets it. Thank goodness.