Saab 9-3SC – Not for slobs

What better way is there to kick off the new year than by covering the first of a new season’s road tests?

Well, actually there’s lots of better ways to kick off a new year. I could take a vacation in Hawaii with my wife, for example. But this is the way we’re going to do it, so without any further windbagging….

The Flint Journal has published a new road test of the Saab 9-3 SportCombi in its V6 Aero form. The Combi’s my favourite new Saab and I couldn’t imagine a better way to get to know it than it’s Aero form.

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Our reviewer also seems to have developed a liking for the Swede with the gorgeous derriere:

The new Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi handles the road like a touring sedan, has a roomy interior for a car its size and a turbocharged engine that delivers real performance.

After a few cubic-feet stats we get to take a drive, though the write-up on that is fairly short…..

The six-speed manual transmission can require a lot of shifting, but the trans makes the most of the power from the turbo V-6. The 9-3 Aero is quick all through the gears.

The test model has Saab’s electronic stability control, which combines the anti-lock braking system with traction control to help keep the car from skidding.

……but despite the brevity about the drive, he sees fit to write no less than FIVE paragraphs about the key, including these:

The odd placement of the ignition switch in the console is a Saab thing. The owner’s manual warns drivers, “Take care not to spill drinks or to drop crumbs over the ignition switch. If dirt or liquid gets into it, the switch may not operate properly.”

If you get enough liquid in there to short out the switch, “may not operate properly” would be a classic bit of understatement. One more reason to put the switch on the dash.

See, this is another one of those dumbing down situations. The key is perfectly placed for economy of movement when you’re starting the car. It stops big wads of keys dangling from the dash and annoying your legs while you’re driving and then there’s the perhaps redundant issue of knee injury in an accident.

But this guy wants to move it because he can’t drive without quaffing a coffee or shoving down a few twinkies whilst he’s on the move.

Here’s my tip – be an adult and learn where your mouth is.

He does get a little better though with praise for the automated rain-sensing wipers, though there’s his annoyance at the light switches straight after. It’s not a poor review, though as you can tell from the sheer volume of writing about conveniences, this isn’t the world’s best review either. The author seems to genuinely like the car – it’s just a shame he doesn’t really tell us why.

There’s very little about the very capable driving experience and a whole lot more about comfort and convenience. This may tell you all you need to know about the writer and the target market.

Always nice to start the year off with a whine…

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3 Comments

  1. I cannot understand why journalists can’t get the key in the console concept. The first time I sat in a new 1969 Saab 99 and realized that my hand just naturally fell to the ignition switch, I said to myself “Wow, what a cool idea!” I did a lot of driving in 99’s, several hundred thousands of miles, but never had an ignition key failure.
    Your post is right on.

  2. I would believe that spilling food or drinks in the ignition could be a problem wit these 9-3’s. They now have that electronic-plastic-chopped-off key-looking-thing going on…

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