Saturday Snippets

When I first read TTAC’s Jonny Lieberman tout the virtues of the “10 and 2” position for steering wheel grippage, I came to understand that a lot of motoring writers know less about cars and driving than they’d have us believe.

My own efforts with the Saab 9-3 diesel 10 days ago should also be fair warning that just because I publish a blog about Saabs doesn’t mean that I can drive like Swede Team Motor.

So it’s encouraging to see Autoblog put their money where their right foot is, and enrol in a high performance driving school. This is a series that I’m looking forward to.


Andy Rupert recently removed the headlining of his C900.

Tangent: should Saab have made ‘replace roof lining’ a service item at the 150,000km service interval? Me thinks ‘yes’.

Back to the story: Upon removing the roof lining he found some factory documentation. Cool.

Unfortunately it’s most likely some build documents pertaining to his car rather than secret plans for the 2008 Sonett. But a cool souvenir nonetheless.


Some more Cadillac bitchin’

Lance reports via comments that Caddy in the UK are offering some deep discounts on their Saabillac, pricing them at GBP14,995. This is around 5,000 quid less than the usual base price of the BLS and about 3,000 quid less that your base Saab 1.8i 9-3.

But I’m sure this is not hurting Saab at all. As a matter of fact it’s good for GM as a whole so we should be thankful.



And in a separate story, CAR magazine have done a ‘first drive’ of the Cadillac Escalade.

This is, literally, the best thing they had to say:

Think of the giant Caddy as the ultimate niche model.

And these are the less complimentary comments:

Driving the ‘Slade is like shepherding a vast and unwieldy blancmange. Body control is all but none existent, with nausea-inducing levels of pitch and roll, and you could sue the suspension under the Trade Descriptions Act….

…The steering wheel and front axle barely acknowledge each other’s existence…

…The Escalade may be big on the outside, but its interior packaging verges on the ludicrous…

…ungainly, gauche, heavy-handed and poorly proportioned…

…to look at, to sit in and to drive, it disappoints in every single area

Again – the money going into promoting Cadillac in Europe is money that could be developing Saab.

Keep Caddys in America where people want them and let GME develop Saab into the premium marque it could be.

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  1. Wow, Car magazine just doesn’t get the Escalade, do they?
    That would be fine with me, except that the writer just keeps harping on and on about how much he doesn’t understand what the car is about. Maybe he should just come to terms with this and move on. He sounds like someone complaining about their ex ten years after the divorce (we all know the sort).

    I haven’t driven the Escalade, but I have driven the Hummer H2, which is the same platform with different styling. This is the type of truck that you drive on the slightest hint of throttle, keeping the revs thumping just above idle even at highway speeds.
    The automotive equivalent of reggae, if you will.

    It has a certain charm. Once you get a feel for it, it’s actually fun to toss around. The trick is to countersteer slightly before a corner to get the suspension leaning in, and then crank the wheel as hard as you can. It takes a while for the body to react and start leaning the other way, so, if you time things right, the body will be straight around the time you exit the corner. Get it wrong and you’ll be steam-cleaning your entire posse’s lunch off of the plush velour carpets, of course.

    I actually liked the H2 much better than the X5, which doesn’t handle, steer or go half as well as it should. The other thing about the X5 that automotive magazines never mention is that every so often the dashboard lights-up like a Christmas tree with check-engine lights and ABS warning lights, requiring a tow to the shop. Or the air suspension collapses, requiring a tow to the shop. Let’s not forget the eight $1,000 control arms that need to be replaced every time you drive over anything bigger than a cherry pit.

    The Range Rover Sport is also a joke. They actually routed the exhaust underneath the rear axle, giving you the off-road ability of a Lotus Europa.

    None of this has anything to do with Saab, of course. GM is making a mint off-of Cadillac in the States, so they can afford to lose millions in Europe just for giggles.

  2. I’ll skip the Cadillac comments for today.

    However, I rented a Pontiac G6 for a couple of days in South Texas this week. It was a very good drive, even in ‘rental’ trim. Does anyone know which platform the G6 is built on? It would be a good choice for the Saab 9-3.

  3. Eggs, nice to have you back. I was beginning to worry. A quick lookup in Wikipedia tells me that the G6 is on an extended Epsilon base.

    Bernard, all of the SUVs you mention are completely foreign to me other than by sight, but the driving experience you describe in the Hummer makes me want to jump in my Viggen and thank God for the English.

  4. I did drive an Escalade once. Attorneys from the IP law firm I work for make occasional trips to interview client inventors. I had the pleasure of driving the rented Escalade about 5 hours each way. Worst trip ever. All I can say to CAR Magazine is Thank you and Amen!

  5. PS — Sorry for the absence. This week was our annual user’s conference for our customers. Quite literally we worked from 7AM to midnight each day, and then on Friday I drove an additional 200 miles seeing some new customers. I am truly thankful for the weekend!

  6. eggsngrits

    The G6 uses Epsilon platform. Same as Saab. That’s why there was a bit of a stink made over the G6 Convertible. Saab have changed some of the points in the 9-3 platfom. GM didn’t find out until the G6 was ready for production and realised that they couldn’t build the car at their Orion Plant. This explains why the G6 Cab was delayed for another year.
    But what puzzels me is why GM didn’t just build the G6 convertible in Graz and ship to the US?

  7. im surprised the cts is not liked on this forum. i have one and very sporty to drive if you have the right engine. i can hang with my friends’ bmw all day.

    also the cadillac srx was rated higher by compared to the x5, fx45, and other luxury suv’s. the new srx though the exterior styling is so so the new interior is amazing with stitched leather on the dashboard.

    im also surprised you havent mentioned the new 08 cadillac cts. the interior on that thing is amazing and its pushing 300+ hp from a 3.6 v6

  8. CAR looks at the US cars with the same eyes as most Europeans…

    And this is the very point against the Cadillac-in-Europe thing: Europeans do not like the same cars as in the US.

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