Motor Trend on the 60th Anniversary bash

The first of the mainstream media reviews has appeared following the 60th Anniversary press event last week in San Diego.

It was always going to be interesting. Whilst the “Born From Jets” campaign has resonated well with consumers it’s been met with a little cynicism from the motoring press who’ve cited the fact that the motoring and aircraft arms of Saab parted some time ago. So, did the press event that included so many cars from Saab’s past cement the link between the old and the new?

It would seem that it’s certainly helped.

Motor Trend are the first mainstream outlet to cover the Anniversary models and their review starts with the now familiar brief outline of Saab’s heritage, but perhaps more importantly it concludes as follows:

On a recent drive in San Diego, we had a chance to sample Anniversary Editions of both the 9-3 and the 9-5. Seeing that they’re mechanically identical to non-Anniversary Editions, the examples we tested didn’t deliver any surprises dynamically, which is to say that they offer brisk acceleration, minimal turbo lag, and commendable handling……

…..So if you’re looking for a Saab that’s snazzy, special, and well-equipped, now appears to be the time to turn on the afterburners.

It might be time to start a second “press fleet” version of the heritage collection.

It might involve some front-end costs but the positive impression it creates could be well worth the investment. Just some food for thought.


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  1. I wish I could claim that picture was one of mine, but I think by the quality you can tell that it’s a stock photo from SAAB. It was included on the CD-ROM they gave the media at the 60th Anniversary Media Event last week. I do believe these pictures were taken in the San Diego area where the event was held, however.

    Those wheels are exclusive to the 60th Anniversary Edition, Saaboy. At least until they appear on the 2008 9-3 “refresh”.

  2. I know Gripen, they just look too fussy… I’m not a huge fan, I’m pretty sure they’ll affect this year’s sales (negatively) hehe…

  3. Regarding the Motor Trend article itself: is it really that easy to be an automotive journalist? Most of what was quoted in the article could have been read off a spec sheet. The pictures were supplied by SAAB USA. The subjective piece of info in the article had to do with his dislike of the gearbox feel.

    It just seems like the guy could have written most of that without an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego. Seriously. Read the article again and tell me how much of that you didn’t know before reading the article. Then look at the only section that indicated he actually drove the cars. I read TWO lines:

    “the examples we tested didn’t deliver any surprises dynamically, which is to say that they offer brisk acceleration, minimal turbo lag, and commendable handling”


    “While the manual transmissions are decent, their relatively long throws and rubbery nature make the slick automatics the better options.”

    That’s IT?!?!? And to think people seriously consider what automobile magazines like this say about a car before they purchase it…

    Maybe I COULD be a journalist after all…

  4. Gripen,
    I agree with you on this point. There are some really great journalists out there, but it seems that they should ALL be really great if they are reviewing cars for a living.

    I also think that magazines limit their writers by space/words to the detriment of actual content.

    Oh, and the specs are not subjective, but everything else is, so would you trust someone else’s opinion on the feel of the shifters? (My experience is that Saab shifters, while better than they used to be, do not compare with those from Bavaria… but what are you looking for in a car?)

    Consumer Reports neglects any semblance of “soul” a car might (or might not) have, while some automotive magazines fail to consider what the buying public might actually be looking for in a car. Unfortunately, I think Saab falls somewhere between these cracks and isn’t well represented by either one.

    However, the fact that most people who test drive a Saab end up buying one speaks volumes about the whole package that they’ve put together.

    I too would like to see the hatch come back as an option. My 9000 Aero (and my brothers’ 900s, three C900s and one NG900) offer unsurpassed utility and surprising performance… and get 30mpg. That being said, I really do like the wagons, but it’s just different.

    Thanks for writing about your experience, and for doing it in a witty, pleasant, and engaging manner. It’s much appreciated.

    ’93 9000 Aero, 5 spd, 80K.

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