Aussie 9-3 TiD Convertible review

Note to Saab Oz:

A few weeks ago, AlAero noted to me that he felt a little self conscious driving around in a car with “Diesel” written down the side. Not that he didn’t enjoy it, mind you. He is a bit of an exhibitionist in a nice sort of way (that in no way involves trenchcoats and hiding in bushes)

Earlier this week there was a BioPower review where the reviewer wrote The 9-5 we tested had the words BioPower written in 30-foot-high letters down both sides of the car (and if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me whether it ran on laundry powder, I could have bought one) so I was too embarrassed to drive it very far.

Today, in Queensland’s Courier Mail newspaper we read:

Saab labours the point about the diesel powerplant by signwriting “Diesel” down the side of the press vehicle. Don’t be alarmed as customer vehicles do not have this feature. Just as well, because you would quickly get sick of the smart comments from friends.

I don’t know whether being noticed like this is a good thing or a bad thing. What do they say? There ain’t no such thing as bad publicity…..

Anyway, just something to think about.

—–

Yes, there is indeed a review of the Saab 9-3 Convertible TiD in today’s Courier Mail. For about a month or so we were all able to gloat and talk about how it was Australia’s only oil burning convertible.

Then those mongrels from Volkswagen had to go and drop the Eos on the market.

Regardless, the 9-3 iConvertible is a much more attractive car, sticking as it does to the ragtop configuration – a point that’s not lost on our reviewer. Hardtop convertibles are the new black right now, but when I bought the issue up here on the site earlier this month there was plenty of support for Saab’s decision to retain the soft-top.

Our writer comments:

…..the Eos has a steel folding roof, while the Saab has stayed with the traditional rag top.

Being a rag top, it is noisy when raised or lowered, so any rattling diesel clatter at idle or disharmonious roaring at high revs would be very uncomfortable in the cabin.

Fortunately, it’s pretty quiet.

That it is, but I must say my recollection of spending time in the 9-3 Convertible brings no memories whatsoever of excessive noise. And further, if you’re complaining about the noise with the roof lowered, then maybe a convertible isn’t your thing….just saying.

But the point here is the diesel, not cranio-deficient-aural complaints. And on the engine, we shoot, and we score!

The 1.9-litre TiD turbodiesel engine is also smooth and refined, although it does have a soft spot down low and needs momentum before it starts to boogie.

Like many turbo diesels it has lag off the start and actually responds better to a coaxing right foot rather than a stomp on the loud pedal.

Given some patience with the throttle, the response is adequate without being lusty.

After all, it’s only a 1.9 with 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque.

ONLY 320Nm of torque??

He might want to go check how many other sub 2-litre four cylinder cars are generating that level of twist.

Anyway, that 1.9 TiD is a heck of a nice motor and having taken one for a decent spin (almost literally) back in January I can certainly see why they sell so well in Europe.

Incidentally, did you know that the 9-3 TiD Sport Sedan here in Australia gets better fuel economy than the Holden Astra TiD, which uses the same engine but is considerably lighter?

Clever little Trolls.

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