I started a new category here last week called “I drove a XXX and here’s why I’d still buy a Saab.” The idea is for Saab drivers to record their experiences in another marque and reflect on why they’d still prefer their Saab over the competition.
One can’t rely on motoring journos alone. After all, we live with Saabs day in, day out and many of these motoring guys still don’t ‘get’ Saab.
Vector220 has chimed in with some of his experiences, which I’ll present over two posts. He works for a pretty large company in Sweden and travels a fair bit, logging some serious rental time in a variety of vehicles.
He’s rating these cars out of five, and as a point of reference, he rates his own 2004 9-5 Vector (when fully washed and cleaned) as a 4.25. He reckons a new model with XWD, a little more comfort and as much room as his car could be the perfect 5.
WV Passat (900 km travelled):
This is a pretty solid car, with a lot of space and it’s a balanced ride. It didn’t give me any excitement at all. Just a nice ride….during daylight! When the daylight disappeared and the lighting of the instrument came on, this “nice ride” became not so nice anymore. The blue light could look cool and everything, but is not a light that gives a clear look on things. Everyone who have travelled by air and landed in darkness may have noticed the blue lamps around the tracks in an airfield. How many of you have tried to focus on these lights and thought: “Is it me or are those light a bit blurry?”
This is exactly what I thought of those cool blue light in the Passat. Also, after spending aprox 10 hours and 900 km in this car I can also tell everyone that it took just 2 hour before my bum was telling me that these seats is not comfortable any longer. My trip was 450 km one way.
On a scale of 1 to 5 I’m giving the Passat 3.5
Audi A4 (450 km travelled):
Like the Passat, this is a solid car but it looks and feels a lot more sophisticated.
Good feeling in every detail, and the steering wheel did make me want those buttons in my own car (MY 04 9-5 Vector 220). The volume control was a small wheel controlled with your thumb. Excellent user interface! The dash was nice during the day and did look nice in the dark too. All red coloured controls, a bit too bright in standard mode but when I damped it to the lowest possible, I felt rather good about it.
The noise in this car was pretty low and the ride was pleasant. The engine was the 2.0 petrol turbo and it gave me a good feeling. Audi is doing very much like SAAB already has done. But Audi is using better materials and have the right funding to do so. And now they hare using turbos in almost every model.
The seats were just like the Passat. Good for 2 hour trips but that’s it! In the Audi the onboard computer tells you when you have driven for 2 hours and indicates that it’s time to take a break so…If you follow the car’s advice and take only 2 hour trips, there is nothing wrong with this car at all….
My vote for this car is a solid 4
Volvo V50 flexifuel (600 km):
Damn, what a noisy car! I missed 8 calls and the freaking phone was lying in the front seat next to me!
After 15 minutes of highway roads I realised this is not a car I will ever buy. 80% of my driving is on countryside roads so this piece of crap is way, way, way out of the question.
But to be honest the car felt ok when standing still, pretty good seat, a bit small inside but good quality of materials. Good stereo. Also when standing in a parking lot of course…
The revs of the engine was at 3500 when cruising in just over 100 km/h. Just imagine when it’s in a hurry!
On the scale of 5, I’m giving this just a minor 3…no, just 2.5.