Saab 9-3 Convertible – the lady’s view

It’d be interesting to know how many purchase decisions for Saabs are made by women. Many of you gents reading this, if you’re like me, know that the final decision for many major purchases lies with “she that must be obeyed”.

This review, from Victoria News, is written by Jeannie Owens-Wallace. The vast majority of car reviews that we come across are written by guys and are occasionally tainted with a testosterone-driven haze that finds a Saab’s practicality to be a shortcoming. So how does a woman go about writing up the 9-3 Convertible?

Well, she starts with safety…

Although with the top down I may not be completely safe from the elements around me, I can be assured of safety from the sensible Swedes at Saab. Without the pillars to help form a “safety cage” around me, Saab has strengthened the windshield frame, placed metal bars that deploy from behind the rear seats the moment sensors detect an imminent rollover and reinforced the body of the 9-3 to withstand front or side impacts. To provide added support, my headrest is poised to spring forward to support my head in an accident; an active head restraint precaution listed as one of many safety attributes that has garnered the Saab 9-3 a place on the coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org) “Top Safety Pick” list of 2007. Side airbags (front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags), electronic stability control and antilock brakes add to the nod from IIHS.

Just making sure I’m secured with seat belts is the most important safety measure I can take in this Saab convertible where seat belt pre-tensioners are on all the seats and there are proper child seat anchors top and bottom on the back seats.

…..and after that she looks at the exterior aesthetics of the car, appreciates the automatic roof. She assesses the appointments and layout of the interior, the rear legroom, the way the dash looks.

And all this is before actually telling us – in just a single paragraph – how it drives.

Setting the gear shift into Sentronic mode I take control of the manual transmission, standard on all 9-3 Saabs although the Aero has the automatic function added on, and move effortlessly down Douglas Street bursting forward with turbo-powered glee at the freedom of the highway past Town & Country Shopping Centre. An evened-out 2.8 L V6 engine on the 2007 9-3 produces 250 horsepower and an impressive 258 lb-ft torque to provide more gradual power that flows forth in abundance when untapped. Torque-steer, a difficult to control surging forward of power that was present in turbo powered Saab’s from the past, is now replaced with controlled handling.

I don’t know if this review is a reflection on how a woman typically views an automobile and I don’t want to make any sweeping generalisations. It’s an interesting perspective, though. I know there are women out there who are total gearheads and will drive a car as hard as anyone.

But most aren’t. And Saab have to design a car, especially the convertible, for the ladies too. I haven’t noticed a particularly feminine perspective to much of Saab’s advertising.

I know there’s a few members of the fairer sex that visit here, and maybe they can give us their perspective on both the cars and the advertising of them.

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11 Comments

  1. Most women in the Unites States drive an SUV. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this trend, however every time I look at an SUV there is a women driving it, every time.

  2. Another case of copy and paste journalism.
    I can work my left and right mouse button too,perhaps i can become a motoring journo.E.G.
    Side airbags (front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags)
    Front and rear head curtain airbags hay.In a convertible,well that is a first.
    Go back to school,read a book and get it right you lazy buggers.

  3. It’s an interesting perspective, but not one that I share 100%.

    I bought our 9-3SS because I love the under-stated styling, plus the taught, sporty ride, sophisticated interior and excellent ergonomics. That the car can run on Regular (87 octane) gas and still return good fuel economy even with a lead right foot is also a huge plus.

    Safety was a consideration but not at the top of my list.

    One of the biggest factors in terms of eventually selecting the Saab though was that it had a bit of a “counter-cultural” element to it; it’s NOT a BMW, Benz or Audi. A Saab represents to me at least an intelligent, well-considered choice and not some knee-jerk, me-too, jump on the status symbol bandwagon with whatever happens to be the automotive flavor of the month (absurdly over-priced and over-rated Lexus comes immediately to mind…)

    In terms of marketing Saab vehicles to women, before we purchased this car for our family of three, I had requested a brochure. In it there are “professional” women and men pictured; nothing off-putting about it with women getting as much, or possibly more, camera as the men.

    Overall, I’d say Saab are doing a fair job of marketing to everyone. This whole “Born from Jets” thin is O.K. if not somewhat amusing and does a fair job of highlighting Saabs high-tech credentials.

  4. Sabboy1: I too have noticed this… counter to this trend is as Lisa pointed out… If I don’t see one in an SUV, they are in a Merc or BMW..

    In FL Audi still seems to be more of a techie car and not so much of a popped-collar, ritchie-rich car as BMW and Merc….. But still not as kool as Saab.

  5. saabologist,
    Learn to read a little better before spewing your unwelcome venom here. She was referring to the side curtain airbags that helped the 9-3SS win the IIHS top safety pick award (clearly stated in the article), not the convertible.
    Journalists can’t seem to win, write a bad review, get slammed; write a good review, get slammed.

  6. I know what she means numb nuts, but she does not clearly state that, which is then confusing and misleading to people who do not know.
    You can’t talk about a CV to then state something about a different car without making a point that it is about a different car.
    Just saying it’s lazy and not very “professional”
    Your turn buddy boy

  7. Okay, after digging my car out from under 20 inches of snow to go to a job I hate, stuck behind incompetent drivers at a snails pace, guess I had a short fuse. Must learn to keep comments on lighter side.

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