C’mon. Tell me that headline wasn’t just begging to be written.
Royal Ford is the motoring writer for the Boston Globe. And given that the north east United States is such an important market for Saab (I’m looking forward to seeing how the 9-3 SportCombi Crossover sells there), I’d take this to be a reasonably important review.
It’s good to see that the 2008 Saab 9-3 has impressed Mr Ford as much as it seems to have impressed the rest of the world’s press so far:
The Saab, long a favorite in New England, has been in need of rejuvenation, and if the 9-3 is an example of where the company is finally heading under General Motors Corp. ownership, it’s a great direction.
I’ve said for a long time now that Saab offers the best combination of power, economy, safety, comfort and utility on the market. Royal Ford doesn’t come out and say the same so explicitly, but you get the impression that he’s not too far away from a similar analysis.
His impression is one a great new and more aggressive look and a solid drive, with just enough of a sporting element to satisfy the average Saabisti. Which is pretty-much dead on.
Swedish drivers do not disobey traffic rules the way Massachusetts motorists do, so flogging the 9-3 required some caution, especially given prominent speed-monitoring cameras along highways in Sweden.
I think Royal needed to test this car with a local on board. My co-driver gave me plenty of tips as to where it was safe to stick the boots in. And the TTiD I drove responded accordingly.
Par Brandt summed up the 9-3 pretty well during our test drive. “This is the car the 9-3 should have been right from the start”. Again, Royal doesn’t say as much in such frank terms, but it’s clear he likes it.
Let’s hope the rest of New England does, too.