NY Daily News invents and reviews its own Saab

This is the epitome of a mixed review.

I don’t know if it’s a type, or if this guy didn’t read the paperwork, but apparently he’s reviewing a 2.9 litre, 4 cylinder Saab 9-3. The “9” key is between the “0” and he “8”, so he could be in either, but given that he does refer to the turbo giving it the power of a 6 cylinder I’ll take a stab and say he was driving the 2.0T.

Some people just don’t “get” Saab and I’d take a guess and say that this guy’s one of them. Saab’s styling has always been something that divides opinion and it’s obviously not appealing to our reviewer here.

Though I’ve got to say he does take a fair bit of literary licence in an effort to entertain:

Despite the face-lift, the ’08 9-3 is blobbish, so indistinct that it wasn’t often easy to tell where the car ended and the atmosphere began.

Say you don’t like it, by all means, but don’t be so obviously stupid.

Another bit of literary licence comes in later, in a brief blurb about the ride:

Despite its power, it loathes bumps and will punish occupants’ spines with all the fervor of Vlad the Impaler when you smack one.

Other 9-3 owners might like to provide some insight here, but I’ve never found that to be the case. And in the interests of looking after cars, I’ve always tried to trat potholes with caution, anyway. “Smack” any car into a pothole and you’re probably going to feel it.

I don’t think any Saab seat is going to allow one to feel like a victim of Vlad the Impaler. Do you? Literary licence run amok once again.

Despite the licence taken and the personal insights as to the looks, there’s something here for someone looking at the 9-3. Our reviewer mentions the generous equipment levels that come as standard and the good performance from what I assume is the 2.0T. This really is a great little engine.

Read with caution.

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  1. It’s funny (not really) how in most reviews Saab is derided for having too soft of a ride, meaning it’s too “slushy” in the handling department in favor of driver and passenger comfort. Usually reviewers gush over how great the stiff ride of the Bimmer or Audi are out on the track and the Saab isn’t sporty enough because it dips too much in turns.

    This guy is complaining that it’s too stiff!?!? Maybe he should take a BMW or Audi on the same drive he took the Saab on. I’m guessing it’s some horrible pot-holed New York road. I think after driving the Bimmer and Audi he’ll wish he was back in those comfy Saab seats!

  2. Ride too stiff, what’s he on about? The 08 I drove was firm but smooth and I am sure Saab seats get better and better – mega comfy! I agree with 1985 Gripen that if he wants a stiff, bone-jarring (bouncy) ride go and drive an A4. I have never driven a car with an odd “bouncy up and down sensation” as I got in the A4. It was blindlly fast but that hard ride – ugh!

    I suspect reviewers of Saab cars go in with the “if- it-doesnt-quite-measure-up-to-a-BMW-its-cr@p mentality” most of the time. A Saab is not a BMW – thank god for that I’d say!!

  3. Ach you guys, this review isn’t so terrible. OK, he doesn’t get it, but if this is the worst Saab review…check out some of the old Car and Driver reviews of the Viggen!

  4. I live in New York, and the Daily News isnt the most reputable paper…I only read it for the comics and the Gridlock Sam column, other than that its great for lining a birdcage.

  5. “Despite its power, it loathes bumps and will punish occupants’ spines with all the fervor of Vlad the Impaler when you smack one.”

    Here´s an interesting one. I think that Saab is quite good on bumps though it´s a bit on the harder side. But I have to say that last summer I made a back to back comparison of my ´07 SC and Ford Focus STi (230hp Volvo T5 engine). Of course these two are completely different type of cars. The other is family wagon and the otherone tries to be a sporty hatch.
    But.. I must say that after a good run on my favourite roads here I felt that the Saab suspension could be a bit smoother and still be stiff. That´s what the Focus did. It had 18″ wheels vs 17″ wheels on my Saab, they both have OEM sport suspension. For example driving over a railway on one crossroads, the Focus went on with a slight smooth thump where Saab hit really hard and irritating bang.

    But it´s what you are comparing. Go´n drive oh-so-good A4. It will shake rattle and roll like crazy. Oh yes. I´ve tried it on the same road 😀

  6. I don’t know what he is talking about. My first impression of my new 2008 9/3 SC compared to my previous Volvo V50, but also compared with my friend’s BMW 325, was that the SAAB was much more smooth and comfortable (and quiet). This impression is even stronger now after a couple of weeks with the new car.
    As always there is also a big difference between 16″ and 17″ wheels concerning smoothness and noice.

  7. In Australia we have some pretty shocking roads (mainly in the state of NSW), so ride is quite important.

    I’ve heard that the base models can ride too soft (many say that its just right and to choose this package over the sports setup) and the sport model too firm.

    What this means to me is that it appears i have a choice and that i should be able to have the acceptable ride i want.

    The talk about BMW is quite right. A great chassis and drive train is no good if you’re afraid to take it away from perfect roads. Besides, i’ve learned in recent months that BMW tend to build to a price (read pricey!) rather than customer wants/needs. I’ll reserve my judgement on the 9-2 08 until i get the chance to drive it.

    The only thing i’ve heard that i may not like is the handling (dull and sluggish with chassis i’ve read) but again i’ll reserver judgement until i drive it.

    The overall package looks like it deserves serious consideration (i like the comments about the 2.0 T response feeling like a six -even from detractors).

  8. As a lifelong resident of New York City, I can assure you that the Daily News is basically a tabloid paper. It is about as good at delivering truthful news as it is at car reviews. It’s the “lesser of two evils” compared to its even more fictional news cousin: The New York Post. The Daily News is a good paper for gossip, SoDuKu and Jumble games, as well as the comics. You might find a more authoritative auto review in a copy of Paris Match.

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