Saab staff driving Saabs

Many of our staff get to drive new Saab vehicles as part of their daily routine. A lot of them are testing vehicle components, or they might have a car assigned to their area for use.

There’s a quite a lot, a majority in fact, who don’t. And seeing many of them have some down time at the moment, we thought it would be a good idea to give them an opportunity to drive most of our latest offerings. A staff drive event kicked off last week at Saab and is running for another few weeks, giving Saab employees the opportunity to check out models that they may not have had a chance to drive yet.

There are four vehicles in the fleet made available for this period.

  • Saab 9-5 TTiD
  • Saab 9-3 Griffin TTiD (low emissions 180hp)
  • Saab 9-3 Griffin Convertible
  • Saab 9-4x

I jumped in with a few guys from our Parts Analysis area today as they took the Saab 9-4x for a spin. The 9-4x is proving to be the most popular model in this test. As it’s not made here in Trollhattan and is only present in very limited numbers here, this presents a prime first opportunity for nearly everyone who gets into the car.

Mats, Johnny and Lars-Erik all took a turn driving the 9-4x and all gave it a resounding thumbs up at the end of the drive.

I sat in the back for the whole trip – a first for me – and was pretty impressed by that panoramic sunroof. Even with the glass section open, the wind is deflected in such a way that you can only feel the faintest feather of a breeze from the back seat.

I also discovered that you can control the radio station from the rear seat control panel – something parents might want to keep in mind if they have curious kiddies in the back (I’m not sure if there’s a way to disable this).

After riding with the guys in the 9-4x, I grabbed the keys for a solo drive in the low emissions Saab 9-3 Griffin TTiD. Once again I came away keenly impressed by the 9-3, which despite some age is carrying itself extremely well.

I was particularly interested in this low emissions model and how it would drive. Saab sell versions of this car with 130, 160 and 180hp and all of them attract tax reductions in appropriate markets. The 180hp version that drove is outstanding. The torque on this car is amazing and it pulls effortlessly from all speeds.

Like many of you, I’m not from a particularly diesel-friendly country so I’ve always owned pertol-driven cars. I’d own this in a heartbeat. It’s so easy to drive and the Griffin enhancements (leather/textile trim, rear spoiler (below), front fogs, etc) accent the vehicle beautifully. This is a great way to send out the 9-3, trust me.

The drive program goes for another few weeks.

I’m sure there are going to be a lot of first-time drives in that time, and a lot of smiling faces as Saab employees get to check out the company’s latest offerings.

If only we could get these into showrooms and on the road!

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15 Comments

  1. This is a good idea, in my case as a disabled(handicapped) driver I just wish that Saab and other manufacturers would allow me to test drive their cars.
    As someone who requires hand controls to drive I find it sad that I can not test drive any cars at all, regardless of brand.
    However it is worse if you are a Saab lover in the UK as Saab is not part of the UK’s Motability Scheme, something I hope will be rectified once Saab is again producing vehicles.
    One instance springs to mind when a leading manufacturer invited me to Goodwood Festival of Speed  to test drive one of their new car range, I even had the tickets sent to me by them free of charge. Everything was fine, right up to the point I asked if the vehicle was fitted with hand controls. Oh my God, not only were they shocked that I required hand controls which of course had not been fitted but they were not going to fit them. Sorry its a waste of time me coming and is, of course, the reason I will not be buying their brand of vehicle even if they offered me a 95% discount(which they did not)!

    1. I`ve just looked at the Motability (GB) site and it is a fact that SAAB  have disappeared from the list of manufacturers. I`m also sure this will be rectified once cars are rolling off the production line again. Fortunately, I got in in time and took delivery of my 9-5 Vector SE auto in September after a six-month wait.
      I`m sorry you cannot get a test drive through any manufacturer because you need hand controls. I was under the impression that adaptations are only fitted after a vehicle has been ordered.
      Is there any nation covered by SU where manufacturers do offer pre-adapted cars for test drives?
      P.S. I ordered my 9-5 auto through Motability as I have only one leg.

    2. Martin Hi,

      After donating my million mile SPG to the museum Saab contacted me about which model I wanted to be awarded. I was just recovering from knee surgery from a very bag head on crash.

      The
      2007  9-5 Combi was the perfect choice because of the egress and ingress. When I alight from the car, it is so easy to swing round in the seat and lever myself out of the car by placing my arms on the door opening. this takes all my weight off my legs. I also bought a BackJoy orthotic and now I can swivel on the drivers seat.

    3. Isn’t it so that pretty much all vehicles for de disabled are individually adapted because most disabilities are unique? How large a stock of adaptions would a dealership need to keep in order to facilitate a handicapped person? I quickly swept through some pages of UK Motability Scheme, but did not find any details pertaining to this. Does a disabled person have to give advanced notice for a test drive, and the dealership can borrow the appropriate adaptions from somewhere? Or does UK Motability take care of all this for the disabled? How does it work?

  2. Got to drive exactly that TTiD at the Octoberfest and it was really great. But you should experience the hirsched version at 200hp and 430 Nm. Even quicker 🙂

  3. I think I know this great Red 9-3 Griffin… In fact I have tested – and enjoyed – it very much this summer… I have made a couple of photos (no copyright!) and more to come 🙂

  4. Thanks JB & Peter,
                                JB you are correct that hand controls are normally fitted after you order your car as an adaption.
    I just wish a car manufacturer would have one vehicle in the UK that was available for people like myself to drive, that would be a novelty.
    IF all Saab employees get to drive Saabs for the next couple of weeks, I’ll have Swade’s job…NOW!!!!

    JB your just a jammy personage… managing to get 9-5, so are you Peter.

    I fancy the 9-5 Estate myself  so my carer could load my wheelchair in the car without stripping it down every time,
    But untill I win the lottery or Motability allow us to order Saab’s again I’ll just drool at ever Saab that passes my present Motability car….

  5. That red low emissions 9-3 is gorgeous inside and out. It’s a shame Saab wouldn’t be able to sell it out here in the States. And even if they could, it would only be in a few specific areas. It looks great, cost effective (depending where you live, I guess), and is better on the environment. Such a shame.

  6. Swade, it looks like the Griffin has standard front bumper but Aero seats which is kind of interesting.
    As the two have difference manual transmissions have you had the pleasure of trying them both and any opinions to share?

  7. This is a great idea. But it begs the question: why do “many of them have some down time at the moment”? I don’t know about Sweden, but here in the UK it would be pretty unusual for employees not to have in their contracts that they must perform “any other duties which the employers may from time to time require”.

    If the production staff can’t make cars, why can’t they clean up the factory, or do maintenance works in the local community, or some charity work in Saab shirts? Or something else entirely of benefit to the company, or the community. It does seem mad to have them all being paid to do nothing!

  8. Sorry for the delay in replying Frank with regard to test drives and the disabled driver in the UK.
    OK, if you only need an automatic gearbox and no further adaptions then you get a test drive  like every able bodied customer. You turn up at the showroom and select which car you would like to drive.
    IF however you need an adoption ie, hand controls, etc then you turn up at the showroom choice which vehicle you like and become a passenger in that vehicle.
    Now, I know of no manufacturer that has a vehicle model  that you as a disabled person can book to test drive, this I feel should change, even if its only one model.
    I understand the vehicle manufacturers think its a waste of money BUT when Motability put one a Roadshow(normally two or three a year in different parts of the country) and lots of manufacturers put on stands to encourage disabled people to either lease or buy their vehicles you still only get maybe one vehicle you can test drive, two if your really lucky.
    On the other hand you go to a national vehicle event and the able bodied may get a chance to drive lots of different vehicles, so much for a level playing field.

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