Date: 13 Jun 2001 18:18:24 -0700 From: H. Peter Anvin <hpanopsamr.com> Subject: Re: 9-3 convertible quality......?
Followup to: <9g8m7t$8bitq$1nopsamer02.wxs.nl> By author: "Ignace" <i.tienennopsamet.nl> In newsgroup: alt.autos.saab > > Hello, the 9-3 convertible looks awesome. Recently, i saw a picture > of some kind of (limited ?) edition, with special wheels and colour. > Being a happy BMW driver for more than 10 years, loving the ride and > built-quality, you can understand that i experience some hesitation > when it comes to switching to an other car brand. A friend told me > that SAAB is part of GM and quite a lot of GM-parts are also used in > SAAB's. He told me that the 9-3 uses the same platform as the=20 > Opel (Vauxhall) Vectra, is this true ? If this is true; is this > positive or negative ? To me it seems a bit negative, a Vectra is > not exactly know to be an outstanding car with very good handling / > quality and so on.... We used to drive a SAAB 99 EMS (long time > ago...) and the built-quality was very good. Now, my question: Are > SAAB's still the solid cars like in the "old" days ? I am > especially curious about the current 9-3 convertible. Is it (for > example) comparable with a BMW 3 series convertible ? (Sure, front > wheel drive vs rear wheel drive and 4 cyl. turbo vs = inline-6 , but > that is not what i mean). > Hi there, I just bought a Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible, which presumably is the "special edition" you read about (it's called Aero in Europe, I believe.) I haven't had it for more than a few weeks yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but so far I've been very happy with it. A few observations, trying to be as impartial as possible: It's definitely a car for people who enjoy driving; the suspension is stiff and requires that you maintain positive control of the car at all times, especially on bumpy city streets; not exactly a "point in the general direction and the car moves there" type of vehicle. The convertible top mechanism is a mechanical marvel. It's extremely convenient, which allows you to get the maximum top-down time. Some drivers complain about turbo lag and torque steer, because of the high turbo/high torque engine. Personally, it doesn't bother me in the slightest, but again, requires positive control of the wheel. The car packs a *lot* of punch when you press the gas pedal When I called my insurance agent to get the car insured, he told me it had the highest safety discount of any car he had ever written a policy for. Four adults can fit in the car, *comfortably*, which is rare in a convertible. The front spoiler is extremely low, and it seems inevitable that even with maximum care it's going to bottom out every now and then. Not much to do about other than plan to have the spoiler repainted every couple of years. I doubt it's a significant expense. I do believe that it is true the platform is derived from the Opel platform. The main downside is that it is a bit aged (2001, I believe, is the final model year for this particular platform); the upside is that the bugs are likely to be worked out. As you mentioned, the Saab 9-3 looks awesome. I chose the 9-3 over the BMW 330Ci in no small part because of looks. There is a lot of information on the SaabNet website, http://www.saabnet.com/, which I have found very useful. I don't have anything to do with SaabNet other than as a happy user, so take it for whatever it's worth. All in all, I'm really happy with the new Saab ;) -hpa -- <hpanopsamsmeta.com> at work, <hpanopsamr.com> in private! "Unix gives you enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot." http://www.zytor.com/~hpa/puzzle.txt