2005 SAAB 9-3 Linear 2.0T from North America
Ups and Downs, but definitely worth it
None that I know of. I do not own this car, I work for a used car dealership and took this car for one of my work errands that involved 200 miles of mixed city and highway driving. I am 19 years old and have driven almost everything from a Kia Sportage to a Porsche 911 Turbo in various conditions and locations, so I think my review should hold some credibility.
Where to start. Let me begin by saying that I am not a fan of European cars, never have been, until I drove this Saab. Lots of good features, only hindered by a few annoyances. Keep in mind I drove the Linear, 170 horsepower automatic, not the best performing one of the bunch.
It's got it. It may not seem like it at first, it doesn't seem that quick from 0-60, but the acceleration is very consistent. Give it some poke at any speed and it takes off, I found myself going from 80-100 pretty quickly.
Leather seats, smooth shifting transmission, and a great seating position. I love it.
It takes some time to grow on you, at first I thought that it looked deformed, but it's just that kind of car that you learn to love.
My only downside is the stereo, the car I drove had a blown speaker, and in general the bass and treble wasn't what I am used to, but it's a factory stereo, not many are good, especially for an audiophile like myself.
This car has a lot of "funky" touches to it, some good, some bad.
The key goes into the center console, down by the armrest
The key itself is pretty large
The handbrake is blended into the lines of the interior, it took me a minute to find it
The glovebox is enormous. If it was cooled, I am sure I could keep a few 2 liters in there.
The passenger mirror has a built in blind spot section, nice touch, good to see they care about your safety, certainly helped me move quicker in traffic.
There is a "head up display" in the center but it should be a bit higher up. I like to sit low and I couldn't see it all, all the time.
There is a nightpanel button, which turns off interior lights and the gauges except the speedometer up to 90mph. It's different, but I can't see anyone using it, except the 10 year old passenger.
The cupholder is not a cupholder, it's a complicated spring loaded thing, easily broken.
Trunk is enormous for a mid-size car.
Safety features galore (typical euro engineering).
Doors don't auto-unlock when you remove the key. Got annoying after a few stops.
In general I think the car has to be driven to be understood. I thought it was just another Passat clone, but it's just so different and so much better that I am going to be getting a 2005 Arc 5-speed within 3 months.
Great little car!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st April, 2008
Also, a small followup on this review.
1. The leather is not of the best quality and I hear it tends to crack.
2. The car is made by General Motors (take that as a good or bad thing)
3. The legroom in the back seat is like that of my civic, at least the way I had my driver's seat set up.
FYI: it's not a Passat clone. It's more Opel/Vaxhaull Vectra clone (same base).
P.S. Waiting for such car to arrive from USA :)
I agree with all your comments except about the leather. If you keep your leather clean and conditioned, it will look excellent for years to come. Mine is a 03 and looks like brand new... Then again I define "pickey" when it comes to my cleanliness of my Saab.
When you drive a performance car at high speed, why would you drink any thing at all to compromise your safety. Saab understood safety over some minor convenience that features in Japanese cars.
The nightpanel is a must if you drive many long distant night trips, it comforts your eyes and also help see things better at night. You've got to use it to understand it.
Hey just a quick note, I don't believe that they are manufactured by GM (except for the V6 I think). The Vin number says that the car has been manufactured in Trollhattan, Sweden and GM is just a North American dealer.