Loud Fast and In Control

Clive M was the first guy to place an order for a Turbo X here in Australia. He’s pretty passionate about the car, passionate enough to convince someone to customise the message his Turbo X shows at start-up:
He’s also passionate enough to put together some thoughts about a road test that was published here in Australia in September last year.
The test was featured in The Australian, a broadsheet newspaper here that’s smack-bang in the heart of the demographic that Saab would like to reach. You can read the review (if you dare) by clicking here.
This all goes to show how wrong a motoring journo can be, as well as showing (again) that having the automatic version of the Turbo X as their press car was a wrong move by Saab Oz.
Clive’s thoughts:

The second photo is a shot of my Turbo X Sid showing 8.8 Litres/100km part way through a 2.5 hr country drive averaging 100 Kph. In fact, at the end of the trip it was down to 8.3 l/100.
The significance of the second photo is that the journo for The Australian newspaper car reviews recently went beyond reasonable accurate comment on the Turbo X, or should l say probably Saabs in general, including these pearls of wisdom:
* the car was black
* the brakes were inadequate
* the fuel usage was 16l/100km
* the car was noisy
* the suspension was hard
* it had turbo lag and wait for it ……
* the best one was the car had torque steer!!
l will take the last one first. How does the XWD Turbo X have torque steer when the complete XWD system directs power proportionally in a nano second across all wheels? You cannot even induce torque steer in this car.
The high litres per Kms you get when you absolutely nail this beast constantly with full screaming revs which of course all sane and thinking people do when driving in the city, and hey yesiree the Turbo X is black (actually he got that one right ).
The brakes are fantastic – l know as l worked for a number of years with a international brake manufacturer. And gosh golly gee, the suspension is actually set up for performance not marshmallow soft like his office chair.
l usually don’t take all that much notice of some journo who has been given the job of reviewing cars after a few years in the restaurant reports or travel section and hates the job, however l will make an exception this time.

It just goes to show how important it is to get the press car right. As mentioned, The Oz newspaper is one that’s read by many of the people that Saab would love to reach as customers. To have the car (inaccurately) panned as it was in that review was a dagger in the heart of that model launch.
Clive’s experience also goes to show that ownership of a vehicle is a very different thing to a guy getting it for a few days (or even just hours).
We have car reviews because people want to read them. Unfortunately, we don’t always have car reviewers who take the ownership experience or model variations into account. And like the torque steer case noted above, we have car reviewers who can be just flat-out wrong.