Saturday Snippets – taking off edition

I had another fine dinner with the Sydney Saabers last night. Great bunch of people, a lot of laughs and we’re hoping we might have helped steer PT into a C900.

There was one other incredible story to come out of last night, but I have to wait for a few photos to come in. Long-term visitors to this site are going to love it. THe mother of all follow-up stories.

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There are a number of new-ish road tests to check out today….

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Automobile Magazine has a test of the Aero and the 2.0T.

Some previous reviewers had complained about the manual gearshift, so I found this interesting:

This stick shift suffers none of the rubbery shift action that we’ve seen in some previous Saab units

It just goes to show how subjective these road tests can be. You can get some info from them, but you really need to read a range of them and mot importantly, you need to get in the car yourself to make up your mind.

Conclusion:

Yes, the big Saab is likely to play at the margins of the luxury-car market, but the brand’s new overseers have realistically modest sales expectations. The 9-5 isn’t likely to steal many buyers away from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Lexus, it’s certainly good enough to give the faithful reason to return to the showroom again, and to provide an alternative to some of the smaller luxury nameplates for the intellectuals and unconventional thinkers who look for something outside of the mainstream.

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Autoweek (note the rear headroom comment and once again, how subjective and contradictory various tests can be)

The Harmon/Kardin audio system is one of the best we’ve heard. The interior finish is better and richer than ever, and there’s way more room. We’d guess that there’s more rear-seat headroom and legroom than in any competitor, and there’s 18.2 cubic feet of trunk space.

The V6 is smoother than any Saab engine in memory, and it’s strong enough to move a substantial car with some urgency.

And their conclusion:

Do I want it?

If you’re a longtime Saab loyalist waiting for something new, you probably do. In purely objective terms, this is arguably the best, most advanced Saab yet.

If you’re simply shopping for a midsize luxury sedan, the new 9-5 is a good car in a class brimming with good cars. While it will be less expensive than some, it will be more expensive than others–and not just import competition.

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CAR Magazine (writing about the 2.0 TiD)

Is the new 9-5 going to rip up the rulebook? Hardly. Saab has a mountain to climb to persuade buyers to take it seriously again. They should. This is the best resolved big Saab ever, but many customers will be wary after the bankruptcy and may well be perfectly happy with their A6s, 5-series and E-classes.

The thing is, I sense the 9-5 is a watershed. Meet the engineers and designers who created it, and you’ll realise they feel freed from the constraints of working for a monolithic foreign parent. If the creative juices now start flowing – and the partnerships are put in place to ensure supply of engines and components – then the new 2012 9-3 and potential new 9-1 become seriously interesting prospects.

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Auto Express have a video review of the car in addition to their text review from arlier this week.

Thanks to Graeme (the guy in the video) for the heads-up. Good work.

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