March 1, 2011 in Saabology
I’ve finally made my landing in Geneva and it was great to hit terra firma again after 36 hours from door to door. There’s just no easy way of getting from Tasmania to Europe. At least I’ve signed up for frequent flyer points this time
I met my hosts, Marc and Priska at the airport and got a ride to their home in their Saab 9-3x. More about them and that car later, it’s a great story.
Tomorrow night, we dine with Dimitri and Fredric (from www.dimichi.ch), our unofficial ambassador Saab in the UK, Robin M and Mr Redj himself. If others are in the area and want to join us, just let me know. I’m sure we can expand the booking.
And speaking of the Saab 9-3x, a comparative test has been published pitting the smaller Saab Softroader against the Volvo V60. The magazine is a Danish one called Dine Penge.
I’ll let you go there and do a full Googletrans (they might not like it if I post the full test here), but it’s encouraging reading considering their setup of a brand new model vs an eight-year-old platform.
Jesper has provided an edited version and here are some highlights from it:
When you consider that the Saab 9-3 in its current form is merely a continuous facelift of a model which was introduced way back in 2002, then it is in its place with a solid and heartfelt “Wow!” It has oceans of surplus, a tight and comfortable chassis, lots of equipment and so have the X factor. It has its own on an amazing charming way, with the key located below the front seats and the curved aircraft windscreen. While most new cars today will run in the same direction, then Saab is not afraid to stick out. To be completely his own. And particularly in the tested 9-3X version has more character than Ole Ernst’s eyebrows together…..
…..Volvo comes to a basic version with D3 diesel engine 503,000 crowns ($93,000). But you must have it in an equipment level that matches Saabs, then it will come much closer to 600,000 crowns ($111,000). The 9-3X is priced at 499,900 crowns ($92,000), and it is really well equipped. Oil burner(parking heater?), xenon headlamps, electric chairs, cool rims and everything you expect of comfort features in a car in half million is present in the Saab. Only thing missing is a navigation device, but it can be bought for 42,500 crowns together with a solid upgraded stereo and it’s close to what they in the U.S. call ‘Fully Loaded’. That speaks so much to the Saab’s advantage when accounts must be made up.
Audi A4 Avant with 170 horsepower costs about the same as the Volvo, while the BMW 320d Touring is 100,000 crowns ($18,000) more expensive. Seen in this light, the Saab 9-3X is a really very prestigious estate car for the money. Volvo, is in itself the best car of the two Swedes – and it would be strange otherwise, because the basic structure is eight years later. But should I choose, I would be in doubt. Because the Saab is so damn cool, and it turns significantly more heads in traffic than the Volvo.
It’s a review well worth the reading. The above seems like a long passage, but it’s really just a small part of it.
You wouldn’t believe it, but here in suburban Geneva, at around 3pm, I just saw a black Dodge Challenger.
And earlier this week, back in Hobart, I saw a new Chevy Camaro. Considering they don’t sell them in Australia, someone’s gone to great expense to pay an importer to get one here and swap the steering to the other side. They’ve possibly paid upwards of $100K for what is a $30,000 or so car in its home market.
Saab’s press conference is scheduled for 11:45am tomorrow, Geneva time.
RedJ has already noted the live coverage that the Geneva people will be providing. We’ll be getting all we can up on site as soon as possible.
A couple of CSI-watching Saab fans noted a Saab 95 being shown in a recent episode. Here’s a couple of screencaps…..