Saab 9-3 XWD review from Channel 4 – can someone explain this?

It’s almost 1am as I start writing this. I’ve got an early morning tomorrow but I couldn’t let this pass.
A few years ago I read a review of the Saab 9-3 where the reviewer gave the car either 3, 3.5 or 4 stars out of 5 for safety. That’s despite the fact that the Saab 9-3 is a 5-star rated car with EuroNCAP.
That probably still remains the benchmark for stupid automotive journalism, but this review from Channel4 is a strong contender.
Firstly, how is it that you can rate car in six different categories, give it an average of 3 stars in mathematical terms (17 of 30 possible stars) and yet rate it as only a 2-star car over all? Ever heard of rounding up?
Even if they’re weighting the categories, surely safety (which they do give 5 stars for) outweighs some of the other categories – it does in all those fancy consumer surveys.
And then there’s stuff like this, which speaks for itself:

Space in the rear is decent for headroom, but there’s limited kneeroom and tall drivers will struggle to sit behind a tall driver.

I imagine they will. It’s hard enough to share a driver’s seat with a small driver, let alone another tall one!! Especially if that driver’s seat is in the rear!
Look, I know that the Saab 9-3 is a flawed vehicle in some areas. I’ve gone on enough about the interior and don’t need to do so again. And maybe the Haldex XWD is too good, too precise, to provide the active hang-your-arse-out driving style that some of these journos prefer.
But to me, this review just doesn’t make sense.
I’m off to bed. I think I’ll dream of doing slalom runs in an XWD Saab with motoring writers as witches hats.
On the positive side, they do have some excellent photos…..

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