There are always moments when we’re feeling the desire to upgrade our Saabs with new toys. Either for improvement of something or just for fun. Timing is a factor here. My 9-3 convertible reached 100.000 km without any serious failures, so he deserved an upgrade. My choice was a Maptun steering wheel and the front strut brace and here is the experience with them.
Do you know how to properly hold the steering wheel ? Is it 10 and 2 or 9 and 3 o’clock ? There are discussions about this topic all the time. Teachers in driving schools and these advanced “sliding schools” are teaching it. But many drivers ignore it.
The result is this :
What about you ? The farmer or the mom ? Or honestly, all of you are race car drivers ?
Nearly all the recent advises are showing that there is a shift from 10 and 2 to 9 and 3. Besides the rule of not crossing your arms, there is another reason : airbags. At 10 and 2 your arms are in danger in the moment of airbag activation, when the plastic airbag cover on the steering wheel can cause serious injuries . And we all want to keep all our fingers for the longest time possible.
Maptun had this aspects in mind for sure while designing it’s steering wheel. At 9 and 3 positions are a places for a perfect fit for the thumbs. Thumbs up for this. The steering wheel reminds a bit on the Griffin wheel but it feels a bit softer and is thicker. This makes it to a more dominant part of the dashboard than the standard one. My fear, that the more structured surface will be a hurdle in smooth steering in the city was not confirmed at all.
The second upgrade looks for the first moment as a formed piece of metal with a logo on it. In fact the look itself doesn’t raise confidence that it does the job it’s intended to do. But I’ve risked it, because of advises on several forums and trust that a tuner such as Maptun would not produce things without function.
My convertible has 275 HP / 400 Nm (V6 + Hirsch). The Aero chassis seemed to be at the limit and sometimes situations with torque steering appeared. That wasn’t a good feeling at all. Also while not having a fixed metal roof, sometimes there was that feeling of “spinning” the chassis. A common place for improvement here.
This is now all gone. The car is much more stable, feels more robust and drives more smoothly. As it would be from one piece instead of many parts. Because of one piece of formed metal with a logo on it.
I liked also the very friendly approach of Maptun. Sure, it’s business, but also a lot of fan heart to feel on the background. After 5000 km, half of it on (sometimes very) fast german autobahns, I am satisfied. My Saab is definitely better now. More stable, more enjoyable. I should have done it sooner.