I test drove this car from the local Saab dealership. The first thing to say is that although I am a company car driver, the dealership were extremely helpful.
Moving on to the car. I currently drive a Jaguar X-Type and the Saab 93 Sport Wagon is streets ahead. The road handling, quality and feel of switches/buttons, gear shift and engine refinement beat the Jaguar hands down.
Although an estate car it felt like I was driving a saloon or hatch.
I am about to choose a new company car and the Saab is at the top of the list.
Initially I wasn't taken with the rear lights, but they ahve grown on me and the car looks the business.
Engine management light came on after 220 miles from new. Had the car 6 days ! Limping along. Very slugish low down and needs plenty of revs. My 90 hp Skoda Octavia feels more punchy and immediate.
What should I expect from the dealer ?
I test drove a Saab 93 Sportswagon yesterday (150bhpTiD Vector), the car was pre-registered by the dealer and had done 12 miles.I had only been driving for about 5 minutes when the engine management system put it into "limp mode". I was prepared to accept that these things happen even to quality cars until I read you reader reviews and realised that this is a chronic problem. What are Saab doing about this failing which I presume is peculiar to their Alfa/Fiat sourced diesel engines ?
I have now covered 16,000 miles since December 2005 and this Saab doesn't get any less wooden. The handling is dull, though the grip and roadholding is good, but the ride is brittle on the 17-inch wheels and Continental tyres. I drove a Saab 9-3 saloon in Sweden with 16-inch wheels which was much better.
The 120 diesel is economical (it average 52mpg, sometimes more) but painfully slow and lacking bottom-end torque, as well as sounding like a tractor. However, the low CO2 figure is a big advantage (149g/km).
Road noise is very high, especially on bad surfaces, so much so that I had to spend more money on soundproofing which has helped a lot (but should you have to do that on a £23,000 car?).
The cabin, though, is excellent - it has superb seats, lots of useful goodies like electric folding mirrors, park assist and so on, but the stereo has no bass and lacks definition.
Reliability has not been the best either. Engine warning lights come on, it went into limp-home mode (a kinked pipe, apparently) and the front passenger window refuses to go up unless the car is moving, or you hold down the rear window lock button while raising the front windows.
Boot space is poor (less than my previous Volvo S60 Saloon) with the rear seats raised, but pretty good with the seats folded.
Visibilty is good, comfort is great, the overall design is pleasant (especially in Parchment interior), and the lights are good. Economy is good but let down by a low-powered and noisy engine.
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