Tag Archive for 'Saab'

Saab Troubles Continue

What can I say? Last month, I had to get a new short block put into my 9-3, which is basically most of the engine. $6200 worth of parts and labor, gleefully covered under my extended warranty.

But, this Tuesday, I decided to venture out of the office for lunch, (this is suburbia, impossible to get anywhere by foot)… and on the way back, my car just quit on me in the middle of an on-ramp. So, there I am, blocking traffic, waving cars along, and attempting to push the car out of the way, simultaneously steering the wheel.

I hate cars.

saabThe dealer had to replace something called a “direct ignition cassette module”, also covered under the warranty. But, I also had to buy a new battery, because the stupid tow truck left the keys in the ignition and killed it. I still can’t quite figure out if the battery is related to the other replaced part, but I guess I should once again be thankful that the car is “certified”.

It seems that I’m not the only Saab owner with this problem.

Saab 9-2X

Saab 9-2xThe 9-3 is again in the shop, (needed a new thermostat), but this time my loaner story is a bit more interesting that the Kia Rio of last week. You see, I was given a 2004 9-2X loaner – albeit, the base model. What’s funny, however, is that I came away from the experience feeling once again that Saab is harming its brand. Why you ask?

First, this is not a Saab. I don’t care if it has a 9-3 front-end, and griffin logo slapped on the wheel… the overall character of the car screams Japanese. Based on the Subaru WRX, Saab supposedly added a few stylistic and performance “enhancements”.

I should note that it handles well, (AWD is standard), and was fun to hit the MassPike exit ramps at a high velocity. But, as an automatic, and lacking Turbo, (which Saab invented), I felt like I should have a couple of kiddos in the back seat.

The interior was surprisingly sparse – the displays were old-fashioned gray LCD, and the radio knobs was pretty low-end. In short, is lacks the Saab experience. When I first test-drove my 9-3, I felt as if I was in an airplane cockpit, with its short windshield, ignition between the seats, (rather than on the steering column), and the way the controls lit up. By comparison, the 9-2X feels very much like all the other cars you’ve ridden in.

Overall, it is a fine car – though I’m not sure why one wouldn’t just go buy the Subaru version. GM, (Saab’s parent company), is probably trying to attract a lower-priced market segment – 20-somethings who are attracted to the Saab brand, but who aren’t looking to spend $30k.

It was a risky gamble, toying with the unique character of Saab… that said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 9-2X on the road, though there are a glut of old 900s and 9-3s parked in my neighborhood.