My appeal for some Turbo X ownership stories last night resulted in a couple of responses, which I’ll share with you over the next few days.
The first response came in from David R. We followed his purchase and delivery story here and now it’s time for the initial thoughts after a few weeks with it in the driveway. David purchased a Turbo X SportCombi, which is somewhere north of being his 20th new Saab over the years.
David probably won’t like me mentioning this, but he took time out on his birthday to write it – so thanks very much, and Happy Birthday!!!
I think we Saab owners have something in common with motorcyclists, in that we are always looking at the dampness of the road, manhole covers, white lines, etc before we think of applying all that power.
I once had a test drive in a four wheel drive Audi S6 (if memory serves me correct) and it was truly an eye opener when I realised I could just floor the accelerator from a standing start, and not bother too much about whether the road was damp, or if there were leaves/mud/whatever on the road – all the things that subconsciously went through my mind as the driver of a reasonably powerful Saab. To me, all wheel drive definitely made a difference.
Despite this test drive, for whatever reason, my next car was still a Saab (a 9000 Aero) and the next one (another 9000 Aero) was tuned straight from the factory by Abbott’s for a bit of extra beef. Even I’m not immune from the idea of power for power’s sake.
The road holding of the new car is phenomenal. I have not yet reached the limits of adhesion and whilst it is tempting (a bit too tempting sometimes) to try and find out what those limits really are, I hope I never will. There is talk of a track day (for UK owners at least) taking place in Spain very soon. Perhaps that’s where we’ll all find those elusive limits, though I’d prefer if the car I am in is being driven by someone with more skill than me.
The power is fantastic, even more so in view of the above. It might ‘only’ have 280 BHP, and not 300, 350 or whatever, but at least, for probably the first time recently in a new Saab, you can use all that power.
The sound it makes also is similarly impressive. Part of the ‘joy of ownership’ of a 900 turbo used to be in the pleasure of listening to the exhaust note. Whilst a completely different sound, it brings back memories of how a car should sound. Saab seems to have been particularly poor in this regard recently. Something that other car manufacturers, notably Japanese, have not ignored.
Downsides: my previous car was a 9-5 and I do find the ride of this 9-3 inferior. Whether the ride is inferior because it is a 9-3, whether it is because of the 19” wheels, or for whatever reason I do not know. Unfortunately, having never previously owned a 9-3, I am not really qualified to judge. But the 9-5 does seem to take some beating in this department.
No real complaints there, though. I didn’t buy the Turbo X for its ride quality
There seems to have been some criticism of the quality of the interior of 9-3s in general. In my case, this has been hopefully overcome by the addition of all the available Hirsch trim parts- door handles, handbrake cover, pedals and ‘carbon fibre’ leather dash. An expensive solution but in my eyes worth it. Gives a ‘special’ look to the interior of a ‘special’ car.
In short, it’s a great car.
Again, my thanks to David for sharing his initial thoughts about his new Turbo X.
I’m sure we’ll hear a little more in due course, though hopefully there’s no immediate news about the limits of adhesion!
That would be David’s TX SportCombi on the right. Great plates!