My thanks to everyone for your comments on the Have you bought a Saab in 2008 post from last week. As I write this, there are 63 comments there, which tells me there’s a lot of you rolling in either new or new-to-you Saabs this year, which is great news. If TS has been of help to some of you in achieving that, then I’ve had a pretty good year.
Through our local email ring here in Australia, we recently caught up with Turbin, who might just have the most recent addition to the TS-related Saab list. He picked this beauty up only around 10 days ago, taking advantage of the rather massive loyalty discount being offered by Saab Australia at the moment. If you’re in Australia and have a Saab under seven years old, it really is worth a look (if you can still get it).
The car is a 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi TiD and it replaces Turbin’s 2006 SportCombi, which was a 2.0t and featured in the Saab Pride competition late last year (yeah, Turbin, I know….the pics don’t enlarge – sorry).
Anyway, here are Turbin’s initial thoughts on what is one sharp looking car (especially for a diesel!). Congratulations, mate!!!
About the drive, very happy.
Even with 17″s instead of 16″s the ride is better if a bit more noisy from the tyres. The heavy nose of the diesel (along with appropriate suspension) probably helps on the highway, as it feels less nervous than the 06. Looking to get 900kms out of the first tank with a lot of run-in still to do.
The rolling acceleration is great and not vastly different from my old 2.0t. On top of which the economy doesn’t take the same hit when you get happy with the pedal. There is alot of diesel clatter at idle and low speeds but that’s what I paid for, if I bought a diesel I want to hear a diesel (many would feel differently, I know).
Fit and finish is great, no problems with the new dash layout either. Doors close with a good thunk and the tailgate closes properly more often. The 06 would often take 2 or 3 goes to latch. Bluetooth is great and very clear. Sunroof is beautifully integrated and nicely tinted so you can leave the shade open more of the time. Seats feel better, maybe just less tired than the old ones. Parchment interior looks really good and is off-white enough to not look dirty so easily. Lights are great and the light pipes look fantastic at night.
Also really great on-road stance, even with the roof-rails.
Gearbox combined with narrow torque band takes some getting used to. At 100km/h it’s 2000rpm in 5th. I am presuming better efficiency at 1500rpm in 6th but that doesn’t shift in til min. 105km/h. Whether the extra speed cancels out the efficiency I don’t know (?). 2000/5th is a bit noisier but in 6th it tends to (smoothly) kick down at the slightest hill.
Turbo lag is a monster. Really have to plan ahead. I don’t do much stop-start anyway but you don’t want to take risks turning into fast approaching traffic.
Those two things I was aware of from reviews and driver stories. The skimpng on leather was a surprise. The 06 had leather across all seat facings except rear outer bolsters. Now the only leather is the middle inserts of the 4 main seating positions. The middle of the backseat (where we put one of the boys seats) used to be leather as well, is now vinyl. Not that I could justify it but the premium leather is not even an option for Linear.
Final whine is that after taking delivery 1 week before the end of the Saab Exchange program, they have extended it through to Dec 31st. I maybe could have gotten a better deal later in the piece?? I don’t care too much anyway as this car was dealer stock and had a rare combination of factory sunroof and parchment interior as well as factory 5th headrest and CD stacker (not standard at this level). If I had have held on might have lost it and at less than $40k on the road I won’t complain.
The wheels were the biggest surprise in all of this, Frank @ Mentone (who was a real gentleman to deal with) had agreed on ALU 45s which are the nice clean 17″x&7″ 5-spokes that are optional on the Linear and standard on the Linear Sport. When I arrived to pick-up he wanted to sign all the papers first. I asked to see the goods before signing anything.
Off we went and he’s saying, “looks really good, looks like a Vector”. Then I saw why, these wheels are, as Ferd said, ex Aero, standard Vector 17″x7.5″. Not considered a factory option on the Linear. I’d say that because they were ordered from accessories they went the cheaper option which is these at $40 less per wheel than the ALU45s. I’m pretty happy as it is also apparently pretty costly getting the 17/45/225 tyres whereas 17/45/235s are much more common here in Oz.
Three things are missing from the car as you see it, white on black plates (or should I go white on red ??? thoughts please), super dark tint and of course ….. something I’m not allowed to mention here – SW