: Daily Telegraph 9-3 Review
09-17-2002, 09:20 AM
Came across this Daily Telegraph review of the new 9-3 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fmotoring%2F2002%2F07%2F30%2Femfs aab20.xml) whilst surfing over lunch.
Even though the article is from July this year it's interesting to find that there are others bemoaning the lack of the hatch - don't feel alone Fawlty!
"Saab spin folk pointed out that the proposed 9-3 estate, at least three years off, will perform the role of hatchback. Presumably those well-educated and well-heeled Saab owners are too stupid to spot the difference between a hatchback and an estate. Oh please... So, the message is, if you liked the old models for their load-carrying abilities, you can now sod off."
Also, maybe we shouldn't all wait for the Aero to appear.....
"We drove the Aero version first, which was a mistake. On ludicrously low-profile tyres, with completely inert steering, the Aero was as involving as a bread board and at times as precise as a hovercraft."
Open the substantial-feeling doors, climb in and you are faced with what looks like a straight lift of Saab's traditional wrap-around dashboard[/b]Rubbish. Just which Saab was Andrew English driving?
It all looks stylish and familiar, even down to the graphics on the turbo-boost gauge[/b]I ask again, which car was he driving?
trying to sell the idea of an alternative car that is hell bent on being a German clone.[/b]Yes, it is a bit of a dilemma for them
This article from the torygraph seems to be quite conservative (small c) and at odds with other reviews that I have read. He may be right and brave not to follow what everyone else has said but he is obviously talking piffle at the beginning of the article. 3/10, Andrew.
09-17-2002, 10:17 AM
Erm, I posted about that review when it came out (under "4car review") in this forum on 21 July.
And sadly, I know I am very much not alone in bemoaning the lack of hatch - I know several Saab owners who will not be replacing as they are not as Saab-loyal as us, just need a decent car witha hatch.
we had a similar debate in 1997 when the incoming 9-5 offered no direct comparison for the outgoing 9000 hatch. Where are all those 9000 drivers, now? What are they driving? The 9-5 has sold well, hasn't it?
I think the crux of the matter here is that:
1. Vauxhall, Renault, Nissan et al make hatches.
2. Vauxhall, Renault, Nissan et al are not perceived to be upmarket, desirable cars.
3. BMW, Audi, Mercedes do not make hatches.
4. BMW, Audi, Mercedes are perceived to be upmarket, desirable cars.
therefore, cars with hatches are not desirable.
Saab has a choice. Make hatches and be perceived as slightly downmarket, or ditch the hatch and compete with the teuton trio for the big bucks.
What's more, Saab probably want to move away from the thrifty loyal Saab owner who has had the same Saab for years, and move to the mass market where there are lots of people with lots of cash such as fleet buyers and IT company types. Let's face it, just how exclusive is a beemer 3-series?
I'm not saying whether it is right or wrong, just where I think they are going. When you worship at the alter of the greenback, can you blame them? Quirkyness does not sell in big enough numbers. Not everyone can be an individual.
Hey, I don't make the rules. http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
09-17-2002, 10:40 AM
Saab probably want to move away from the thrifty loyal Saab owner who has had the same Saab for years[/b]My Classic 900 (or is that a classic Classic 900 now?) has got 212k miles on the clock and I've already told people I'll trade it in at the nearest SAAB dealer for a nice new one just as soon as it hits 250k. Although if it's still running OK I might wait on till 300k
I know I am very much not alone in bemoaning the lack of hatch *[/b]On my test drive last week, they told me that this accounted for 7% (seven per cent) of current Saab owners. Since they wish to double units sold worldwide (18,000 to 28,000 in UK) they obviously reckon the risk is worth it.
Perhaps Saab has put itself in a corner here by making cars that will run for ages if looked after. They are over-engineered rather than being assembled with built-in obselecense forcing you to change every three years. http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
09-17-2002, 11:10 AM
But to your point about hatches can't be upmarket. We all know I'm an upmarket animal (not as posh as H, though ), and I therefore have upmarket friends. They want hatchbacks because they need versatile cars, but they don't want cruddy Renaults and Nissans.
And all the 9000 owners who wanted to stick with hatches - i.e. the CS as opposed to CD, who were happy with 9-5's - bought 9-3's. Saab's figure of 7% (it was 20% a month ago) is bull and they know it. Yes, 7% of their target market perhaps, because they're going after people who don't currently own hatchbacks. Doh - real rocket scientists, these GM spindoctors
OK, simple test - the 9000 was the most upmarket Saab to date. Percentage CS to CD, anyone, and why buy the CS if the hatch wasn't your priority?
And there's your real percentage. QED.
09-17-2002, 11:15 AM
Perhaps Saab has put itself in a corner here by making cars that will run for ages if looked after[/b]Maybe that was their thinking when they changed to gearboxes with no drain plugs or scheduled drain interval in the later c900's?
I've posted this elsewhere, and the opinion appears to be either they were supremely confident they'd last forever, or that everyone would blow their gearboxes up at around 150k miles in the hope they'd move on to newer models, or it was a cost-cutting exercise....
Obsolescence[/b]My spelling is normally very good, but I really screwed up on that one, didn't I?
[edited to correct two spelling errors! Doh http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif ]
09-17-2002, 11:33 AM
Sorry, I'm just Percy Pedantic on smelling and grammer http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif .
And BTW, /john, I know and understand that you're quoting stats and spin reasoning above, and it's not necessarily your own opinion
BTW again, I had a rather waffly email from Saab UK the other day. I'd asked them a) if either concept car would be at the NEC Motor show, and B) if they could confirm either would make production.
Predictably, they refused to confirm either question. In fact they didn't even answer the first question. The words speculation and wish in the email tend to suggest to me that the 9-3x and 9-x are moving ever further away, although a good review like that in the New York Times has to help sales of the 9-3, which can only be good for the possibility of seeing a real Saab again.
The words speculation and wish in the email tend to suggest to me that the 9-3x and 9-x are moving ever further away[/b]Fawlty, what say you and I pop over to Trollhattan and demand a 9-3X (93-X) for you and a 9-X for me. We know they have at least one of each and one of each is all we want. We will refuse to leave until we get them.
Failing that, I'll take the Saab Sonett Super Sport (the first one, the white one) and you can have your choice of cars in the Museum.
09-17-2002, 11:57 AM
Fawlty, what say you and I pop over to Trollhattan and demand a 9-3X *[/b]If it's more than £80000 I don't want it .
Seriously, do you (or does anyone) know the 9000CS to CD split - I think that would be a good indicator. If it's less than 30% CS I'll shut up. And I'll personally email Andrew English and tell him to shut up, too.
09-17-2002, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Fawlty:
And all the 9000 owners who wanted to stick with hatches - i.e. the CS as opposed to CD, who were happy with 9-5's - bought 9-3's.
[/b]Except me. But I'd have bought a brand-new 9000 if they'd still made them http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
09-17-2002, 04:16 PM
My first Saab was a 9000CS Carlsson (April 1992- one of the last I believe) and I changed it this year for a 9-5 Aero (2002 250bhp etc) because a) I wanted a new car B) I never really needed the hatch but the CS was much prettier than the CD and lets face it didn't look that hatch like anyway. I miss the rear wiper though, yes I've got the sedan (saloon).
09-18-2002, 05:36 PM
Aeroguy, we are one of the chosen few to own(or have owned) a CS Carlsson. I salute you.
(This is where you tell me it was a terrible car! )
My CS Carlsson (http://members.aol.com/cscarlsson/public/carlsson1.html)
10-03-2002, 05:43 PM
No it wasn't awful awe inspiring maybe I even blew thew engine (Timing chain broke) just as I was alongside a BMW M5 and boy were we both trying. Surprisingly only bent valves and things something to do with the lower compression and my quick reactions at dipping, more like slamming, the clutch in when I heard the bang. Only thing is the 9-5 does everything better IMHO but the it should being 10 years newer.
10-04-2002, 04:29 AM
Its a cracking machine.....yes the 9-5 should(hopefully)do everything better. But then I couldn't afford one! And I also needed the estate(doggies!)which are more expensive...........but my next car will probably be a 9-5 aero estate.
I have given a 911 carrera 4 a real run for its money. He was not liking it. But the noise as he thrashed it was amazing. His engine noise, with my turbo whistle was rather a nice sound. A 911 turbo.....