: New Company Car Choice - Does the Aero win?
01-02-2003, 07:16 AM
Hello from a new member!
I am currently in the midst of choosing my next company car.
The short list - Jag X-Type, Lexus IS200, Volvo S40, Toyota Celica and the http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/fawlty.gif 9-3 Hot Aero.
Ignoring the fact I may have to wait, does the 9-3 really destroy the competition?
Should I look at other cars in the 9-3 range as an alternative to the Aero, or as the Aero is on the list, is there any point looking at the rest?
Your comments would be most helpful, but I think I am 75% sure the Aero will get the vote....
Eric van Spelde
01-02-2003, 08:27 AM
S40 is really out of its depth in this company (S60 would be a slightly different matter, tho'), Celica - depends on whether it's the standard one or the 190ish bhp T-Sport, but in both cases it will be something very different from the effortless pace provided by the other cars, and hard work a lot of the time. You might like that, though.
Lexus IS - really like that car, but some take offense at it's 'Fast & Furious' Jap-style detailing, and the six inline engine is wonderfully smooth, but driven against the others, the lack of real power (particularly below 4,000 rpm) is likely to drop it out of contention.
X-Type - as long as you like the way it looks, it'd be a close call. Very similar to the Saab in the way it almost, but not quite, pulls the trick of letting you forget about the mass-market underpinnings it's (loosely) based on. 2.0 is pretty gutless tho, and the combination of 4WD, ride suppleness, a hefty kerb weight and 'not especially torquey V6 engines conspire to make it not very agile for a sporty, compact exec.
Saab - easily the most agile and playful of the bunch bar the Celica, very communicative, flipside is that ride quality might be a bit 'lively' for some (I think it's just about perfect) and some German rivals like Audi Quattro's can ultimately feel a bit more 'planted', effortless pace but the older turbo's were a bit more charismatic in their delivery, fantastic seats, well appointed interior but trim quality can be a bit iffy, especially plastics. Aero price a bit stiff. I personally would take it (in black with the light interior option) but not before closely scrutinizing the Lexus and Jag, I guess.
And yes, I've driven all of them at some point...
01-02-2003, 08:54 AM
An excellent and informative reply, thanks Eric.
I currently drive the Pug 306 XSi, so I will hopefully be used to the kind of drive the Aero will provide. Looking at it, if I chose anything other than the Aero, I would be accepting a slight drop in performance from the Pug in exchange for more home comforts. (The Pug cabin is minimal to say the least, but they spent the money on the engine I guess!)
I would never of entertained the thought of a SAAB 2/3 years ago, but this new model is quite a different prospect isn't it? My initial thoughts on the short list is as follows, and I will be test driving them all in the next few weeks;
Lexus - Its now a bit dated and too common, and a colleague also has one! Not to mention the "Partridge effect".
Jag - I am only 31 for chrissakes!..surely not ready to retire to one of these...but it does look nice
S40 - Even more dated than the Lexus..lots of cabin comforts though, and solid engine.
Celica - Good performance figures, not sure on the looks...a bit feminine
Aero - It looks great, I will have to see what the cabin is like, but performance figures makes me drool. The only drawback, if I order it now, how long will I have to wait?
01-02-2003, 08:59 AM
Welcome to Saabscene Scrippsy
Here's some info for you:
My 10% having driven the 9-3.... (http://www.saabscene.co.uk/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000032)
Where one of our members tested the following cars against a 9-3:
Jag X-Type 3.0V6 Sport Auto
Audi A4 3.0V6 Tiptronic
BMW 325 Sport Steptronic
Also An Enthusiasts view of the new 9-3 (http://www.saabscene.co.uk/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000028)
And for some pics - 9-3 Sports Sedan pics from the recent Midlands Meet (http://www.saabscene.co.uk/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000036)
Hope that helps - stick around and let us know your thoughts on the 9-3 Aero and its competitors.
Eric van Spelde
01-02-2003, 09:09 AM
Not to mention the "Partridge effect". *[/b]Oh dear... this is going to hurt Lexus bad (especially with the JC referral in Top Gear to add insult to injury), I fear...
Shame - before the 9-3 SS came around, it used to be the only real driver's car left in the compact executive stakes IMO since Saab replaced the Classic 900 Turbo with something based on a Mk II Cavalier (it can be pretty good with some mods, tho') and BMW's 3-series grew flabby and middle aged along with its audience... I've dribver three or four IS's on different occasions, and they all were quite brilliant for handling, tactility and quality...
And believe me, before Partidge it did look and feel almost sub-zero cool next to the then-new Mercedes C200K...
My previous car before my 9-3 Aero was the Lexus IS200 Sport. I only miss the Sat Nav!
Biggest problem (apart from the partridge effect) is that it is not a relaxing drive. I agree with Eric van Spelde when he says it is gutless below 4000rpm, so you have to thrash it to get anywhere.
Only managed to keep mine for 18 months before I was fed up with it! Respect the servicing and aftercare you get though, this must count for something.
Scrippsy - I have just before Christmas taken receipt of a Saab 9-3ss (1.8t). My previous motor was a Pug 306 GTi6.
The GTi6 was good fun and quick (168bhp) but... I like the Saab 9-3 because it is far more refined i.e. build quality / comfort and style.
Perhaps I am getting old before my time but I think you will make the 306 to Saab transition without a worry.
Just think about 210bhp in the new Aero
01-06-2003, 05:44 AM
Don't worry lads, I've got the Saab Vector 2.0T out on demo all day today, and I think my mind is made up!
Evo, the transition from sporty Pug to fast compact exec has now been made. Took me a while to realise I have to go further down with the gas peddle to feel the response (the Pug was immediate), but when you get the feel, its a lot of fun.
So now the problem is, what colour?
I haven't test driven the others on the shortlist yet, but I don't think I'll bother!
Originally posted by Scrippsy:
I've got the Saab Vector 2.0T out on demo all day today, ... *:fawlty: * * * *[/b]So what are you doing here? Go and and play with it http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/fawlty.gif
Eric van Spelde
01-06-2003, 06:29 AM
So now the problem is, what colour?[/b]Black black black black black black black black black black etc. etc.
(completely impartial, you know...)
From someone who has owned two Black Saabs, I'd recommend Steel Grey
01-06-2003, 07:02 AM
steel grey looks nice in the ones I have seen
It also looks particularily alluring in red..
but my favorite colour is cosmic blue..shines up a treat !!
Eric van Spelde
01-06-2003, 07:12 AM
From someone who has owned two Black Saabs, I'd recommend Steel Grey *[/b]Don't be a wuss, keep polishing that thing!
Deep, glossy black - everything else is a compromise, really (go on, you know you want to!)
01-06-2003, 08:38 AM
Must admit I've seen a steel grey one which does look very nice.
There's a black one in our car park, though I personally am not that keen - though it does look like a basic one without nice alloys....
Are you going for the Aero? Should be interesting to see how that performs compared to the 2.0T.
Are there any Aero's in the UK / anywhere yet? Demos??
01-06-2003, 08:39 AM
Forgot to say - good man Scrippsy for making the right choice!
Scrippsy - a fine choice no doubt 210 bhp as well http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif that's impressive.
I would go for a black one - and at the very least chuck some water over it once a week! It will only take 10 mins and keep it looking in top form. Dark grey would be nice too - certainly not white
I bet it was quick
01-08-2003, 10:37 AM
Form done, sent off, Black is the colour!
I guess I'll have to wait now for a while....
Thanks for your comments, I think it helped to make my mind up!
I've not been this excited about any of my previous 5 company cars......whoo hoo! http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/fawlty.gif
01-08-2003, 03:47 PM
So what interior did you choose Scrippsy? Parchment or Slate Grey, full leather or standard?
I can't make up my mind on what combination to choose, was sure about Steel Grey with Slate grey interior. But then I saw the Graphite Green with Parchment full leather interior...
01-09-2003, 04:15 AM
I've not been this excited about any of my previous 5 company cars......whoo hoo![/b]I know the feeling - well the not being excited bit anyway (hand-me-down Laguna's and Megane Scenics )
Glad you've got it all sorted anyway - look forward to hearing about the http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/fawlty.gif
01-14-2003, 03:17 PM
I've got Steel Grey with Parchment. Piccies are on the Saab Con post.
I love the parchment interior (Vector, so black textile and parchment leather). Looks like a million dollars!