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Discussion Starter #1
Re: Autos versus Manuals.

In my opinion Give it a go. I've driven a few times with it now. And it just feels right. I didn't have a chance to try it out at full go but in city use, It feels ok.
 

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Try both! I've driven a few autos I quite liked, and even more that I didn't. Just depends on the design.

There are advantages to autos. The torque converter actually magnifies torque at low speeds, which is great for drag racing. Many of the fastest drag race cars are automatic. Automatics also do not require you to lift the throttle between shifts. This is particularly useful in a turbo engine where, if you do lift the throttle, you will dump boost between shifts.

But if you're just looking for a daily driver you just need to ask yourself how much stop and go you plan on doing. I would imagine your Diesel would be a better daily driver, or better yet a Diesel auto. Gas mileage of a Diesel, ease of driving from the auto. But failing that ...

... the 9-3SS is a great cornering car that's fun through the twisties, which an auto is not. So if you got an auto you just wouldn't be able to appreciate the car's finest attribute as well.

After all it's 9-3 Sport Saloon, not 9-3 Slushbox Slowmobile.

Dubbya~

p.s.

Also, while they don't generally last as long, automatics are often stronger than their manual counterparts. This may be of little importance to the casual day to day driver, but for C900 tuners it could be useful.

The auto box in the C900 could theoretically be upgraded to put out more power than the manual with the properly upgraded wet clutches. I believe it's casing is different from the manual's casing (which is the manual's ultimate weakness) and could be stronger.

Generally autos are stronger because of the afformentioned torque amplification. The torque converter is like a constantly slipping clutch and causes significant strain on the internal parts, which means they are often well overbuilt in this regard.
 

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Well.. I'm gonna be trading in my 9-3 Coupe for a 9-3SS maybe...

I do a real mix of driving from Long autobahn type high speed stuff... (e.g. to Italy and back...), short town stuff, twisty mountain stuff (when I can!) and a lot of heavy traffic commute stuff. I also attend about 6 or 7 track days a year.

The 9-3SS is going to have to be able to do all of this. I may also want to change/upgrade it's power/brake/suspension combo to my likes. I don't want another Saab who's weakest link is it's transmission...

But this wasn't just about me... what are the feelings of people who have the SS with auto, sensonic2 or manual.. or indeed people with 9-5s, 9-3s, 9000s etc???
 

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Originally posted by MarkA:
[qb]indeed people with 9-5s, 9-3s, 9000s etc??? [/qb][/b]
I've got a 9000 auto. For me, an auto is the only way of staying sane when the M4 grinds to a halt (I have a 50 mile each way commute).

And most of the time, it's fine on the more twisty roads, too. I also like not having to take my hands off the wheel around corners.

But it changes at the wrong times (IMO) under moderate acceleration, and this effect felt worse after my ECU upgrade. That's not tweakable, as it's a purely mechanical system as I understand it.

As you mention, it has a habit of changing during a corner, which isn't good. And, of course, they're prone to failure and expensive repair.

Nonetheless, if I had to replace it, it would be with another auto.

P.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I think the 9k with the autobox is perfect except for coming out of the corners.

The 9-5 305 BHP Hirsch I test drove had an extremely well behaving autobox. And the paddle shift worked great in my experience.
The first 9-3 ss I drove with semi Auto. didn't have paddle shift and I found it to shift late after giving the commands to shift (this one I drove in july 2002 so before the original release in the Netherlands and was a pre-producion model). But they have worked it out on later models.
 

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I'm all for a 9-5 auto with paddle shift. I think that'd be a great daily driver.


I just feel that an auto on the Sport Saloon sort of defeats the point. Besides, if you can somehow afford a 9-5 Aero with paddle shift you'll still get plenty of
in straight lines and in the corners. Wee!

Dubbya~
 

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We have a 9-3SS Vector 1.8t 150hp with 5 speed auto and the floor mounted +/- shift activated by moving the selector lever sideways. My wife is the main driver of the car and she is quite happy with the auto in general after refusing to drive an automatic for many years because of the unpredictable nature of the changes when cornering, overtaking etc. As said earlier, the modern auto box is a different machine.

Some observations:

I like it, it doesn't do anything to surprise. You can put it in drive and forget it if you want to.

It can be a little slow in finding the right gear when you need quick acceleration from standstill or a crawl (eg coming out of turnings, motorway slip roads etc.). I over come this by pushing the lever to the +/- section and manually selecting a lower gear.

In general driving it is fine and picks up well in kickdown.

There are no "S" for Sport or "W" for Winter buttons like the 9-5, but the change pattern is modified in +/- to be a kind of sport mode. For winter mode you can manually select 3 in +/- position.

When in the manual +/- position the changing is not that intuitive. The gearbox always selects 1st when you stop. You can't select 4th below 35 mph and you can't select 5th below 45 mph. If you are in the higher gears and the speed falls below the threshold value the box will change down by itself. Conversely, and perhaps emulating the Sport mode of the 9-5, when accelerating, the gearbox will hold on to the selected gear until the red line is reached - well, that's what I think, I haven't let it do it very often.

Two further points. I drove the same gearbox behind the 2.2 GM diesel in a Vectra loan car. Definitely not as spritely as the 150 hp petrol engine in the Saab, but quite acceptable.

I have heard that the steering wheel paddles add a bit of delay to the change, which may not be such a good thing, but I've no experience of them. The lever change is quite prompt.

Finally, test drive the various suspension and wheel options. if you do a lot of driving on poorer roads, the sports suspension with the 17 inch wheels may be too harsh for everyday use - but quite fun otherwise
 

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Originally posted by MarkA:
[qb]Unfortunately only BMW, Audi and Ferrari have got proper systems in their cars.. the rest have electronic overrider auto gearboxes.

[/qb][/b]
Hasn't the Aston Vanquish got a electronic clutch paddle shift gearbox...??

Back to the point, I'm in a similar quandry, would prefer a auto because of commuting in traffic but prefer a manual the rest of the time. I have to sayt he Sentronic in the 9-5 is a bit of a waste of time IMHO, it just didn't feel right. I'm in the process of trying to arrange a day with a sentronic 9-3SS Aero to compare. Then again, if I haven't changed the car before I finish my present contract and the next job will probably be in London, I won't need an auto...

That might mean S60R instead....
 

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Aston Vanquish got a electronic clutch paddle shift gearbox...??[/b]
Yes, the Aston has the previous generation Magneti Marelli system that is fitted to the Ferraris. Not a terribly good implementation on hill starts etc. The new system fitted to the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale is way better.
 

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Mark - I'm going to play devils advocate here. Why not go for a more basic 9-3SS with the super smooth and torquey JTD engine when it comes out in September or so (which might have an autobox option - but with that kind of power delivery you won't have to shift much anyways) for a very fast and relaxing everyday drive, then invest some of the price difference versus a Sentronic Aero in a clean T16S with a couple of performance-enhancing tweaks, to blow the cobwebs out on a Sunday morning?

You know it makes sense...
 

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Looks like plenty of opinions from Holland on this topic.
Well, I'm and auto driver now, having a bit of rally driving experience in the past (N-group Opel Kadett GSI). I like the manuals, it gives you total control over the car. I love the sequntial shift, it works fast and accurate - perfect match for a rally car. But I reckon you don't drive one, do you?

Now when I've bought the "barge", driving the auto is a real pleasure. Sometimes it has it's moments of "hard thinking", but generally speaking it's very smooth and deliveres a lot (even when you push the car to the "normal limits").

Now to the point, IMHO paddles on 9-5 auto are next to useless. It takes forever to shift, this delay is frustrating (especially for someone who has experienced the real sequential gearboxes). "S"(illy) button is much better for fast driving.

Manual is fun on the track, but a hassle around the town, and you have to work on the gearbox quite often (clutch, pressure plates, links, etc). Autobox is by comparison almost service free (apart from the obvious oil change).

Oh, the only downside of my 2.3lpt 4-speed auto is slow 180-235 km/h (110-145 mph). It's really frustrating so I'm going to order Stg1 upgrade and that should fix it due to higher bhp value.
Dunno how the 5-speed auto behaves in lpt at high speed as I haven't driven it yet on autobahns...

For everyday use go for the autobox and 9-5, if you want a serious sport car, save your money for TVR, Lotus or even an M3 or RS4 in manual.
 

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Originally posted by Adam 9-5 2.3t auto:
[qb]if you want a serious sport car, save your money for TVR, Lotus or even an M3 or RS4 in manual. [/qb][/b]
Mark's already got an RS2.....an RS4 would be just plain greedy.....
 

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Oh well, for the BPM you pay here in NL on the RS4 (luxury tax) you could easily buy a 9-3SS...

Britain is CHEAP (bar real estate in London).

BTW a few years old 9-5 is considered here as a luxury car. Having a Saab (any) and RS4 would make you a millionare... Oh well, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is driven in an old Ford Scorpio...
 

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Sorry but please dont [expletive deleted] about car prices!

Here in Denmark we pay 200% registration tax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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he he... which is why I'm selling (hopefully sold! this evening!) the RS2.. and probably in the winter part exchanging the 9-3 for something else.. something that can combine a bit of the features my current cars provide (RS2 - fast fun and track days, 9-3 - comfortable cost effective commute car).

I've very impressed with the value proposition of the Opel Vectra GTS Elegance...

You can have that car with the same sport chassis as the 9-3SS. It comes with the same 175hp Turbo petrol, or the new 150hp Turbo Diesel 4 cyl.. or you can have it with the 3.0 Turbo Diesel from the 9-5 or the same (all be it detuned) 3.2 v6 petrol from the Alfa.

Spec for Spec compared with the 9-3SS Vector - it's much higher... and cheaper for essentially the same car (all be it with more room.. and a hatch back!)

I can get a fully loaded Sport Chassis'd V6 3.0 Diesel GTS with Climate Control, Tyre pressure meters, CBC, EBV, ESP, Leather Heated sports seats, TCS, TCO Alarm, CD Changer, Integrated NAV system with Colour screen and integrated GSM phone, electric folding mirrors, rain sensor, Xenon lights, parking pilot, privacy tinted windows, sunroof and 18'' wheels for the same price as a 2.2TiD 9-3SS Vector with leather, ES13, NAV and Climate control.

It's a very hard choice.
 

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So if you buy let's say a MY2001 9-5 for 25000 euro from a dealer you end up paying 50000?
I knew Scandinavia is expensive, but didn't think it was that much...
It must be a real pain to watch those MY1998 9-5 going for 2500 pounds...
 

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Buy a MY1995 Nissan Almera N14 1.4 (fairly cheap, good commuter, never breaks down - made in Japan and not Britain!) and C900T16 for performance tuning/fun driving... Spend the rest on Dommelsch ;-) mortgage, whatever...
 

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Buy a MY1995 Nissan Almera N14 1.4 (good commuter, never breaks down - made in Japan and not Britain!) and C900T16 for performance tuning/fun driving...  [/b]
Arghhh... I spend like 3 hours a day minimum in a car.. I think I'd be so depressed after a few days driving that I'd run a hosepipe from the exhaust in to the interior......

C900T16... 8 to 10K euro for a decent one here.. I don't think so.. I'm fed up fixing old cars.
 

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Originally posted by MarkA:
[qb]I've very impressed with the value proposition of the Opel Vectra GTS Elegance...

You can have that car with the same sport chassis as the 9-3SS.

[/qb][/b]
Er, given that both cars are different enough that nothing is a straight fit, I'd wager to doubt that (it's part of why GM are so disgruntled with Saab -they specified a LOT of expensive changes for the 9-3 SS. A lot of the suspension somponents aren't even of the same material). Ever driven the Opel?

[qb](all be it detuned) 3.2 v6 petrol from the Alfa.[/qb][/b]
They're very different engines, still. The Opel/Vauxhall engine is part of the GM 'Global 6' family, to some extent a descendant of the 2.5/3.0 Opel V6 engine used in the older Vectra/Omega as well as 900 (2.5)/9000 (3.0)/ 9-5 V6.

The 3.2 Alfa engine currently used is still very much the real deal, tracing it's origins from the SOHC 2.5 V6 in the Alfa 6 (now that's a blast from the past...) and GTV 6.

It's the next generation of Alfa engines that will presumably be built on the same Ecotec blocks as the Opel/Vauxhall/Saab/Saturn/Chevy/Cadillac/whatever mills...

[qb]Spec for Spec compared with the 9-3SS Vector - it's much higher... and cheaper for essentially the same car (all be it with more room.. and a hatch back!)

I can get a fully loaded Sport Chassis'd V6 3.0 Diesel GTS with Climate Control, Tyre pressure meters, CBC, EBV, ESP, Leather Heated sports seats, TCS, TCO Alarm, CD Changer, Integrated NAV system with Colour screen and integrated GSM phone, electric folding mirrors, rain sensor, Xenon lights, parking pilot, privacy tinted windows, sunroof and 18 wheels for the same price as a 2.2TiD 9-3SS Vector with leather, ES13, NAV and Climate control...

     It's a very hard choice. [/qb][/b]
Yeah, but you may well find you will get stung by depreciation to an even bigger extent with a high(ish) spec version of an Opel repmobile, than with a Saab. It would take a very sizeable discount from Ford or Opel dealers to convince me to part with my own money at this level... the same kind of discount used to pump their iron into the fleet markets...

Oh, and I can't help thinking that you'd either want to replace both the 9-3 and the RS2 with something er, a little more geared towards the enthusiast, or give the prospect of getting a cheapish 'fun' car as a weekend toy along your sensible wheels some more thought... If you're fed up fixing up older cars (well understandable) - get something either sorted or disposable...
 
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