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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 20:42:15 GMT
From: "Jim Clark" <Jimnopsam.demon.co.uk>
Subject: **FIRST DRIVE REVIEW OF SAAB 9-3 **


Quickly precied from Auto Express 11-17 Feb 1998. First impressions of new Saab 9-3 2.2TDi . "SWEDES STRIKE OIL". Nice diesels! Same 2.0 and 2.3 petrols with turbo options. 1000 changes from old 900. Looks very similar to non Saab driver, but great changes in steering and suspension to give, "solid and assured" handling, and a ride that is "generally excellent- at least on the Italian roads where we tested it- yet the handling has not suffered." 2.2 diesel quoted at : 0-60 mph - under 11 s 50-70 in 5th gear 10s 40-60 in 4th gear , under 7s. Quoting Saabs aim the review finishes with a comment concerning is projected UK sales of 20,000 units (1% of market share ) and to make a profit , "The 9-3 looks to be the car to make that happen." Final comments from Auto Express: "1st opinion. Saab has transformed the mediocre 900 into a family car that at last befits the marque's status as GM's premium European brand. The 9-3 is pleasing to drive, refined, and has a good turn of speed. As such it makes a justifiable alternative to the likes of a BMW or Audi. Performance from the four cylinder petrol remains impressive and Saabs first , the TiD, shows promise. However it faces some outstanding opposition, and until we can drive the car in Britain, we'll reserve judgement, but it seems that playing the waiting game has paid off." Expect full review 2/3 weeks time, up against BMW 3 series and Audi A4 (or similar) Anyone wanting a full copy, please eMail and I'll try and get hold of the WWW adress for Auto Express (as they dont seem to have one,) or if that isnt possible, scan the article and email it out to those who want it. Just one final comment, how can a 900 be described as mediocre in a country that produces the Vauxhall Vectra, Ford Escort and the Honda Civic? -- jimnopsam.demon.co.uk

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