Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2000 20:06:12 -0800
From: Johannes H Andersen <johannes.andersennopsamel.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Doubts about the 9-3's "nervousness"


You should test drive a version with standard tires. Very low profile tires is a fashion statement at the moment, but the price is a hard ride since higher tire pressure is required for the correct attitude on the road. It may work satisfactorily if the suspension is designed for this type of tires. Such tires may be sensible for Porches and Ferraris, but too tiring for an ordinary multi-purpose car. Johannes Andrew Stephenson wrote: > > Today I handed back a 9-3, borrowed from my local dealer for a > 24-hour test. And I really don't know what to make of it. > > There is so much to like. Design attitude. Care over ergonomics > and safety. Performance. Etc. But there were features I could > not live with -- and I'd like to know if these are typical of the > model, or just easily-fixed aberrations. > > The specification was almost what I was interested in, relevant > parts being: 2001 9-3 Coupe LPT SE. But it had 17" wheels, not > the standard 16" size. > > What ground down my happiness was what I call the "nervousness" > of the ride. With SAAB being a mid-to-high performance marque, > one must accept the suspension will be lively. It needs to be, > for good road-holding. OTOH, each bump came straight through, > unmuffled by the seating; the car jittered restlessly; and it > occurred to me that any passengers would surely become sea-sick. > > This BTW was on well maintained but narrow winding rural English > roads. I was getting around 38 MP(UK)G, at an average of 35 MPH > in the course of one hour on the home stretch. Ie: little wild > acceleration, just reasonable progress for the route, allowing > for slow tail-backs, some town driving towards the end and that > only a fool would exceed 60 on most of _those_ lanes. The car > wasn't exactly being thrashed or thrown about. > > I could probably get used to: > * the controls crammed into the gap between the front seats and > having to fight my jacket to reach them and the ignition key; > * and the struggle to deploy the seat belt (remember, this was a > Coupe, on which the wider door's rear edge is extra-far back); > * and the teensy storage bins; > * and let's not start _another_ thread on cup holders <g>; > * and odd stuff like that. > > But the decidedly un-restful ride would kill the deal. > > What I need to know is: how right was the salesman, when he said > that probably the standard 16" wheels would smooth out the ride? > Do they make much of a difference in the car, as specified above, > compared with the 17" ones? > > Thoughts appreciated. Do keep in mind: I wanted to like the car. > -- > Andrew Stephenson

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