Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 10:45:41 -0500
From: "The Malt Hound" <> wrote in message
>I am looking to pick up a used 2001 9-3SE convertible with automatic. I
> know that to truly expieriencethis car I should get a stick, but I live
> in the Washington DC area and Traffic here is always rated as one of
> the three worst in the country and I do not want to be rowing in
> traffic.

In that case, I would suggest that you seriously consider forgoing the 
ragtop for a hatchback for several reasons.

1) Extremely poor visability with the top up.  Increases the likelyhood of 
an accident.  9-3 hardtops are bad enough rear visability, but the 
convertibles with the top up is like driving with a rearward facing 
porthole.  Your main rear view is via the side mirrors.  This may not be 
good enough in congested traffic situations.

2) Easily broken into. Slit top $$.  Lost property $$.  Insurance cost in 
anticipation of these $$.

3) Cowl shake, chassis flex.  Due to the reduced rigidity of having no roof, 
the convertibles tend to have some nasty cowl shake especially when driven 
on rough roadways such as those found in any metro area.

While they are fun second cars to drive around in the country on Sundays, I 
would not advise buying a SAAB convertible to be used as a daily urban 
commuter vehicle.  The 5 door hatchback is a far better car for that use. 
You will also save a bundle for a comparably equiped hardtop.

-Fred W 

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