Date: 17 Nov 2006 08:17:09 -0800
Subject: Warren Brown says

>From Washington's Post Columist Warren Brown's live chat at Hartford, Ct.: Your column convinced me to get an Audi TT three years ago. I am in the hunt again. The Saab 9-3 Aero gets terrific reviews on its V-6 engine, but bad grades for reliability. Any thoughts on this incongruity? Also, is the Saab 9-7x appreciably better than its GM siblings? Thanks. Warren Brown: Good morning, Hartford: Incongruity is the offspring of perspective. The Saab 9-3, built in Swed and Austria, priced (rounded numbers) from $26,000 to $42,000, available with a turbo 2.0, 210-hp inline four or a turbo 2.8, 250 hp V-6, is a good car. Consumer Guide, as distinguished from Consumer Reports, gives it a "recommended" rating. I agree. The problem is how people define reliability. If one car does not start as quickly as another, if it develops electrical or other glitches that have nothing to do with its drivability, many people deem it "unreliable." Other people put up with those problems, treat them as nuisances, because they are more in love with the car's engine and overall performance. As for the 9-7x, it's no better than GM's GMC Envoy. And, believe me, that's no knock on either car. Both will give anything in the entry-level-luxury mid-size SUV category a very hard run for the money.

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