Thursday, August 31, 2006

Test Drive — 2001 Saab 9-3 SE Convertible

After picking up the 900 from the service garage, Trenton and I went for a test drive in a red 2001 Saab 9-3 SE convertible. A picture would have been nice, but I didn't think to bring it on this trip. (You can see a picture from Classic's web site here.)

Well, here are a few interesting tidbits about the drive. The salesman (noticing my 18 year old car) chose to accompany us on the drive. He showed me how to take the top down. It had a handle which you pull toward the back and then down. At that point, the car beeps and you are ready to press the button. The process begins at the back window of all places. The back window pops up and then the top begins to retract. That was interesting—especially with Trenton sitting in the back seat. I stopped it a couple of times to insure his head was not folded up. (BTW, the back seat is very small.)

We took Vine Street to the highway for a road test. I didn't drive like a race driver, but I did push down the pedal. I was wondering what a 185 hp car would feel like. Now, maybe it was the automatic, but I was not impressed with the performance. Sure, the suspension felt more stiff than the 900 Turbo but it didn't push me back in my seat ... at all! Needless to say, I was disappointed. We exited at Lost Nation and took a back street toward Vine Street. I tried to accelerate hard, but not much happened. Hmm ... maybe there was something wrong, but I think it was just not a very powerful engine.

Overall, the car is a pretty one. But if you're looking for quick acceleration, you'd better opt for the 210 hp engine. And better yet, buy an older 900 Turbo. You'll save a lot of money. The car we drove was selling for $16,000. A reasonable 900 convertible can be had for $5000 or less. And if you scout, you might find an even better price.

1 comment:

Doug said...

I still like the style of SAAB's you drive, especially the 4 door. There is something about the rear tail light section of the 4 door I think is a better style than the 2 door versions.

I like the older convertibles as well! Something about the way they look. Thay don't look "cookie-cutter"!