Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Swede That Offers Fun in the Sun

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Swede That Offers Fun in the Sun

Article excerpt

Byline: By Robin Roberts

Sometimes it's hard to understand the Swedes. They have one of the longest and coldest winters on earth and yet make the excellent Saab 9-3 2.0t Vector Convertible.

The need to grab every bit of sun which appears over the horizon is obviously the driving force behind the creation of a car which has become a consistent best-seller in its class of premium quality four-seater soft-tops.

That reputation ensures its resale value is very close to Mercedes CLK and only a little behind the Audi Cabriolet and BMW 3-Series convertibles.

When you take delivery of the Saab Convertible, sit in it for the first time and look at what you get. You will have a massive grin on your face even before you boot it down the road for the first time.

You see, this big softy Swede represents excellent value in this class, but also delivers enormous driving satisfaction.

It does not have the beautiful responses of the BMW or the agility of the Audi, but it is more akin to the solidity of the Mercedes with a big dollop of performance dropped into the mixture.

The new Saab 9-3 Convertible was introduced last autumn and follows in the wheeltracks of the previous highly successful four-seater, but it's an all-new model.

Initially sold in the version tested here, it was joined by a 210bhp Aero derivative and then a 150bhp lead-in version. Depending on model there is a choice of five-speed, six-speed or 5+2 Sentronic paddle-shift operated automatic transmission.

Standard equipment includes fully electric roof, alloys, infotainment system, head and thorax airbags while the Vector gains dual level automatic climate control, computer and cruise control, metal-finish trim, front fog lamps and leather-trimmed sports wheel and seats.

The unique ignition lock on the transmission ensures the car cannot be moved without the proper key and this is a factor which contributes to the surprisingly low insurance rating.

Designed from the outset as a sporting estate, the 9-3 Convertible has very thick sills and doors with strategic strengthening of the bodywork as well.

The result is a very rigid body which can take any road shocks in its tracks and also ensures the doors close tightly while the powered hood marries up precisely to the header rail and doors while seating snugly on the rear deck. …

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