Advantages Great build quality, good performance
In the world of the company car there is a strict pecking order. You know your place and dependant on your position you get a car as appropriate. The exact policy can vary company to company. Some companies insist you buy from a particular company like Ford or Vauxhall, others allocate the salesman or executive a certain value and give them a free choice. If the opportunity ever comes your way to get a car of a higher value than you would normally get then the chance is usually seized with both hands.Such an opportunity arose for my friend Charles who works in computers. Rather than be able to choose a new car he was offered a nearly new Saab 9-3 cabriolet which was well above what he would have normally have been able to get. The question is; was this a good choice. This particular model the delightfully named 9-3SE 2.0t convertible cost around £26k new. For roughly the same money you could get the old Audi convertible which has been around so long we can all remember Princess Diana driving one. The BMW 323i convertible is a little bit more expensive or there is the Volvo C70 2.0T which is more expensive still around the £28k mark.
Now many people would leap at the chance to have a Saab convertible but if you had an unlimited choice of convertibles would the Saab be your choice? As Loyd Grossman would say let’s look at the evidence.Build Quality
The SAAB is surprisingly quick. It looks a bit of a lounger but it picks up its skirts and flies when you put your foot down. Its quicker to 60mph than the all these and at top speed only the BMW goes on to a higher top speed. As you are talking of speeds well over 120mph its all a bit academic. For normal driving the car has a nicely balanced feel being neither too soft for sporty driving and not too hard that your fillings fall out on poor road surfaces.
It goes without saying that a convertible looks better with the top down but as you have the top up more often than not it has to look good with the roof on. I actually think it looks better than the BMW but not as nice as the Volvo. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is certainly not scientific. One noticeable thing is the sheer size of the SAAB. It is wider than all the others here and only the curvaceous Volvo is longer.
A bit of a puzzler this as it’s a bit too expensive to be a budget convertible but you are not in the super–rich category either. A sensible convertible? Possibly, - a conservative convertible? Maybe. A practical convertible? Well yes, but what sort of image is that. Perhaps it is for those who wish to pose but do not want to be noticed.
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