Payday Loans

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

I picked up the Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible filled with anticipation. I had never had a convertible, and this one looked great on paper. 2.8L Turbo V6, HP – 250, Torque – 258 ft-lbs, 6-speed tranny, 3POTF-AGI*, fully-automatic ragtop, XM satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack for the iPod, 2-tone leather seats, and enough room in the back for the munchkins.

Full disclosure: I had just resigned from Ford, where I had been for almost 15 years. They required me to turn in my management “lease car” on or before my last day. Why not buy a Ford product with my still-intact company discount (“A-Plan”)? My wife works for the General, that’s why. For her to keep her company car when I no longer had a company car of my own requires us to buy or lease a new GM car or truck at least every 4 years. The requirement used to be every 2 years, so I guess we can be thankful for the less onerous requirement.

Saab had a lease deal for 27 months that made the payments very reasonable, so did I pocket the savings like a smart boy? Nope. I moved up to the Aero from the 2.0T, which has a 4-cylinder turbo with “only” 210hp. The Aero came with a package that allows the driver to lower the windows and the top by pressing and holding the unlock button on the key fob. Way cool. How could I turn that down? Answer: I couldn’t.

The car is fast and cool and great-looking. I quickly found out, though, that it has…ahem…masculinity issues. As in people questioning mine because I drive it. Not usually one to care much what others think, I decided that those who would question my orientation for driving this car must be insecure of their own – you know who you are.

The honeymoon wore off fairly quickly, though. I started to see why Saabs have always been considered quirky. First is the incessant beeping that accompanies starting the car, followed by more beeps when reverse is chosen. I suppose some people require a warning that they are in reverse, but I chose the gear,
didn’t I?

Next is the key (see picture). It’s a stubby “key” that is also the fob for unlocking, etc. The problem is that it is an electronic item. If you leave the key in the ignition, it draws on the battery until the battery dies. If that weren’t bad enough, it is impossible to remove the key if the battery is dead. So you’re stuck until you can get a jump – you can’t even lock the door.

No surprise here – the cupholders are pathetic. One folds out from the console ( Very cool, until you try to put an actual cup in it. Better be a small one. The other cupholder is in the center between the seats – it has basically no sides, so it has less than zero value.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on the other issues, but here is a list of other bothersome details – the trip computer won’t stay on the setting I choose, the headlight switch doesn’t seem to do anything different no matter which setting I choose, the radio doesn’t stay on when you remove the key, as other cars do, no power to the powerpoint when the car is off, you have to turn off the a/c (and it never remembers that I turned it off, so I have to do it each time), the radio display is invisible in sunlight (you would think this would be an obvious one in a convertible!), and you can’t lock the doors with the lock button on the door – you have to use the key fob (see above). The dealer told me this is a safety feature, so you don’t lock yourself out. Just another electronic nanny.

All that said, the car certainly has its charm, like I said up top. It’s great-looking, fast, the seats are very comfortable, has a reasonable back seat and gets decent fuel economy for a fast luxury convertible. The sticker price was high, but it’s the payment, stupid. The payment benefited from some hefty incentives, so it hasn’t broken the Slandy Bank – yet.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10

*3POTF-AGI = 3 pedals on the floor – as God intended

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  1. Maybe your next car payment will be more reasonable…we can only hope.

    Comment by Anonymous — 7 July 2008 @ 8:09 am

  2. We’ll let you remain in the man-club since you at least opted for a stick (although I suspect this may have been a cost savings measure), but next time your convertible choices are:
    Any Exotic Italian

    Other than that, we’ll expect you to opt for a large block, RWD vehicle that makes at least 350hp.


    ps. You do get some points for staying in the family, even if it was a cousin. I opted out of the family altogether and now drive a 2002 M5.

    Comment by Doug — 8 July 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  3. The choice of a stick was NOT a cost-saving measure. One of the main reasons to get the 9-3 was the stick – hence the 3POTF-AGI comment. When choosing a GM car, my FIRST filter was, “What comes with a stick?”

    Comment by Slandy — 9 July 2008 @ 7:37 pm

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