Test drove a Linear manual the other day [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Test drove a Linear manual the other day


stanza
16th June 2004, 06:15 PM
Hi. I test drove a black Linear manual the other day in the west end of Toronto. They had shown up at the dealership on Saturday and I was apparently the first person to test drive any 9-2X at that dealership. Good times.

I chose the Linear specifically because I test drove a WRX a couple of weeks ago to see what the turbo felt like, and because I was getting sick of waiting for the 9-2Xs to show up. Because of the large price difference, premium gas requirement, and possible insurance premium difference, I figured I'd only consider an Aero if I absolutely fell in love with the turbo on the WRX and I didn't. I know what a Saab turbo feels like (having driven my brother's 1996 9000 occasionally) and this wasn't one. I prefer low-end turbo to what the WRX/Aero has.

I quite liked the Linear. We just whipped up a highway and then turned back down a regular road that was quite winding. It was raining a bit, so it was fun to try zipping through the curves in the rain. The car handled very nicely. I liked the way everything was laid out in the cabin. I liked the sunroof (moonroof, whatever you want to call it, the hole in the roof). I wish the CD player could play MP3's. Turns out some Saturns have MP3-aware factory CD players. Argh.

I really only had a few complaints about the Linear. The first was the headrest on the seat. When going into reverse and swinging my head around, I was looking at a headrest instead of the rear windshield. Pretty big headrest. The second was the little storage bin between the seats. I found opening the cover for it very tough, and I could imagine simply ripping the cover off someday. It was the same in an Aero I sat in, so it wasn't just a single-car issue here. Also, the cruise control controls, which are the same as in the WRX, on a little stick out of the steering column below the windshield wiper control stick. Didn't seem very friendly, though I didn't actually try using it.

I currently drive a 1996 Sentra, so I'm a sitting duck to be impressed by this puppy. Another reason I don't want an Aero is because I'd be afraid of what I'd do with it once I got used to it. For about a day after I drove the WRX my Sentra felt pretty gutless. But the 9-2X is a noticeably nice upgrade without being too much for me. And considering how active I'm becoming re: hockey and cycling these days, the wagon will be great.

So I'm 95% sure I'm getting the 9-2X. Turns out there are no blue ones in Canada anywhere so it'd have to be a factory order... 1-2 months to delivery. I might start the gears going next week on it after some further thought (and a sanity check with me mum of course). But it felt right to me... I could see myself planted in that car for some time. The salesman offered an "extended test drive" of 3-4 hours sometime and I will definitely take him up on that offer.

Hope this was useful. It killed the end of my workday and now I'm outta here so I'm happy enough I wrote it. Cheers.

Nairda
16th June 2004, 08:49 PM
I test drove a 5spd Linear at Queensway Saab in Etobicoke
on tuesday, how shall I put this...it sucks. You should drive
a 9-3 Linear, then you'll know what a real Saab drives
like. After the ride the salesman gave me some numbers, it
costs more to lease the 9-2X linear than it does the 9-3 Linear??
With destination etc. the 9-2 costs $32370, the 9-3 costs
$35450. The buyback for the 9-2 is at 39% where as the 9-3
is at 45%, plus the 9-3 has a lower interest rate(2.4%)
If I were you I'd wait until they get more in stock so they
would be willing to cut you a deal, otherwise get the 9-3.

Grimace
16th June 2004, 10:43 PM
<shrug> I wasn't impressed with the 9-3, Linear or Vector. It was OK, but the light steering and shifter feel (not a factor on an automatic though) were deal breakers. To each their own I guess! Plus the extra utility of the 9-2x's hatch is nice.

stanza
17th June 2004, 02:26 AM
Yeah I test drove the same one I guess. Same dealership. The fact the car is a new model makes me leery for sure. Problem is I don't really like any of the other wagons out there. What to do.

Apart from 5th gear feeling weird I liked the shifting actually. And I suppose I'm used to light steering. Coming from a Nissan background probably makes adjusting to this car easier than coming from a Saab background. That I can understand.

CleveSaab
17th June 2004, 06:10 PM
The fact the car is a new model makes me leery for sure.

I am quite sure the 9-2X won't have the same teething problems the 03 SS had. True it's a first model year, but the car itself is based on a proven, already solid on the market, car.

Grimace
17th June 2004, 06:16 PM
This is true. Pretty much all of the bugs have been ironed out of the Impreza at this point.

stanza
17th June 2004, 09:36 PM
Right, I was talking about the car being new from a financial perspective.

Grimace
17th June 2004, 10:16 PM
Ah I see - that's always a valid worry. But the 9-2x is one car I can see myself hanging onto for a while.
I love my Mazdaspeed Protege, but I'm only leasing it because I know the love affair will have to end soon. The trunk area can't hold my bikes, or a whole lot really with the stereo support package hanging from the rear shelf.
There are a lot of expensive components that are exclusive to this car, that when they start failing/need replacing, are going to cost a fortune (only a handfull were made).
Finally I'm hoping to get a good all-season car (which I would like to have AWD for our climate) + a well-used Miata for the sunny days and to satisfy my need to wrench on something once in a while.
The 9-2x has the AWD, great cargo carrying capacity, great handling (but probably not as sharp as my Protege), and tons of tuning potential if I get bitten by the go-fast bug. It looks a lot better than the WRX wagon inside and out. And there is free maintenance for the first while to ease the financial pain.
Any new car is a bit scary from a financial point of view, but if you think you'll stick with it for more than a couple years, and ENJOY it at the same time, I think its well worth it.

stanza
17th June 2004, 10:24 PM
Actually I found the steering quite nimble. I did a U-turn when I was test driving the WRX and it was a lot sharper than I thought it would. My Sentra can turn on a dime so I naturally had a high standard for the car to live up to.

Still thinking... I'm probably gonna make the final call next week.

Nairda
18th June 2004, 11:29 AM
Both of you guys have to remember that this car will only
be on the market for the next 2 years. Will you like driving
this car when there is a new 9-2X running around with more
input from Saab but still sharing it's platform with the next
Impreza? I find it hard to justify the extra cost over the
Subaru, basically your getting some bits of refinement over
the Subie for about $5000. I'm very interested in seeing how
popular this car will become or if it will fall on its face.

jmk 9-2x
18th June 2004, 12:00 PM
Actually the WRX wagon with a moonroof is 36,495 plus freight and pdi. The 9-2x aero is 37,800 plus freight and pdi. For the extra 1,300 dollars (can) you get the 17 inch wheels, active head restraints, side airbags, and a heck of alot more refinement. Then, if you take up Grimace on his offer of a 1000 dollar GM believer certificate- the price is only 300 different at msrp. These are the numbers..!!

stanza
18th June 2004, 12:05 PM
Nairda, I think you could say that about any car. Every car gets redesigned every 3-5 years, so you're driving a paperweight within a couple of years no matter what you get. But you can never wait forever, because your current car will eventually explode. :) Just like with computers, the best time to get a new one is always tomorrow.

Grimace
18th June 2004, 05:52 PM
Ditto the above two posts, and I'll throw in to jmk 9-2x's post that there is free maintainence on the Saab for the first while of ownership, and that'll make up the rest of the difference I'd wager.

While the 9-2x will only be around (in current form) for 2 more years before the redesign, I'd say its a pretty good time to buy anyway. The previous generation Impreza, in some ways, is better than the current generation. Its lighter, less thirsty, and more lithe. The 2002+ redesign added 250 lbs of weight. Who knows if the next redesign will add more weight, or (shudder) make the car bigger? I'm not saying the current car is bad, or the previous version was better, but the older car is no slouch.

There are some cars I can think of that went WAY downhill with the redesign. Mitsubishi Eclipse, for example.

I bought the last year of Protege because I knew the bugs were basically worked out. If there is one thing I've learned while working in the industry, is never buy the first year of a major redesign or new model. :)

So if I was to hold out for the next generation 9-2x, that'd mean I'd be buying a 2008 (!) if I wanted to skip the first year of production.