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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 27th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Wink Test driven the Turbo X today

A slightly damp day today welcomed the Turbo X test drive. I was driving the automatic with Playstation-like thumb-button shifters. I had my wife and 9-month with me so we had the baby seat installed in the back too. This was going to be a real-world test.

First Impressions - I must say I really like the look of the car's front end. unfortunately, much of the side of the body doesn't say much though it stays very sleek. The back end is also awesome-looking. Very mean like in person and understated with the black with gun metal trimming.

Build - I don't like the matte plastic bits around the windows. It makes the car seem very cheap. The front and back trim pieces make up for it a little bit. Inside, I love th carbon fibre trim! I also love the fit and finish of the interior. Again, quite understated yet with a more sporty feel than something luxurious.

Ergonomics - Me being 6'3", I've got long legs so I found it a bit tighter than I liked. Adjustment still fit well - I wish I could have stretched out a little bit more. I love the larger thickness of the steering wheel. It has a great stable feel.

Handling and Performance - When I first turned the car on, i couldn't really hear its low rumbling because i was sitting inside. The sound was very bassy and was sometimes ear-deafening at speed. I got passed that however when I did several quick launches, zero to..dunno-how-fast-i'm-going. The car definitely pushed me back a little bit into the seat, but was barely noticeable because the flood was still gradual. It's probably because the seat hugged me so well, supported me in every way, especially during the corners. And going through those corners, it reminded me a lot of my SVT Focus - a car that corners like it's in a cartoon.

During the ride, we also hit some rough spots on the road. The suspension was firm but not jarring. The steering was very direct and weighty, not vague at all. I felt connected to the road the whole time, more so than the Infiniti G37s I test drove the same time last year, and just as much as the SVT Focus. Braking and turning at speed was also a thrill and a half, especially in semi-wet weather.

So, what I liked:
1. Build quality, fit and finish inside and out
2. Ride quality
3. XWD system - could this be a Swedish GTR?
4. 4 doors for the baby
5. Big boot
6. Looks inside and out.
7. Sticky Pirelli tires

What I didn't like:
1. Ear-deafening bassy exhaust can get annoying
2. Plastic window trim
3. Turbo lag
4. Acceleration disconnection - all SAABs are like this - effortless!
5. Sucky head unit for the radio.


I'm thinking of getting this car before the employee pricing ends this month. I'm hoping to test-drive the manual version on Tuesday.
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  #2  
Old 27th September 2008
bbbuzzy bbbuzzy is offline
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Nice review, looking forward to hearing your impressions about the manual tranny. I'm also curious how much room there was for the car seat. Which model do you have, where was it placed, how much room between the seat back and the front edge of the car seat was there? Thanks for any help you can provide.
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  #3  
Old 27th September 2008
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Kandiru Kandiru is offline
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Sorry to see you got sxxxxxd with an automatic.

When you try the manual, make sure you release the clutch early and keep giving plenty of gas. Don't be afraid of stalling the car. Keep the needle in the orange zone and have plenty of fun.

Take her on the twisties and floor it like there is no tomorrow. Same for turning in intersections, see how that 0-35 feels without fear of fishtailing. Keep the windows down, the tires will not squeal. OK, ok you can do that too, but Jr. may whine

See the new deals, copy the ads from saabnet, some NJ dealer lists 3 cars for around 36k a piece, haggle and remember to lease.

The sub-25k rpm drone is part of the experience, love it, i explain to the passenger/victims that it is the call of the Valkyries
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Last edited by Kandiru; 27th September 2008 at 11:49 PM.
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  #4  
Old 27th September 2008
davestan davestan is offline
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Default Turbo X Convertible

Now if they would only make a Turbo X convertible!
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  #5  
Old 28th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbuzzy
Nice review, looking forward to hearing your impressions about the manual tranny. I'm also curious how much room there was for the car seat. Which model do you have, where was it placed, how much room between the seat back and the front edge of the car seat was there? Thanks for any help you can provide.
For the baby car seat, I got the EvenFlo Triumph DLX in blue. I bought it specifically for the G-coupe thinking I'd be getting that car, but now I'm almost undecided because of the experience with the TurboX.

We placed the car seat in the middle and rear-facing and it had plenty of space - it didn't hit the front seats. However, getting our 9 month old, 22 pound, long-limbed boy proved to be a little troublesome. Sitting in the rear seat, I couldn't get him in unless I was a contortionist. I had my wife put him in because she was smaller.

And with the baby seat in the middle, having two other passengers in the rear would prove a bit tight. The 9-5 we have had no problem fitting everyone in.
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  #6  
Old 28th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandiru
Sorry to see you got sxxxxxd with an automatic.

Take her on the twisties and floor it like there is no tomorrow. Same for turning in intersections, see how that 0-35 feels without fear of fishtailing. Keep the windows down, the tires will not squeal. OK, ok you can do that too, but Jr. may whine

See the new deals, copy the ads from saabnet, some NJ dealer lists 3 cars for around 36k a piece, haggle and remember to lease.

The sub-25k rpm drone is part of the experience, love it, i explain to the passenger/victims that it is the call of the Valkyries
Actually, I'll be test driving the manual at my lunch break on Tuesday so my boy won't be in the back. Might be better too.

And I was actually thinking of financing the car..

One thing i didn't know in the auto was that there's a sport mode/button - is that correct? So maybe it wasn't lag I was experiencing but the throttle lag. Either way, it didn't feel instant, nor did the electronic shifting. I also couldn't shift and do sharp turns near the same time with the thumb controls. I would have preferred flappy paddles instead.
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  #7  
Old 28th September 2008
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Kandiru Kandiru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go4gr8
Actually, I'll be test driving the manual at my lunch break on Tuesday so my boy won't be in the back. Might be better too.

And I was actually thinking of financing the car..

One thing i didn't know in the auto was that there's a sport mode/button - is that correct? So maybe it wasn't lag I was experiencing but the throttle lag. Either way, it didn't feel instant, nor did the electronic shifting. I also couldn't shift and do sharp turns near the same time with the thumb controls. I would have preferred flappy paddles instead.
Living in ME you will have ample opportunities to enjoy a standard tranny, and can't use the gastrocnemius fatigue excuse like the poor 12 lane chaps in NY or LA. You will get bored with the auto, go for the real thing.

Sorry, don't mean to patronize, get what you like, in the end having fun is what matters!
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  #8  
Old 28th September 2008
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Gomo187 Gomo187 is offline
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I am shocked you didnt like the exhaust, i think its one of the highest highlights of the car besides a real nice XWD system.
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  #9  
Old 28th September 2008
nico743 nico743 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomo187
I am shocked you didnt like the exhaust, i think its one of the highest highlights of the car besides a real nice XWD system.
yayaya! saab turbo x wouldnt be stand out from it's family if it doesnt have its unique sweet exhaust note and the sexy exquisit alloywheel!!
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  #10  
Old 30th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Default Ack..

...Okay..so I didn't get to test drive the manual car today - I balked at it. I still have my heart set on the G37S Coupe which is my first choice. You can't argue much about 330HP versus 280HP. I also like the G37's exhaust note a lot more.

And due to certain circumstances, like prioritizing to get a house instead, I'm no longer in the market for the Turbo X.

Maybe another time.
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  #11  
Old 30th September 2008
Krieg Krieg is offline
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Yeah, anybody who puts a kid in the center seat of a car is looking to get a herniated disc.

There's a reason that minivans and SUVs dominate the family market. They just make sense.

I had a Mitsubishi Galant for about a year with my first kid before we broke down and got the minivan.

And a Sportcombi doesn't count! The issue is having to stoop to put the kid in the seat.

And a G37? A 2 DOOR?!? You crazy.
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  #12  
Old 30th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieg
Yeah, anybody who puts a kid in the center seat of a car is looking to get a herniated disc.

There's a reason that minivans and SUVs dominate the family market. They just make sense.

I had a Mitsubishi Galant for about a year with my first kid before we broke down and got the minivan.

And a Sportcombi doesn't count! The issue is having to stoop to put the kid in the seat.

And a G37? A 2 DOOR?!? You crazy.
Uh..we got a SAAB 9-5 to do the kid hauling. We'll NEVER EVER get a minivan. To suggest such a thing is blasphemous and will get people shot.

BTW, I'm still quite fit from all the bicycling I do so I won't have any problems with my back.
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  #13  
Old 30th September 2008
Krieg Krieg is offline
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Yeah, I used to be a young pup like you. Excercise is no defense (I blew out a disc despite being in extremely good shape, running, lifting weights, etc.)

Yeah, minivans suck. Necessary evil. Hell, if you get past one kid, you'll have one, I guarantee it.

Especially with gas the way it is today. You'd have to be crazy to drive an SUV over a minivan. My wife's van gets better mileage than my 9-3!
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  #14  
Old 30th September 2008
go4gr8 go4gr8 is offline
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Never!! LOL

I'd rather get an estate if we're to get something bigger.
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  #15  
Old 30th September 2008
Krieg Krieg is offline
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You will be assimilated.
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  #16  
Old 30th September 2008
Linear Linear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieg
Yeah, I used to be a young pup like you. Excercise is no defense (I blew out a disc despite being in extremely good shape, running, lifting weights, etc.)

Yeah, minivans suck. Necessary evil. Hell, if you get past one kid, you'll have one, I guarantee it.

Especially with gas the way it is today. You'd have to be crazy to drive an SUV over a minivan. My wife's van gets better mileage than my 9-3!
As the wife of go4gr8, I'm the one who expressly told him to have me committed to a psych ward (or even humanely euthanized) should I ever mention "minivan" as a potential car purchase. And I LOATHE Stupid Useless Vehicles. Unless it's a proper Humvee.

I like cars for more than their utilitarian purposes, and to suggest getting a minivan is truly a blasphemy. My 9-5 gets fantastic range; roughly 600+ miles per tank.

Stoop to get a child in the seat? I've figured out ways to get around that.
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  #17  
Old 30th September 2008
Krieg Krieg is offline
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Yeah, some of us don't know the basics of birth control, or are just insane, and have a brood much too large to fit in a mere 9-5.

With 4, I can't even go with a 9-7X!

Too bad GM didn't badge engineer a Saab minivan. Just kidding.
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  #18  
Old 30th September 2008
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Frosty288 Frosty288 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieg
Too bad GM didn't badge engineer a Saab minivan. Just kidding.
Please no!
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  #19  
Old 30th September 2008
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Kandiru Kandiru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krieg
Yeah, some of us don't know the basics of birth control, or are just insane, and have a brood much too large to fit in a mere 9-5.

With 4, I can't even go with a 9-7X!

Too bad GM didn't badge engineer a Saab minivan. Just kidding.
The 5 and 3 yo girls pacify their 4 mo. old bro sandwiched in the middle, wife squeezes the OMG (Oh My God) handle above the window and curses me under her breath, the girls scream "look daddy another car, pass him, pass him!!!"...the Gods have been very kind to us indeed

Another classic from my oldest: "Daddy, why is mommy's Honda going so slow all the time, is it because the wheels are too small?"

Now imagine a 420 hp AWD X 6-speed minivan with 22" wheels, that would be a cult thing, kind of like a microbus of the 21st century. Not a totally crazy idea, considering the Porsche finally succumbed to their hardcore fanbase and released the Cayenne GTS SUV with a 6-speed manny tranny, 0-60 5.7 sex.
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Last edited by Kandiru; 30th September 2008 at 09:14 PM.
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  #20  
Old 30th September 2008
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kart125 kart125 is offline
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It's been 3 months now since I got my SC TurboX and I cant get tired of the exhaust note... especially the first start of the day, when it's cold and it growls for a minute on "choke"... It's a "neighbor wake-up call".

The manual tranny is the way to go on that car, as the automatic, even on sports mode, just kills the fun. I test drove both of them on a track in june (the official launch day in Montreal) and found that the automatic was never in the right gear in corners, and when using the "manual mode", it took half a second too long to change gear... I ended up pressing the "downshift" button twice before it changed, and overreved the engine a couple of times!

As for the back seat, it's quite tigh (I have a 16 month old with forward facing seat in the middle) but liveable. Congrats to Kandiru for stuffing 3 kids back there! Other then that, it's a great driver's car, low-profile (that's my favorite part... surprising Audis, BMWs and so on...), exclusive, but yes quite expensive when you compare. But exclusivity has a price!

I'm just surprised that some are left at the dealers, as all of them in montreal are sold... if you can get one at a discount price, go for it!
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