Thursday, May 19, 2005

I second Phil's observations!
You see? All we need to do is get people around Saabs and behind the wheel a few times, and they're hooked--even if they've been driving Volvos for years. And when Phil came over from the dark-side, he took no prisoners. He didn't mess around with a 9-3 this or Linear that. Nooooo. He went right for the ne plus ultra--9-5/Aero/navigation/every package. Good for Phil!
We do hear a fair amount of moaning that the 9-5 is a tired design. But this is our history! The Classic 900: 15 years. The 9000: 13 years. And people are kvetching about a 6 year old car being stale? Clearly, the problem is that people don't own cars the way they once did. In those old times, you bought a Saab, kept it to the point when most people would trade it in, maybe 4 years or so, and realize: "Why should I trade this car in? It's paid for, runs great, looks timeless, still drives wonderfully.... and it's paid for!" And this would go on for years and years, and perhaps after 8-10 years when they wanted a new car, there was something really new to look at. Not these days. Leases. Two-three years and your out. So you leased a 1999 9-5, another in 2002, and now you come into the showroom and find a car that has some refinements and content you didn't have before, but it looks and feels identical. That's the conundrum. Here's mine. If I were king of the world, or of Saab, anyway, and I could chose what to do with the car, what would I change? Hmmm.....Engine? Nope. Transmissions? Nope. Chassis? Well, maybe add some spring stiffness. Brakes? Nope. Interior? Nope. Anything missing? Not for me, but there are those who gullible souls who insist on AWD, but since I'm king and contrarian, no the car does not get AWD. The point is, on a car that works so well--not just each system, but holistically, what would we change? True, the exterior styling looks a little dated now and that change is coming in the fall, and some of the 9-5 wheels look dopey. But that's it. I love the 9-5. I wish it were slightly larger in the rear seat ala the 9000, but other than that, there is no Saab and very few other cars of any marque that matches it for tactile ambient quality.

No comments: