Friday, May 13, 2005

My New Saab
I must admit it - until 6 weeks ago I was not driving a Saab. Yes, I was driving another Swedish brand when I started working here, and the lease didn't run out until this Spring. But with that confession out of the way, I have to run on for a bit about the Saab 9-5 Aero and what a great car it is.

One of the unfortunate tendencies of American culture these days is our obsession with all things 'new'. You see it in the car business all the time - if a car design is more than a year or two old, then the vehicle is viewed as an also-ran. Saab markets these 9-5's that are 6 years into their perceived life cycle, so of course they aren't heading up any best selling lists. But I think if consumers got past their fixation with 'new', there would be a lot more 9-5's on the road.

The 9-5 is truly a great automobile. I knew I was driving something special the first hard corner I dove the car into. And the car can move; a great local test is to head up the Route 2 hill in Arlington and see how quickly you can accelerate up the incline. Trust me, this car passed the test. Boy, does it pass the test! The car is as solid as can be, and when I feel as comfortable buckling my kids in the back seat as I did in my old Volvo, then you have something of merit.

And what about this design is 'old' anyhow?! Great profile on the outside, big alloy wheels, Xenons, great radio and navigation system, fantastic Swedish seats, an automatic transmission with manual option, dripping with horsepower and torque, great mileage for its size, trip computer, night panel option, huge trunk, functional design, etc... Throw in the fact that the car actually looks unique - unlike pretty much every other luxury sedan in the marketplace - and it doesn't seem very 'old' to me.

If you are in the market for a sedan that moves, handles quite well, and is functional, comfortable, solid and quite safe, then you're not going to do much better for your dollars than a 9-5.

Off the soapbox now...

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