It was in the summer of 2011. A hot day, the air conditioning in the ICE brought little cooling. On the way to Hamburg; on the way to pick up our Saab 9-3 sports suit from Lensch & Bleck, I had slight doubts. In the back of my mind I had the Rover debacle and the immediate impact on the customer.
The frustrated workers in Longbridge had “forgotten” their break sandwich in a barely accessible place in the car for vehicles destined for Germany. Or leave slogans with political content. Or worse. What would I expect from the 9-3, the new car from a brand that was clearly in an inclined position?
The purchase of the Saab station wagon was competently arranged in advance via the Internet and telephone. The handing over was fast, friendly, experienced. Not rude, in any way, but in a critical retrospective, the way you deal with clients whose brand is on their way to the siding. The fuel in the tank reached to the next pump, 500 meters more would have brought me into trouble.
The trip to the south, 534 kilometers, used the 9-3 sports car to build sustainable trust. He drives as expected, everything is positive. Yes, and no Swedish break sandwich in the car, at Saab on the band in the relegation battle good products. An impression that will stay that way from kilometers 1 to kilometers 85.000.
What follows is quickly told. No dramas, but almost 5 years of satisfaction. A Rostvorsorge, in order Saab center Bamberg in order, keeps the sheet healthy. The rear discs are subtly tinted with foil, there is the Hirsch Performance Performance cure on 195 PS. The interior is finished with a deer dashboard in carbon leather design, the door handles also wrapped leather. These parts too are a piece of tragic Saab history. They come from the warehouse of Saab Automobile AB and were originally intended for the construction of the Independence Cabriolet.
The following summer, the 9-3 sports car rolls on Independence rims, then the Saab changes to the turbines. Both original Saab rims are no longer new to get, after production is unthinkable. This is followed by a sports steering wheel from the Turbo X, with the Grille of the 9-3 Griffin there is a small facelift. For the cold days, another engine heater from the Saab accessories. Perfect! The 9-3 sports suit, which bears the name Saabine, has become a truly classy and individual vehicle.
Saabine is unremarkable. A pleasant touring car. Fast, reliable, a true Saab. They see workshops only for inspection, which are always made at the Saab partner. A broken chain tensioner in the fall 2015 is the only one unplanned pit stop and it will stay that way.
Because our ways have separated, Saabine is for sale.
Life changes, vehicles have to fit into life. More and more often in recent months, the desire for a small city car loud, actually, the 9-3 sports car for our current performance is one size too big. And 5 years are a long time. Normally, if cars had been built in Sweden, a successor would have rolled onto the farm about two years ago.
What remains? After 5 years Saab 9-3 sportswear has a clear opinion. On the cars it did not matter that the Saab Automobile AB does not exist anymore. The 9-3 is extremely reliable and as versatile as a multitool. It was not the dealers either. Wherever we drove up with Saabine, we were treated well and competently. There were never bottlenecks with spare parts, all wearing parts came from the Orio AB and were in terms of quality and price in order.
The 9-3 is a clear understated car. More being than appearance, and perhaps something out of time. Maybe that's just what we liked about him. The 9-3 is timeless. The design does not age, the interior is, except for minimal traces of use, still close to the new car. The leather smells wonderfully of Saab, the paint glitters in the sun, he drives as in the hot summer 2011.
5 years are over, we never regretted the purchase. The successor, a practical compact car, will be the fitting, rolling shopping bag for the city. No Saab, but at least a turbo. But just a car.