I just passed 1000 miles on my Saab Turbo-X. I’ve been doing a lot of back and forth driving around the Philadelphia metropolitan area. This has given me a great opportunity to break-in my car, learn how to handle it on both freeways and country roads, as well as how to operate the controls. To start off with the car has had no mechanical issues – a good start. The interior and exterior of the car is exactly what I wanted – elegant, but simple and functional. I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the materials and the fit and finish. The paint is amazing. The quality of the ride, including during heavy rain, is excellent. It is a firm ride, but not jarring – I cannot imagine a better sport feel for a sedan. You feel the road, but between the suspension and the seats you get just the right feel. The car gives you the feeling that you are always in control. There’s plenty of power on demand from the engine for passing. Wind noise even at high speeds on the highway is minimal. When you drop in down in gear and hit the gas it just flies. The car has serious power off the line and then is a spirited charger whenever you need it with, as far as I can tell, no lag from the turbo. Turning and handling is precise and really quite amazing in tight turns on the back roads. It puts my old GTI to shame. When the XWD system is active, you don’t really feel it. I went thru an outside banked turn over a one-lane bridge and could feel the outside wheels kicking in for extra duty at about 60 MPH. The assist from the system is very smooth and not “jerky” like most systems. The same corner in my GTI would max out at about 40 MPH There are a couple of big surprises for me:
- I complained about shifting in my earlier reviews, but after a few days I have to say now that I was wrong. The shifting in this car is better by far than my previous car. In particular down shifting is very smooth.
- The navigation system is quite nice. It is vastly superior to the Acura 2007 system my wife has. There’s a split screen view with the radio and the touch screen interface works very nicely. The audio cue voice is a bit hard to hear so you need to crank it if you are driving with all the windows down.
- The wheels: beautiful – much better than any picture especially after a bit of brake dust gets on them.
- Braking is smooth and powerful.
- The car’s sounds are really amazing, but not overpowering. You can hear the engine and exhaust notes inside and outside the car, but they are not obnoxious at all.
- Gas mileage has averaged about 22 MPG over the 1000 miles. That is really surprising given my mixed driving and a bit of silly driving and stuff.
- I’ve never had adaptive headlights before – wicked cool!
- The whole gas tank lid issue has been debunked as newbie ignorance…oops…
Ok – so there must be something bugging me about the car right? True:
- The nav audio cues are too quiet – or they are not adaptive enough.
- There’s no foot or floor level air vents as far as I can tell.
- I wish the sunroof was a little bigger – I like air…thus my problem with nav cues 🙂
- The pillar between the front and rear windows is quite wide – extra caution is needed for odd angle merges on the passenger side.
- I need to get my locks reprogrammed so that they auto-lock after the car goes over 7 MPH.
- The settings menu on the main dash is powerful and you can do a lot to customize your car’s setup., but you really gotta RTFM. 🙂
- I would prefer it if the air conditioner did not come on automatically…I have to dig into the settings to see if I can change this.
Maybe I’m not Motor Trend or Road & Tack or whatever; I’m a “regular” driver: this car is amazing. It is definitely is the best car I’ve ever driven, much less owned.