9,000 Miles, a Coat of Wax, and a Turbo-X
Its been 9000 miles and about 5 months since I last mentioned my Turbo-X. I get a lot of questions about my #19 from friends, family, and of course the predictors of doom (those who thought Saab too unreliable to buy from). So in honor of passing the 9,000 mark here’s an update.
This won’t be a drool festival though, but more of a good, bad, and the…we well there really isn’t an ugly, but you probably get the point. So on to it…
- The driving experience is great with plenty of power. Cornering is just way too fun.
- Shifting is smooth although sometimes I get a bit of trouble with 3rd gear when shifting aggressively. The car is smooth well beyond the speed limit (65MPH) here in the states.
- Visibility all around the car is really quite excellent. Combined the handling – this car is very easy to drive.
- The interior quality is really quite good. I was a bit worried having read a lot of forum posts complaining about all sorts of things. The seats are excellent and are wearing quite well with my 6′ 205lb size.
- I recently waxed the car with Meguiar’s Tech Wax 2 and wow the car’s paint really has pop now. I would highly recommend this wax along with the matching wash. I followed the manual’s recommendation to wait 5-6 months after getting the car prior to waxing it. I’ve been washing it every week.
- I still think the wheels are really cool. They are also very easy to keep clean.
- The nav system is a real surprise. Its really easy to use and has lots of features that are cool: touch screen, nice destination history functions, nice point and go destinations, and switching between radio and nav is very easy.
- Gas consumption is not that great. I’ve averaged 22.1 MPG over the 9000 miles. I drive a lot on the highway or it would be worse. But its not like I expected 35 MPG.
- The tires are already getting worn so I’ll probably only get about 12-15K on them. Perhaps not fair to blame the car for that I guess, but this is my blog 🙂
- The car has a tire pressure monitoring system, but it has no way to tell you what the pressure actually is. So the other day the alarms went off. I looked at the tires and everything was ok, but I couldn’t actually see what the pressure was. I suspected the changing of the seasons as the culprit and sure enough 15 miles into the rides all the alarms cleared off.
- Daylight sensing on the nav to change the background colors does not seem to work.
- Lack of auto-locking at 7 MPH and in their general operation –> the car’s locking systems are funky. You can get your key re-programmed, but the car should work”right” from the get go…using of course the American definition of functionality as “right”. Sorry about sounding “Bush-ie…
- There’s an aluminum colored ring around the main dash panel. Its the only piece of bright metal in the car…its gotta go.
- There’s no lock for the gas tank lid. The lid has a bracket for this, but there is no actual lock for the lid as far as I can tell. With the car parked and locked I can still open the tank lid. There’s also no internal release – which is only slightly annoying, but just a bit strange. It seems such a common feature on all cars these days. Perhaps a Saab “quirk”. 🙂
- The sunroof control is a piece of crap. Its going to break off eventually.
- The whole deal with not having a spare tire. Getting a flat on the PA turnpike without something else to put on the car is a serious problem.
Since I’ve moved from New Jersey to PA I’ve had to find a new dealer. If you’re looking for a Saab dealer in the Philly area, The Great Britains Saab has been pretty cool so far. I’ve had an oil change and PA state inspection done there and the work has been prompt, well done, and reasonably priced. So far I’ve had no mechanical issues – knock on wood. I think this is pretty remarkable for such a small number of cars of this type being manufactured.
Overall a great car – easily the best I’ve ever driven. if you find one and can get it during this downturn in the economy then you won’t regret it. I hope to be driving this car for a long time.