Tuesday, June 09, 2015

400 miles in the 9-3

I flew down to Los Angeles this morning, bought the car, and drove it home.

First, I want to thank you regular readers for putting up with my harebrained ideas and inability to make a GD decision. In the last six weeks, I've seriously considered getting the following cars-- Lincoln LS, Jaguar X-Type wagon, Lexis IS300 SportCross, BMW 535Xi, Honda CR-Z, Lexus ES330, Toyota Avalon,....

We are in a drought and of course, it rained in LA this morning. The car looked even cleaner in person.


The car is fantastic. It's much more refined than the Volvo. From the thunk of the door closing to the drivetrain, it's a big step up. I would imagine that in theory, it would be very solid and comfortable at 105 mph. In theory.

The previous owner is a Japanese fellow who is apparently a neat freak. There is no wear and tear on this 2008 model, which has just 43,000 miles.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning for the early flight, so I had to take a caffeine break on the drive back. The food was awful.


I drove through a dust storm for the first time.


There were a few oddities to get used to. First, I noticed that the font size for 100 mph and over is smaller than 90 and under. Also, there is the Night Panel button. I thought it just turned all of the instrument lights off, with the exception of the speedometer. But in addition, all of the gauges (except for the speedo) also turn off when the Night Panel button is engaged. They even make a whirring, zipping sound when they shut off (that may not be intentional).


The odd cupholder is not as flimsy as I thought. However, I accidentally struck it with my hand three times during my drive up. It's going to end up in pieces, one way or another.


Finally, the passenger's side rear view mirror also threw me off. The outer edge is curved in order to eliminate the blind spot, but it just confused me more.


14 comments:

Charles Lee said...

Congratulations on the purchase. It really looks great. The mirror is a GM thing, I think (I tend to avoid renting/buying GM vehicles so experience is limited). I'm quite surprised that it's more refined the the Volvo--are you talking about build quality or material?

Maxichamp said...

@Charles: More sound insulation, more luxurious. Made me think of the V50 as almost like a first generation Miata.

mtc said...

Congratulations! This is a very nice-looking car. I think we should all aspire to make progress with our car purchases (and not necessarily in the conventional way, either, but rather however way one chooses to define progress), and in that regard, I am relieved you didn't buy a Jaguar X-Type or a fifth-generation Volkswagen Jetta.

Alan said...

Seems really nice. We almost bought a similarly clean, electric-ish green car with the same drivetrain recently. Low mileage '07 I think. Drove really well, loved the styling and rarity, wife loved it too but she ultimately decided against it in favor of another LS. Still looking for the right one.

Maxichamp said...

@Alan: All three private sellers of 9-3 SportCombis gave the same excuse for getting rid of it-- the wife didn't want it.

Alan said...

Philistines.

Ed Kim said...

Congrats!! The mirror is actually a bit ahead of its time for the US market. Those mirrors have been common in Europe for a long time (on BOTH sides); SAAB saw fit to leave the passenger side one just like the European spec mirror for the US market. Now, they are becoming a lot more common on US market cars. My wife's FIAT 500L has them on both sides, and I actually bought OEM European mirror glass for my Jetta SportWagen on both sides. You get used to them and once you do, you won't know how you did without them in the first place.

Charles Lee said...

@Ed. Really? I could have sworn that my dad's '92 Olds Cutlass Supreme had one on the passenger side, and so did some of the various Pontiac/Chevy/Buick rentals I've driven over the years. I do recall that those mirrors had a line dividing the normal and funny parts of the mirror, so they aren't quite the same as one on the Saab.

steve-vh said...

Does the right hand mirror have a sharper convex angle just on the outer edge or are you referring to a simple convex mirror in general? ...cause I used to actually make those back in the '90's, they've been around for years.. Prismatic interior mirrors too, we did 90% of the US market then.

Maxichamp said...

@steve-vh and Charles: Just the outer edge.

Edvin said...

Yay! Congrats! It does seem very very clean.

Francisco said...

How's the rear seats? Cramped? (For what I've read)

Who know why the wife didn't want it? Color? Size? Odor? Maintenance Bills? (ding-ding-ding)

Joking - but I know its in good hands.

Maxichamp said...

@Francisco: I have an appointment next week for the Saab mechanic. $260 for a broken taillight, $100 for labor, $750 for a major service. I just need to make sure my wife doesn't find out.

rjo said...

Haha, for me it's my WIFE that has the Saab and I want to get rid of it! It's an old beat up 9-3 turbo and works fine for her short commute now. We have a great Saab mechanic - Saab Replay in Berkeley - all they do is Saabs. Check them out if you're looking for a place with friendly service and reasonable prices.